‘Aradak’: rescuing basque emigration

Aradak o la música de la emigración vasca
Category: PRENSA

A magnificent taste in my mouth after presenting this album in Bilbao about compositions rescued from outside the Basque Country. Mikel Mancisidor has been a fundamental pillar in the presentation of this album, because he has understood the project perfectly and has been able to empathize with its philosophy.

In fact, the presentation has been an absolute success, since the public has welcomed the album with curiosity, although it has really been shocked to know it more in depth both in the Basque Country and abroad. I have had an extremely positive ‘feed back’ from both types of public.

‘Aradak’ –echoes in the Basque of Iparralde-, in the first place, greatly opens the sights of composers who for various reasons have been relegated to the background, but not for that reason they are of lower quality. The title of the album is a clear reference to these compositions forgotten for decades. Not surprisingly, it seemed to us a very representative way of capturing the voices that remain as echoes in the distance and that are now returning to sound again. It is the rebound that comes from another continent beyond the seas.

It is a project that collects, specifically, music by Basque composers or composers influenced by Basque culture who have composed these works outside the territories in which Basque culture has historically settled, mainly in America – Argentina, Mexico, Uruguay, Chile, Colombia … -, but also in some European countries such as France, England or Spain. The vast majority of songs are unpublished to date, since they were forgotten in archives. They are from the beginning of the 20th century to the 21st century, exactly.

Composers who are absolutely unknown both in Euskal Herria and outside of it. In this way, a synergy has been reached thanks to the work carried out in America, from a focus on Basque culture in which this culture has been recovered bi-directionally. They are, in short, an endless number of small treasures in manuscript format that are very important for our heritage, since this enriches the global dimension of Basque culture, because it represents a recognition of the interaction it has had when it has traveled to other territories.

We are facing an album that highlights the great quality of these Basque works, which have overcome wars, lives and even generations and have been perpetuated over time. But above all things, they are fundamentally art, because they continue to communicate over the years; In addition, art of great quality, since it mixes popular folk roots on many occasions, harmonized with contemporary languages.

On the other hand, because they are absolutely groundbreaking creations, with a nod, in addition, to the music of current composers, such as Gabriel Erkoreka’s work entitled ‘Clouds’, also composed outside of Euskal Herria, whom I consider the best contemporary Basque composer.

This album does nothing more than collect a very small sample of the tremendous scope of our Basque heritage that is scattered around the world, but at least it serves as a sample to know that it exists and is there, waiting for us to recover it.

The album also serves to discover that Basque culture is much more than what happens in the territories where Basque culture has historically settled. The time has come, due to the historical or conjunctural coordinates that we are living now, to edit it and disseminate it throughout the world. And here it is; at least the first.

Because this is, specifically, the first of several musical works, since for administrative, political and editorial reasons, the culture is very dispersed and there is a lot of material from many years still without knowing the people who for these reasons had to move and emigrate.

‘Aradak’ has been published, exactly, by OndarE Music, the record label of ‘OndarE Oficina’ for the recovery of Basque heritage through the recording of unpublished material. It is, therefore, a fundamental pillar to have created a record label for the recording of the recovery of Basque repertoire.

A first step of many others to come, because we already have material for a few more recordings. The music of emigration awaits us.

-Summary video of the press conference:

-Video clip presented at the ‘Aradak’ press conference: