Humus Mediterrani, an alternative programme category of Fira Mediterrànea, to host open-air dancing in Plaça Europa

Now in its fifth year, the concert series continues to enrich Fira Mediterrània's programme with seven, intimate and traditional folk performances

Now in its fifth year, the concert series continues to enrich Fira Mediterrània's programme with seven, intimate and traditional folk performances

This year, for the first time ever, the Humus line-up includes an Occitan group, the all-female polyphonic trio Cocanha

Humus Mediterrani is an alternative 'Off' category of Fira Mediterrània Manresa, which consists of personal folk performances. An initiative of D'Arrel, the programme features seven concerts on Friday 6 and Saturday 7 October. As a new development in the Humus programme this year, concerts geared towards dancing are to be hosted in Plaça Europa on Friday. The plaza will become a public concert venue, for the first time, to offer increased space for dancing. The other four concerts, scheduled for Saturday, will take place at the same venue as last year, in the Omnium Cultural premises that are part of Espai Òmnium in Manresa (28 Sobrerroca Street, Manresa).

Another programme highlight of the Humus line-up is a performance by an Occitan group for the first time, Cocahna. The group is composed of three female singers who perform a repertoire of polyphonic vocals. The initiative is part of Focus Occitània, an assortment of activities at Fira that champions a region that has many cultural connections with Catalonia. The Cocanha trio will also perform as part of Fira's official line-up, outside Humus, which reflects the extent to which the main Fira programme and the Humus Mediteranni programme resonate with a similar outlook. The group will perform alongside the Terres de l'Ebro-based dancer and choreographer Roberto Olivan and the Belgian electronic music producer Laurent Laforge. One of the most trend-breaking projects of this year's Fira, it is the outcome of a creation lab that fuses movement, electronic music, and traditional polyphony.  

Humus Mediterrani is an initiative that complements Fira’s official programme with a selection of emerging bands from the Catalan folk scene. The Humus Mediterrani line-up aims to publicise artists or bands that have conserved or created traditional music and song, as well as amateur groups who perform folk music around the country and students of traditional Catalan music schools.

The organisers of Humus Mediterrani underline the high calibre of the performances presented and selected, and the diversity of styles, instruments and registers. Over the last five years, Humus Mediterrani has hosted some 40 concerts by different artists, and, since 2012, D'Arrel has consolidated Humus Mediterrani as an established programme of traditional folk in Manresa.

Humus Mediterrani concerts 2017:

Friday 6 October, 21.00 Plaça Europa.

TERRA DE SONS champions the culture of different corners of the world through their music and dancing. The group has compiled dance pieces from around the Mediterranean (mazurkas, fandangos, waltzes, chapelloise, borrés, sardanas, hasapikos, kalamatianos, and more). They perform them as part of their extensive dance repertoire, which also includes songs they have written. Together with traditional instruments used to play this type of music (diatonic accordion, recorder, guitar), the band uses eastern Mediterranean instruments, such as the Turkish kanun and percussion instruments like the daf and the darbouka. All these instruments are combined in their concert, an authentic melting pot of stimulating sounds and styles to listen to and dance to.

Friday 6 October, 22.30 Plaza Europa.

COCANHA. Three voices, three characters, percussion, traditional Occitan singing, and ... hey presto! With Tolsona as their meeting hub and Occitan as their vocal playground, the filhas of Cocanha play a repertoire of traditional Pyrenean, Gascon and Languedoc songs. A natural, generous and heart-felt sound, the Occitan ‘girl band’ bring their music that inspires people to dance — or, an equally apt description, their dance music that inspires people to listen — to Manresa, which is at once sophisticated, humorous and full of character.

Friday 6 October, 24.00 midnight Plaza Europa.

DUETU. Traditional Catalan music and songs written by the artists come into their own with Duetu. Combining harmony and counterpoint, they call upon a rich musical repertoire of traditional Catalan and European music. On stage, they create an exciting atmosphere to tempt audiences into a world of bygone sound. Duetu is formed by Coloma Bertran on violin and Marc del Pino on accordion.

Saturday 7 October, 18.00 Espai Omnium.

FERRAN SAVALL AND MERITXELL NEDDERMAN. Ferran Savall is a self-taught musician of great artistic sensitivity with worldwide renown. Born into a musical family —Jordi Savall and Montserrat Figueras, his parents — he was exposed to diverse musical traditions, reflected in his own music. Savall is intent on creating a signature sound and natural style. He takes to the stage alongside the pianist Meritxell Neddermann, who trained in the US. Together they offer a music programme of personal arrangements and self-composed pieces, primarily from the Mediterranean. The show fuses emotion and improvisation with a personal and creative ambience.

Saturday 7 October, 20.00 Espai Omnium.

A LAIRE. A l'aire give an interpretation of traditional folk music with their own particular instrumentation: vocals and a saxophone quartet. The project consists of a special and contemporary performance of music from their repertoire, featuring new sounds and tones. As well as saxophonists, the group consists of classical and jazz musicians that fuse chamber music with jazz improvisation, and the characteristic sounds of both these worlds in their quest for a signature sound. Vocals play an instrumental role within the music mix in a showcase of tonal versatility.

Saturday 7 October, 22.00 Espai Omnium.

DAINA goes a step further in their exploration of the sounds and styles of Mediterranean music.  The unusual mix of the Turkish kanun, hurdy-gurdy, voice, and acoustic and electronic percussion creates an original and different sound. The group plays traditional and contemporary music from around the Mediterranean, particularly from the Balkans and Turkey, as well as music they have composed. Their style is a folk, world music and singer-songwriter fusion. Their multi-linguistic music initiative gives Catalan a starring role and reflects Catalan culture as a cornerstone of and breeding ground for new musical trends.

Saturday 7 October, 23.30 Espai Omnium.

MICU. One of the best Barcelona rumba musicians, Micu, presents Dens, which reflects his journey to find a signature sound, the beginning of which we sampled in his last album, Bandaband.  Accompanied by percussion, bass and two musicians from the well-known band Se atormenta una vecina, he has created a fresh fusion, full of character, in a faithful reflection of his live performance style. The album title is a wordplay, as the music inspires dancing without compromising the quality of its arrangement and lyrics, as is customary of this artist.

All the concerts are free. They are organised by D'Arrel, the folk music booking agents of Favets i Tremedos S.L.

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David Ibáñez, artistic director of Fira Mediterrània; Ignasi Perramon, from D'Arrel, and Marc del Pino and Coloma Bertran, from Duetu.