Tag Archives: Medieval music

Artist Profiles: Luis Delgado

Luis Delgado

Luis Delgado, who was born in July 1956 in Madrid, can safely be called one of the most versatile musicians in Spain. The multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer played his first concert at the age of 14, as a member of the Laudes Ensemble “Gaspar Sanz”. Since then (aside from his regular music studies under the renowned eminence D. Manuel Grandio), he has recorded numerous records as a solo artist, and many more as a member of various different groups. He has also produced more than 30 albums and has collaborated as a musician on over 100 recordings.

Delgado’s musical spectrum ranges from Andalusian-style rock to various different kinds of traditional and world music, and even includes Medieval and ancient music. The latter has always played a special role in Delgado’s life, his heart belonging especially to past times.

Luis Delgado

During the course of his career, Delgado has become particularly well known as a specialist in the music of Moorish-occupied Spain (‘Al-Andalus’), also known as Arab Andalusian music. In this capacity, he has not only recorded an impressive number of albums, but also composed and produced numerous soundtracks for television series, dramas and documentaries with appropriate themes. He has also written original music for a large number of theater productions and two ballet productions worth mentioning: “Arrayan Daraxa” (at the closing event of the EXPO 1992 in Seville) and “Jaleos” (which was premiered at the New York City Center, another renowned venue).

Delgado worked as a consultant and Senior Composer at the Planetarium in Madrid. His extensive discography features over a thousands musical instruments from his private collection, part of which are exhinited to the public in the “Museo de la Música- Colección Luis Delgado” (Museum of Music – Luis Delgado Collection) in the walled city of Urueña (Valladlid province).

Discography:

Vathek – Procesos Electrónicos Para Instrumentos Acústicos (Grabaciones Accidentales, 1986)
Alquibla, Música Original De La Serie De TVE (RTVE Música, 1990)
Alquibla II, Musica Original De La Serie De TVE (RTVE Música, 1991)
Banda Original Del Programa De Planetario (Via Lactea, 1993)
Halilem (Pneuma, 1995)
El Sueño De Al-Zaqqâq (Nubenegra, 1997)
Sol y Sombra (Álba musica, 1997)
Tres Culturas (Pneuma, 1998)
Jardín De Al-Andalus. Música Arabigo-Andaluza De La Sevilla Medieval (Pneuma, 1999)
El Hechizo De Babilonia (Nubenegra, 2000)
Riyad Al-Hubb (daquí, 2001)
Planetario De Madrid · Volumen II (Ayuntamiento De Madrid, 2001)
Shanti (Nubenegra, 2003)
Ecos Del Espíritu (Pneuma, 2004)
Dirigido por Gerardo Vera: Música para el Centro Dramático Nacional (Warner Music)
Viajes Sonoros
Enjarje; La Torre del Salvador

With Los Músicos de Urueña:

La Lírica Sagrada en los Trovadores
Música en la Catedral-Museo de Jaca
La Estrella de Belén
Los Músicos de Urueña en la Capilla Mudejar de San Bartolome
Romancero Viejo y Nuevo en el Quijote
El Vino en la Música de las Tres Culturas
Musica Sefardí – Sinagoga del Tránsito
Musica de las Tres Culturas – Museo Vivo de al-Andalus en Córdoba
Musica Medieval para el Museo de la Catedral de Jaca
Musica Medieval para el museo diocesal de Jaca, with César Carazo

Share

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.

Discography:

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

Share

Artist Profiles: Doa

Doa

Doa was formed in Coruña in 1978 by Bernardo Martinez (flute and percussion), Xoan Piñón (guitar, lute and mandolin) and Enrique Ferreira (cello) accompanying Xose Quintas Canella (vocals, zanfona [hurdy gurdy]). Later, additional musicians were added: Miro Casabella (vocals, zither and zanfona), Xaquin Blanco (gaita [bagpipe] and flute) and Carlos Castro (percussion, vibraphone, keyboards)

The group went through various changes in line-up. Some of the musicians who appeared in recordings and live concerts included: Baldo Martinez, Pepe Bordallo, Javier Jurado, Alfonso Moran, Nora McEvoy, Francisco Luengo, Manuel Varela, Luciano Perez, Xavier Cedron, Roberto Grandal, Javier Ferreiro, etc.

