Street Music of Barcelona, Spain
The music scene in Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona is a magnet for anyone and everything with individuality. The music you hear, the food you taste, the people you watch, and the architecture you admire, is completely unique to Barcelona. For many, it's the music that makes Barcelona, Spain’s second largest city, most special. The city's greatest live music won't be found in expensive concert venues or in posh nightclubs, but on the street corner. Seven days a week you can find and enjoy any number of performances among the meandering streets of the Barri Gotic, by the waters edge in Port Vell, or under a palm tree in Parc Guell. My most memorable evenings in Barcelona were spent cross-legged on the ground, lukewarm cerveza in hand, and enjoying the music on street. You can read about and listen to some of the best performers here. I hope you enjoy.
Universong is a group made up of 3 members (sometimes more) hailing from different parts of the world. They perform atop a a large purple lotus flower-shaped rug, with a display of their own artwork in the background. Universong is comprised of a guitar/percussion/vocals, cello, flute/percussion/vocals, (sometimes trumpet). Their music is passionate and inspired by mother earth herself. The introductions to tracks “Is Time” and “Armonicos” give you the range and creativity of their sound (ie. seagull-like squawks made from the cello and the sound of waves crashing from the vocalist). Without a doubt my favorite groups on the streets of Barcelona today.
Universong - Changing
Visit Universong on MySpace to download free music
Selva De Mar
Selva de Mar is a completely unique and eccentric group comprised of two musicians. I stumbled across this group inside the grotto at the entrance to Parc Guell. The acoustics inside this space only enhanced their melodic yet eerie sounds. One man plays the cello as well as a singing saw. The other keeps the beat with two hang drums and an improvised bass drum at his side: a large bucket of water with an upside down wooden bowl floating on top. When this is struck, it creates a unique but natural sounding bubbly bass 'thwombp'. Their sound is ambient and earthy, and they are mesmerizing to watch. Selva de Mar is a perfect soundtrack to the calm and peaceful aspects of Barcelona, and particularly Parc Guell. Their music is available for purchase on iTunes and Amazon.
Selva De Mar - San Marti
- Selva De Mar
Visit Selva De Mar on Myspace to download free music
Made In Barcelona
One of the most entertaining, talented, and yes, even comical groups of Barcelona. I'm talking about the group Made in Barcelona. You get something new everyday with this group that ranges from 6 to 10 people. The staples to the group include multiple guitars, a double bass (upright bass), trumpet, saxophone, and various percussion instruments like the conga drum, cowbell, cajón, and everything else needed to create upbeat and energetic salsa music.
This group always draws a diverse crowd that almost always starts dancing. With a sound that is unique to Barcelona, watching this group perform makes you remember why you love the Spanish culture, why you love Barcelona, and why music can be so fun (check out the video, especially at minute 2:40 with the impromptu rap). They are always performing down in Port Vell, near Barceloneta, or later on in the evenings at local bars or parties which they advertise during performances.
Made In Barcelona - No Woman No Cry
- Made In Barcelona
Visit Made in Barcelona on Myspace to download free music
This is only three of many talented artists whom you can find performing on the streets, in parks, or underground in the metro of Barcelona. It's a beautiful thing to be able to stop and clear your head from the sounds of honking horns and guided tour groups with quality live music (for free). Performing in the streets is an excellent platform for the future success of many groups, and damn fun as well. Street music like this is really a blessing to the city of Barcelona. For that, it’s important to support these musicians when you do see them; at least clap/sing/dance along, buy a CD, or drop a Euro. Without these street musicians, Barcelona wouldn’t be the energized nest of creativity and personality that it is.