Miguel Allo is the founder of Celtic band Camaxe. He is also a passionate gaitero (player of the gaita, the Galician bagpipes). He started playing the instrument at the age of 9 and by the age of 12 was already composing his first melodies.
Miguel grew up in the context of Galician musical culture and participated a numerous musical contests in Santiago de Compostela (Spain), where he managed to win the first prize with his Belgian band. Miguel is also a member of Galician roots band Ialma.
Ialma is responsible for the increasing influence of Galician folk music in Belgium. The group features five cantareiras (singers), who are descendants of Spanish immigrants from Galicia, as well as Belgian instrumentalists. Ialma also has strong Wallonian and Flamenco influences.
The vocalists are: Verónica Codesal, Marisol Palomo, Nuria Aldao, Natalia Codesal and Magali Menéndez
Tradicional Galician instruments such as gaita (bagpipe) and pandereta (tambourine) are combined with accordions, bass, and piano.
The musical roots of the band Camaxe lie in the Galician tradition. Miguel Allo, founder of the band, has a passion for folk music and has been studying Galician music for over two decades years. Bands like Fuxan os ventos, Milladoiro and Luar na Lubre still serve as a musical reference point to him.
From a very young age he studied music and dance in the company of people from various backgrounds, one of them being Marisol Palomo (vocalist at Ialma). Other Galician musicians like Mario Romero (Os Rosales) and Xoan Porto (Leilia) enriched his musical education. Around 2003, Miguel decided to work together with Marc De Martelaer, a bass player, who became responsible for most of the band’s arrangements.
Camaxe’s first album was titled Imaxes. By means of melodies inspired by the Galician tradition, and subtly mixed with other musical styles b>Imaxes. (meaning images) took the listener on a journey leading along both sad and exuberant roads. Camaxe tells the story of many years of musical discoveries and encounters.
The band consisted of 7 musicians from a variety of backgrounds:
Miguel Allo – Apart from being the composer of most of the tracks on the CD, Miguel Allo is also a passionate gaitero (player of the gaita, the Galician bagpipes). He started playing the instrument at the age of 9 and by the age of 12 was already composing his first melodies.
Miguel grew up in the context of Galician musical culture and participated a numerous musical contests in Santiago de Compostela (Spain), where he managed to win the first prize with his Belgian band. Miguel is also a member of Ialma.
Marc De Martelaer – bass
Sophie Cavez – diatonic accordion
Filip Lambrechts – guitar
Veronica Codesal – vocals and pandeireta (Galician tambourine).
O baile de Noró is the title of the new single by Spanish vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Xabier Díaz and Adufeiras de Salitre. The group performs contemporary Galician folk music featuring the all-female Adufeiras de Salitre, an ensemble that follows the pandereteiras tradition (an ensemble of women that sings and plays tambourines).
The song will appear in the upcoming “Noró” album, scheduled for release in February 2018.
Susana Seivane Hoyo was born August 25, 1976 in in Barcelona, Spain. She is the legitimate heir of a lineage of bagpipe craftsmen: the Seivanes. Her father is a bagpipe maker and her grandfather Xosé Seivane is one of the remaining old pipers still alive who together with Ricardo Portela or Moxenas (both deceased) formed part of one of the most important generations of Galician pipers, becoming masters and guides for today’s finest pipers.
Susana’s father, Alvaro was living in Barcelona, studying and making bagpipes for people in Galicia, Madrid and abroad. After ten years in Barcelona, the Seivanes returned to their Galician homeland.
Seivane’s style of playing, typical of “inland” pipers – the prestigious pipers from Fonsagrada, won her the respect and admiration of the piping world and traditional musicians in Galicia. This brilliant “inland” style, a tempered playing style, present in her music, shows a woman who has synthesized the most modern interpretive techniques like no one else with the “enxebre” style of the old pipers.
Susana surrounded herself with a group of young musicians that brought freshness and energy to her live performances that reproduces her albums. Her first recording was produced by Rodrigo Romaní, one of the founders of the legendary Galician folk music group Milladoiro.
Her band is not a conventional one. She uses instruments like bouzouki and guitar. Seivane plays traditional material although she also composes a few originals.
Muxicas was one of the great innovators in Galician folk music. The group was formed in 1978 with the intention of developing and updating Galician roots music. In its first recording Muxicas combined traditional music with new tunes with a distinct Galician flavor. In 1986 Muxicas revolutionized Galician music combining for the first time bagpipes with different tunings hurdy gurdys and an amazing assortment of native percussion instruments. The vocals were added in 1987.
Even though Muxicas created new arrangements for many ancient songs it tried to stay away from imported modern arrangements.
Combining Celtic melodies, medieval music jazz and contemporary music, Milladoiro modernized traditional Galician folk music and started a revival movement among young musicians. They are still its most renowned practitioners drawing huge crowds throughout Europe.
