blog / Music

The Celtic Music of Asturias

Hello Celtic people. After a few days of rest, I am back to spin the latest news of what’s happening around in terms of music , concert as well as social networking sites these artists have. We can’t deny the influence of networking sites like MySpace and facebook in terms of music marketing. Gone are the days when artists had to tour just to get the music out there. Now, through YouTube, music video channels and even twitter , they can reach millions and court listeners. But there is a downside to this.

Though the internet is a good medium in spreading music, there is a huge competition that artists have to go through in order to be heard. Even amateurs with horrible stuff can make it out there. I am not really an expert or authority here but what I do is, I highlight bands and individual artists who are already generating the buzz. When this happens (the buzz), it means that these artists have already built a following and a credible sense of musicianship that set them apart from the rest. And yes we already have established and successful acts like Carlos Nunez, the Chieftains, Clannad, Altan, Ashley McIsaac, Capercaillie and Solas (among others) that make the headlines These headlines are important in keeping our community visible and alive. But it is also through these new acts that make all this writing about music all worthwhile, don’t you think?

Moving to Spain…..

You can now listen to the official Carlos Nunez MySpace page. You can check out pictures, latest news(however I warn you this is in Spanish) and also listen to the artists he is associated with. www.myspace.com/carlosnunezoficial is now playing tracks from  his latest album Alborada do Brasil (Sony Music). Fans in Morocco   can catch him this 26th of June at the Festival Tarab de Tanger . Here are the details(in Spanish) of his concerts taken from his official website www.carlos-nunez.com (the bottoms is the latest up to August at the top):

28/08/2010

Metz – France

Parc de Seille 21:30
Metz
France

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27/08/2010

Neuchâtel -La Tène Festival – Switzerland

La Tène Festival
Grande scène 21:30
Neuchâtel – Suisse
+ info: www.latenefestival.ch

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12/08/2010

Gijón – Spain

Semana Grande de Gijón
Playa de Poniente 23:00
Gijón

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7/08/2010

Pleuhiden sur Rance – Brittany

La Chapelle de Mordreuc 20:30
Pleuhiden sur Rance (22)

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31/07/201012:00

Íllora, Granada – Parapanda Folk – Spain

Parapanda Folk
Íllora – Granada

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24/07/2010

Festival de Cornouaille – Brittany

Festival de Cornouaille
Espace Gradlon 21:00
Quimper
+ info: www.festival-cornouaille.com

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13/07/2010

La Seu d’Urgell – Spain

Claustro de la Catedral de Santa Maria 22:30
La Seu d’Urgell

venta de entradas:
Precio de las entradas: 20 € a taquilla // 17 € en venta anticipada.
Sitios de venta anticipada:
Turisme Seu (Avda. Valls d’Andorra s/n) 973 351 511
Turisme del Consell Comarcal de l’Alt Urgell (Passeig Joan Brudieu, 15) 973 353 112

Y, si no se agotan las entradas, el mismo día en taquilla desde las 21 horas en la entrada del Claustre de la Catedral de Santa Maria d’Urgell (C/ Santa Maria s/n)

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10/07/2010

Pollença – Spain

Festival de Pollença
Claustre de Sant Domingo 22:00
Pollença
+ info: www.festivalpollenca.com

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7/07/2010

Santiago de Compostela (Special guest with Jordi Savall) – Spain

San Domingos de Bonaval 20:30
Santiago de Compostela

+ info: Lamentos e folías célticas, das fisterras atlánticas ao novo mundo
Festival Via Stellae www.viastellae.es

JORDI SAVALL viola soprano & lyra-viol
ANDREW LAWRENCE-KING arpa céltica & salterio
PEDRO ESTEVAN percusión

invitado especial :

CARLOS NÚÑEZ gaita e frautas

ENTRADA LIBRE previa recollida de invitación dous días antes do concerto no Punto de venda de entradas do Festival Via Stellae (Teatro Principal, rúa Nova, nº 21, Santiago de Compostela). 981565027.
Os posuidores do abono completo do Via Stellae terán prioridade para retirar a súa invitación a partir do martes 29 de xuño.

::

26/06/2010

Tanger – Morocco

Festival Tarab de Tanger
Borj l-Hajoui 21:15
Tanger

For a blend of Spanish folk meets world and Celtic is Aulaga Folk www.myspace.com/aulagafolk.

From Casas del Monte – Extremadura, Cáceres Spain, The band combines passionate acoustic guitars mixed with flamenco flavor and irresistible beat that borrows from all sources. Beautiful, melodic and distinctive, the music takes you on different landscapes and cultures yet distinctly Spanish. Band members are(In Spanish because I got this from the band site http://www.aulagafolk.com) :

Carlos:Percusión tradicional, flautas, cajon flamenco, pandero cuadrado

Javier:Guitarra flamenca, española, acustica, electrica, laud

Lourdes:Voz, percusión tradicional

Juan Carlos:Voz, flautas, percusión tradicional.

Enrique:Laud, bandurria.

Armando:Teclados.

Liber:Bateria, Kongas, djembe, percusión tradicional.

Tómas:Bajo electrico.

Jose:Violin, acordeón.

The music of Asturias….

