In the early part of the new millennium, a pair of intrepid musicians who call themselves Oreka Tx (from the Basque word for “balance” and the initial letters of their chosen medium), took their txalaparta, a locally beloved but otherwise little-known instrument, and traveled to India, Lapland, Mongolia, and the Sahara in search of fresh collaborations, adventures and ideas. The result was an astounding documentary called Nömadak Tx (“Nomadic Txalaparta”) which won multiple awards at international film festivals and is coming soon to theaters worldwide.
The new album, Nömadak Tx (World Village 468085 — street date March 10, 2009), offers a wealth of newly arranged material inspired by the film, and makes an ideal companion to it. The txalaparta (pronounced roughly “tchala-parta”), although nearly extinct as recently as the 1950s, is inextricably tied to Basque culture and is now enjoying a renaissance. It is a member of the idiophone family and consists of wooden planks supported by insulated stands. It is struck from above by two players (txalapartaris), each employing a pair of thick, pestle-like wooden sticks. Acting at once in tandem and independently of one another, but always eerily in synch, the players create complex, lightning-fast, changeable rhythmic and melodic patterns, moving between the tenor range and bass notes so profound that they pummel the listener’s solar plexus. Inspired for life by their far-flung encounters, the men of Oreka Tx have obliterated established boundaries of culture, time and space by embracing and transforming them.
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Submitted by World Village