Milladoiro is the Galician name for the heaps of stones built by shepherds. The group was formed in Santiago de Compostela (Spain), the final stop on the historic Saint James pilgrimage route (Camino de Santiago) and today also a thriving college town. The seven group members met at the university bringing with them a variety of musical backgrounds.
Fernando “Nando” Casal, Ramón García Rei “Moncho” and Xosé Ferreiros played together in Faíscas do Xiabre, a traditional music band born on the banks of river Ulla in Catoira. They recorded a beautiful record titled In Memoriam. They played traditional Galician music as wandering minstrels in native costume at fiestas and traditional festivals gathering experience by listening to old ‘gaiteiros’ (bagpipers) and learning from other traditional bands like Os Campaneiros, Os Irmáns Garceiras, Os Areeiras, and Os Rosales.
Rodrigo Romani and Antón Seoane were students of medieval music traveling through Galicia seeking the craftsmen who still built the offspring of instruments from the middle age like the zanfona (hurdy-gurdy), the citola and the freixolé. Those were times of scarcity and enthusiasm was a testimony of a hard reality. As a fruit of their work the record Milladoiro was released in 1978.
Xosé Méndez came from a jazz background and used to spend his time at musical libraries in cathedrals and old archive buildings. He was starting the core of what later would be the Grupo de Cámara da Universidade de Compostela. Milladoiro became six with the incorporation of Xosé A. Méndez. They just had to find a violinist, a nearly impossible task in Galicia in those times but emigration was generous and gave back to the country somebody who had left one day: Laura Quintillán, violinist in Milladoiro in 1979-1980. Later, Michel Canada who played in a pop band joined the band after Laura’s departure and played with Milladoiro until 1991. Antonio Seijo has been Milladoiro’s fiddler since then.
In the year 2000, Rodrigo Romaní left the group. At that time two musicians, harpist Roi Casal and guitar player Manu Conde joined the band.
The 2006 CD Unha estrela por guia is a tribute to poet Manuel Maria. It is Milladoiro’s first fully vocal CD. The songs are based on poems from Maria’s works: “Terra Che”, “Cancions do Lusco ao Fusco”, “As rias do vento ceibe”, “Soneto casa de Hortas”, “Cantigas” and “A Rosalia”. In addition to Milladoiro’s vocals there are several guests: Laura Amado, Leilia, actors Luis Tosar and Mabel Rivera.
The compilation XXV was released in 2005 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the band.
The lineup in 2013 included Xosé V. Ferreirós on gaita (bagpipe), oboe, tin whistle, mandolin, uillean pipes, bouzouki, pandereta; Nando Casal on gaita, clarinet, tin whistle, pandereta; Moncho García on percussion; Xosé A. F. Méndez on flutes; Antón Seoane on accordion, zanfona, acoustic guitar, keyboards; Harry. C on fiddle; and Manú Conde on acoustic guitar and bouzouki.
Milladoiro (Ruada 1978)
A Galicia de Maeloc (Ruada 1979)
O Berro Seco (Ruada 1980)
Milladoiro 3 (CBS 1982)
Solfafria (CBS 1984)
Galicia no Pais das Maravillas (CBS 1986)
Divinas Palabras ( ION 1987) Castellum Honesti (Ariola/Green Linnet 1989)
Galicia no Tempo (Discmedi/Green Linnet 1991)
A Via Lactea (Cormoran 1993)
A Xeometria da alma (Cormoran 1993)
Iacobus Magnus (Discmedi 1994)
Gallaecia Fulget (Cormoran 1995)
As Fadas de Estraño Nome (Discmedi 1995)
No Confin dos Verdes Castros (1999) Auga De Maio (Discmedi 1999)
Cabana de Bergantiños (1999) O Niño do Sol (2002)
Adobrica Suite (2002)
XXV (2005) Unha estrela por guia (2006)
A quinta das lagrimas (2008)
Milladoiro en Ortigueira (2016)
Mercedes Peón who was born in La Coruña (Galicia, Spain) in 1967 has dedicated many years to recovering traditional music in her native Galicia and to teaching it in town schools and cultural associations. She has pioneered the formation of various female groups of singers and tambourine players.
Peón has also fronted several prestigious musical bands in Galicia and hosted a section about early Galician music on the local TV show Luar (Homeland).
As a music researcher, she published a book by installments titled Raiceiras (Roots women) that contains part of her field work in collecting songs. Peón has lectured on Galician folk music throughout the world and has received numerous awards for her teaching and her dedication to preserving the Galician tradition. “Ever since I was fortunate enough to fall In love with the songs of the people of Imense (a small town on the Galician “Death Coast”) I have spent years searching for those tunes that only the eldest among us can still remember because much as we may regret it over these last generations the oral transmission chain has been broken both here and In most of the world.”
The multitalented artist runs a record label called Discotrompo that promotes Galician traditional and folk music. Peón has also organized several festivals among them the traditional music festival for the Federation of European Cultural Associations and another called “Galicia Terra Unica”.