According to this article The music of the region of Asturias in northern Spain has more in common with Brittany, Wales and Ireland than Spanish music from Castille or Andalusia. Traditional Asturian instruments include bagpipes, called the Gaita, the harp loom and Asturian drums.

Brenga Astur is Celtic music fused with Spanish influences.Laced with beautiful melodies , hypnotic rhytms and evocative voice of the female vocalist, here is your chance to experience the landscape, the people, the thoughts and feelings  that shaped the music. Brenga Astur is composed of 10 band members with two Asturian pipers, bouzouki, bodhran, flute, electric and acoustic guitar, accordion, mandolin, drums, keyboard, vocals and more. Cekc out http://www.brengaastur.com/ for details and updates. Information and pics courtesy of http://www.ndoylefineart.com/index.html

Llan de Cubel is a popular name in Asturian Celtic music . The band has released seven albums, the last UN TIEMPU MEYOR was released way back 1999. According to official website: During the last years the band has been making a big database with Asturian traditional tunes. The members of the band have been investigating old songbooks, field recordings by ethnographic groups, old recordings from the begining of 20th century and even recordings by Asturian exilées after the Spanish Civil War. The band has also been writing new tunes in the traditional style that together with the music compiled in the database will be the alma mater of the new studio work that Llan de Cubel intends to record and release in 2010. Please refer to http://www.llandecubel.com/ and for updates about the band http://www.llandecubel.com/concieng.html . No I can’t find their MySpace page but if you have the address, please give it to me and I will post it here.

CMF pays tribute the spirits of  Carlos Redondo and Igor Medio, members of the Asturian Celtic band Felpeyu, who passed away on 2006 from a car crash.

This is an article from World Music Central released in 2006:

Spain – Carlos Redondo and Igor Medio, members of Asturian Celtic band Felpeyu, died today in Zuya (northern Spain) in a vehicle accident. The group was traveling from a gig in Corvera (Asturias) to another venue in Barcelona. Felpeyu’s van exited the road and overturned. Two members died and four are severely injured. Firemen were called to rescue the injured passengers from the wreckage.

The untimely death of the two well-known musicians from the Asturias region of Spain has shocked the Spanish folk music community, specially the Celtic music scene.
Carlos Redondo joined Felpeyu in 1994. He played guitar, bass and lead vocals. He was the member of the band with more professional musical experience. He worked intensively as a rock musician, teacher, producer and sound engineer. He was mainly known in Asturias as singer and bass player of the legendary Asturian pop-rock band Los Locos. He got into folk music in the early 90′s by producing some Asturian bands; Felpeyu was one of them, and he joined the band right after producing its first recording, Felpeyu, in 1994. Carlos was born in Gijón (Asturias, Spain).

Ígor Medio had a heterogeneous background. He grew up into an atmosphere of choral and Asturian singing -which both his parents and family developed- and was also into classical music studies and blues/rock experiences before being introduced to folk music. As a folk musician, he developed a personal and eclectic way of arranging and performing Asturian traditional music. He played guitar and mandolin in the band, choosing the bouzouki as his main instrument afterwards. He played bouzouki, guitar -only on studio-, bass pedals, and sang lead and harmony vocals. Ígor was born in Gijón (Asturias, Spain).

Felpeyu recreates Asturian traditional music by combining both the Asturian orchestration and the more general and current Atlantic European types without losing its distinctiveness.

The band was formed by a group of students with similar musical tastes in 1991. Felpeyu initially performed at folk pubs and small venues. Later, it played at large stages and festivals in Asturias. In recent years, the group has performed at numerous international Celtic and world music festivals in Europe, Australia and North America.

Felpeyu has recorded four CDs: Felpeyu (Fonoastur, 1994), Tierra (Fonoastur, 1997), Live Overseas (Urchin, 2000/Tierra Discos, 2003) and Yá! (Tierra Discos 2003).

[Photos: 1 - Carlos Redondo, 2 - Ígor Medio, courtesy of Felpeyu].

From Asturias we go to Wales…

Mabon has started their UK with a blast. They have four appearances this month and 10 for August! Mabon is originally formed by Jamie Smith’s father Derek . The band has released two albums Ridiculous Thinkers (2004) and OK Pewter (2007). The beauty of Mabon is that the band infuses the influences from all the Celtic nations and yet making the sound distinct with Jamie shaping the musical path and doing the research. If you haven’t heard of them yet, well you can isten to the samples at  www.myspace.com/mabonband.  Here’s the list for their major appearances this month and beyond(See all here):

Sat 19th Jun 2010

Middlewich Folk & Boat Festival

Middlewich town centre
Cheshire

web: http://www.myspace.com/middlewichfolkandboat

Sun 20th Jun 2010

Village Hall concert

Village Hall
Carrog
Corwen
Clwyd
N. Wales

Details tba.

Sat 26th Jun 2010

Private Function

Sat 10th Jul 2010

Priddy Folk Festival

Priddy
Southwest
BA5 3BB

Headlining the Dance Tent.

web: http://www.priddyfolk.org

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4 thoughts on “The Celtic Music of Asturias

  1. Some new names here! I of course love Carlos N, and Mabon has been great to follow on MySpace, But you have some new faces and sounds here too.

    Llan de Cubel has a cool sound that I know I could get into too. I will have to check them out.

    Great article!

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