16 March 2009

Monday's mp3: Sticking with the Basques

Some wag once defined "world music" as "other people's local music." So what happens when musicians take their local music and make it global, mixing their traditional sounds with the traditional sounds of others? This album is one answer to that question. Harkaitz Mtnez. de San Vicente and Igor Otxoa of the Basque txalaparta group Oreka Tx take their musical planks and sticks across India, Mongolia, Lapland, and the Sahara, recording the sounds of collaborations with local artists (and documenting the journey in an film also called Nömadak Tx -- see trailer).

This musical journey was inspired by a chance meeting, the txalapartari explain:

"This idea was revolving in our heads and we
thought about the idea of living as nomads in
order to go out to look for those sounds and
those experiences; then, one afternoon
something happened that gave life to this movie:
an Indian band of musicians and dancers was
touring in the Basque Country. Pablo Iraburu
was with them, he called us to meet them and
we got together to play. Pablo and Raul came
with us to take care of the camera and the
sound. Indian sounds and rhythms mixed with
the unusual Txalaparta and the result was

We laughed, we talked and we had a beautiful
afternoon creating, barely saying a word and
starting from cultures, traditions and customs
that are supposedly different. That afternoon,
the Txalaparta was the detonation, the catalyst,
and the gathering point among people and
Oreka Tx - Nomadak Tx - on SoundRoots.org
[mp3] Oreka Tx: Etzgarit
from the album Nomadak Tx

The resulting music is hypnotizing, the tlaxaparta accompanied by everything from throat-singing to Indian vocal percussion and tabla to oud. The txalapartari seem very respectful of the cultures they visit, frequently giving them the spotlight as their wooden percussion plays a supporting role. The whole experience may remind you of the 1 Giant Leap project, though the grounding sound of the txalaparta makes this even more of a cultural conversation, and not just a global collage of sounds. Highly recommended!

more Oreka Tx:
Nomadak Tx movie trailer
movie website
label site

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