- Artist: Almoraima
- Release Date: 2013
- Genre: World Music
- Produced By: Anima Mundi edizioni (AM 28)
National distribution: Goodfellas
Digital distribution: The Orchard
Banjara is the second album of Almoraima, multiethnic ensemble from Salento (south of Italy), also this published by the italian label AnimaMundi, already leader for pizzica and folk music from Salento. Then the successful Amor gitano with which the ensemble led by the guitarist from Salento Massi Almoraima began in 2010, and came to reprint within a year.
With a marked propensity to mix multiple cultures Banjara moves between flamenco, Arabic music and Middle Eastern sound inflections thanks to balanced arrangements, in which the cohesive rhythm section of drums, guitar and bass builds full-bodied groove on which the voices, the fascinating viola and the guitar draw expressive and valuable lyricism. The virility of flamenco songs such as “Tangos de Pepico”, “Jaleos” and “Rumba Catalan” crosses a expressiveness that is so full of Arabic inspiration such as in “Banjara”, “Bolero di Titì”, “La pastora”, “Rumba pà”.
Their participation to the major world music festivals (International Folkest, Nomad dance fest, Festival of the East) and the recent tour in Rajasthan have defined the maturity of this new work and the opening of its landscape and sound to the Middle East and Northern India. The disc consists of one half of original compositions and the other half of Andalusian traditional songs, both Sephardi and Catalan.
Banjara is the personal ode to the Almoraima’s duende: «this mysterious power that everyone feels and no philosophy explains […] a power and not a way of doing, a struggle and not a thought […], not is a matter of ability, but of living style, of a very old culture, creating in place […], it is not in the throat, salt inside starting with the soles of the feet». (Federico Garcia Lorca)
«A journey full of sounds and nomadic traditions, energy and spirituality, rituals, gestures and rhythms that evoke distant worlds. Paths of the East tracked through the footprints left in the sand by a gypsy caravan, which from the desert of Thar crosses the Mediterranean arriving in Andalucia, blending elements of two worlds and musical traditions: Eastern Arabic and Andalusian gypsy flamenco largely arranged in a modal way, using palos such as bulerias, soleà, the tangos, the bolero, the fandangos and the gypsy rumb».