The violinist shares early memories of childhood summers that provided inspiration for his latest album, Spanish Light

Violinist Francisco Fullana © Miguel Arranz

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In the rural village of Cacín, Andalusia, not far from the majestic city of Granada, my childhood was colored by a symphony of experiences that now resonate in the melodies of my violin when I play the music of Granados, Turina, or our national violin hero, Pablo de Sarasate. Amid the intense heat and the picturesque white walls, it was the captivating Andalusian accent and the bonds of family that left an enduring imprint on my musical journey. 

My grandparents’ home was a haven of warmth and love, where music and laughter wove a tapestry of cherished memories within the back patio walls of their ‘corral.’ One of my earliest recollections involves walking hand in hand with my great-grandmother on a hot summer night, as music and laughter filtered out from inside. These gatherings instilled in me a profound association between music and its power to connect people, to express emotions, and strengthen the bonds of family. I carry this sentiment within my music, reflecting the essence of those cherished moments.

 One of my earliest recollections involves walking hand in hand with my great-grandmother on a hot summer night, as music and laughter filtered out from inside

Central to those first childhood summers was being surrounded by the captivating Andalusian accent, spoken with melodious intonations and expressive rhythms by my grandparents and their neighbours. This accent became the language that I try to recreate within the nuances of the Spanish classics. The cadence of the language finds its way into the inflections of the melodies, imbuing the harmonies with an authentic Andalusian spirit. I strive not only to convey the notes on the score but also to capture the soul of the music, mirroring the essence of the language inflections that I was surrounded by growing up. The combination of music and language creates a harmonious fusion that reflects my cultural roots and musical expressions, transporting me back to those unforgettable summers. 

These memories guide all aspects of the performances, from shaping phrases to infusing the music with the same vivid emotions that permeate the language. Each note becomes a brushstroke, painting a vivid canvas of passion, joy, or melancholy, of my Spanish soul.

As I play, I feel a profound connection to my heritage, to the family ties, and to those voices that surrounded me during those idyllic summers. I feel a deep sense of respect for the stories of my ancestors, and the laughter and music that filled the warm Andalusian nights.

The music I play today is more than a mere performance. It is a tribute to the culture that has nurtured me and continues to inspire me on my musical journey.

Francisco Fullana’s album Spanish Light is out now on Orchid Classics. Listen here

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