Hand to hand, toe to toe, the trikitixa's boss in our dance
February 8, 2019 6:56 AM   Subscribe

Huntza is a triki-pop band from the province of Gipuzkoa (Guipúzcoa) in Spanish Basque Country. This music has it's roots in Basque folk music traditionally performed by a pair of singers accompanying themselves on the diatonic button accordion (trikitixa) and tambourine (pandero). Triki-pop ensembles add guitar, bass and drums to the traditional duo, and often other instruments. (The band's name means "Ivy", thus the logo.) Videos below the fold, and bit more about where this music comes from.

Elurretan ("In the snow")

Iñundik iñoare (“Without them, there's no way”)
The title of this post comes from this song.

Aldapan gora (“Going uphill”)
This song was a hit for Huntza, breaking language and genre boundaries. The official music video (this one) got a record number of views for a Basque-language video on YouTube and good bit of attention in Spanish-language media.
Alaitz & Maider (A triki-pop duo popular in the 90s.)
Ispilu aurean (“In the mirror')
Itsaso & Irune, the Elizagoien sisters
Going back to the genre's folk roots, a traditional duo playing set of folk songs at a trikitilari gazteen txapelketa (young accordion players' competition).
Interview with Josune Arakistain, accordionist and lead vocalist for Huntza, by Gaizka Peñafiel and Asier Olazar. (In Basque with Spanish subtitles.)

More? The website Infernuko Hauspoa (The Bellows of Hell) has a bunch of news and other stuff about this genre. (In Basque, but bideoak means videos.) If you're poking around on YouTube, Esne Beltza (“Black Milk”) is a popular triki-pop band with male leads and a horn section that I didn't include in this sampler. The 4½ minute mini-documentary 25 urte Maurizia gabe, “25 years without Maurizia”, from Infernuko Hauspoa, is also well worth listening to.
posted by nangar (5 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Translations of some of the songs:


In the snow the singers are stirring,
the ladybugs and crickets.
They've been painting
the walls of the mountains.

In the snow the singers are stirring,
the ladybugs and crickets.
They've been painting
the walls of our hearts.

Dreams of flying, and birds singing,
hard feathers, rocks the fragile ones.
Life's joy cloaks winters in leaves*
though they seem bare to us.

In the clouds, in the clouds, in the clouds, in the southerlies...**
In the peaks, surrounded by feathery clouds, in the peaks!
In the clouds, in the clouds, in the clouds, in the southerlies…

* Bizipoza means “life joy”, but more frequently “live bait” and, metaphorically, “deception” or “trickery”. So the idea here is that life-joy of summer covers the ground in leaves in the fall, but underneath the seeds of life, and insect larva are waiting to surprise us again. (A clever bit of song writing, and for once I got it, instead of being totally baffled.)

** The Basque words for “wing” and “south” are identical, probably a coincidental homonym, but “southerlies” connects to references to wings, feathers and flying earlier. (And dreams of flying are called “winger dreams”, amets hegalariak.)

Iñundik iñoare (partial translation)

Glances full of meaning,
hand to hand and foot to foot,
the trikitxa's boss in our dance,
without them, there's no way!

Aldapan gora

Climbing a mountain, I often lose my head.
In village streets, I'm totally lost.
Who said culture, earth, fire and water were separate things?
The bond that connects people, isn't that nature, too?

Going uphill, step by step,
Going downhill, neighborhood by neighborhood,
chestnut and beech trees,
an important sculpture.
Streets or mountains,
what gets us lost the most?

We've gotten lost again. That's that.*
We can't understand the map we have in front of us.
We're real Basques, but lost like sheep.

Going uphill…

* An expression that usually means “it is what it is”, but used in a context where it can also be interpreted as if you're trying to figure out if that is actually that thing on a map.

Ispilu aurrean

In the reflection in front of the mirror,
I'm always what I want,
but in front of you
I lose myself.
You're the one you are, the one you, the one you are…

I try to find
my reflection in you,
and then I'm someone else.
You're the one you are, the one you, the one you are…

I try to find within myself
the one I used to be,
but I get lost
in who I am.

In unspoken secrets,
she's herself.
She's herself, the biggest secret.
She's herself, what she wants.
She's herself, what she wants to be.
She's herself…*

* Norbera da can mean “he's himself” as well as “she's herself”. Basque pronouns don't distinguish gender.

I'm just trying to learn the language so these translations should be taken with a grain of salt. I've only attempted this with songs where I had Spanish translations to work from. I had a particularly hard time with Alaitz & Maider's song "Ispilu aurrean".
posted by nangar at 7:21 AM on February 8, 2019 [4 favorites]

Thank you, this is fascinating! Both the music and the language.
posted by hat_eater at 9:02 AM on February 8, 2019

I love this music! Thank you for posting - I would have never seen it otherwise.
posted by needlegrrl at 9:25 AM on February 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

This is most excellent, thank you very much.
posted by JanetLand at 1:56 PM on February 8, 2019

BRB, got to show this to a Basque friend!
posted by BlueHorse at 8:02 PM on February 8, 2019

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