Artist Profiles: Felpeyu

Felpeyu

Felpeyu was formed in 1991 by a group of students with similar musical tendencies. The band performed several concerts in halls and folk pubs, changing soon to big stages and festivals in different parts of Spain: Asturias, Castilla-Leon and Galicia.

Felpeyu remakes Asturian traditional music by following similar trends in European folk music, specially Irish and Scottish Celtic music. “Our band makes use of a methodology related to the orchestration, performing techniques and arrangements which allow us to reach our aim. Thus, we elaborate our sound by combining both the orchestration coming from the Asturian tradition and the more general and current one from Atlantic European areas, without losing the acoustic sound.”

There are various sources which provide us with the material we usually work with: folk song books, choral scores and manuscripts harmonized from traditional songs, sound files from ethnographic researching groups -in which some of our members take part-, folk music which is present in the everyday life, and, finally, our own compositions based on traditional structures and rhythms.”

In 1993 the band won the third prize in the Vilagarcia de Arosa Folk Competition, recording two tracks on a CD shared with the other two winners.

The first CD, Felpeyu, came out in 1994. The second album, Tierra, was released in 1997 and became Asturian Recording of the Year.

During the following years, the band toured throughout Spain and other European countries. In 2000, Felpeyu toured Australia, with 30 performances at major Australian festivals. During the international tour Felpeyu recorded Live Overseas. A second Australian tour took place in 2001.

In 2003 Felpeyu created its own label, Tierra Discos. The first release on the Tierra was Ya!, distributed in Spain and Australasia. That same year, Felpeyu played at the prestigious WOMADadelaide festival.

Felpeyu suffered a terrible blow in 2006. Band members Carlos Redondo and Igor Medio, June 24th in Zuya (northern Spain) in a vehicle accident. The group was traveling from a gig in Corvera (Asturias) to another venue in Barcelona. Felpeyu’s van exited the road and overturned. Two members died and four were severely injured. The untimely death of the two well-known musicians from the Asturias region of Spain shocked the Spanish folk music community, specially the Celtic music scene.

Carlos Redondo had joined Felpeyu in 1994. He played guitar, bass and lead vocals. He was the member of the band with more professional musical experience. He had worked intensively as a rock musician, teacher, producer and sound engineer. He was mainly known in Asturias as singer and bass player of the legendary Asturian pop-rock band Los Locos. He got into folk music in the early 90’s by producing some Asturian bands; Felpeyu was one of them, and he joined the band right after producing its first recording, Felpeyu, in 1994. Carlos was born in Gijon ( Spain).

Igor Medio had a heterogeneous background. He grew up into an atmosphere of choral and Asturian singing -which both his parents and family developed- and was also into classical music studies and blues/rock experiences before being introduced to folk music. As a folk musician, he developed a personal and eclectic way of arranging and performing Asturian traditional music. He played guitar and mandolin in the band, choosing the bouzouki as his main instrument afterwards. He played bouzouki, guitar -only on studio-, bass pedals, and sang lead and harmony vocals. Igor was born in Gijon (Spain).

In May of 2007, a reborn Felpeyu performed for the first time since the accident.

Discography

Felpeyu ‎(FonoAstur, 1994)
Tierra ‎(FonoAstur, 1997)
Live Overseas ‎(Urchin Records, 2000)
Yá! ‎(Tierra Discos, 2003)
Canteros ‎(Tierra Discos, 2008)
Cerquina (Tierra Discos, 2017)

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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