following INTUITIONS in search of the lost chord?+ bits and pieces ++ Festival of San Juan
Norman Warwick hears musicians
following INTUITIONS in search of the lost chord?
+ bits and pieces ++ Festival of San Juan
Back in June 2018, Antonio Fajardo participated in the organization of a music festival in Gran Canaria, where he met Trilitrate, a trio of fiddle, guitar and button-accordion. It was at that festival that the spark was lit between singer-guitartist Fajardo and the three musicians. This tiny spark has now become a full blown fire, in the shape of collaboration by the Galician trio in the recording of, the latest album, Intuition, by the Canarian musician.
José Antonio Fajardo (left) , a native of Fuerteventura, has shown constant evolution throughout his career, towards the ´non-transferable¨; projected throughout several singles and splits, an EP and three albums.
Fajardo has developed a diction and surrenders control of his own voice beyond any comparative scope. He can make space for the music and its emotions at any time and allow it to lead his voice and singing style wherever it will. The majorero has left everything aside words at the service of songs that seek truth everywhere. From viscerality to the deepest delicacy, Fajardo’s voice sheathes his own compositional stamp in a beautiful and necessary way. As a channel for the stream of consciousness perhaps, the pieces live on other complementary halves.
All this applies in equal measure to the compositional minting, with a metric flow that is as precise as it is natural, and structures in which it shows and hides as the discourse demands. Tension and sweetness, suspense and relaxation play hide and seek in songs that are as complex harmonically as they are simple for the listener’s perception (a difficult undertaking). Nevertheless, measure and austerity can work as a formal prelude, getting to the content is something else… A whole patina of emotions shines through there. There is, invariably, a rainbow that redeems solemnity, that spreads from sincerity and that, little by little, forms essential aesthetic forms.
Hearing him play live at Cic El Almacen, in the company of Trilitrate was a special occasion, that may yet turn out to be, even in our dotage, one of those ´we were there´ moments.
Trilitraté was formed in Vigo, Spain in 2012 by violinist Elena Vázquez, accordionist Marcos Padrón and guitarist and vocalist Rubén Abad. After two published albums (praised by critics and the audience) and numerous concerts, Trilitrate is set to release their third album Está de Grelo! (right)
The music does not stand alone; it includes the presence of the cartoonist, set designer and stop-motion animator Montse Piñeiro (María Casares Award 2018, for the best scenography). In this new work they visit distant musical geographies such as the African and the Ottoman, and overstep the baroque and impressionist experience of the 21st century in search of new sounds. This is the mark of this innovative band; to blur existing lines between the traditional, classical, ethnic, contemporary, jazz and hardcore music. Their own compositions house instrumental music and original songs created in Galician and combined with animations and video creations in real time. The sound and visual stimuli achieve a new sound universe, innovative and brimming with beauty.
‘They say the world is getting smaller, and yet here we find a group of classically trained musicians virtually unknown outside of Spain. Musicians who have watched the world and chosen to assimilate their training with touches of Frank Zappa, R. Crumb, and Black Metal influences. Their music reminds me of Life itself, in all its agony and joy.’ (Louis Marks, Ropeadope)
The trio line up consists of Elena Vázquez – violin and second voice, Marcos Padrón – accordion and second voice and Rubén Abad – spanish guitar, oud and second voice
Their debut album was recorded live and mixed at Estudio Brazil (Madrid) by Javier Ortiz between January 30th and February 2nd
Toño Magariños and Pablo Riveiro’s voices recorded at Estudio Terraforma (Pontevedra) by Ibán Pérez.
Mastered at Golden Mastering (California).
The album was released in the summer of 2021.
Now, a year later they have also not only completed recording on the new album by Jose Antonio Fajardo but have also appeared with him live on a number of occasions, including this concert in Arrecife. This is a coming together of artist in search of something they perhaps cannot even envisage.
It has to be said the musical direction Antonio is currently exploring perhaps takes more thanone or two sidetracks & detours and is something of an acquired taste. Perhaps that was why ´The Warehouse´ was only two thirds full, although we were astonished to find that we recognised most of them as fellow diners at the sea-front bar round the corner where Dee and I had enjoyed pre-concert tuna salad, canarian potatoes, fried goats-cheese, washed down with wine and beer sin alcohol, (a phrase I never would have thought I´d hear myself utter). The open-air bar was buzzing and our waitress was a class-act: friendly, helpful and cheerful.
