Tag Archives: Early Music

Artist Profiles: Luis Paniagua

Luis Paniagua

Luis Paniagua García-Calderón was born in Madrid March 9, 1957. He is a composer and performer who has been trained in both western and eastern music, especially in the north of India.

As a composer, what interests him is creating contemporary and universal music inspired by elements of both cultures. This search for expression has led him to compose with eastern instruments such as the Indian sitar or the Chinese pipa, combining them with Western instruments and creating an apparently exotic sound world, but which, in reality, transcends any specific tradition to become a personal expression and universal.

Luis Paniagua belongs to a family in which musicians proliferate. At the age of ten he began to play different stringed instruments and percussion. His recording career began very early in the Madrid group of ancient music (medieval and Renaissance) Atrium Musicae, directed by his brother Gregorio. He appeared in the first albums of this group, published in 1968 in the Collection of Ancient Spanish Music of Hispavox.

At the age of fifteen he debuted at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. With Atrium Musicae he remained from 1972 to 1982, touring concerts in the United States, Canada, France, Spain, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Finland, Poland and the Soviet Union. His albums with Atrium Musicae weer relased in Spain (Hispavox), France (Harmonia Mundi) and Sweden (BIS), as well as in other American and Japanese labels.

From 1981 on, everything began to change with the creation of another group, Babia, where at last he was able to capture some of the ideas he had already glimpsed by including instruments such as sitar in his interpretations of old European music. The group included his brther Eduardo Paniagua, Luis Delgado and Jesús Creu. They recorded “Oriente – Occidente” (Guimbarda GS – 11152, 1982), a milestone of Spanish fusion music.

Since then he has had an exceptional career as a soloist that includes the composition of music for numerous plays and ballet, live performances and recordings.

The album De Mágico Acuerdo featured the string section of the Symphonic Orchestra of RTVE.

Since 1999 he performs primarily with the lyre and vocals.

His album Nanas de Sol won the National Award for the Best Album of the year 2002, given by the Academy of Arts and Science of Music of Spain.

Luis Paniagua created the term ‘New Ancestral Music,’ a space where the emotions, feelings, inner listening and silence can be actively felt. This music is based on the research of lost aesthetics.


De Magico Acuerdo (Nuevos Medios, 1986)
Neptuno (Grabaciones Accidentales, 1987)
Planeo (La Fabrica Magnetica, 1991)
Árbol De Cenizas (Ashes Tree) (NO-CD Rekords, 1992)
La Bolsa O La Vida (Hyades Arts, 1992)
Muy Fragil (Hyades Arts, 1993)
Soltando Amarras (NO-CD Rekords, 1997)
Amaneció De Golpe (Pneuma, 1998)
Nanas De Sol (Pneuma, 1999)
Bienvenida (Silentium Records, 2001)
Rabindranath Tagore. Cuánto Tiempo Dura Mi Viaje (Pneuma, 2007)


Artist Profiles: Efrén López

Efrén López

Efrén López was born in Manises, Spain in 1972. He is one of the founders of L’Ham de Foc. After collaborating in a wide number of musical projects as a guitarist, he started getting into traditional music. As a session musician he has recorded in more than forty different projects of various musical styles: early music (Capella de Ministrers, Aman Aman, Oc, Maria Laffitte, etc.), folk (Sabir, Malaguero, Cendraires, Al Tall, El Cau del Llop, etc.).

Little by little, he moved away from the guitar to focus mainly on Mediterranean double-string instruments and Medieval music. With this type of instruments he has done works for advertising, documentaries, short films, poetry readings, puppet shows, street theatre, and intensive courses.

He has done artistic productions for various bands and singer-songwriters. He has studied hurdy-gurdy through intensive courses with Pascal Lefeuvre, Maurizzio Martinotti and Nigel Eaton. North Indian music with Krishna Mohann Batt and Ajoy Chakrabakti, sitar with Sazed Ul Alam, rabab and music from Afghanistan with Daud Khan and Ustad Mohammed Rahim Khushnawaz, ud with Necati Celik and Yurdal Tokcan, and saz with the Crete based Irish musician Ross Daly and the Turkish masters Erol Parlak and Mehmet Erenler.

Efrén combined his activities with L’Ham de Foc with the early music band Capella de Ministrers, with whom he has performed throughout Spain, Italy, France, Morocco, Egypt, Croatia, Portugal, and has recorded several albums, including Trobadors, Llibre Vermell Montserrat, Lamento di Tristano, Misteri d’Elx and Cancionero de Palacio.


Llibre Vermell Montserrat
Lamento di Tristano
Misteri d’Elx
Cancionero de Palacio
Mavra Froudia ‎(Musiépoca, 2011)
El Fill Del Llop ‎(Buda Musique, 2015)


Artist Profiles: Kiya Tabassian

Kiya Tabassian

Born in Tehran in 1976, Kiya Tabassian received his initial training in Persian music from Mehrdad Torabi at the Bahârlou Institute in Tehran, from Reza Ghassemi in Paris and Kayhan Kalhor in Montreal. He has since continued to develop his instrumental skills independently. He has also studied composition at the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal with Gilles Tremblay and Michel Gonneville.

In 1989, he founded the Tahmassebi Ensemble. In addition to directing the group, he contributed several compositions to its repertoire. The ensemble gave several concerts throughout Iran and performed on the Iranian national broadcasting network. In 1990, upon his arrival in Canada, he co-founded the Darvish-Khan Trio, an ensemble devoted to classical Persian music. He is also the co-founder of Constantinople, an ensemble that specializes in medieval and Renaissance music, and Nowrouz, which is devoted to classical Persian music. Both ensembles have performed in a number of Canadian cities.

Kiya has collaborated with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) on several occasions as a performer and special co-host. In addition, he performs regularly throughout the U.S., France, Greece and Mexico, both as a soloist and in collaboration with other musicians.

In 2000, he was composer in residence for Musique Multi Montréal with a project entitled “Poussières d’étoiles.” Along with his brother Ziya, he recorded his first CD of Persian classical music titled Garden of the Memory on the XXI-21 label. He has also recorded several CDs with Constantinople on the ATMA label.

Since March 2002, he has been an active member of the MediMuses project, as a member of the research group on the history of Mediterranean music.

Kiya is a member of the Conseil Québécois de la Musique. He has received several grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec. Kiya has frequently been invited to give lectures and presentations on Persian music.


Terres Turquoises (Atma Classique, 2004)
Mania (Atma Classique, 2005)
Masafat (Ambiances Magnétiques, 2009)

With Constantinople (Early Music ensemble)

Musique du Moyen Âge et de la Renaissance (Atma)
Memoria Sefardí – Jewish & Christian Spanish Music (Atma)
Li Tans Nouveaus (Atma)
De Castille à Samarkand (Atma 22383)
Greece – Carrefour De La Méditerrannée, with ensemble En Chordais (Atma)
Que le Yable les emporte (Atma Classique)
Terra nostra – 17th century Mexico (Atma 22567)
Ay Amor (Atma Classique)
Premiers Songes (Analekta)
Marco Polo (World Village)
Jardins migrateurs (Analekta)