The Ancient Sounds of Vasconia

Xarnege – Musica de contrabanda

Musica de contrabanda (Xarnege PYR 001-KD)

Xarnege is a band formed by Basque and Gascon musicians from Spain and France. They explore the music of their common past, a land known as Vasconia, which was located around the Western Pyrenees. The group’s name, Xarnege, or Sharnègo, is a Gascon word which refers to villages on the Gascony and Basque border in which people express themselves in both Basque and Gascon.

The musicians use a wide variety of acoustic instruments, including hurdy-gurdy, flabuta (Gascon flute), ttun ttun, psaltery, alboka (Basque horn), Gascon bagpipe, caremèra (Gascon horn), txanbela [a.k.a. chanbela] (Basque horn), fiddle, mandolin and bouzouki.

The group plays an intriguing collection of Gascon, Basque, Vascon and Navarran traditional tunes and dances. The overall sound is a mixture of folk music and Medieval influences. The CD booklet is bilingual, with texts in Basque and Gascon.