We took the five minute walk back to Cic El Almacen and were very surprised to find there was no queue and that staff hadn´t yet even opened the doors. This was wearisome but almost as we arrived on the step the doors swung open and a few others followed us through into the upstairs theatre. We hadn´t realised it but we must have led something of a mass exodus from the restaurant.
Antonio took to the stage alone, carrying an acoustic guitar. Bearded and bushy-haired he took one of the four empty seats on the stage and said hello to an audience that was obviously delighted to see him and were excited to be here, We knew as he prepared himself to perform that he had a reputation that preceded him and when he began to play I immediately thought I could see why. He finger-picked through two or three verses of a song he delivered in Spanish, as he would throughout the show and I was already ion mind of the gentle acoustic style of a James Taylor or a Jim Croce and I thought we were in sixties folk music heaven. Then, by the time we got to where the chorus should have been, Antonio had become distracted, or abstracted might be a better word. He seemed to have so immersed himself in the song that the song itself had carried him away. There was ecstasy in his voice, and he was thrashing and searching and reaching in a way I associate with the likes of Joe Cocker and Jose Feliciano. I fully understand and respect why an artist would want to cross new borders and become as one with his music, rather than be tied down or bordered by the traditions of his art form, So although I was slightly disappointed that the wonderful opening verses had not taken me where I thought we were going, I was confident that this was going to be an interesting concert.
After some whooping and hollering of appreciation from an audience that was obviously one of devoted fans familiar with his style, Antonio gave a warm introduction to the three musicians of Trilitrate, who strode on from the wings and filled the remaining seats on stage. Now, to an old folkie like me this looked really promising; A girl fiddle player who might have been an Alison Krauss and a slide guitar player who could have been either Ry Cooder or Sonny Landreth and a button accordion player who was perhaps Flaco Jiminez or Rama Ayala.
I pinched myself for being so fanciful, but even before I heard them play a note I was put in mind of a a cowboy band round a cattle-drive campfire of the kind Ian Tyson used to write and sing about.
Then they began to play, a flowing fiddle, a slide guitar played by something rusty and scratchy and perfect and that accordion filling the sound out and adding a bit of swing. These, and Antonio, were proper players (right) and genuinely did sound like those incredible musicians I have mentioned. It was all so gentle and tasteful and bucolic, which is just the way I take my music, and Antonio sang beautifully and gently led some quiet harmonies,…..but over the bridge, the song led him. His delivery became more frenetic and he seemed lost in a more frenzied place and time. Cocker and Feliciano were back in the building !
None of this spoiled the concert for me, because I´m always happy to pour a drop of danger and a ration of risk even into the sedate country-folk music I love. Nevertheless I have far more albums by The Flatlanders than I do by Feliciano and countless more recordings in my collection by John Stewart than by Joe Cocker.
The music tonight was sublime. The songs were well structured and I´m guessing took fairly linear narratives, but it seemed to me that Antonio Farjado then wanted to explore those songs through his subconscious, to throw himself at the mercy of his songs and go wherever they might take him. He has every right to do so, and at times it did add something to a particular song, but too often it felt somewhat contrived. The minute an artist thinks to himself this is where he slips into streams of consciousness, then those streams become merely constructed canals.
As a poet I have had a period in my career when I wanted to sound like James Joyce or to wax metaphysical, but I lacked John Donne´s vision and so merely raved on instead, .Like many artists I wanted to be transported by my art but we do not reach those states by building a bus stop !.
I have tried to ignore punctuation in what I thought was Joycean manner and I have written in word association style to review concerts and examine social issues but results were varied to put it kindly. Too often I knew I was simply contriving and so, indeed, the words came out sounding contrived. That said I was one day so inspired by a vist to see Joe Gormley´s Another Place installation at Crosby Sands in the UK that I wrote, without thinking at all, it seemed, and I was thrilled with the result Despite being a fairly well published poet, though, that remains my only so-called stream-of consciousness poem to have found its way into print.
Jose Antonio Farjado is at an interesting stage in his career and may well make some important discoveries about the transportative nature of music and the arts in general. However, to do so he might need to take his hands completely off the wheel, because at the moment it feels like he is, albeit with only one finger, re-adjusting his tracking.
I will certainly try to get hold of a copy of the Intuitions album to hear the results of relinquishing control in the studio to allow room to follow the songs, rather than to lead them.
This live performance that saw the slide guitar player also switch to electric guitar and create beautiful sounds on that instrument, too, always in sync with the fiddle and accordion, was only slightly diminished because Jose´s search for the abstract seemed a little bit pre-ordained. None of that, though, should detract from the quality of the music they all played or the ethos with which they delivered it.
