Catalan folk duo Tarta Relena make their New York premiere at National Sawdust, performing work from the award-winning 2019 album Ora Pro Nobis. Started in 2016 as an acapella project between Helena Ros and Marta Torrella, Tarta Relena’s electronic-accented folk reimagines the traditional music of the Mediterranean as a growing form unbound by precedent. Presented in partnership with World Music Institute.
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Presented in partnership with World Music Institute.
Catalan folk duo Tarta Relena make their New York premiere at National Sawdust, performing work from the award-winning 2019 album Ora Pro Nobis. Started in 2016 as an acapella project between Helena Ros and Marta Torrella, Tarta Relena’s electronic-accented folk reimagines the traditional music of the Mediterranean as a growing form unbound by precedent. Together Ros and Torrella trace vocal styles across time and borders, revealing the universal nature of pain and joy and unearthing the ties that exist between different cultures. Join National Sawdust, World Music Institute, and Tarta Relena for an evening celebrating the timelessness of folk and its ability to resonate with us for centuries to come.
Tarta Relena was born in 2016 as a project of two singers to explore a cappella the sonorities of different styles of vocal music. Far from wanting to create a stamp of the traditional and to define the Mediterranean, Tarta Relena wants to make its own a repertoire that goes from music of oral tradition to songs of author that in one way or another are related to the geographical area of the Mediterranean.
Tarta Relena sings from the perspective that what we call folklore is a living and moving repertoire. Therefore, this reality is mouldable and can be reinterpreted with the instruments and sonorities that we now have within our reach. A key tool is the electronics with which they re-signify the melodies without leaving aside their origins. The study and knowledge of the path and the contexts that have given rise to these musics opens the doors of experimentation towards new meanings. In Tarta Relena's work there is also a desire to play at blurring the concept of authorship, bringing together anonymous traditional melodies and newly created songs under the same umbrella, treating them in the same way and placing oral transmission, the central element of tradition, at the centre.
One of the strong points of the project is the complexity in simplicity and the maximum expression with the minimum of elements. The repertoire work brings together the resources of different vocal techniques (flamenco, lyrical, traditional, jazz...), allowing a vast exploration of the possibilities of the voice.
In January 2019 Tarta Relena released her first album entitled Ora Pro Nobis (The Indian Runners, 2019), winner of the Enderrock Critics' Prize for the best folk album of 2019, which consists of eight a cappella songs with a subtle presence of electronics. In April 2020, during their confinement, they released their second work, Intercede Pro Nobis (The Indian Runners, 2020), recognised by Rockdelux as the best national EP of 2020, which emphasises the importance of the dialogue between voice and electronics.
Fiat Lux is the first full-length album and is an exploration of the concept of cyclicality through memory, nostalgia and the evocation of feelings.
The love poems written by Sappho of Lesbos or traditional Sephardic songs deal with the same emotional problems we face as individuals in 2021. Whether in archaic Greece, in medieval times or in the midst of a global pandemic, the self goes through the same processes of joy and pain, closes them and begins again, unable to avoid the course of things. Each poetic "I" illuminates itself in the midst of all the others to say what it has to say.
Through the stories of powerful and time-transcendent characters, such as the Vingen Mary, Hildegard of Bingen or the Paixtu tribe of women in Afghanistan, the timelessness and transcendence of these voices and their discourses are explored, revisited and sung from today's perspective.
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