Doa is regarded as a reference in Galicia’s eclectic instrumental music scene prior to the 1980s.

The group’s musical style during its first stage was based in combining several musical influences with Medieval and traditional Galician music using free form arrangements and composing techniques. These characteristics marked Doa’s attitude throughout its history. Its philosophy is based in avoiding self-plagiarism and the repetition of musical formulas that guarantee immediate success, as well as avoiding market and record company pressures that exert too much influence in the musical style of a band.

Doa uses contemporary expression modes, improvisation as a work tool and the combination of traditional folk instruments (gaitas [bagpipes], zanfonas [hurdy gurdies], etc) with state-of-the-art technology (MIDIs, electronic instruments, etc).

Doa has carried out numerous tours throughout Galicia and the rest of Spain, as well as the United States and Canada exposing previously unknown songs from the The Way of St. James pilgrimage route [Camino de Santiago], the Cantigas de Santa Maria (Alfonso X El Sabio [Alfonso the 10th, the Learned]) and its own compositions based in Galician roots.

The band describes its philosophy in the manifest that appeared in its first recording O son da estrela escura:

“Finisterre [Land’s End], at the end of The Way of St. James [Camino de Santiago], is the Dark Star, the last star of the Milky Way. For many years, way before Christianity, it was a mysterious magnet that led many varied Indo-European peoples to Galicia. This was the seed for the development of a unique form of music, born out of magical motivations. This work is a small anthology of traditional pieces from various ages and roots. In its creation we started from music sheets found in different songbooks. We did not intend to do it in an orthodox way, but rather guided, in a subjective manner, by the sensibility that is found in this land.”

Doa’s first recording, “O son da estrela escura” was released in 1979 on the Ruada label. It was reissued in 2003 as part of Son de Galicia, released by La Voz de Galicia.

The second album, “Polaridade” came out in 1984 (Sociedad Fonografica Asturiana, Ion Producciones). It featured singer-songwriter Victor Manuel as vocalist and producer. It was reissued by Dos Acordes SL. in 2002 in digital format. An additional 500 pieces were donated to “Nunca Mais”. The Nunca Mais [Never Again] popular movement was formed in Spain in response to the Prestige oil tanker environmental disaster in 2002.

“Perfiles” was released in 1986 by Sociedad Fonografica Asturiana/Ion Producciones, featuring the vocals of yet another famous singer-songwriter, Amancio Prada.

Doa with Rosa Cedron

“Arboretum” came out in 2002 on Xingra producciones. The latest album up to now is “A fronda dos cervos” (2006) which includes Galician folk acts Rosa Cedron and Leilia.

Discography:

O son da estrela escura (Ruada, 1979)
Polaridade (Sociedad Fonografica Asturiana, 1984)
Perfiles (Sociedad Fonografica Asturiana, 1986)
Arboretum (Xingra Producciones, 2002)
A fronda dos cervos (Fol Musica, 2006)

Share

A celebration of the Divine Feminine in Song This Friday in San Francisco

Sixteen of the San Francisco Bay Area’s most captivating voices in early, ethnic, and new music will gather together to celebrate nearly 1000 years of female creativity in San Francisco’s majestic Grace Cathedral. The concert will take place Friday, January 18, 2019 at 7:30 pm, on the Eve of the 2019 Women’s March!

Kitka

This contemplative, immersive program showcases Vajra Voices and Kitka singing works by the 12th century mystic Hildegard von Bingen, alongside traditional and contemporary settings of melodies in praise of the divine feminine from Bulgaria, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, and Russia. Kitka recently released Evening Star.

Vajra Voices

The show will also unveil new works inspired by the writings of the 12th century Taoist woman poet Sun Bu’er and Hildegard by Bay Area composer-performers Theresa Wong and Shira Kammen.

