I was totally bowled over by Ángaro, a musical performance currently showing on Sunday lunchtimes at the iconic Jameos del Agua Auditorium.
Performed by Pieles, an 11-strong musical group inspired by traditional Canarian music, the show has now entered its second season due to popular demand. And now I understand why!
Jameos del Agua provides a fantastic backdrop for this show. Whilst the midday sun shines brightly outside, you are in total darkness inside the auditorium that is this volcanic tunnel. Superb lighting techniques create a dramatic, though intimate setting. The cave’s natural acoustics
perfectly enhance each and every note
The performance is based on the grass roots of Canarian music, from indigenous times to the present day. Pure sounds made by shells, wood, ceramic and stone are complemented with the smooth harmony of the two females voices, along with silbo (whistling) still used until this day by the people of La Gomera.
A blast of international influences suddenly awakens you from the past, weaving in and out of latin, jazz, Arabic, flamenco, samba and back to present day Canarian folk music. Influences brought about by immigration to Canarian shores, as well as the music brought home by those who were forced to leave during harsh times. The history of the Canary Islands is inextricably linked with the history of the world.
The lyrics tell of how ancient Canarians lived, working hard to survive off the land, the sea and their small herds; of their inseparable bond with nature: the smell of the sea, the sand and the earth, and the heat of the sun; of the tough times when many were forced to leave, due to poverty or volcanic eruptions, and how they yearned to return to their homeland. Above all, their deep-rooted community spirit shines through in their music, folkloric dancing and incredible voices.
An amazing range of instruments contribute to this kaleidoscope of world music: keyboard, bass, French horn, electric guitar, xylophone, violin, accordion, flutes, berimbau, to name a few. But it was the percussion that really made my hair stand on end: such a variety of instruments that I couldn’t name them all, from drums of all shapes and sizes, tambourines, cajons, bongos, tars, bones, shakers, maracas and castanets.
The passion of the musicians was contagious, they were really enjoying performing for us, and it showed. After about an hour their show came to an end, but the standing ovation they received brought them back on for more. It seemed that everyone around me felt the same way as I did, speechless and moved by such a fantastic performance!
You can see Ángaro at 12:30 on most Sundays throughout April, May, June and July, but do check here for exact dates and to buy tickets. It’s one not to be missed if you’re in Lanzarote!
I would like to know more about this amazing musical performance.