Soundscape of Alaró's Castle
Sound file and transcription as part of the exhibition #antoniadelrioesbaluard
The landscape pictogram is represented by the schematic image of two triangular-shaped peaks and a circumference that we identify as the sun. In this sound postcard, the pictogram of the landscape has been replaced by the silhouette of the mountains of Alaró, Es Castell and Alcadena, which rise up in this characteristic way.
On the back of the postcard you will find a QR code that you can scan to listen to the voices that explain to us and at the same time “make us see”, what Castell d’Alaró is like:
- But haven’t you ever been up to the castle? No way!
- You’ve never been up to the castle?
- You’ve never been there?
- I’ve never been there.
- And won’t you be going up?
- It’s, up-up, keeping up your pace, nonstop for 25, 30 minutes.
- I can’t say, because young people would be there in a quarter of an hour and we… half an hour, in an hour we go, we went, to the castle.
- A route you know you have to take slowly. It has a series of stops at specific places, most people usually stop for a snack, and here…
- Because at the castle, when you go up, at the top there’s a very large flat area.
- Very big. Also, you’ll see, there are people, there are always people outside the restaurant, always.
- It’s like the restaurant, and lots and lots of people.
- Well, there’s the cliff, right? And to get up the cliff there’s a bit of a path, with steps, in stone, and you come to a first way in what would be the wall, where you can still see the remains of what was the fortification. Because there were these small cracks. This would be the first entrance.
- Well, at the castle, to get up there… it’s a cliff. It’s a rock. You go up inside the walls, I mean, you go up the steps. You go up the steps, you pass a gate. Then you carry on up the steps, up to a tower called the keep, which we called “the colder” because it was always windy there, but it’s the keep.
- You go into the first room, which we call “the colder”. Which is square-shaped, it’s square. And well, there’.. there’s just the corridor. There are the four walls and the two doorways, right?
- A very tall stone tower. Because when you go there, you get very sweaty going up, you normally sweat going up, and when you go inside this thing, here there’s a strong breeze, of course, and they usually call it “the colder” for this reason, because people come up all sweaty, go in there, the breeze hits you and when you come out… (coughs). But hey! It’s never happened to me! Yes, there’s a tower there, and you carry on.
- Here there are some steps going up to the crag, and behind the steps there’s a tower, which is called the keep, that people also usually go into. And we the people from Alaró call it “the colder”, because whenever you go in, there’s a strong breeze, and it’s called the tower that gives you a cold. But I think the official name is the keep.
- The castle, well, has a place they call “the colder”. Then there are a few bits of wall and then, behind, it has some water tanks. And the castle has the place to stop, for people who go there, and then the little chapel.
- And in front, here on the left, is the chapel, a little chapel. And then a good, a good,.. patio. I can’t think of the word! Well, a covered bit… A porch! A porch! In front of Our Lady. And well, I mean, then, on this flat bit, at the back, and then you look down and there are, like, some cliffs, which is l’Orengar. They call it l’Orengar. L’Orengar. And then, in front, there’s this big flat bit, and then, going down, there’s… Ah! On the left… Well, I don’t know whether you can place yourself! This is the chapel and this is the porch, here there’s still a large flat area, then comes another wall, then a viewpoint, from which you can watch people coming up.
- Here, this way, you look at the plain, here at the mountains, and here at something in between. You can’t see all the east, but you can see the Alcadena mountain a bit.
- You’ve got the wall, overlooking the Llosseta side, you see Inca, on clear days you can see Alcúdia, you can see Pollença… I mean, you see that whole area. And now the first patio, when you get there, you see Palma, Santa Maria, Alaró… The views are spectacular. We, for example, have been there in summer, in the daytime, with a clear, clear day and we’ve seen Cabrera. On a clear day the views are spectacular.
- At a little pass to the west you can see Eivissa, but you can’t see Formentera. And you can’t see Formentera because it’s too low and the curvature of the earth stops you. And this was really something, because Miriam says to me, “I’ve got to take a photo and I can’t see Formentera coming out, I don’t see Formentera or I’m mixing it up with Eivissa, I don’t know, tell me.” So I say to her, “It’s a matter of working it out.” And I worked it out and I said, “The curvature, exactly, can’t work.” I did an article and they’ve got it on the shelf, about why the Alaró castle is proof that the Earth is round.
