This activity organized by the Palencia Provincial Organ School and the “Fray Domingo de Aguirre” cultural association is part of the autumn-spring cultural programming of the Palencia Provincial Council. In order to participate in this activity it is necessary to purchase the Olmeda ticket. The dates planned for the concerts are the following: November 4, 11, 18 and 25, January 13, 20 and 27, February 10, 17 and 24, March 2, 9 and 16, March 6, 13 and 27 April and May 4,11,18 and 25, 2024.
Last year, the provincial institution rescued this unique musical instrument, which is incorporated into the enormous cultural attraction of the archaeological site. The La Olmeda hydraulis was built at the Acitores Organ Shop and Art Workshop, directed by Federico Acitores in Torquemada since 1983. It has been an interesting challenge and it has been difficult to build such a unique instrument from two thousand years ago, of which there are hardly any archaeological remains. It is a tetrachord hydraulis, with four rows of tubes with eighteen diatonic notes, according to Greek models, suitable for full operation in musical performances. The hydraulis is an organ with a hydraulic mechanism similar to those used in Greco-Latin antiquity. It was popularized in Ancient Rome, which extended the use of this instrument throughout its Empire, as musical accompaniment in performances in theaters, amphitheaters and circuses, as well as in social and liturgical gatherings.
Throughout this year and a half, several activities have been developed around hydraulis. On the occasion of European Music Day, on June 21, 2022, the Provincial Council of Palencia and the National Archaeological Museum (MAN) presented the hydraulis of the Roman Villa La Olmeda in Madrid, with a free concert open to all audiences. In addition, two cycles of conferences and concerts called “Archaeomúsica Conferences” have been held in La Olmeda in which experts on ancient music have met and especially on everything that has to do with the hydraulis organ. At the end of this year and looking ahead to next year, the Hydraulis will once again be the protagonist with the program “Suena el Hydraulis” that begins on November 4, 2023 at 11:00 a.m.