Catalan! Arts

Compilation CD World Music from Catalonia 2005
Compilation CD World Music from Catalonia 2005

One of the great virtues of the phenomenon of world music is that it has helped a generation of young people to discover their own particular world music, that is, the popular and traditional music of their own country, their roots. In the process they are exploring the capacity of these roots to mix with other musical styles, to multiply and to stay alive, growing and developing, in tune with the spirit of the times.

These are global times, but the streets are full of new sounds. Music is more alive than ever and what this disc contains is just a small taste of what's out there. Jordi Turtós, music critic from the Catalan journal Avui, has selected these eighteen tracks and listening to them he says: "The most important thing is still to discover ourselves and then to be discovered, for we have a lot to say, a lot to show, and a lot to learn. Welcome, then, to the music of Catalonia. This is what it sounds like today, though nobody knows what tomorrow will sound like".

This CD is part of a series of three CDs intended to promote Catalan music internationally. The rest of the CDs are: Jazz from Catalonia 2005 and Pop Rock from Catalonia 2005.

If you want to listen to the tracks on this CD, click on the links below.

Amic, Amat
01
Maria Del Mar Bonet: “L'amor es mar desfeta/Digues Amic" (4.46)
CD: “Amic, Amat”
Author: Maria Del Mar Bonet

She has, without doubt, one of the finest voices of the Mediterranean and is one of the most widely acclaimed Catalan artists. Her latest recording, featuring the Cham Ensemble from Damascus, La Coral Antiga and her regular group of musicians, reaches extraordinary heights of beauty and demonstrates the close relationship between the various musical styles of the Mediterranean.

A la corda fluixa
02
Anton Abad: “Vine amb mi" (3.35)
CD: “A la corda fluixa”
Author: Anton Abad

He is a farmer who works the land and rears livestock in the Franja de Ponent (the Catalan-speaking part of Aragon that borders Catalonia). In the tradition of the best singer-songwriters he sings of his reality, his dreams and his land. His songs are clearly inspired by the popular tradition, yet also look forward into the future.

Gertrudis
03
Gertrudis: “Senderos" (4.12)
CD: “Gertrudis”
Author: Gertrudis

Taking the Catalan rumba as their starting point, Gertrudis are searching for ways to develop their own particular style, proudly Latin, yet one that deserves to be more widely known in Europe. They are young so, for them, mestissatge, the mixing of peoples and cultures, is the key to the future.

Plou Plom
04
Cheb Balowski: “Bella" (3.24)
CD: “Plou Plom”
Author: Cheb Balowski

This young band from Barcelona has grown out of the mixing of peoples that is happening in the city. Their music blends rai and hip-hop, rumba and reggae, the roots that make up the multicultural reality that surrounds them (and us).

Katà
05
Miquel Gil: “Fandango" (3.05)
CD: “Katà”
Author: Miquel Gil

From Valencia, Miquel Gil opens the doors onto the popular and traditional music of his country, a style with clear influences from further south. He aims to bring it to a wider audience, to all those keen to discover the enormously rich range of Mediterranean music.

Com un ventall
06
Miquela Lladó: “Cançó des Carrer" (3.15)
CD: “Com un ventall”
Author: Miquela Lladó

The splendid voice of the Mallorcan band Música Nostra makes her solo debut with a record containing her own compositions, popular themes, and cover versions of some of the songs that have shaped her elegant musical sensitivity.

Mindjer
07
Nino Galissa: “Dunia" (4.37)
CD: “Mindjer”
Author: Nino Galissa

A musician from Guinea-Bissau, living in Barcelona for some time now, Nino Galissa crafts beautiful melodies woven with all the exquisite sensitivity of the great musicians of the coastal regions of West Africa.

Òmnibus
08
Eduard Iniesta: “Òmnibus" (3.16)
CD: “Òmnibus”
Author: Eduard Iniesta

Eduard Iniesta is an excellent guitarist and composer from Barcelona. He mines the sounds of popular music to come up with the raw material to develop a style of his own, a style that is transparent, eclectic and evocative. Òmnibus is his first solo disc.

