Our small coastal town, La Herradura, has a strong attractiveness to people with artistic talents. The famous Spanish guitarist Andres Segovia has left a great cultural heritage and musicians from all over the world visit here often. Some settle here and create life and joy around them.
Some days ago, my husband and I bade farewell to a Norwegian, Gunnar Erling Larsen, who had stayed here for seven months playing classic guitar in restaurants and bars. He is a retired industrial worker and a self-taught guitarist. Last autumn, my husband introduced him to the Swedish flute player and guitarist, Per-Olov Sahl, who was impressed with Gunnar’s skills. They became friends. Gunnar developed his skills further and it was so nice to hear his last performance before he returned home to Norway for the summer.
Gunnar told me that it is much easier for him to be accepted in Spain. He is very happy that he is so well received in one of Segovia’s strongholds, and he told me that that this could never have happened in Norway. Norwegians are more reserved and the restaurant and bar scenes are very different from the Spanish.
Gunnar is from a forest and farming community in the middle of Norway. He loves to be in the wilderness and will spend all summer as a shepherd. Sheep and cows are out in the wild all summer and with human contact every day it is so much easier to gather them in the autumn. It only takes days without human contact before livestock gets very shy and very difficult to collect later. But with a guitar-playing friend around, there is no need for dogs and helicopters when it’s time to return them to the barn. It is cheaper to hire a shepherd and for Gunnar, it is fantastic to get paid and be out all summer in the nature he loves so much. And with the animals safe back on the farm; he heads towards the sun with his guitar again.