The first items on the EXIB Música 2015 program on Thursday, May 8th were the micro conferences. These were fifteen-minute presentations by various participants. The first one was by a Spanish online service called Noise Off that’s sponsored by Orange. It’s a free live concert streaming digital broadcast platform for all music genres. Mauro Alonso gave a demonstration of the features. He clarified that this is a real time live service rather than a site to upload pre-recorded videos. However, the live broadcasts are archived and available after the original live performance. More at www.noiseofffestival.com
Next was the presentation of the Red Internacional de Festivales Folk. The organization recently changed its English name to IN-Folks (International Networking of Folk Festivals). Juan Manuel Campos provided details about this new organization that represents festivals in Portugal, Italy, France and Spain with the common goal of promoting traditional folk music and dance. The only website available at this time is https://www.facebook.com/pages/IN-Folks/1606275309617721
The third conference was by José Jesús Gómez from Agencia de Representaciones Artistas (ARA) in Venezuela. José Jesús Gómez provided details about the services provided his organization which supports Venezuelan artists perform in and outside Venezuela. He also presented the upcoming Feria Internacional de Música de Venezuela (International Music Fair of Venezuela). This event will take place in Caracas, October 7-11, 2015 and will feature a wide range of showcases, including traditional music. The event will also introduce Venezuelan cuisine. The guest nation this year will be Argentina.
The final micro-conference was by Roberto Gómez de la Iglesia who talked about Inspiralia Festival.
The first music showcase on May 8 was by multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter and composer Rosalia Mowgli. This was a solo performance with multimedia elements. Rosalia recreated Spanish traditional music from Palencia, Extremadura, Cantabria and other parts of Spain with her unique guitar arrangements. She’s worked for many years with Spanish folk music innovator Eliseo Parra and uses a wide range of traditional instruments, including the rare square frame drum from Peñaparda in Salamanca province, as well as cooking pans and various devices turned into instruments. Rosalia also creates her own instruments including a feather-covered flute.
On a large TV screen, Rosalia showed videos of Spanish folk music researchers, her goatherder neighbor from rural Avila with his herd, as well as folk songs from Spain and Latin America that have inspired her.
The second showcase took place at the larger stage in the auditorium and was one of the highlights of the day. Spanish saxophone and flute player Javier Paxariño presented his new project, a fabulous jazz-world music fusion trio with some of Spain’s finest instrumentalists. Javier was joined by Manu de Lucena on drums and percussion and Josete Ordoñez on Spanish guitar, electric oud and mandola.
The music was a voyage across the Mediterranean combining structured pieces with jazz improvisation mixed with world music elements, including flamenco from Spain in the western Mediterranean to Sephardic music and Middle Eastern music in the eastern end.
More information at http://www.javierpaxariño.com
Another high point was the performance by Portuguese singer Mara. One of my colleagues mentioned that there has been a saturation of fado concerts and artists in recent years and was looking forward to hearing Portuguese music other than fado. Mara certainly does not perform fado. She is a passionate, charismatic performer who sings canto alentejano, the traditional music of the Alentejo region in south central Portugal. She has revitalized the genre with a high energy combination of traditional instruments like the Portuguese guitar with electric bass, flamenco guitar and cajon. Her concert kept the audience engaged with her prodigious vocals and impassioned delivery.
Argentine singer and multi-instrumentalist Juan Iñaki gave a brief preview of his music during the inaugural ceremony. This time the magnetic musician from Cordoba (Argentina) presented a full showcase accompanied by guitar and percussion. Juan Iñaki has a very powerful voice that reaches an unbelievably high pitch. He recreates Argentine folk music, incorporating indigenous references, chacareras, zambas and carnival comparsa music. Iñaki was joined by fellow-Argentine vocalist Cecilia Zabala on a couple of songs.
More information at http://juaniniaki.bandcamp.com
The last concert at the Alhondiga Bilbao auditorium was by a singer-songwriter named Rafa Rueda. He performed solo accompanied by electric guitar. Jet lag caught up with me and I was unable to go to the final concert of the night by Peruvian artist Myriam Quiñones.
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.