Flamenca
09
Ginesa Ortega: “Azabache (Soleà por bulerias)" (4.18)
CD: “Flamenca”
Author: Ginesa Ortega

She is the most daring and adventurous of the Catalan flamenco cantaoras. She has worked with the Fura dels Baus theatre-company, as well as with various symphony orchestras, flamenco fusion groups and pop artists. But first and foremost, Ginesa is flamenca and when she does flamenco, her gypsy voice is inescapably seductive.

El Mundo Baila
10
Sabor de Gracia: “Señor Cura" (3.45)
CD: “El Mundo Baila”
Author: Sabor de Gracia

The Catalan rumba is an urban style of music developed by Barcelona gypsies in the mid-20th century. It is the result of the mixing of gaje (non-gypsy) and gypsy cultures, of rock and roll with Cuban salsa, and is a symbol of the identity of the city. Sabor de Gràcia is one of the most important exponents of present-day rumba.

Filho de índio en Barcelona
11
Carlinhos Pitera: “Sin permiso" (3.20)
CD: “Filho de índio en Barcelona”
Author: Carlinhos Pitera

The presence of Brazilian culture in Catalonia is becoming ever more important. As part of this phenomenon, Brazilian popular music moves amongst us with total ease and complete acceptance. Carlinhos Pitera demonstrates this new reality, mixing Brazilian rhythms with everyday stories of life here and now.

Mil colores
12
Lumbalú: “Como suena" (2.55)
CD: “Mil colores”
Author: Lumbalú

Colombia is another of the countries whose people and culture are mixing more and more with us, spattering us with both the Latin and African influences that have shaped their musical tradition. Lumbalú offer a sample of this healthy contamination we are exposed to.

Del Pîemont als Pirineus
13
El Pont d'Arcalís & Ariondasa: “Pas doble encadenat" (3.43)
CD: “Del Pîemont als Pirineus”
Author: El Pont d'Arcalís & Ariondasa

Pont d'Arcalís is an emblematic band on the Catalan traditional music scene. Researchers, collectors and travellers, they have combined on this CD with Ariondasa, a group from Piedmont. The resulting music spans two neighbouring cultures, making of the Mediterranean a bridge that unites and enriches in both directions.

Nyigu nyigu
14
Les Violines: “La Galeta" (4.15)
CD: “Nyigu nyigu”
Author: Les Violines

Four women, four violinists who, fascinated by popular music from all over the world, set out to create their own. Keen collaborators, they turn these joint ventures into meeting points and starting points for journeys towards enriching horizons, from where they then travel on to discover yet more.

Positivity
15
L'Orkestina: “Shopsko" (3.29)
CD: “Positivity”
Author: L'Orkestina

Two Catalans, an Irishman and a Bulgarian form this group that draws its inspiration from the melodies of the Balcans. The combination is a collision of languages out of which, with their magnificent skill in handling their instruments, they construct a territory all of their own.

The Eivissa Inmaculada Project
16
Immaculate Ibiza: “No tengas prisa" (6.17)
CD: “The Eivissa Inmaculada Project”
Author: Immaculate Ibiza

Esteban Lucci is an Argentinean who lives here and who has dared to mix the traditional music of the Balears with electronica. The result is a kind of chill out that is surprising and delightful. Traditional musicians sing and play over the electronic background with complete ease.

Fado distraído
17
Névoa: “Fado satie" (2.40)
CD: “Fado distraído”
Author: Névoa

Fado is universal, and Catalan singer Névoa (Núria Piferrer) is a good example. With her excellent voice she has managed to find her own personality while tackling a musical style that is so strongly rooted in another country. Her treatment of classical music offers new perspectives for fado in the 21st century.

Ànima
18
Toni Xuclà: “El fals llorer d'Alexandria" (4.41)
CD: “Ànima”
Author: Toni Xuclà

Toni Xuclà is a strong and steady performer, one of the most versatile guitarists on the Catalan music scene. He has covered a wide range of ground, from popular and traditional music to jazz, producing a profoundly Mediterranean sound of his own that is unmistakable.