So, of course, I will certainly try to get hold of the Esta de Grelo album by Trilitrate so I can undertake a compare and contract exercise with Antonio´s album.
Watch this space.
+ The Lanzarote Art Gallery
Today, June 23rd from 6.00 pm to 219.00 pm hours, The Lanzarote Art Gallery in Costa Teguise opens the exhibition, Lanzarote Destinos Encontrados
A new initiative from Art Space and Lanzarote Art Gallery brings together materials, textures and colours.. Marité Crespo (right) , from Córdoba, Argentina, travels a path full of contents that challenge her, without absolute truths, expressing herself through mixed techniques among which are painting, engraving and drawing. Her work in art, both in abstraction and figuration, presents her as an artist in the constant visceral and sensitive search for answers to concerns of our time in the face of chaos and beauty. Her work is a game of combinations, where materials, textures and colours, improvise new routes for the senses.
Marite Crespo is a trained Architect and town planner who graduated from The. National University of Litoral. Santa Fe. Argentina 1996 with a degree in History of Art. Drawing and Painting.
++ The Festival Of San Juan
Arrecife city council has put together a programme of recreationaland sporting events on the occcasion of San Jaun, which will deliver its main course tonight June 23rd at El Reducto beach- The event will take plamce from 7.00 to midnight with a concert y GI Nandy, Tio Matt and Kardomillo as well as ´a poublñic barbeque in the heat of a large bofire. The lighting of the bonfire will taker place at 9.30 and will culminate at midnight with a firework display.
The mayor, Astrid perfez, has expressed her ´joy´because ´aftermany years without such events being organisded by the city council, probably for covid reasons, thiks government group has drawn up such an attractive programme for the festival of San Juan, for which we will be able to fully enjoy a night full of tradition and symbolim.
San Juan is an important mid summer fiesta across Spain. It takes place around the summer solstice on 23rd June and dates back to medieval times when fires were lit to protect everyone from the evil spirits which they believed were released when the sun turned southward.
Alejandro Delgado is a ´Remote Worker´ (and local) and lives here on the beautiful island of Lanzarote. Thed main reson he created his blog For Digital Nomads And Remote Workers is to sharte some of lanzarote´s most edxclusive places to vist and experiences to live. Alejandro regularly posts about people, places or objects. He writes with vivid description and also offers honest recommendations. One of his most recent posts was about The festival of San Juan.
He tells us that every year, the Fiesta or Noche de San Juan in Lanzarote welcomes summer. A mythical celebration in which the beaches of Lanzarote are filled with bonfires, popular barbecue pits, fireworks, concerts, and events for all ages. I´ll let him explain more fully.
photo fire Every June 23 the Night of San Juan is celebrated in Lanzarote and thousands of bonfires adorn the island. It is, without a doubt, one of the most magical and fun nights of the year on the island of volcanoes
It is a night in which fun and superstition go hand in hand. Such was its importance that, until a few years ago, San Juan was a non-working day. And according to our elders, before the arrival of tourism to Lanzarote, back in the 60s, it was tried to have the work of the field finished to be able to celebrate this night of partying with family and friends.
n ancient times, many cultures paid tribute to the summer solstice., being the time of the year from which the days would get shorter (or weaker) until reaching the winter solstice.
In this sense, to commemorate the longest day of the year, the traditional thing was to light bonfires to purify the Sun and give it more strength.
In Lanzarote, weeks before June 23, the children, helped many times by the elders, gather wood and piling it up in open fields and lots. At midnight they are set on fire to turn them into large bonfires visible from almost anywhere on the island.
Around these purifying bonfires, families, and friends prepare barbecue pits. Chops and sardines, two of the most common ingredients in any barbecue on the island, are accompanied by the traditional Piñas (Corn Cobs) roasted directly over the fire.
To the tradition of the large bonfires and pineapple grills, we must add another deeply rooted ritual. Tthe Day of San Juan in Lanzarote was the day to go with the family to the beach to take the first official bath of the year. It used to be said that bathing before then was bad.
The night of San Juan in Haría has always been very special and full of magic. Every year the municipality celebrates the big day of the festivities with mass, the traditional procession in honor of its Patron, San Juan Bautista, and the burning of Facundo, and it is that the relationship between San Juan and Haría is quite old.
