The musician is finishing “Herria”, the record that will close his trilogy of Basque songs. It’s his most international album and has recorded with American, European and African artists.
Although I miss that spirit, that sensation of discovering things when I was 10 years old, Kepa Junkera keeps on exploring new ways in the musical scene. These days he is finishing mixing the songs that compose the third music album of his trilogy. Herria will be released next month of November but if the musician doesn´t feel that the outcome is what he wanted then it will be released later.
After Etxea and Kalea, Kepa Junkera dashes to a most universal and cosmopolitan adventure. If for the first record he counted on state artists, for the second one he increased his influence to South America, in Herria he´s gone a little further crossing the Atlantic to go to United States. “I have recorded in Saint Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, in cities that are very opened, of encounter. And I wanted to finish with this type of cities, of more universal towns “, Junkera explains to who underlines the opening of this project.” It is very free way to face the musical and human encounter. What I look for is sharing these Basque folksongs and what they mean. Sharing our culture with people of other territories, of other musical visions “.
With the great acceptance that had his two first records of the trilogy, this third one promises. “I am very happy about the repercussion that they have had. This is a long term project. It will understood better within time. In spite of working with folksongs, it has that point of invention that is needed to be understood “, the native of Bilbao comments.
AMBASSADOR PROJECT If somewhat awakes our curiosity of this work is the multiculturalisms that he picks up. Artists around the world have brought their particular grist to the mill. People of Pakistan, of Korea, of Japan, Moroccan or of Madagascar, as for an European and American musicians.
And to increase the difficulty of the record, they all sang in euskera. ” Many times, from inside, it seems to be a task more complicated. It would be if they offered me an interesting proposal to which I am not familiar with. Maybe, you face yourself from a positive view “, Kepa Junkera explains. The musician recognizes that the people at first moment are surprised but little by little they change that reaction toward a open new view point. “They take it as an honor. For them, it is a great satisfaction to be part in a culture that many know and for others that they have heard about”. Junkera praises the work that his companions have done in Herria. “They start to know but them they implicate themselves more. They look for, they rummage and they are very excited about it.” This union of cultures grants us a look of “an ambassador project” to the album, according to Junkera, he admits that among the three albums there are” more than 200 singers” from around the world.
And it is not a job of musicology where you look for the hyper-perfection in all the notes. “you always are going to have the accent, the bell. And it seems enriching to me that there is that variety “, explains.
So much wealth cultural contributes to very enriching shades. Songs of jazz, blues, all sounds have a spot. “We have to listen to it. I try that it has a connection, that they can´t be like separate islands although I give freedom “, stands out with the example of this theme, Egun da Santimamina, with the lyrics of Xabier Amuriza and Gabriel Aresti, to the one he was mixing upon this interview. “It is a theme recorded with the American Indians of different tribes and with the descendants of the Basques, of the Basque shepherds, that they are Americans.
A lot of new voices but also a lot of new instruments. “There are standard instruments like the piano or the drums but also other more strangers as the laúd, that is the Arab guitar, the Indian drum or the ney, that is a kind of flute”, telling us Junkera and that increases this particular list with Turkish or Greek instruments like the lyre of Crete.
FUTURE Accustom to hook a project with another one, Kepa Junkera already has his eyes set on new ideas although among them it is not on a new trilogy. “I ´m in eager to finish this. It has been many years of work for me and I want to enjoy it but from a certain distance.” he assures. Although this affirmation is not reduced to only this work in which he has be submerged during 5 years. “It happens with all of them. I just need to detach from them”.
And in order that that distance in relation to the trilogy becomes a reality, Kepa Junkera already thinks “in a recording a new album with my group, if everything is goes alright. I have done many projects in recent times. I will focus on that and in playing. I want to return more full”.
But those expectations do not center themselves only in composing a new record but also he has new experiences in mind. He’s also thinking about the possibility of presenting the trilogy in a pack and of the first record he already has a book. “I am open. In order to make it, I´m delighted. We have photos from Santi Yaniz to photographers of the whole world, very interesting for a book “, Junkera indicates who lengthens his vision of work.” I am with the documentary, since I have recorded the whole process in video. Let’s see if for the coming year we can do something “.
It’s more than 30 years of career with his trikitixa and Kepa Junkera and looks back and he is satisfied with the outcome. “I am very happy with what I have achieved. For me, in the beginning, this was a game. I had never imagined that I would be here”.
Published in DEIA
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