The magical mountain of Ferran Palau

The magical mountain of Ferran Palau

The magical mountain of Ferran PalauLouise Sansom

If you ask Ferran Palau about some special or important place throughout his life, it would be best if you left it in the singular and talked about the place. Montserrat is the answer. The mountain as well as the forests located on its southern slope. “I was born in Esparguera [fa 41 anys]“But when I was three years old, my parents took us to live in Colbato, right at the foot of the mountain,” explains this columnist of the Catalan pop scene, a master of beguiling lightness. “Since then, Montserrat has felt like my home. It was the backdrop of my life. When I was a kid, cabins and scary stories. When I was a teenager, I was partying with friends, it was my first love.”

Or another kind of fire, more literally: the one that broke out in the Colbato Cemetery in July 1994. “I was 11 years old then,” he recalls. “I was at my partner Louise’s house, watching the movie My Girl, when suddenly we started to smell smoke. And the sound of helicopters, etc. You can imagine the effect of seeing such a fire near the house. “At night, the color of the sky and the brightness of the fire on the mountain form a picture like science fiction, so brutal, so terrifying and at the same time wonderful… I wouldn’t be able to imagine it. I’ll never forget it,” he says.

Colbato, “Catalan Twin Peaks”

It was only after he was older that he began to investigate the matter more thoroughly – he was, for a time, a guide to the Salnitre Caves, which stretch across the interior of Montserrat for nearly a kilometer – but Montserrat was always associated with his music and imagination. She and the contrast between this immense nature and the “poorly paved streets, lonely lampposts and deserted tennis courts” in Colbato, a town she knows as the “Catalan Twin Peaks”.

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And whoever talks about the masterpiece of David Lynch and Mark Frost, can talk about Los Colpe, because of the UFO sightings: “Catalonia has always had a great fascination with myths and mysteries, and Montserrat is closely linked to this imagination, as well as our imagination. You have all kinds of monsters, like the Friar Garí And Marmot, and of course UFO sightings When I was younger, I would go in the summer with my friends to listen to Mr. Grifhol’s stories [l’exempresari que reunia la gent per fer els esmentats albiraments] As we watched the sky to see if any strange light appeared. It is also the scene of mysterious deaths and disappearances. All this makes it the perfect place to look for inspiration.”

In the age of dinosaurs

And speaking of monsters: two of them, Sniff and Smoothie, both created by Palau with the help of artist Agnès C. Olivier, are prominent in the history and art of Plora here, which is the title of the final album for which it will be released. Palau. “They were born watching movies, but they also walk and observe the stillness of the Montserrat forests. There, you can imagine creatures behind the trees, watching your steps.”

In this album Palau wanted to recapture the innocence, facing challenges without knowing the outcome, of his first albums with Anímic, the dark folk-pop band that made him famous. Nature has played a major role in this process. “One of the images I had in mind when making this album was imagining Montserrat in the age of the dinosaurs. How their screams and moans echoed between the mountain spiers. The entire disc is filled with recreations of these sounds in the background scenery. My voice sounds very close, but all kinds of monsters, animals and natural environments play From behind.”

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It wasn’t easy to revive the production of Mr. Chen’s album. “In the end, after many rehearsals, we found the perfect point and the songs take on a new life,” says Palau. We will be able to see him perform with an almost new band, including components of the duo B1N0, tomorrow, Saturday at Heliogabal (12:30 p.m.) and next Friday, May 31, at the Primavera Sound Theater (Estrella Dam Theater, 5:30). evening.).

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