The man who developed his pictorial work in Paris, although there he had come to grow as a writer, who triumphed in Europe with his art, returned at the end of the last century "to the landscape, to the old, to the mythological world", like himself He said; He returned to the family house at the top of the village of Robles de Laciana (León), to the home where, as a child, he was absorbed while his grandmother killed the annoying flies that buzzed in the heat of the cows. Some flies that reproduced many times, years later, in huge pieces, as part of his life and as an allegory of a disturbing Spain. Arroyo's flies staged, for example, the stand of EL PAÍS in the last edition of Arco, held last February, and several of them welcomed those who came to his home in Robles, stuck in the wall.
The return of Arroyo to the village of his ancestors influenced his way of painting, he recognized it, and perhaps to thank the land that so many sensations, smells and colors had transmitted to him, he embarked on the organization, in 1997, of musical meetings with her friend the excellent pianist Rosa Torres-Pardo. Little by little, the free concerts of Robles became an expected appointment in the area, the last weekend of July, attended by musicians, artists, writers, friends and the people of the town and the nearby valleys. Every year, the poster announcing the meetings was commissioned by Arroyo to an artist: Úrculo, the photographer Jordi Socias or he made it himself.
However, the most significant for those who, without knowing the artist, went to the garden, between walnut trees, from their house and to the town church to listen to singers and soloists, was the extraordinary generosity of Eduardo Arroyo. You could tell he enjoyed having people around him who had a good time and went out of his way to make sure nobody felt strange.
If at any time the outdoor concert was suspended by the rain, he took refuge with friends at home, but he did not mind welcoming any neighbor who came to listen to Torres-Pardo at the piano, or laughing with the funny performances of the tenor. Enrique Viana, to the mezzo-soprano Marisa Pardo, or to beginners like the violinist Leticia Moreno or the cellist Adolfo Gutiérrez. And if there was no water falling, but cool, Arroyo was seen asking for blankets for the guests sitting on the wooden chairs.
When Friday's concert ended, Arroyo's generosity moved to the small garden of the La bolera rural house, where abundant food and drink was served for everyone who passed by. In addition, one could meet Rosa Montero, Jordi Socías, Almudena Grandes, Víctor Manuel, Ana Belén, Luis García Montero, Máximo Pradera …
Throughout the almost two decades in which the meetings were held, there were many special moments in outdoor performances or in the Romanesque church of San Julián. How to listen, at the doors of this eleventh-century temple, to Torres-Pardo playing the grand piano while the cows' cowbells were heard in harmony, surrounded by green valleys and in a town where, it was evident, the presence and thrust of Arroyo had transformed it into one of the most beautiful and cared for in the area, pleasant to walk around and to have some chocolate frisuelos. Although a few years ago, there was a performance that can not be forgotten. In a crowded church, because it was raining outside, the Huelva-born cantaora Rocío Márquez offered a wonderful concert, amplified by the sonority of the walls of the church.
Only the weak health of Arroyo broke the possibility of organizing meetings in recent times, although he remained attached to that land. In the last edition of Arco, he once again showed his enormous generosity ("Come to eat this summer, but do not tell me yes, yes … you come whenever you want"). Hopefully his numerous friends devise a way to continue with the meetings of Robles, which should logically be called Encuentros Eduardo Arroyo.