As Arpas de Breogán (Fol Musica, 2012)
Although Galicia (Spain) is considered one of the regions of the Celtic music world, the Celtic harp was introduced in the 1970s by Emilio Cao. Renaissance man Rodrigo Romani is another harp pioneer and a crucial figure in contemporary Galician folk music.
As Arpas de Breogán (Breogan Harps) is Romani’s new solo album. It’s a tribute to Celtic harp music and it’s a multi-faceted recording. The album includes original pieces that draw inspiration from traditional Galician music as well as classical, folk rock and jazz. He also performs adaptations of traditional dances and melodies, arranged for harp and other instruments, including electronics.
The pieces are predominantly designed for two harps, vocals, bass and percussion. In addition to harps, As Arpas de Breogán features ocarinas, mouth harps and electronic instruments,
The title of the album makes reference to Breogán (also known as Breoghan or Breachdan) who was a powerful Celtic chieftain in northwestern Spain, covering a territory that included current day Galicia.
Rodrigo Romani is a founding member of Milladoiro , one of the most famous Galician folk bands, with whom he toured the world for over twenty years, exposing international audiences to Galician trad and medieval music. He is also the producer of various albums by Galcian folk music acts. One of the most important parts of his work is his role as founder and educator at the Traditional and Folk Music School of Vigo where he teaches advanced harp courses. He is also the conductor of the first Spanish folk orchestra, called Sondeseu. Lastly, Romani promotes world music through his radio shows in Galician public radio.
Romani has recorded a dozen albums with Milladoiro. In addition to As Arpas de Breogán, he released two other albums as a soloist: Albeida (2001) and Cantos Caucanos (2003).
As Arpas de Breogán is a captivating collection and vocal and instrumental pieces inspired by the Celtic music traditions of Galicia.
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Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.