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The ancestral power of rhythm, songs, and Galician musical traditions – Spain

“Ceo branco do luar, ceo azul do medio dia: son dous anacos de ceo a bandeira de Galicia.”

“White sky of the moonlight, blue sky of midday: these are two pieces of sky, the flag of Galicia.”

Ramon Cabanillas, Galician poet (1876-1959)

The rhythms played in Galicia are mainly maneos, jotas, and muiñeiras (whose name, derived from the mill – muiño – refers to the peasants who danced while waiting for the corn to be ground). Some rhythms were linked to work songs practiced during harvests (flax, wheat) or by muleteers like the arrieiro – slow like the sound of wagon wheels. After the labor of agricultural work, it was customary for villagers to gather under the wooden awning of a house to start singing, dancing, and playing music…during these celebrations, women were charged with playing the pandeireta (small tambourine) so that the rest of the assembly could dance. It was on the occasion of these popular festivals (foliadas), still in force today, that villagers gathered and, if

they were lucky, found their other half.

The majority of the repertoire summoned by the trio Fransy, Davide, and Cibrán comes from the diligent collecting work carried out since 1984 by Fransy Gonzalez and the Xiradela association in the villages of Bergantiños. This region, located in the northwest of Galicia and defying the Atlantic Ocean, constitutes one of the territories richest in terms of variety of songs, dances, and playing modes (toques). Tradition can coexist with musical avant-garde, and this ensemble freshly proves it. The creative temporality of these conveyors lies halfway between the atavism of the villages – animated by percussion: pandeireta, pandeira, and pandeiro cuadrado – and the present carrying innovations, like the experimental violin of Cibrán. Formerly reserved for the survival of impoverished blind people, his melodies, here adorned with effects pedals and sound layers, envelop traditional Galician music in a mysterious ecstatic atmosphere.


  • Franzy, Davide, and Cibran
  • Featuring Amazigh singer Cherifa Kersit