XI festival d’Arpa
July 3, friday
L’Incantari “is an artistic project by the Catalan-Aragonese harpist and singer Lucía Samitier and the multidisciplinary artist Arturo Palomares. These performers, connoisseurs of the musical traditions of oriental music, Sephardic, of singing of medieval troubadours and pilgrims, offer us a show that recreates and updates old songs. Specialists in the interpretation of root music, they are accompanied by habitual musical instruments of the genre and of the time they represent, such as the Catalan-Aragonese double harp, the cytus and the viola de gamba in the hands of the artist Ana Cerezo, who adds an extra patina of musicality to the show. An experience not only musical but also visual, aesthetic and above all emotional. An intimate, entertaining and enriching opening in this eleventh edition of the festival.
July 3, friday
When a musician reaches unusual levels of performance, it is almost inevitable that he accepts offers of musical communication with other instrumentalists from very different genres, from cultures far from the classical method and repertoire, but with a great capacity for language and understanding. The idea that music is the most universal language that human beings have, the least disturbing, is reinforced, and the public lends itself to the experiment convinced that the experience has marked a before and after in the perception that we have of our relationships.
Eleanor Turner (UK) is one of the most acclaimed contemporary harpists, renowned international interpreter who successfully combines her evident classical training with the dialogue, of evident complexity, of the Indian tabla. This percussion instrument is probably one of the most complicated in its execution, since in addition to the method and the metric it is due to a musicality rich in nuances and that can only take flight thanks to the talent of musicians such as Mendi Singh (UK). Both exhibit their mastery of the show Tâla Tarang (waves of rhythm), displaying a repertoire of classics, pop hits, world music and improvisations, but without putting walls to three of the primary keys of musical language: to fine tune, measure and intuit.
July 4, saturday
Remy Van Kesteren
In this new generation of emerging harpists Remy van Kesteren (Holland) is, without a doubt, one of the greatest talents, renowned artist and on whose extensive international concert schedule he reserves space for our festival. From an early age Remy has won, or positioned among the first, prestigious awards and competitions such as the “Moscow International Harp Competition” or the “Israel Harp International”, being of special interest to note that he was awarded in 2009 as ” Young classic talent from Holland ”. His extensive classical curriculum, which takes him to any part of the planet and as a soloist in the best orchestras, is not an impediment for Remy to enter other styles such as jazz, electronic, experimental music and even pop, where he has performed with great of the genre like Anastacia or the Jacksons.
He released his first solo album, titled Remy, in 2012, with works by Smetana, Holliger, Bach, Shostakovich and Renié, garnering excellent press headlines. He continued with Memento (2014) and Eyes (2016), which meant his first delivery of exclusively his own songs. Tireless in the search for new sounds and experiences, Remy has brought valuable impressions and ideas to the harp maker Salvi for the construction of an exclusive pedal harp in its number of strings (49 instead of 47) and a mute or mute system. His artistic projects can reach very peculiar formats, such as the one he offers with a “robot orchestra”, where the artist performs a concert accompanied by robotic instruments. On the other hand, in versions it also does not seem to have a limit, daring with themes that you would never expect from a harp, Malamente (Rosalía), as a curious sample.
The Remy Van Kesteren concert in Sentmenat will be able to host any musical modality, but impregnated with the artistic vision and staging of someone who is constantly moving to new worlds, making it clear that contemporary harpists capture another aesthetic in our ideology.
July 4, saturday
Nakagawa & Taniguchi
Karin Nakagawa (Ibaraki, Japan) grew up in a family of musicians and began her piano studies at the age of 3. At 12 years old, Nakagawa became extremely interested in Koto, the Japanese harp commonly used in traditional music and Japanese roots. The instrument has in its common version 13 strings, but Karin, with only 12 years old and due to its great absorption capacity and innate artistic expressiveness, had the need to renew in the 25-string koto, an extreme format reserved for virtuosos who take the instrument to other musical fields. After graduation, he began acting as a storyteller, highly representative of Japanese culture, and continued working with great artists from different fields, which has allowed him to develop his own style of singing and performance. Karin is currently one of the few experts on the 25-string Koto, an outstanding reference of new Japanese music who, without rejecting the roots, has found a way to open international doors to an instrument that until now was unknown to us.
