lunes, 24 de enero de 2011

Published Date: 23 January 2011

KEPA Junkera is a great ambassador for the Basque country, and his concerts rarely disappoint. His trikitixa music, played on a variety of diatonic accordions, is accompanied by his inspiring band which includes the attractive sound of the txalaparta, a wooden xylophone-like instrument struck by a duo armed with rounded sticks.

Junkera often has a surprise up his sleeve and this time it was Leioa Kantika Korala, 15 young women led by Basilio Astulez. Their vocal harmonies were enhanced by choreographed moves whose sensual fluidity, visually enhanced by the sway of their multicoloured silken harem pants, added a captivating visual dimension.

However, having transformed the music of Basque mountain shepherds into something alluringly feel-good, Junkera makes no attempt to tell us what we're listening to. It was a tad frustrating to have a sequence of a dozen songs sung in Europe's most esoteric language with no explanation from the stage as to their subject and no good old-fashioned programme to inform us.

These imaginative settings of ancient ballads of the Bay of Biscay, collected by improvising bertsolari poet Xabier Amuriza, use beautiful melodies and in novel style several involve recorded fragments of Mongolian throat-singing. While the meaning remains a mystery, the overall effect was joyfully bucolic, as the women's clear, light voices wove glittering tapestries of sound. Crowned by Junkera's rapid-fire playing and his band's witty use of stamping tubes and an electrified cow's horn, this was a uplifting night defined by intriguing innovation.

lunes, 17 de enero de 2011

The city of Bermeo will hold tonight the first direct concert of the proyect "BetiBizi" with Junkera and Amuriza.

The choirs of Bermeo and Leioa Kantika will also perform in tonight´s concert in favor of the town´s ikastola.

Published in DEIA by Ander Egiluz Beramendi
January 15, 2010

Bilbao. The Ikastola Eleizalde of Bermeo was left out of a concert by Kepa Junkera at the Ibiladi; Not for lack of interest of the trikitilari of Rekalde, but because his agenda was making him travel every day to one outermost point of the orb, in the period in which he found himself absorbed in the finalization of the macro project Etxea, Kalea, Herria. However, such and as the persons in charge of the ikastola explained, he promised to attend the fishing locality with an important project. The word of an artist or simply, Junkera's word. This very day, in the evening doorstep, at 20:00 o'clock Junkera and a long cast of collaborators will give the beginning tour of BetiBizi. A tour that will allow listening to euskaldunes´sounds no more than less in the prestigious Glasglow Celtic Connections among other destinies.

"It will be a special, different concert", tell us yesterday the bertsolari and writer Xabier Amuriza, the evening before the spectacle in which he will also participate. And, it is that, all the lyrics sung in the record BetiBizi are ancient ballads compiled in the course of the years by the “etxanotarra”. An arduous job that they added on to them to make suitable those verses to "sounds and melodies fixed for dance", that Amuriza explained to us.

It´s been a long time that Amuriza did not present himself in front of such a massive public, since the bertsosaios in which he shows up often are, principally, in less repercussion's squares. "But this is our project and I want to be there," saying. The Frontón Artza, with its 890 localities - still have available seats and the ticket offices of the enclosure will open at 18,30 o'clock - -, it will be the stage of a spectacle that will have Kepa Junkera and his habitual band, the juvenile chorus Leioa Kantika Korala, in charge of recording the voices of the record and with great experience in foreign countries, the Coral of Bermeo and Xabier Amuriza, that he will delight with bertsos, will present the act and will join togther the corals in the two last songs of the concert . "Being a concert in favor of the ikastola of Bermeo it is totally understanding that the coral of the locality wants to participate”, Amuriza tells us. To what he added on , "and for that, at the end of the concert we will sing several songs typical of Bermeo" And those melodies most probable are Joxe Miguelen batela and Egia da, egia da, both recovered by the proper Junkera in his habitual repertoire. Although Gaztaina koloreko, belonging to the album and in which Amuriza puts voice, has a good chance.

Innovative spectacle Even Though it is true that the concert will focus on the presentation of BetiBizi, such and as Amuriza advanced, the direct will count with five moments: Two of them in which Kepa and his band will warm up the Artza's environment; Other ones two with more harmonious, by the hand of Leioa Kantika Korala, directed, as it is habitual, for Basilio Astulez-, and with Junkera as a solo performer. Ending with a strong finale in which all the all-comers of the concert will sing the classical melodies “bermeanas”.

“I am very excited - Amuriza sincerely talking-; the ballads sung by the young girls and with the style of Kepa, in a place like Bermeo ". A beginning of a stylish tour and with a terrific ending.