Laja eta Mikel : Basque triki music
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cd cover Laja eta Mikel
Eguzki begi (Elkar - Triki)

Trikitixa accordionist Iņaki Garmendia 'Laja' and panderista Mikel Alustiza in a 2002 release of Basque folk music.

The press release from the record label:
Although it was not introduced in the Basque Country until the end of the 19th century, today trikitixa is our most deeply rooted popular music; the richness of nuances and the harmonic noise of the diatonic accordion made the rural world quiver, and it immediately became the melodic and rhythmic king of the great festive Basque moment, the festival. For the science of popular traditions what counts is not the origin and the existence of sources outside folklore, but the awareness of having chosen, assumed and adapted them, and the Basque Country chose trikitixa as its dearest music.

Popular music, its creators and its performers have a very significant role in all cultures; popular songs and melodies are always simple and accessible; they can also be reinterpreted (and therefore easily transmitted) and they belong to the chronicle of both the past and the present of our civilisation. Popular music helps countries evoke and relive their legends, their dreams and their greatness.

With his popular vitality, his incomparable inspiration and his astonishing performing clarity, Iņaki Garmendia "Laja" (Azkoitia; 1944) has enriched our music, our culture and our dreams. He is an essential link between the first generations of Basque accordionists from whom he learned the music (Sakabi, Itsazakorta, Elgeta...) and the current generations, as he has helped transmit the knowledge and the repertoire to the present. But he is, above all, the composer-performer of lively and sentimental pieces; in spite of being self-taught he has many followers, and has become an inescapable reference in the world of trikitixa. He has performed in hundreds of festivals, and thousands of people have shared moments of great joy with him. Winner of 6 trikitixa championships (1971, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1979 and 1982), he recorded his first record with Iturbide, who was in charge of the tambourine and the voices (1974); later, for many years, he worked with Ramon Zubizarreta "Landakanda", with whom he recorded 5 more records (1977, 1981, 1983, 1986, 1998).

"Eguzki begi" is, therefore, his seventh record. This time he has had collaboration of Mikel Alustiza, a singer and tambourine player from Zumarraga (1968). Due to the strong family tradition (he is the nephew of the members of the "Trikitixa of Zumarraga"), his love of popular music and his wonderful musical talent, Alustiza performs brilliantly in this great record, filling it with simplicity and quality.

The production of "Eguzki begi" has been guided and supervised by Juan Carlos Perez, who has managed to keep the genuine character and the popular personality of the record with his contemporary view of music. "Eguzki begi" is a dynamic, brilliant and intense example of popular music; its fourteen pieces are like fourteen suns that light up the festival with intensity and genuineness. With "Eguzki begi" happiness, the great dream of life, revives inside us.

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