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11 - Gaiañhera, abilua
- 2´34
('Night-Bird, Fly' )

(Music & Words: Traditional)
(Arrangement, harmonisation & production: Joxan Goikoetxea)

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

Recording engineer: Mikel F.Krutzaga
Recorded at Garate Studio (Andoain, Gipuzkoa) on 18 June, 2017.

Mixing and Digital Mastering:
Mikel F. Krutzaga at Musikart Studio (Amezketa, Gipuzkoa).

Xabi San Sebastian: vocals
Mikel Estomba: vocals
Landarbaso Choir
Iñaki Tolaretxipi

This song is Souletin, but seems to have fallen out of the traditional repertoire there nowadays. It was collected by Donostia in Buenos Aires from a Souletin emigrant called Pedro Gorrittepe, who had learnt it from his mother. It's Nº 481 of Donostia's Cancionero vasco. The 'night-bird' of the song is the bat.

Originally I wanted to do an instrumental version of this and two related melodies, Sallaberry's 'Alageraz', (Chants populaires du Pays Basque, 1871, pp. 109-111) and Sagaseta's 'Gau-aiñerak', (Luzaideko dantzak, 2011, Nº 36).

In fact, Juanjo Otxandorena and I used to do an instrumental version of 'Alageraz'. But Joxan convinced me that 'Gaiañhera' would make an interesting project for Xabi and a men's choir and here it is.







Gaiañhera, abilua etxerat,
Ütz nezak lotara,
Gaiaren igaraitera.
Hire plazer handia
Nere iratzartzia
Gaiaren minian,
gaiaren minian.

Nik eztit alageraz khantatzen,
Ez minik sendotzen,
Bena komünikatzen.
Lagünak estünatzen
Nulaz düdan khantatzen
Alagera gabe,
alagera gabe.

(English version)

Night-bird, fly home
And let me sleep
The whole night through.
Your greatest joy
Is but to wake me
At deepest midnight,
At deepest midnight.

I take no joy in singing,
It cannot heal my pain,
But rather gives it voice.
And so my friends they marvel
At how I can still sing,
All joylessly,
All joylessly.

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I've shown my fondness for the old songs from Navarre and Soule on many occasions by arranging classics like 'Belatsarena', 'Basoilarrak' and 'Bortüan Ahuzki', which represent the purest essence of our tradition. In Alboka too we've recorded a number of them: 'Oihaneko zuhainetan', 'Ez da munduan' and 'Plañitzen niz'.

When Alan suggested this song I thought at once what a pleasure it must be for any singer to perform this beautiful lament.

Pier Paul Berzaitz told me that he'd used the tune in a Pastoral he'd composed but that he couldn't remember ever hearing it sung with its original words.

I also fancied harmonising a Basque traditional song in the style of the men's choirs from Corsica or Georgia. And my friendship with the ever-eager Landarbaso Choir from Renteria and their wonderful voices gave me the chance to try it out with this suggestive song.

Our thanks to Iñaki Tolaretxipi for his inestimable friendship all praise to this indefatigable choir for their energy and effort.


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