14. October 2005

Klangraum Krems Minoritenkirche

Ttukunak Txalaparta

Maika & Sara Gómez

Back in Roman times in scarcely populated mountain areas of the Basque region, txalaparta were used as a means of communication over long distances. Pounding on tree trunks or rocks generated rhythms which transferred messages about the state of siege, later to announce celebrations, death cases or invitations for sidra (cider) drinking events, the sidra earlier having been produced with the help of the boards. Over time the rhythms and pounding techniques were refined and noise turned to music. Txalaparta are boards of cherry, chestnut or alder wood, 2 metres in length, 20 cm wide and 2 to 7 cm thick, at their ends supported by rough wooden racks or baskets filled with grains. Two players—the txalapartaris or jotzaileak—face each other, a 50 cm-long and 4 cm-thick plank of wood (makilak) in each of their hands which they stomp onto the boards in various rhythmical patterns.

Ttukunak, the twin sisters Maika and Sara Gómez, are among the best txalapartaris. They try to revive the old Basque roots and enrich the original rhythm with innovative variations and improvisations.

After their concert, Ttukunak is going to hold a session together with Perre Favre’s “The Drummers”, demonstrating their mutual musical sympathy, poetic energy, and their joy of play as well as of the hide-and-seek of rhythms and timbres.


© Iosu Onandia

© Iosu Onandia