Its origin dates from the 16th century, the year the church was founded. At that time, eight days before the feast of the patron saint, the bells resounded in the valley, announcing the expected date with impetus. As is the case today, the residents of Haría carried the Patron Saint on their shoulders from the Hermitage of San Juan to the church, in the center of town. The Saint remained there for eight days, before being returned to his usual place.
On a key day, large bonfires burned on the peaks of the mountains of the valley, while in the center of the town the “larger bonfire” was intended, of greater dimensions than the rest. Young and less young, but with great skill, they made great leaps over the incessant flames to drive away evil spirits.
As a complement to the festivities, sporting events were organized that included wrestling, stick games, and the traditional “forty-something”.
In 1964 the burning of a life-size machango or rag doll, which they called Facundo, was introduced.
The origin of this tradition is pagan and much older than its Christian celebration. In fact, the Night of San Juan commemorates the arrival of the longest day of the year, that is, the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere.
This tradition has always been deeply rooted in countries such as Spain, Portugal, Norway, Sweden, Finland, or Denmark. In Latin America, in countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Puerto Rico, or Venezuela, the night of San Juan is also associated with ancient traditions and legends.
Once Christianity was born, many pagan traditions were absorbed into the Christian calendar. In fact, the commemoration of the longest night of the year was associated with a purely Christian event: the birth of Saint John the Baptist which, according to the Bible, took place on June 24. As a curiosity, it is the only saint for whom a festival is celebrated on the day of his birth since the usual thing is to celebrate the anniversary of their deaths or the transfer of their relics.
They say that on June 24, just six months before the birth of Jesus Christ, Saint John the Baptist came into the world. However, the scientific community is more inclined to the pagan origin of this celebration directly related to the famous night of San Juan that takes place from June 23 to 24.
And precisely it takes place on those dates because it is the shortest night of the year, although here the experts indicate that it takes place from June 20 to 21, which is precisely when the change of season from spring to summer becomes official.
Alejandro promises that tonight will definitely be a night of culture, fun, mystery, and entertainment, and hopes he will see us around at the bonfire!
You can help Alejandro in his efforts to share the cultural traditions of Lanzarote, with all its lullabies, legends, and lies and myth and magic, simply by tuning into his blog at
Meanwhile, Jazz In Reading havbe posted advance notice of an for which fans in the Uk can still reserve tickets.
+++ Pangbourne Jazz Club
John Thirkell, (trumpet & flugelhorn), Backed by the Pangbourne Jazz Club rhythm section: Terry Hutchins (guitar) John Deemer (bass)
Jim Pollard (piano) Brian Greene (drums)
will play at Pangbourne Jazz Club, on Sunday 3 July at 7:30pm start
Only £10 entry | Cheap bar | Raffle
Pay on the door or book online here
John Thirkell (right)
In a long and varied career, Johnny has an impressive record of achievements and unparalleled experience as a trumpet player, producer and latterly as a tech entrepreneur. Upon leaving Leeds College of Music he studied trumpet in New York with the great Carmine Caruso before embarking on a playing career which would see him perform in many genres of music at the highest level. From the BBC Radio Orchestra through the Buddy Rich and Gil Evans Orchestras and on into the rock and pop industry, Johnny established himself as a versatile and adaptable musician of the highest calibre.
A measure of his success lies in the fact that his trumpet-playing featured on at least 1 album in the UK album chart, continuously, without a break for over 13 years and at one point he was playing on 11 of the top 50 albums in a single week. He has performed on over 6000 recordings, 40 top ten albums and 25 US and UK No.1 records, including the recent BTS global smash “Dynamite”. The list of artists with whom he has recorded reads like a who’s who of the music industry and includes such illustrious names as:
• Bruno Mars
• David Bowie
• Pet Shop Boys
• George Michael
• Tina Turner
As well as touring and playing live with Artists like Phil Collins, Eric Clapton, Bon Jovi and Ray Charles, Johnny has been a regular member of 3 very successful groups:
• Swing Out Sister (1985 – 1988)
• Level 42 (1988 – 1994)
• Jamiroquai (1993 – 2000)
A natural progression was into record production and he has produced (or co-produced) over 250 commercial releases and co-written many of the songs. Indeed, he has had over 500 songs published including songs for artists as diverse as The Spice Girls (he co-wrote their early songs), Odyssey and The Three Degrees.
In recent years he has focused on building and selling a number of businesses in the music and technology space and currently has offices in London and New York.
Johnny also enjoys employing his communication skills and experience through writing and speaking.
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