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Queen Guitar Rhapsodies

From Madrid with Love

- how travel does alter the mind -

As far as I am concerned travel does not so much broaden the mind as alter it - at least for the time being. It consigns the everyday concerns and chores of our normal habitat to an untroubled area at the back of our memory. Pressing issues quite suddenly seem less important.

The simple dislocation to another place gives us a precious insight: perspective.

And maybe because I am a musician I am aware that a new location means a change of rhythm from an allegro frenetico to an andantino tranquilo, at least that is my aim wherever I go whenever possible.

All these thoughts have been racing through my mind this week in one of my favourite places, Madrid, where I am spending a few days with my great friend, the guitar-making innovator Juan Menduiña before continuing to Seville for my recital on Tuesday.

In the local bar café, I watch with delight families gather noisily for Saturday lunch, while in other corners old men play cards and dominoes. In the evening the TV relays live a bull-fight with strutting matadors, furious bulls and death itself reviewed in slow replay. Political correctness has not reached this area - small children look up untroubled at the screen as they run around the tables.

Travel does more than give perspective - it marks time itself. It has encouraged me to observe, savour and appreciate things around me slowly changing in places familiar to me from previous visits.

Take Juan Menduiña's guitars - and you would be fortunate to do so for they are wonderful instruments - where small changes since the last time I was here have led to significant developments. While trying out his latest instruments I practised away at the pieces I am playing on Tuesday. Doing so in the spacious environment of his workshop inspired a different edge and concentration to my playing. Could it be that travel renews the brain's neurone connections too and leads to a new enthusiasm for the familiar?

Travel gives perspective.
Travel alters our rhythm.
Travel renews enthusiasm.
Travel gives us the gift of time itself: time to reflect, time to observe, time to enjoy.

12th May 2013, Madrid

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Printed from: http://www.carlosbonell.com/blog/?p=2421 .
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