Basque Trad Meets Hurdy Gurdy

Bidaia – Agur Shiva (Bidaia, 2011)

Bidaia is a duo that plays contemporary Basque folk music mixed with global sounds. What stands out is the combination of traditional Basque instruments like the alboka (a small hornpipe played with circular breathing) with the hurdy gurdy.

On the album Agur Shiva we find Basque musician Mixel Ducau and American hurdy gurdy player Caroline Phillips. The duo sings in Basque and is joined by various guests who bring in a wide-range of instruments and musical influences.

Throughout the album you’ll listen to traditional Basque music influences from the Basque provinces in France and Spain, Medieval sounds, North African and Indian percussion, Middle Eastern ud, Cajun, Indian mantras, and some jazz-style improvisation.

Mixel Ducau is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, vocalist and songwriter who played in legendary Basque-rooted progressive rock group Errobi. Caroline Phillips is a hurdy gurdy virtuoso and singer-songwriter from California, of Greek and Persian origin. She appeared on a TED Talk when she presented Hurdy-gurdy for beginners at TED Global in 2010.

The line-up on Agur Shiva includes Mixel Ducau on vocals, guitar, alboka and bamboo clarinet; Caroline Phillips on vocals and hurdy gurdy. Guests featured: Iñigo Egia on percussion; Amaiur Cajaraville on bass; Aziz Fayet on ud and darbuka; Elixabet Dufour on pandero (frame drum) and chirula (three-holed flute), Claude Cellan on washboard; Christophe “Kiki” Grasciel on harmonica; Harkaitz Martinez de San Vicente and Mikel Ugarte on stone chalaparta; Niko Etxart, Petti and Alaia Phillips Ducau on vocals; and Boris Witbois provides the om mantra chant.

Buy Agur Shiva

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.

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