Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thank God There Seems to Be a Vital Folk Scene In Galicia

Earlier on this current trip, I was invited to attend an astonishing demonstration of what appears to be a very healthy folk scene in Galicia. The Festa de Outono in Couso, a speck on the map a few miles south of Santiago. This was an Autumn Festival of music, food, mushrooms, and more music. Carlos and I hitched a ride with a music fanatic and practitioner, Suso, who is a friend of Montse, the woman from the group Leilía who I met early in the trip at Sala Nasa (see that post in early November).


We arrived about 9pm, and things were just getting underway. There was music already going under one of two tents, and people were beginning to fill the place. A stone building was where most were, getting their food and beer, while an iron stove outside, stoked with coals from a fire on the ground, was in use roasting chestnuts. I didn't want to go inside the building because it was full of smoke, and an attractive young woman approached us offering some of her chestnuts. (I know there is potential dirty humor here, but believe it or not, I'm not going to touch them, I mean, it.) We talked about "stuff" and she was astonished that two Americans were going to stay in Santiago for an entire week, and that we had somehow stumbled into the sort of "insider" event that was this Festa.


While I continued flirting, I mean, conversing with Yolanda, Carlos braved the smoke to get us beer. When he came out, he was pleased to report that the smoke was not from ciggies, but rather, from an open grill burning firewood in order to roast all manner of pig parts and rabbits. I drank the beer. Then I drank his.


Soon the music really cranked up.
And it went on, and was still in full form at 4.30am when we left. I lost count, but there must have been five different bagpipe groups and as many pandeiretera groups (the tambourine playing singing groups as illustrated in the following video). Most of the pandeiretera groups were inside, which is where I spent most of my time, but one, featuring our pal Soso, performed outside. I'll be posting more videos from this event as time goes on.

Carlos and I shared a plate of grilled pork ribs and sausage, no chestnuts, thanks.

And I consumed enough beer for myself, Carlos, and about three others...I lost count at 12 glasses. Hey, we stayed until 4.30, and the glasses were small. Once the bartender comp'ed me a beer...not sure if it was the free one after #10, or if he was just being friendly toward one of only two foreigners in the place.

All the music ignited dancing inside and out, on concrete, grass, parking lot and mud. It was fantastic and reminded us of Greek, Irish and middle-eastern dancing. The music is surely related to the second and third categories.

 I'll post dancing as well, and this video includes some of that with the pandeiretera group.

I can't begin to tell you how much fun this festa was and how lucky Carlos and I were to be able to attend. It was the highlight of our visit to this otherwise sleepy part of Spain. Everyone was very welcoming, everyone was extremely animated. It was a very special, magical evening. Why is that these keep occurring for me in Santiago?



More on this festa in future video posts...for now, watch this:


video

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Moitas gracias, por dedicarnos unha entrada do teu blog de viaxeiro a Festa do Outono de Couso.
A todos os que traballamos na festa énchenos de delicia ver esta reportaxe.
Un gran saudo.
Asociación A Xesteira.

RIAL DE COUSO said...

thanks my friend!!!!a great blog and a great party on Couso:i was here!je,je,....nice to talk with you!!CHEERS MATE!!

RIAL DE COUSO said...

PLEASE, I´D LIKE DOWNLOAD ONE OF THE VIDEOS THAT YOU´VE ON YOUR BLOG(THE COUSOS´S PIPPERS VIDEO)AND I CAN´T DOWNLOAD,I DON´T KNOW! HOW DO I MAKE TO TRY???THANKS A LOT!!!

SambaMaster said...

Sr Rial, desculpe o atraso...email me for the video. I can email it to you. Youtube will not let you download, I think..nao sei! me escreve: sambamaster @ sambaparty punto com