Tag Archives: Galician music

Golden Harps of Galicia

Rodrigo Romaní Trío – Fios de ouro no ár (Altafonte, 2018)

Spanish musician Rodrigo Romaní is one of the leading harp players in Galicia. He’s one of the pioneers of contemporary Galician folk music, who co-founded the seminal band Milladoiro. On this occasion, he appears with a trio that includes fellow harp player Beatriz Martinez and Xulia Feixoo on percussion.

The album Fios de ouro no ár (Golden strings in the air) features original pieces and traditional songs as well. It’s a superb melodic album where folk harp meets classical music and contemporary acoustic music.

The exquisite chamber string quartet Cuarteto Novecento appears on two of the musical pieces.

Although the majority of the album is instrumental, two guest vocalists appear on two tracks: Inés Lorenzo and Guillerme Ignacio Costa.

Fios de ouro no ár is beautifully-constructed recording by one of leading composers in the Galician folk music scene.

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Galician Folk Group Luar Na Lubre Releases Ribeira Sacra

Luar Na Lubre – Ribeira Sacra

Luar Na Lubre, one of the most veteran Galician folk music groups has a new album titled “Ribeira Sacra” (Warner Music, 2018). The Spanish band dedicates the album to the Ribeira Sacra, a scenic Spanish wine-producing region with terraced vineyards in the provinces of Lugo and Oorense.

The current libeup includes Bieito Romero on gaitas, accordion and zanfona; Belém Tajes on vocals; Antía Ameixeiras on fiddle; Patxi Bermúdez on bodhran, drums and jembé; Pedro Valero on acoustic guitar; Xavier Ferreiro on Latin percussion; and Xan Cerqueiro on flutres.

Guests include Víctor Manuel, SES, la Coral de Ruada, Félix and Castor Castro Vicente, Astarot, Nani García, and Marisa Valle Roso.

Some of the band’s earlier recordings include XXX Aniversario Luar Na Lubre, Mar Maior, Extra: Mundi, Solsticio and Cabo Do Mundo.

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Frame Drum Vitality

Xavier Diaz – Noró (Músicas de Salitre, 2018)

On Noró, vocalist and percussionist Xavier Diaz revisits and transforms the traditional folk songs and dances of Galicia (northwestern Spain). It’s a tribute to the musics of northern Galicia. He collaborates with a group of female percussionists and vocalists called Adufeiras de Salitre, who use square frame drums known as pandeiro cuadrado or adufe, as well as the Alvarez brothers who contribute zanfona (hurdy gurdy) and accordion.

The material on Noró includes a wide range of traditional genres: xota (a dance also known as jota), cantares, follón, pasodobre (pasodoble), agarrado, ribeirana, muiñeiras, aña, baile llano, ronda, mazurka, and carballesas.

Xavier Diaz is an innovator in terms of arrangements and follows the path of Eliseo Parra, who renovated Spanish folk music. It’s contemporary folk music deeply rooted in tradition.
The lineup on Noró includes Xavier Diaz on vocals and percussion; Gutier Álvarez on zanfona and fiddle; Javier Álvarez on diatonic accordion; Cristina Pico on vocals and percussion; Iria Penabad on vocals and percussion; Montse García on vocals and percussion; Patricia Gamallo on vocals and percussion; Maite López on vocals and percussion; Noemi Basanta on vocals and percussion; Carolina Vázquez on vocals and percussion; Bea Mariño on vocals and percussion; Lidia Sanmartín on vocals and percussion; Gisela Sanmartín on vocals and percussion; Icía Sanmartín (vocals and percussion); and Mariña García on vocals and percussion.

Noró features insistent frame drum energy and superbly expressive vocals.

Buy Noró

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Artist Profiles: Miguel Allo

Miguel Allo – Photo by Strange Milena

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.

Discography:

Imaxes ‎(Wild Boar Music, 2005)
Airexa ‎(Music & Words, 2008)

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Artist Profiles: Ialma

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.

Discography:

Palabras darei (Zoku, 2000)
Marmuladas (Zoku, 2002)
Nova Era (Kerua, 2006)
Simbiose (FOL Musica, 2011)
Camiño de Bruxelas a Santiago (Home Records, 2016)

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Artist Profiles: Camaxe

Camaxe – Photo by Strange Milena

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).

Baptiste Argouarch – violin

Ariane De Bievre – flutes and percussion

Discography:

Imaxes ‎(Wild Boar Music, 2005)
Airexa ‎(Music & Words, 2008)

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Xabier Díaz & Adufeiras de Salitre Release Music Video with First Single from Upcoming album

Xabier Díaz

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.

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Artist profiles: Susana Seivane

Susana Seivane

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.

 

Discography

Susana Seivane (Boa Music, 1999)
Alma de buxo (Boa Music, 2001)
Mares de tempo (Boa Music, 2004)
Os soños que volven (Enavies, 2009)

DVD

Susana Seivane e amigos (Enavies, 2015)

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Artist Profiles: Muxicas

Muxicas

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.

Musicians:

Manolo Rin-Rin – drum, frame drum, sea shells
Xurxo Cabaleiro – tambourine, frame drum
Liao Figueroa – bagpipes, percussion
Xose Manuel Fernandez – pipes, flutes, zanfona (hurdy gurdy), percussion
Maria Xose Lopez – vocals, zanfona, pipes
Emilio O Sisto – drum, tambourines
Magoia Bodega – bagpipes, accordion

Discography:

Parolada (Edigal 1982)
Muxicas (Edigal 1986)
O Demo Fungon (Edigal 1988)
Desafinaturum (Edigal 1990)
Escoitando Medra-la Herba (Edigal 1992)
No Colo do Vento (Clave Records 1996)
Naturalmente (Clave Records)

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Artist Profiles: Milladoiro

Early lineup of Milladoiro

 

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.

 

Milladoiro in 2013

 

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.

 

Discography:

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)

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