Archive for the ‘video’ Category

Keep moving …

December 20, 2018

Ooops, update to the update, the James Street Tavern has closed and reopened under new management now, so don’t believe any events diaries that may still advertise sessions there. We still don’t know whether it will welcome sessions in the future. Lack of reply to messages suggests maybe not.

Meanwhile, we had our first Galician session at the Port Mahon yesterday, following on the heels of the French and Scandi sessions there, also exiled from the James Street Tavern. The space is lovely for playing and dancing. Only trouble is that it reflects and amplifies the sound very efficiently, so with two bagpipers playing a nice duet yesterday, we quickly reached the pain threshold of the bar staff and some customers …

Another caveat is that we still don’t have confirmation that we will be able to have sessions there in the new year. Watch this space.

The good news though is that with the move out of the JST, the three “continental” sessions appear to have acquired a few dedicated dancers who use the sessions for a miniature folk bal, aka bal minuscule. That website include videos from all three sessions we had this month, but for some reason the Galician one doesn’t show up on Firefox right now, so I’ll put it here as well:

 

Oh, and the January session is likely to be a week early again. This is because Xabier Diaz and the Adufeiras de Salitre are going to play at the Rich Mix in London on Wed 30th of January, and as we have pinched several songs from them (including Agarrado de Vilar de Cabeiras), it’s only fair we send a delegation to support the artists. I also hear there may be a workshop happening the day before the concert, details to be confirmed. So please keep the Wednesday 23rd of January free for the Galician session.

 

 

 

 

 

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Memoria da noite

December 7, 2018

I’ve known this song by Luar na Lubre for a few years now, but only last week discovered the Irish tune Carolan’s dream (aka Molly McAlpine, see dots here) by the blind harper Turlough O’Carolan (1670-1738), which very obviously inspired Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to heaven. Re-listening to Memoria da noite after obsessing about Carolan’s dream for a few days, I now hear the Irish tune in Memoria da noite as well (so we could play any or all of these three at Galician sessions!). Compare and contrast:

Here’s Carolan’s dream on a steel-stringed Irish harp:

a version with a modern concert harp:

and here’s Led Zeppelin live:

enjoy …

 

Gaztelugatxeko martxa

December 1, 2018

Stephen played this lovely Basque tune at the last two Galician sessions, and I finally got round to looking it up, here is a version with Kepa Junkera (who wrote it) on button accordion and a full symphony orchestra (watch out for the txalaparta, eg at 2:37):

 

and here are the dots on Folktune Finder (they may not quite line up with the orchestral version, but FF will play the tune for you as well). Enjoy!

PS The back story: I first heard Stephen play this at the Early English session this summer, when Tim was away and we were playing “When the cat’s away” style non-English things all evening, from Finnish tangos to Galician tunes, via Breton and Basque ones.

PPS Think this may have been the first time I consulted the Basque version of Wikipedia – not knowing any of that language. It confirmed my suspicion that “martxa” means “march” (the musical and military term) and revealed that Gaztelugatxe is an island off the Basque coast, which according to the English wiki page has appeared in Game of Thrones.

 

 

Two muiñeiras

September 27, 2018

Two muiñeiras from last night’s session, with some dancing:

(the video is unlisted, so can only be found via specific links, such as this one, not by searches or random visitors to YouTube)

 

Najla Shami

June 15, 2018

Palestinian-Galician singer Najla Shami is going to give a concert at Queens College Oxford on Thursday 21.6., tickets available from Eventbrite, and here’s here latest video, a song based on a poem from Rosalia de Castro:

 

Mira-me Miguel

June 1, 2018

Looking into versions of Mira-me Miguel, one of the songs in our repertoire, I discovered this one which features simultaneous playing of two recorders, much as in the banner picture at the top of this blog. I should try this some time …   But everything else about this video is lovely too, from the viola da gamba to the Portuguese singing (we sing a Galician version but this is actually a Portuguese song, from Miranda do Douro).

 

 

Javier Otero Neira

May 19, 2018

Just discovered that the classical pianist Javier Otero Neira (from A Estrada, Pontevedra, if you must know) has recorded a whole album with adaptations of 14 Galician folk tunes, including five or so that we also play.

Here’s his take on our favourite muiñeira:

 

And here you can buy the whole set as MP3 album and/or listen to 30-second samples of each track: amazon.es

Oh, and his biography is available in Galician – bonus points for that (but if you must read it in a less beautiful language, there are little flags to switch).

 

 

 

 

O carro

May 18, 2018

While obsessing about the Día das letras galegas, I found this video with an adaptation of O Carro, a poem by the 2016 featured author, Manuel Maria. As it happens, the song is also part of the repertoire of our Galician session, although it may have been a while since we last played it.

 

Lúa de prata

May 12, 2018

So the annual day of Galician literature, Día das Letras Galegas is coming up on Thursday. It features a (safely deceased) writer each year, who wrote in Galician – they don’t have to be Galician by birth, and this year’s laureate, for instance, the poet and children’s writer Maria Victoria Moreno (1939-2005), only came to Galicia and to its language at age 22. She describes her relation with the language as a love story:

“Eu non son alófona porque o que practico, se é que escribo, podería definirse coma unha amorosa autofonía […]. A miña relación con Galicia e a miña opción pola súa lingua é simplemente unha historia de amor.” (source)

For this year’s Día das Letras Galegas the band Fuxan os Ventos has set music to one of Moreno’s poems, watch their video here. With their polyphonic arrangement, the band make it sound quite difficult, but it isn’t really. The tune only has 5 notes which are in G major and can be easily played eg on a tin whistle in D.  To demonstrate that it isn’t as hard as it seems, I’ve recorded my approximation of the tune here (also in G major, just an octave lower than Fuxan os Ventos play it).

There is a major cultural gathering in London on the Sunday (13th) ahead of the day, but not much going on around here on the day itself, so I’m hoping we can at least have a go at singing Moreno’s words (scroll down to find the poem below the image), even if it may not turn out quite as perfect as the Fuxan os Ventos version.

 

 

moreno

 

CANTIGA

 

Neste amencer de pombas indecisas

conversarei coas fontes

onde beben pesares cristalinos

as sombras que se axitan pola noite.

 

Esa lúa de prata

atopou o tesouro

que eu perdera na auga.

 

No laio dos farois agonizantes

evocarei os nomes

que acenderon lucernas balbucintes

nas fragas mestas onde os medos dormen.

 

Esa lúa de prata

atopou o tesouro

que eu perdera na auga.

 

Neste tremor de chumbo e de diamante

serei luz que se esconde

no ardor aceso que xerou os días

ou na xerfa esfiañada en surtidores.

 

Esa lúa de prata

atopou o tesouro

que eu perdera na auga.

 

No rubor das estrelas acaladas

achegareime á morte,

sentirei o feitizo dos seus ollos,

eo seu bico na fronte.

 

(Maria Victoria Moreno. Do libro: Elexías de luz, editado por Edicións Xerais. 2006)

Galicia v. Norway

April 21, 2018

We had an amazing mix of cultures at the open session of the Folk Weekend on Friday. Among other contributors there were half a dozen violinists from a Norwegian dance outfit (de Frilynde) and half a dozen Oxford Pandeireteiras, which made for an interesting cultural contrast. Here are the pandeireteiras performing Carmiña Carmela, with some of the Norwegians looking on bemused in the background.

 

The Norwegians were absolutely flawless in their prepared pieces but shy in joining in with things they didn’t know, so I have a suspicion they may be classical musicians travelling incognito …