Xarnege - Gaueko lan musika - Musica de contrabanda - CD
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cd cover Xarnege
Gaueko lan musika / Musica de contrabanda (artist release)

This ensemble looks for the commonalities in the border regions of France and Spain, searching for the music of Gascon and Basque roots to get to a new music, true to both places, sharing their tunes, instruments and attitudes.The band explains: 'Xarnege is a meeting place not a mixture. A crossroads not a fence, a look to the future from the roots, not an inert museum.'


Up to and beyond Roman times Gascony, or Vasconia, was populated by Basques, Vascones. Today there's still a good deal of shared culture between it and the neighbouring Basque country, particularly in the borderland sharnègo villages from which Xarnege takes its name. The band comprises three Gascon traditional singer-instrumentalists of the Baudoin family -father and instrument-maker Joan, son Roman and nephew Matèu - with Josean Martín Zarko and Juan Ezeiza, who were members of the Basque band Ganbara and others. Their instrumentation is mainly traditional, from both sides of the border, including hurdy-gurdy, the high-pitched Gascon three-hole whistle flabuta and its Basque equivalent xirula, the string-drum ttun-ttun, Gascon boha (bagpipe), and Basque alboka and shawn txanbela, plus fiddle, bouzouki, guitar and occasional quirky electronic processing. The material, which in some places might suggest comparisons in its dance rhythms and fairly non-chordal linearity with Playford tunes, comes from both traditions, often flowing from one into the other in the course of a track. The result, while not fully-formed in this first release, is a worthwhile meeting, and the bolder contrasts and odder electronic touches here hint at the direction it might be heading. - Andrew Cronshaw, fRoots

Mugan Jauzika / Un Saut A La Termièra (Dus/Hegi - Ostalerra)
Jamei Jo Non Veire
A Hum De Callau / Ziztu Bizian (Fandango – Arin Arin)
Gaston (Masurca Gascona – Nafarroako Mazurka)
Sor Lekuaren Minez
Zertara Zatoz?
La Craba / Ahuntza
Baskoniako Suitea / Seguida Vascona (Altsasuko Soka Dantza-Milafrangarrak)
Bizkaiatik Landetara / De Biscaia A Las Lanas
Aqueras Montinas – Kaxkarrota

Joan Baudoin - boha, caremèra, hurdy-gurdy, flabuta, tamborin and traditional drums.
Roman Baudoin - hurdy-gurdy, flabuta, tamborin and caremèra.
Matèu Baudoin - caremèra, hurdy-gurdy, flabuta and besson.
Josean Martín Zarko - guitars, bouzouki and mandolina.
Juan Ezeiza - violin, alboka and txanbela.

The band says:
Political frontiers have continually varied according to the vagaries of history. Towns, people and cultures have been divided. However, there have always been people ready to jump the barriers without permision. Culture smugglers, traffickers of languages, dances and traditions, dream dealers, have striven to meet and share the booty.

In the 'sharnègo' areas between Gascony and the Basque Country the two cultures have been able to live together and maintain their own spaces and their shared spaces. They have created different forms of expression from the same source. One could say that they naturally return to their Vascon past.

Xarnege is a meeting place not a mixture. A crossroads not a fence, a look to the future from the roots, not an inert museum. Everyone's and no-one's land. A place where you share and continue the nocturnal journey with your sack full of music.

Xarnege, or Sharnègo, is a Gascon word which refers to villages on the Gascony and Basque border in which people express themselves in both Basque and Gascon. And so the musical project of Xarnege is a blending and includes many of the abundant elements common to both cultures.

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