Veziana - Alba auba aurora aurore - Italy
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Veziana
Alba auba aurora aurore
FolkClub Ethnosuoni ( www.folkclubethnosuoni.com)

One of the most exciting elements of music from Occitania the cultural region that lies amongst and between France, Italy, and Spain is the heterogeneous musical influences evident in this area. For quite some time, there has been a deep cultural revival occurring in Occitania, with special emphasis on the music and language. Bands such as Gai Saber and Lou Dalfin have mixed traditional Occitan music and its medieval sounds with rock and roll and electronica. On their CD Alba auba aurora aurore, the group Veziana, located in the Pyrénées, provides a different take on the music of the region.

Veziana means joyful in medieval Occitan. The group joins vocals and instrumental tunes, and they have an enormous amount of varied instrumentation: harps, hurdy-gurdies, oud, bouzouki, dulcimer, the sonorous viola de gamba, cornemuse, and more combine to produce a transportive record of Occitanian music. The overall effect is that of an early music record, rather than the mixtures of medieval rock that have been so fashionable. However, such a classicist approach does not mean that Veziana do not explore hybridity; indeed, given the crossroads that the Occitanian region has been throughout history, it would be impossible not to catch strains of the diverse surrounding cultures.

The repertoire which the liner notes describe as humanist and inclusive thus ranges from troubadour songs to music from the famed book of religious music of Alfonso X el Sabio; from traditional music of southern France, to traditional Basque music; and from ancient Italian music, to Jewish Sephardic sounds. In fact, Veziana provide a heady undercurrent of Arab-Andalousian influence to their musical program. Alba auba aurora aurore is thus not just a record of a time that was, but rather a distinctive affirmation of the rich tapestry that comprises Occitanian music today. - Lee Blackstone

Artists' web site: www.veziana.net

CD available from cdRoots

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