As a performer, as well as an accomplished singer, she is also a master of Galician bagpipes and of several traditional percussion instruments. Peón was awarded the special jury award in the Cídade Vella festival in Santiago de Compostela, the prize tobest singer and bagpipe performer at the Santiago de Compostela Folk Days and the Macallan award for Galician pipers at Lorient’s Festival Interceltique.
Peón has performed at many festivals throughout the world and she appeared as a guest on recordings and in live performances by artists such as Xosé Manuel Budiño, Manu Chao and Carlos Núñez.
Isué was her first solo album split between arrangements of traditional pieces and her own multicultural original compositions featuring a wide array of traditional Galician and international musical instruments combined with modern instruments. “… these years have witnessed the birth of a new phenomenon more commercial than cultural called “Celtism” which has assimilated apart from tunes from the Northern territories the pieces that were being composed by new Galician artists who took our traditional music as a springboard.
“The fact is that by chance or design during this time I have had the pleasure to discover music from other ethnic groups especially from North Africa and find in them so many affinities both in rhythm and expression with our melodies that I have good reason hr wanting to look further south (or North if we refer to Africa) for musical connection and communion. Nevertheless I plead “not guilty” if this new album is wrongly categorized (though everybody is free to pigeonhole it as they wish).
That said I myself must face the ever-complicated task of defining what this new venture into the realms of music means for me. I humbly consider that this record made with all my loving care expresses many of the things I have learned and my knowledge of the Galician oral tradition (no doubt my understanding of it and my means of expression are the channel for these feelings I let fly from deep within me to whoever wishes to share them).
I should also stress that in order to place it stylistically it could be defined as fusion music for as I said before current trends move in that direction mixing modernity with the oldest sounds and creating somewhat paradoxically totally innovative sounds with intimate harmonies that do not leave aside the frenzied rhythm of Galician traditional patterns such as “ribeiranas” and “empunadas”.
To cut it short these are sincere and complicated melodies matching oldness with modernity and so on. But above all the work is infused with passion and love. My advice therefore is that you listen to ‘it and then say what you will.”
Matto Congrio was one of the most important modern Celtic bands in Galicia (Spain) in the early 1990s. Its only album Matto Congrio released in 1993 was an exciting combination of Galician Celtic music with Irish music, rock, salsa, samba and reggae. The album was recorded in Dublin and featured top Irish musicians as guests, including Paddy Moloney on the uilleann pipes.
The group’s founders Carlos Núñez, Santiago Cribeiro and Anxo Lois Pinto were all graduates of the Obradoiro Escola de Gaitas e Zanfonas de Vigo (Vigo School of Bagpipes and Hurdy Gurdies) the most important school in the development of new Galician musicians. After Matto Congrio disbanded Carlos Núñez went on to become one of the most sought after pipers and flautists in international Celtic music. In addition to touring worldwide with The Chieftains he has recorded solo albums for major labels and is a frequent guest in many recordings.
Former Matto Congrio members Santiago Cribeiro, Anxo Lois Pinto and Isaac Palacin formed a new group called Berrogüetto which became one of the top contemporary Galician folk music bands.
Piper Xosé Manuel Budiño was born in Moaña, Spain. He is the son of a fisherman, a common profession in Spain’s northwestern reion of Galicia. Although none of his family members were musicians, Budiño soon took an interest in the traditional music that his parents played at home.
In his hometown of Moaña there were also many choir groups and bagpipe bands that he listened to. Budiño’s first instrument was the flute, which he learned how to play in school at the age of seven. In addition to studying classical music, the kids also learned Galician traditional music.
A few years later, Budiño started to play the gaita (Galician bagpipe), performing locally and throughout the region with a local group. What started as a group of friends playing bagpipes eventually became a bagpipe school, Escuela de gaitas Semente Nova (New Seed) de Moaña, which is now run by the city government.
A young Budiño played at his first festival at the age of 15, in Lorient (Brittany). He knew then that he wanted to be a professional musician. He started to play at competitions for solo pipes in Galicia and won some awards. His success led to his selection as representative of Galicia at the Macallan Trophy at the Lorient Interceltic Festival where he won the master bagpiper award several times.
In 1991 he formed Fol de Niu together with musicians that came from the fields of folk and jazz music. The progressive folk band lasted four years until the band members decided to go in separate ways. At that time, Budiño formed his own band.
His first album, Paralaia, came out in 1977. Budiño invited one of his idols to play in the album, Breton musician Jacky Molard. There were other Breton and Spanish musicians that participated in the recordings. The album brought immediate critical acclaim and Budiño was praised as one of the new innovators of Galician music.
To record Arredor (Around), Budiño traveled to Glasgow (Scotland) where he worked with producer Donald Shaw.
* Paralaia (Resistencia, 1997)
* Arredor (Virgin Music Spain, 2000)
* Zume de Terra (Boa, 2004)
* Home (Falcatruada, 2007)
* Volta (2010)
* Sotaque (Fol Musica, 2013)
* Paralaia 20 Aniversario (2017), book + CD