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11 - Marcel's desolation
- 2´33

(Music: Alan Griffin)
(Produced and arranged by Alan Griffin & Joxan Goikoetxea)

[Eng] [Es] [Eus] [Fr] [It] [Cat]

Recording engineer: Joxan Goikoetxea
Recorded at Aztarna Studio (Hernani, Gipuzkoa) throughout 2017.

Mixing and Digital Mastering:
Mikel F.Krutzaga – Musikart Studio (Amezketa - Gipuzkoa).


Alan Griffin : flute
Joxan Goikoetxea: accordion, piano and keyboards
Juan Arriola:
Fiachra Mac Gabhann: bouzuki, mandolin
Iosune Marin : acoustic guitar ra


This waltz is for Alan's niece Emma on her wedding to Barry Gatenby. Although we haven't used the alboka on the recording, the tune actually started life as an alboka piece and is Nº 188 in Halfway to Hell: Albokarako 333 doinu.

It was a pleasure to play again with Juan Arriola Mendiola Artañola, ex-member of Alboka, on this and several other tracks on the album.



The lovely Emma from the Barna Road, all sixteen years of her, went off to Toulouse for two months to learn French, she said. And while there she unwittingly conquered the previously unassailed heart of Marcel. Back home, she received a postcard containing a timid statement of his love and grief. She couldn't even remember this Marcel, she snorted, and disdained a reply.


Years later Emma married Barry, who met her numerical requirements for teeth, legs, biological eyes and years on the planet, and whose hair was real. Marcel bore the collapse of his world in silence, crushed by the knowledge that bio-arithmetically he could not compete..

The tune celebrates the wedding. But it also pays tribute to her hopeless admirer's dignity in defeat.

Of course this isn't exactly what happened. But to hear the whole truth you'll have to ask Emma. In fact, I'll have to ask her myself
















































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I liked the soap-opera about poor Marcel from the start. And the tune too. All of which makes me think that with Alan you have to be on your guard 24/7. You never know where the next bullet might come from....

We first aired this waltz as part of the Egunsentiaren kantak concert tour by Souletin singer Pier-Paul Berzaitz. And the instrumentation on this tour led us to try an album arrangement with a piano and double bass, instruments hitherto not often used by Alboka.

I recall the glorious Thursday sessions with Alan and The Porter Sharks in the historic and lamented Auld Dubliner bar in Donostia-San Sebastian during the 1990’s. (At Galway University in the old days a porter shark was someone who hung around in bars trying to cadge free stout.)

Whenever I came in the door of the pub, like Clint Eastwood in Unforgiven, they all rushed to lock the piano. But they never got there quickly enough. So they found a better solution: they called me Elton and let me accompany Margaret in her moment of glory, I mean on the sentimental ballad of the night, or on ‘The Wild Rover’ (No, Nay, Never). The rest of the group took advantage of the time to refill their glasses and make flattering but unconvincing comments...

So it was that my love of the piano came into being. My eight-finger technique is worthy of study...



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