It was the year of my maiden voyage to Barcelona.
Spain, a once mighty empire that now clung to its last vestiges of land. In Spain, the allure didn't lie in its capital, Madrid, but rather in the cities of Barcelona and Granada. Speaking of Barcelona, one cannot help but invoke the name of the architectural maestro, Antoni Gaudí. Barcelona, in essence, stands as a living museum of Gaudí's artistry, with the pinnacle being the Sagrada Família, a construction that commenced in 1882 and, remarkably, remains unfinished to this day. It holds the distinction of being the world's longest-standing work in progress.
On my very first day in Barcelona, I was eager to rent a bicycle and embark on a quest to find the Sagrada Família.
Starting along the seaside and heading north, after reaching Plaza Leonardo da Vinci, I took a left, following the diagonal avenue. After approximately four kilometers of meandering through a flea market, I veered right, signifying my approach to the iconic basilica.
The streets in the vicinity grew narrower, shrouded in the shade of lush trees. Despite the majority of buildings standing at a modest five or six stories, my vision remained constrained.
Then, as I turned a street corner, the Sagrada Família materialized before my eyes in a breathtaking display of architectural marvel. It was an awe that transcended words.
Despite having viewed countless images of the Sagrada Família online, I had never truly comprehended the sheer magnitude of this grandeur.
The six- and seven-story buildings surrounding the basilica's base appeared diminutive, like shoeboxes beside a giant.
It was a creation of immense, opulent, and intricate design. Its vastness coexisted harmoniously with a gentleness that eschewed straight lines almost entirely. As I approached, the intricacies became increasingly apparent.
Man-made creations, the beauty of architecture, could manifest in such profound ways.
Music, I thought, should mirror such qualities.
Music should command a towering presence,
Music should exude grandeur and richness,
Music should stand resolute as a mountain, yet flow gracefully as a river.
If I were to craft a formidable DAC, I knew its name must embody these ideals—SagraDAC.
By Michael Xiao