LIFEM | 13-16 November 2024 — Subscribe for more news


Saturday 12th November 2022, 6.00pm

St. Michael & All Angels, Pond Road, Blackheath SE3 9JL

This concert is kindly sponsored by Spain Arts & Culture and The Embassy of Spain

Taracea is the Spanish word for marquetry, the art of wooden inlay, whose intertwined, intricate patterns are pure music, the perfect combination of form and freedom. It also gives name to a Madrid-based Early Music group formed in 2017 by vihuelist, guitarist and composer Rainer Seiferth, recorder and traverso specialist Belén Nieto and double bass and violone player Miguel Rodrigáñez. In Seiferth's imaginative arrangements, they combine early tradition and contemporary sounds borrowed from Jazz and Mediterranean Music, together with a good amount of improvisation. Their first album "Akoé - Nuevas Músicas Antiguas", featuring French serpent player Michel Godard, young Spanish traditional singer Isabel Martín and percussionist David Mayoral, was published 2020 by Alpha Classics and received very good reviews from the European press:

"...for anyone interested in an innovative approach to early music, Akoé will surprise and delight." Kate Bolton-Porciatti, BBC Classical Music magazine

"...extremely contagious – in a good way. Listeners will not need to be told to stay alert." Richard Hanlon, Musicweb International

On their recent second album "Desvíos a Santiago" (Detours to Santiago), Taracea focuses on medieval, renaissance and traditional pilgrim songs from Spain and France, in a quintet format including Isabel Martín and David Mayoral.

The group played at some of the most important Spanish Early Music festivals such as FEMAG Gijón, Semana de Música Antigua de Logroño, Festival en el Camino de Santiago and Semana de Música Antigua de Álava.

At LIFEM they will play their UK debut, presenting pieces from their two albums.

Programme - Saturday 12th November 2022, 6.00pm

Taracea - Desvíos a Santiago (Detours to Santiago)
“Desvíos a Santiago” is a musical pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, inspired by Cees Nooteboom’s book «Roads to Santiago», where he writes: The word “road” in my case will never mean anything other than a detour, the eternal labyrinth made by the traveller that allows himself to be lured by a side road and then by the side road of that side road, by the mystery of the unknown place name on a road sign.
This interest in veering off the beaten track and losing oneself in promising horizons is also the driving force of our work. Applying these ideas in music means turning off the motorway of orthodox performance and accepting that our instincts will sometimes take us to idyllic and surprising places, sometimes to the middle of nowhere. These detours also allow us to bring out our playfulness, mixing styles and genres and to embrace the influences and experiences within us. The spirit of the traveller is the link between our work and Nooteboom’s and was the original inspiration that has accompanied us on our creative journey.

Most of the songs of this programme were and are still sung today on the multiple pilgrim tracks that lead from all over Europe to the mythical cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. We chose pieces ranging from 13th to 20th century, with medieval Spanish Cantigas (Martín Codax, Alfonso X the Wise, Llibre Vermell de Montserrat), Renaissance and Early Baroque tunes from Juan del Encina and Étienne Moulinié, and melodies from the last century by Galician and Basque composers.
Just like tales of the oral tradition, these tunes with its easy yet stunningly beautiful melodies were frequently transmitted by ear and by heart with lots of variations. Just like our travelling and singing ancestors, we played with the material and developed our own versions that - like Taracea itself – are a mixture of influences from quite diverse musical spheres.

Between these pilgrim songs we have interwoven a view of the instrumental pieces from our first album “Akoé”, like Dowland´s “Come again”, Isaac´s “Innsbruck, ich muss Dich lassen” or the traditional “Cuchilleros” from 18th century Madrid.
Quand nous partimes de France
Juan del Encina
Romerico, tú que vienes
Llibre Vermell de Montserrat
Polorum Regina
Adrien Le Roy
Martín Codax
Mia irmana fremosa
John Dowland
Come Again, Sweet Love Doth Now Invite
Étienne Moulinié
Repicavan las campanillas
Juan del Encina
¡Ay triste que vengo!
Alfonso X The Wise
Cantiga 181 - Pero que seja a gente
Heinrich Isaac
Innsbruck, ich muss dich lassen
Faustino Santalices
Romance de Don Gaiferos
Vincenzo Capirola
Balletto da ballare
J.B. Elissamburu / Padre Donostia


Isabel Martín, voice and percussion

Belén Nieto, recorders, traverso and voice

Rainer Seiferth, vihuela, voice, arrangements

Miguel Rodrigáñez, double bass, violone

David Mayoral, percussion


Approx. finish time 8.00pm.