Nomadak Tx (World Village, 2009)
In 2006, two musicians from San Sebastian in Spain’s Basque country, Harkaitz Martínez and Igor Otxoa (who use the artistic name of Oreka TX), traveled throughout the world with the chalaparta (txalaparta in Basque), meeting musicians from various cultures and recording sessions where they combined the local voices and instruments with the chalaparta. The result of these fascinating interactions was a DVD documentary titled Nomadak TX (Nomadic Chalaparta), as well as a CD, showing the musical adventures of Oreka TX.
The documentary, directed and written by Raúl de la Fuente, shows the encounters of Harkaitz Martínez and Igor Otxoa in remote parts of the world, where they met Sami musicians in Lappland (there is a moment where the musicians try to build a chalaparta out of ice), the Saharawi people at their refugee camps in Algeria, the Adivasi in India, and the nomads in Mongolia’s steppes.
The chalaparta is an ancient Basque percussion instrument made out of two or more wooden or stone planks that are played with thick mallets. Unlike most musical instruments, the chalaparta is played by two individuals who carry out a musical dialogue. The use of the instrument nearly died in the 20th century, but it was revived by folklorists in the 1950s and it is popular with younger Basque musicians.
Nomadak TX is an extraordinary voyage of musical discovery.
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Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV 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 albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.