Tickets at www.brownpapertickets.com

Share

Artist Profiles: Gothart

Gothart

Gothart, a historical music ensemble, was founded in 1993. Five friends got together united by a common interest to restore medieval music. Their repertoire at that time focused mainly on the Czech Gothic production. Opuses originating in other European countries have enriched the repertoire since 1994. The band extended its set of instruments and covered also works by German minnesingers, French troubadours and the music of medieval Spain.

The collection of Marian songs Cantigas de Santa María was the main source for Gothart’s first CD, Por nos de dulta (1996). At that time, the band played all throughout the Czech Republic, as well as in many cities of and on festivals in Slovakia, Germany, Belgium, France and Poland.

History remained the inspiration source and the second CD, Stella Splendens (1997), centered on another well known collection of medieval Spanish songs, Llibre Vermell.

At that period, the ensemble also successfully cooperated on various projects with Czech Television and Czech Radio. Its music accompanied the documentary Schindlerova volba (Schindler’s Choice), to name only one. Absolute commitment, zeal and humor together with formal excellence place Gothart among ensembles that bring historical music near even to fans of entirely different genres,

Rich as it was, Gothart’s repertoire was further extended and altered by the new impulses of world music. The radical change the ensemble went through between 1998 and 1999 culminated in the release of its third CD (1999). Named Adio Querida. It contains Sephardic romances, Gypsy songs and especially Balkan ethnic songs and dances.

Discography:

Por nos de dulta (1996)

Stella splendens (1976)

Adio querida (1999)

Cabaret (2001)

Rakija’n’roll (2003)

Rakioactive (Indies MG Records, 2006)

Share

Artist Profiles: BraAgas

BraAgas

BraAgas is an all female quartet created in 2007 after the split-up of the band Psalteria. The first two albums were hard to define genre-wise. “The first album called No.1 was a mix of everything – medieval and folk songs as well,” says Katka Göttlich (Katerina Göttlichova).

The four members of BraAgas have been playing for a long time. In addition to the previously mentioned Psalteria, the musicians played in other bands. “Our experiences from other bands have merged here – for me and Karla it was the Psalteria band, for Beta it was Gothart. Michaela had been sometimes the guest in different groups (e.g. Krless) before BraAgas originated,” says Göttlich.

The fact that the band was formed by professional musicians helped them record albums immediately and also with touring. Live playing is one of those things BraAgas can do really well. Their third CD, Tapas, is the result of their live concert art. The band won the music competition Česká spořitelna Colours Talents at Indies Scope Festival organized by Indies Scope Records and the Colours of Ostrava Festival supported by Česká spořitelna.

The recording of an album was part of the Česká spořitelna Colours Talents prize. “The second one called No.2 – Media Aetas was purely medieval long single and the album Tapas has already nothing to do with ‘medieval times’. It’s an album containing songs which we have discovered and adapted and also those few ‘hits’ which we’ve taken the liberty to modify; those that the listeners of world music will definitely recognize.“

The four musicians play mostly ethnic instruments and historical replicas. Many guests helped them at the studio and there were also some electronic elements. Thanks to the electronics, a new modern sound was developed for Tapas, which was produced by David Göttlich and Petr Koláček.

Tapas includes songs from various parts of Europe, including Spanish, Balkan, Nordic and Italian sources, originally dating back to anywhere within a thousand years time span, interpreted in a very modern way.

Current members include: Katerina Göttlichova on lead vocal, cittern, guitar, bagpipes, shawms; Alzbeta Josefy on vocal, davul, darbuka, duf, riq; Karla Braunova on vocal, flutes, recorders, clarinet, shawms, chalumeaux, and bagpipes; and Michala Hrbkova on vocal, fiddle, cittern.

Discography

No.1 (2007)
No.2 – Media Aetas (2008)
Tapas (Indies Scope, 2009)
Fuerte (Indies Scope, 2012)
Yallah! (Indies Scope, 2014)

website: www.braagas.com

Photo by Pavel Horák

Share