Ixo-sho (Pyrene Pyr-003, 2009)
The new album by Xarnege continues the fascinating explorations of the ancient land of Vasconia which includes the current Basque Country in Spain and Gascony in France. The CD booklet includes all lyrics which appear in Basque and Gascon. You can also get them in Spanish and French by going to the band’s web site.
Xarnege uses a wide variety of musical instruments from the region, including the alboka (Basque) and boha (Gascon) horns, fabulous hurdy gurdy, several types of flutes, accordion, and more. The band transforms traditional music from from both sides of the western Pyrenees, from Bearn (France), Navarra (Spain) and The Basque Country (Spain and France) and makes it edgy and contemporary. At times, the overall sound can get as loud as a rock band. The traditional styles range from branles, gavottes and jauzis to segidas, polkas, rondeus, mutchikoak and waltzes.
The current line-up includes Joan Baudoin on bohas, flabutas, hurdy-gurdy, ttun ttun and vocals; Simon Guillaumin on hurdy-gurdy and vocals; Lucia Longué on flabutas, besson, accordion, bass, boha and vocals; Josean Martín Zarko on bouzouki and vocals; and Juan Ezeiza on fiddle, bass and albokas.
Ixo-sh introduces the listener to a beguiling melting pot of sounds from the Western Pyrenees.