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Susana Seivane
Alma de Buxo
Boa / Do Fol, Spain

cd cover According to the Galician tradition, the boxwood that is used to build the Galician bagpipes must wait for more than one hundred years for an artisan to find its soul and transform it into a musical instrument. Few people know this tradition as well as the Seivane family. Not only is Xosé Manuel Seivane one of the best known and most appreciated builders of Galician bagpipes, but his grand-daughter Susana is becoming one of the best known of a new generation of Galician traditional musicians, having performed in concerts all over the world.

"Vai de Polcas"
Her second album, appropriately named Alma de Buxo (which roughly translates as 'Soul of the Boxwood') remains close to the Galician musical tradition, with several xotas, muiñeiras, marchas and other compositions typical of this region in the north of Spain. Sometimes it can sound a bit pop-ish, with the addition of instruments like drums and bass guitar, but it is never as commercial as the recordings from that other well know female piper, Cristina Pato. Seivane's mastery of the bagpipes is prominent throughout the recording, not only in slower tunes, but also in tunes that demand more energy and precision. That she is up to the task is not surprising given that she has played the pipes since she was four.

Seivane is accompanied by the same musicians that were present on her first recording, thus escaping the cliche, so common these days, of inviting many guest musicians. The honorable exceptions are the former Milladoiro member Rodrigo Romani (who was in part responsible for 'discovering' Seivane), and the always brilliant Kepa Junkera, whose unmistakable trikitixa (basque diatonic accordion) is heard in two tunes.

"Chao Curuxeiras"
In most of the tunes, Seivane pays a well deserved tribute to the pipers of her homeland, whose talent normally doesn't get the notice it deserves. The most obvious examples are Pepe Vaamonde and Seivane's grandfather, Xosé Manuel. Because of it's symbolic meaning, one piece stands out from the others: "Chao - Curuxeiras." This tune appears twice, the first time played by Xosé Manuel Seivane during a family party, and the second played by Susana. This is the perfect metaphor for tradition, the passing of music from generation to generation.

This album confirms Seivane as one of the best players of the Galician bagpipes in the world. Judging by her young age, we can easily predict that this piper has a brilliant future ahead of her. - Joao Maia

Available from cdRoots

Audio samples are MP3
©2001 Do Fol

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