Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The Basque Country Page

I've been awaiting two CDs of Basque music that arrived today. One, called Trikitixa, features a variety of musicians playing, well, Trikitixa. This word refers to the two-row button box they play, but also to the music. The second CD is Maurizia, Leon eta Basilio. These players are very, very traditional. From the liner notes: "They were the old trikitixa! They did not want to remember a different world. They were a different world! The invisible world." The singing is indeed otherworldly. And, as well as the trikitixa, they play an instrument called an alboka. Add the tamborine and you're transported back to an ancient world, as old as the Basque language.

For the casual listener, the first CD is the more palatable for sure. The sound is cleaner, and prettier. But when you hear Maurizia sing on the second CD, you know you are in for something unique, raw, perhaps even ugly, something that has been handed down and that has to be done just so.

I'm really enjoying learning about these folks and their music. As well, I've been working on a couple Basque tunes on my 3 row box - a waltz (or balza) and a pasadoble, which is like a march or a polka.

No comments: