Reader Christa Muths sent me a review of possibly the best hurdy-gurdy player in Spain, Marc Egea. All the text that follows is from Christa:
Marc Egea (Barcelona 1973) is the leading Catalan musician and composer playing the hurdy-gurdy.
Marc started playing the hurdy-gurdy when he was 22 and soon recognised its enormous possibilities and followed in the foot steps of the great French hurdy-gurdy master Valentin Clastrier. The hurdy-gurdy, a medieval instrument is widely played across Europe and the US as folk, dance and street music instrument.
Marc writes mainly in Catalan, but also in Spanish and uses in his compositions many of the traditional Catalan and Spanish instruments.
He plays a variety of traditions, types and styles of music and expands his range to Jazz, modern dance tunes, accompaniments to poetry and experimental music.
Before becoming a full time musician Marc studied philosophy at the University of Barcelona and with his band Kalakau he also plays “philosophical” music: these tunes are like meditation and they take you into a world of melody and rhythm as well as thought and reflection. You do not want the music to stop as the melody relaxes while the rhythm carries you to another level of awareness at the same time and the sequence of the music takes you into a world of calm and yet alert reflection.
When combining just the hurdy with his voice his songs create an electrifying field.
He has produced 8 CD’s, the newest one will be released shortly:
- 2001 - D’aquí, d’allà i de més enllà (hurdy-gurdy solo).
- 2003 - Les ratlles del món
- 2005 - Melanocetus (with Enric Canada, Ana Losantos, Franco Molinari, Enrique Tellería y Jordi Vallverdú)
- 2005 - Karagöz & Hacivat (zanfona, loops, flabiol, taragot y percusiones).
- 2005 - Helionora (hurdy-gurdy solo)
- 2006 - Kaulakau (with Kaulakau).
- 2007 - Chuveirinho (with Enric Canada, Franco Molinari y Pilar Subirà).
- 2009 - Glimpse (hurdy-gurdy solo, see www.archive.org/details/Lf-22Glimpse)
His teaching book how to play the hurdy (Introducció a la viola de roda) was published in 2008 in Catalan, the sequence of the exercises are very helpful to learn to understand the instrument and its range.
Marc is not only an excellent technical musician, but he has a deep feeling for the instrument and for the effects of music and sound.
You also find him on YouTube and Facebook.
Christa Muths 2010