Takuya Taniguchi was born in Fukui (Japan) and has lived in Munich (Germany) since 2011. He plays the Taiko, literally translated as “great drum”, from the early age of 3 years. At the age of 16, he won the special prize of the “Vienna World Youth Music Festival” and shortly afterwards he was accepted as a member of the “Fuun-Nokai” formation of the prestigious teacher Eitetsu Hayashi. In Europe he was part of the German group “Drumaturgia” and has been on tour with the “World percussion Ensemble” and “Walter lang”. Takuya is one of the few Taiko percussionists who, due to his impeccable Japanese language and staging, as well as the integrity with which he carries out his show, allows himself to act as a soloist without the result of losing any harmony.
Karin and Takuya will work together on the show “Sounds of Daybreak – A Fresh Take on Japanese Koto and Wadaiko Art”, an authentic and modern experience that transports us to Japanese feelings through their sounds. A unique program where both, experts in their field, will link classic and contemporary styles with energy and emotion but without the use of supplementary effects, without substitutes, achieving a timeless show in which the public will undoubtedly dilute themselves in their stories until they think they are set to Japan itself.
July 5, sunday
Juanjo Corbalán cuarteto
The harp is very present in the traditional culture of Paraguay, represented by a peculiar Latin American instrument and of its own stamp that from the most intimate and familiar environments gives rise to professional musicians eager for international expansion and search for sounds. There are many and very important Paraguayan harp players who expand their culture through this instrument and in its most popular aspect, or as we often hear from themselves, more patriotic. However, the outgoing youth, more curious and absorbing, find in Latin American jazz another excellent way to take their culture to the rest of the planet, adapting a freer language, instrumentally enriched with the presence of other instruments such as percussion, keyboard and saxophone.
Juanjo Corbalán, from Asunción, links in his quartet sounds inspired by nature and the popular tone of Paraguay to result in a very rhythmic jazz, with highly danceable improvisations and a clear Latin accent. His concert has the presence, at the same time, of a New York club, very recognizable in the sound of great South American jazz bands but who live and work in the United States, thanks surely to the academic training of its members. In addition, and as a curious fact, it will be the first time that we can see how some Paraguayan harpists prefer not to install the already common halftone alteration lever systems on their harps because they prefer the traditional system: metal rings or a pick placed on the fingers. and with which the string is shortened when there is a need for halftone, an exercise difficult to carry to success without skill and a lot of practice.
The quartet (featured as Bajo presión) is made up of Juanjo Corbalán (Paraguayan Harp), Víctor Álvarez on keyboard, Seba Ramírez on drums and Lara Barreto on alto sax, four young and experienced musicians, of high instrumental level who bring the most jazzy version of Paraguay to the gardens cal Milionari.
July 5, sunday
AlinaHipHarp is an international quartet based in London, led by Ukrainian-born harpist Alina Bzhezhinska. As an innovator, Alina has gained a solid reputation, thanks to a unique sound she draws from her instruments through effects and electronics, and the tribute she gives to great jazz legends such as harpists Dorothy Asby and Alice Coltrane, the piano of Sun Ra or the Afrobeat rhythms that became popular in the 1970s. Alina burst onto the UK music scene at the “EFG London Jazz Festival” and was nominated for “Best Live Experience 2018 Jazz FM Awards”. Shortly after, his album Inspiration goes on sale, a harvest of excellent reviews and the bridge that gives him entry to the best international jazz festivals on the planet. Her imaginative and elaborate shows are also the cause of her media success, even playing in the European Parliament, at the Queen’s 80th birthday celebrations at Balmoral Castle and at the King of Thailand’s birthday celebration in Bangkok. Of excellent classical training (studies in Warsaw, Poland, USA) he has also performed with many of the leading European orchestras, including the Young World Symphony Orchestra, the Warsaw National Opera and the Scottish Opera, until he diverts all his Artistic attention in her quartet, born in 2017. Currently, Alina is a harp teacher at Goldsmiths University in London.
For her quartet, Alina has the support of experienced musicians in the jazz sector, with Adam Teixeira (drums), Mikele Montolli (electric bass) and Joel Prime (percussion).