Preparations for our Camac festival in Perpignan are in full swing. It's a particularly busy time at our factory in Mouzeil, because the Camac festivals always host our largest special exhibition of the year. All our harps are regulated, checked and regulated again before they leave our workshops - and at the head of all this regulating is Enric de Anciola, someone for whom Perpignan is not so far from home.
"At Algam, my work was more about quality control than repairs and regulation", Enric explains, "so after a while I was on the look-out for a new challenge, that would be more hands-on and develop my skills. It was around this time that my former teacher at ITEMM coincidentally got wind of an advertisement for a harp technician in Mouzeil, and he phoned me to say he had found me the perfect job. I remember that I sent my application in on a Wednesday, had an interview with Jakez the following Monday, and my contract was signed ten days later...and here I am!
Guitars and harps often have the same technical problems, but the solutions are completely different. Obviously, you are dealing with completely different weights, heights and tensions, with discs instead of frets, and many other technical details that mean that while guitar will give you a head start, you can't just jump in and get started. I was closely trained by Jakez and Daniel Piré, and I spent two and half years working closely with Daniel and building my experience. I'm a better harp technician now than I am a guitar one, which is just as well...Daniel retired at the end of 2013, and I became head of Camac's after-sales service.
There is a lot of demand for regulation tours and they take plenty of planning, that they may reach the maximum number of people. We take pride in a highly efficient pace of work on tour and I would say I and our technicians are on the road for a dozen days a month, on average. I enjoy the time on the road and I love the variety - you can be in a small music school, and then get in the van and proceed to a huge opera house. We're also often technicians in residence at harp events, such as international competitions, or the Camac festivals of course.
Enric and Helen in St Petersburg, at the 2012 Ksenia Erdely Competition