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3rd Taller Itinerante de Arpa de Pedales

Our work with Edmar Castaneda, developing a new kind of llanera harp, has sparked many adventures in South America (to explore some of them, see the related posts below this article). 

This week and for the third time, we’re delighted to have sponsored the Taller Itinerante de Arpa de Pedales, which has been taking place at the Conservatorio Nacional de Música in Mexico City. The project is the brainchild of Isabelle Moretti, Marisela González and Mercedes Gómez. Together, they have designed a workshop that is really focused on the needs of students in South America. Here, it is not easy to buy a pedal harp, students begin music education later than in European or North American countries, and it is harder to travel to lessons and masterclasses.  This time, Isabelle, Marisela and Mercedes are joining forces with teachers Lucrecia Jancsa from Argentina, Larisa Fedorova from the Orquesta de Querétaro in Mexico, and Cristina Braga from Brazil. 

After two journeys with my husband, the one to Venezuela to El Sistema, and the other to Mexico with Mercedes Gomez, I became truly aware of how lucky we French musicians are, to have almost everything we need while others have practically nothing. Of course, I had already been aware of this, but these journeys really brought it home to me, almost physically.

The traditional Criolla harp is an instrument widely played in Central and South America, but the “classical” harp struggles to fulfil its potential because of significant difficulties – a lack of instruments, strings and music, but also a lack of contact with the outside classical music world, and little access to teaching (I mean, contact other than on YouTube !). On the other hand, the goodwill, courage and self-sacrifice of certain teachers is not lacking at all!

It was in meeting two of these fantastic teachers, Mercedes Gomez from Mexico and Marisela Gonzales from Caracas, that I very much wanted to do something concrete, by offering my help as a soloist and as professor at the CNSM in Paris.

Mercedes and Marisela know their countries very well. Their knowledge is extremely valuable and after long discussions, it became clear to us that the most useful thing to do would be to create a travelling classical harp workshop. If the workshop travels, this permits the young harpists of Central and South America to take part more easily, by reducing the duration and price of their journey.

Isabelle Moretti

Download the 3rd Taller Itinerante brochure (PDF, 2MB).

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