It was one Friday morning that the combination of unexpected situations led me to the discovery of one artist. Actually, it happened in less than 5 minutes, between doing the laundry and other chores while my son came from school just to pick up something. What was also completely out of order is that he put the TV on to kill the time, a thing he rarely does. Without zapping, the first thing that was on the screen was a movie in some Scandinavian language. Well, I decided to make him company and that is how I watched the last scenes of that movie.
It was a short film (I could not find the name of it later on the TV programme) about an old man with dementia. All I saw were a few scenes, he getting lost in the forest (or a park in a city, as there were cars passing on the nearby road) and holding a little child in his hand. Both were scared, until two people arrived, his grandchildren.
There was a scene with a discussion, to put the old man into a nursing home as his condition was very difficult to handle. The poor old man had some flashbacks, recalling some situation while he was still at his home and trying to remember some words... The day when his grandchildren and the little great-grandson (the child he was holding in some of the previous scenes) arrived at his room, he suddenly got up, went to the window and remembered:
My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!
The Child is father of the Man;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.
While the protagonist of the movie was watching through the window the flight of a bird and reciting the words of this poem, there was a nostalgic tune as background music, played on the accordion. The film finished, but I was lucky to see the name of the accordionist that appeared in the end: Lies Hendrix.
I immediately searched for her name and found several videos of her on YouTube. Those were some performances at Ethno gatherings, recordings from her home and from some gigs and concerts. It was nice, but when I really got interested is when I saw her collaboration with an artist from the same province where I live. A guitarist from these lands, Joan.
Joan Peiró Aznar - guitar (Spain- Valencian Community) and Lies Hendrix - accordion (Belgium) jumped together to create a dialogue between them through the duet they formed - Aigua.
I don't really know how to explain their style, but I really like the modest and sincere sound that they offer. Her accordion is singing upon his excellent guitar playing and we hear the mixture of traditional folklore music from Valencia, probably from Belgium too and some more intimate sounds.
Their latest project, Nonino was indeed born here, in these lands where the guitarist Joan was born and raised. Lies came to live here too, in 2020. The album is a combination of his songs, songs by Lies, and songs that were created in joint efforts. Mainly just instrumental music, but in some of the songs, Joan is singing. Like in this one:
The language is Valencian, which is the official language here, aside from Spanish. It is very similar to Catalan. The intimate sound is still here, but in some parts of the songs, the music is very lively and folkloric. Some of them have a jazzy sound, with improvisational parts and highly marked rhythmical features.
I was pleasantly surprised with this discovery, so I am bringing it here, to our Q-inspired corner. The fact that these two artists live so close to me is also exciting... What if I meet them one day in real life, also unexpectedly? It is not impossible, in the end, life always brings surprises to us.
For those who prefer to listen to this album Noninó on Spotify, it can be done by clicking here.