- In front of the chapel, this is the chapel, we said, and there, past the water tank, here on the right, after the porch, there’s a bit of garden, tiny, tiny.
- I mean, looking at the chapel porch, on the left you’ve got this L-shaped building with the end touching the chapel. Isn’t it? Yes, yes, that would be it.
- And then, if you carry on, further on, there’s a little chapel. They restored the altarpiece not long ago.
- Yes, the chapel is little, in front there’s Our Lady, then two angels, here. An altar, of course. But here there was a bench, and here there was another. Two benches. Behind, I mean, that, well, at the front of the chapel, before you got to the altar, there was a door with a doorway that was rather high. And you went up into another little room. Then there was a desk, one or two chairs, a confessional… Then you went behind Our Lady. Behind the altar. And there was… Our Lady turned round. And turns round, and you could worship her. And then you turned her back. Then you went back round. There was another little door here, pum! And you went down. Little, the chapel is little.
- You go behind Our Lady. You can turn her round. She’s like the one in Lluc, that you can turn. And you come out on the other side.
- And then, well, when you come out, on this side of the chapel is the kitchen, which they restored. All new with aluminium, great!
- You went in and it was the castle kitchen. At the front there were these old ovens, old washbasins, and then here, a good fireplace… I mean, an old-fashioned kitchen. And you went down some steps and there was a larder. That was here, on this side, to the right of the chapel.
- Behind the chapel, what they restored, there are the new rooms, as they’re called. There’s an enormous room, I don’t know whether thirty or forty bunks fit in there, and then there are a couple of rooms that are for four, six…, where you can stay to sleep.
- The rooms are very nice because they’re wood, all the furniture is wood. Bare stone, and it fits in very well.
- In this area there are cells, there are cells and you can stay here. And there was, when you went in, a dining room. A dining room, no. A room! With some… with some sofas. The cushions were of traditional Mallorcan striped cloth.
- There’s a fireplace, there are long tables and there are some wooden sofas that are a bit… that are as old as the hills, like me. For if you want to eat, if you want to stay there… there’s a room… there are ancient sofas, I think they ought to have changed them, but well…
- A light I really like in the castle is the one in summer, at eight or nine in the evening and you come up the path and it does these… this… when it’s just going dark, when the sun’s gone, and there’s this set of skies. And there are different blues.
- And the cliffs, all the water and mineral marks down them, come out in wonderful reds. The castle, it’s like anywhere in the world, as well, it’s never the same. Just now, on the way, in Sa Cabaneta, I stopped in the village, in Consell, and I took a photo. Of course! There was a grey… a very deep bluish and behind the mountains had disappeared because there was a curtain of water. Ah! It was wonderful! It was wonderful! And with a leaden grey, like… And you go another day with a clear sunset and, pffff, it has a shine! Pffff!
- Orange, whitish, reddish, greyish… depending on the time of day. Evenings are usually beautiful. It’s when the sun shines right on it and brings out the colours more. And the ideal time, I say it’s now or in April or May, to go up there. The colours, they change. Now, in the morning, the rising sun casts a shadow. At midday it shines right down on it, and in the evening, when the sun goes down over there, it shines on it from the front. In summer, when you go up the last stretch, you pass beside the cliff and the wall is hot. It’s warmed up during the day and it’s hot. It’s hot, hot, hot.
- If they asked you, Could you do without the castle? No? Like the Twin Towers, when they fell down lots of people said they missed the visual Well, I think I could do without it, couldn’t it? I mean… I don’t know… but there you go. It’s there with you. Like it or not, it’s something that’s there. Like I suppose someone who lives by a bay, the fact of seeing the sea… Like when you have that picture at home, right? Always. You have it hanging there and one day it’s not there and… you’d be surprised, wouldn’t you? So I think the castle is a bit like that, it’s the setting, right? It’s the setting for a life in Alaró.