International Festival de Deia

Here’s a recording from a brief visit with Patrick at the Embassy Suites in L.A. in November 2012. He talks about meeting Stephanie, using her money to buy a harpsichord, which led to the origins of the music festival they built together.

JP: Okay, well let’s see what, what next? What do you think someone would want to hear someday?

Patrick: (pauses and chuckles)

JP: What started the Mallorquin… the music festival, it was the Mallorquin Festival, right? That you did for 30 years? Or was it something else?

Patrick: The festival?

JP: Yeah.

Patrick: Let’s see. I’ll try to do that in about 10 sentences. Um, Stephanie sold her grandmother’s ring, and we bought a harpsichord. And we put it in the old music room upstairs. We were practicing there, and she…she…its the perfect instrument for a recorder and baroque flute. So we were practicing and the director of the American Conservatory of Music in Versailles had a house in Lluc Alcari just the next village.

JP: Um hum. Yeah! Right, right! Yeah, that’s where Nicole I think it is…

Patrick: Yeah, Nicole was down there.

JP: Yeah, she was down there.

Patrick: Yeah, okay. Well, up the hill from there on the other side is a house that belonged to this guy’s father, who was the architect in Barcelona for the Segrada Familia.

JP: Oh, yeah, yeah! Gaudí.

Patrick: Gaudí, yeah. And Gaudí gave it over to the grandfather guy who had this house, who gave it to his son, who is now the architect, so it stayed in the family since then.

JP: Okay yeah.

Patrick: And in that house in Lluc Alcari was this director of the American Conservatory in Versailles. So his wife’s name is Carmen. So every…on the 15th of August, its the Fiesta del Carmen in Lluc Alcari. So he heard that we had a harpsichord, and asked if we would come and play in the Fiesta de Carmen, that little church across from where Nicole was.

JP: Oh, okay. Okay.

Patrick: So there were about 50 seats inside…

JP: Right.

Patrick: And outside were 200 people in the street… And we were playing. Vera played violin, got lost as usual in the first bar.

JP: (chuckles)

Patrick: And uh, Stephanie played the flute. Then we also had a bassoon player who was there and she played something. We all played together, you know, it was like that. It was one of those… We had no idea. A normal concert is an hour and a half. We played for three hours.

JP: Oh wow.

Patrick: By the end we had half the audience left, of course. (laughs)

JP: Right… (laughs)

Patrick: They all had to go eat.

JP: Right, right.

Patrick: So that concert was so popular that we decided to repeat that the next Sunday in the Deia Church.

JP: Okay.

Patrick: Again, it was full. So we decided this is something that might work. So we started practicing. And the next summer we did four or five concerts in the church, passing the plate.

JP: Right.

Patrick: And that worked for three or four years. And then… We played all the concerts, but with different people.

JP: Right.

Patrick: Yeah. And came the day when I organized a choir, trained them, taught them a piece, and I was directing. And we formed a little orchestra from members of the orchestra in Palma. And I was supposed to play double bass. I couldn’t direct and play the double bass, so I put a sign up that I needed a harpsichordist, and somebody to direct. So we put up a poster of the concert and put a question mark by the harpsichord, and question mark by the director.

Patrick: These guys from Germany showed up, a man and wife. They were fantastic musicians. And they did it with us. I think I have a recording of that concert. Not very good, because it was much less than this.

JP: Yeah, it was tape. (laughing)

Patrick: Yeah. On cassette.

JP: Cassette tape, yeah.

Patrick: Anyway, so that went over very well and we did, I think, five concerts. I photocopied all of the posters of the concerts those first years. And all the way through, actually.

JP: Yeah.

Patrick: I’m going to send you a set of everything I’ve got.

JP: Okay.

Patrick: I’ve got them packaged already but couldn’t carry everything.

JP: Yeah, right.

Patrick: And also I don’t know if you want it, I’ve got two boxes this size of cassettes of concerts in the festival.

JP: Yeah. Well I have the technology to transfer it over.

Patrick: I don’t know if its worth it.

JP: Yeah.

Patrick: That’s the question. It’s a tedious job.

JP: Yeah.

Patrick: I’ve done a couple of them.

JP: Right.

Patrick: But in one I’m playing cello, in an oboe quartet. I really like that, that’s one of my best nights for me personally.

JP: Uh huh.

Patrick: Ya know. And one I’m playing double bass, and the Vivaldi concerto for guitar, that was another nice moment for me.

JP: Yep.

Patrick: And another one playing flute with an orchestra. You know it’s …

JP: Oh right.

Patrick: It’s sort of an ego trip, all of that stuff.

JP: Yeah.

Patrick: But it was great fun. Great fun. And it made the festival work.

JP: Um hum.

Patrick: Then I did piano trios with violin and cello and me, and with the flute because of there were three of them for flute. And all of this stuff. So really it expanded my capacity and made the festival work. But after we got this German guy and his wife, they wanted to come back with a piano trio.

JP: Um hum.

Patrick: So that’s when we started doing…invited people in Son Marroig.

JP: Right, right. Okay yeah.

Patrick: Then the next year he came back with his orchestra, and played in the church.

JP: Okay.

Patrick: So that was on the way to being a professional festival.

JP: Yeah.

Patrick: So we first played in Son Marroig, I think in ’83. And then we started getting really good concerts. And we made the Music Association in 1985, which still exists, and we kept on like that. The 10th anniversary was ’88. We started in ’78.

JP: Okay, yeah.

Patrick: We meet in ’76. ’78 was the first concert in public. And it went on from there. Four or five years playing. And in Son Marroig we played winter, spring, summer and fall. The summer was for invited artists, and the rest of the year we played every Sunday.

JP: Okay, yeah. I remember the… and when I came out to visit in ’86 I remember you guys playing one Sunday night.

Patrick: Yeah.

JP: I actually remember turning pages for you. And then we got to the Satie piece, which I liked, the Gnossienne, but he didn’t put bars in to… he wanted the music to be more fluid.

Patrick: Yeah.

JP: [You said] “Well, maybe I’d better turn this one.”

Patrick: Yeah, those concerts were the sunset concerts. We tried to time it in the winters at 4:30, and then it was at 5:30, and then it was 6:30. And then summer was at 8:30. Yeah. So that’s sort of what happened to the festival. It went on for… I ran it for 30 years.

JP: Yeah. So what was the official title near the end? Was it the Deia Festival?

Patrick: No, the International Festival de Deia.

JP: Okay. Okay.

Patrick: Yeah. Sometimes I would say Festival de Musica de Camera, but that was for articles, not for the title of the festival. The International Festival de Deia.

JP: Okay.

Patrick: Now the website, the new guy that runs it, he calls his website DIMF. Deia International Music Festival.

JP: Oh, okay.

Patrick: DIMF. You can always go there. Some of the history is there too.

JP: Yeah, yeah.

Patrick: Yeah. So that’s how the festival started and went, and became…

JP: who took over, Octavio? No, um…

Patrick: What?

JP: Who took it, Orlando? Who is the new…?

Patrick: Alfredo?

JP: Alfredo.

Patrick: Oyaguez.

JP: Oyaguez. Okay.

Patrick: Yeah. He is a good pianist. And he has a group made up of people from Santa Barbara, Las Vegas… And Omaha.

JP: Oh, wow!

Patrick: Amongst others. And they come there and form, the Deia ensemble every year.

JP: Okay.

Patrick: Deia. (pause) Yep.

JP: Yep. I guess I should have been announcing, this is November 9, 2012 in L.A. in a hotel room, but…

Patrick: The Embassy Suites.

JP: The Embassy Suites. Yeah.

Listen in on the conversation