Wednesday, December 6

Baiuca & Carlos Núñez, in search of an ancestral future for Galician root music

There are several borders that it crosses. Solstice. Skip the dry Raia and incorporate the tradition of Trás-os-Montes. It introduces the alborada, a root genre of Galician music, in a context of club electronics. Nor does he pay attention to generational distances: the single It is signed by the most international of Galician bagpipers, Carlos Núñez, and Baiuca, who has been experimenting with folklore and loops. Núñez likes to define the song as a journey through time, stitching together “very old musical systems” with synthetic modernity. A kind of ancient future. It was published last Thursday on digital platformsby the hand of the Raso label, and on February 25, in A Coruña, it will hit the stages.

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Baiuca, musical name of Alejandro Guitián (Catoira, Pontevedra, 1990), imagines Solstice thundering. The idea of ​​trance is fundamental to him. “I always want to bring my music closer to dance, imagine that there is a team playing with what I do and in the center me, the dance,” he told Next to him, in a cafeteria in the old city of Compostela, Carlos Núñez listens. The record company has organized a meeting between the two artists and the press to explain their collaboration. That was born from an invitation from Núñez to the celebration of the quarter century of his emblematic To Irmandade das Estrelas (nineteen ninety six). “Luz Casal, The Chieftains, Ry Cooder participated in that album. To commemorate it 25 years later, I wanted to call younger people,” he says, “for example Rozalén. Tanxugueiras. Or Iván Ferreiro and Glen Hansard, who are not younger but I wanted them to be [ríe]”. Another was Baiuca. His piece finally did not enter the LP, published in 2021, and only now does it see the light.

Carlos Núñez had already collaborated throughout his career with musicians from electronics. In fact, Guitian mentions Or Castro da Mouraten minute theme free loves (1999) as an unavoidable reference in his career. “But never on my records have electronic sounds been heard in the foreground the way they are heard on Solstice“, says Núñez. In those of Baiuca yes, of course: Solpor (2018) and haunted (2021), his two feature films, bet on that label that certain critics call folktrónica and linked samplers, tradi and groove.

Of all this there is Solstice, which starts from a composition by Núñez with a lush story behind it. He himself tells it: “For years I have been making a selection of something like the best plays of the music of the bagpipers of Trás-os-Montes. That area [fronteriza con Galicia] It is like the Highlands of Portugal. They play many bagpipes at the same time. From those best moves I composed, in quotes, an alborada. I passed it on to Álex, who cut and recomposed again.” And it turned out that this method, half collage, half sampled, had precedents, what the medievalists define as centonization, elaborating melodies from other pre-existing ones. “We prefer to talk about molecular music,” adds the bagpiper. Baiuca nods. Not for nothing does his mode of operations include, and his discography demonstrates it, cutting up and assembling. Always behind the trance.

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It was Baiuca who added a last and powerful element, the voice of Paulino Pereira João, who rested in his particular archives of traditional music from Galicia and its surroundings. And the song, which bursts into the second half of Solstice, was in the same key as Núñez’s bagpipe. “It was as if everything fell into place,” she wonders. The process thus restored an ultimate magma in which all the music of all times find common elements. “A dawn of the 21st century that brings together musical systems that come from way back”, synthesizes Núñez. The ancestral music of Trás-os-Montes, the centonization mechanism, a register by Pereira João and the Doric mode, a scale also of medieval origin that the bagpiper identifies in the Cantigas de Santa María by Alfonso X, in Sensuality of Bad Bunny or in earthfrom Tanxugueiras.

All this material, reworked in the Baiuca laboratory, gives shape to a complex and simple piece, pleasing to the ear, with an air of challenge, and in which there are reverberations of experiments also tried by the Scots Shooglenifty. “Gaita and drums”, as Núñez explained to the legendary Paddy Molloney, from The Chieftains, while they were preparing To Irmandade das Estrelas. “Fuck, maybe it can work [“Joder, lo mismo funciona”]replied the Irish veteran. So he didn’t go ahead, he does now, albeit with electronic drums. Or similar. “Electronics is such a wide field that in the end two artists of the genre have nothing to do with each other”, argues Guitián, “it’s not just about synthesizers and drum machines. Catching a bagpipe melody, fragmenting it and turning it into a loop It’s also electronic.

With that toolbox, Baiuca has become one of the flagships of something like the new Galician folk. If Carlos Núñez led the renewal of the genre in the 1990s and approached other world music, Guitián and names like the famous Tanxugueiras now join the so-called urban genres. “The new generations do not have prejudices towards other music that before, maybe, did exist. You were a rocker and you did not listen to hip hop. Now you listen to everything. You can make a play list of 20 songs with 20 different styles”, he considers, “by composing starting from that base, you can make stylistic mixtures that no one expected”. Núñez celebrates it. “Tanxugueiras used to say it: ‘We are not afraid of anything”. It was not his case when debuted a solo career after going through the seminal Matto Congrio.”Every step I took received a zasca. He recorded with Irish, zasca. He recorded with flamencos, zasca. He recorded a theme focused on radios on the album Maio Longo (2000), zaca. You got used to advancing receiving sticks “, she smiles,” the curious thing is that now people expect there to be a certain experimentation “. And Carlos Núñez, of course, is happy.

Baiuca will be on February 25 at the Sala Pelícano, in A Coruña, where he will present Solstice. Núñez will take the stage.