Ángaro (Compañia Pieles)

40 anniversary FIMC

The company Pieles presents the new version of its acclaimed show ‘Ángaro’, which fuses tradition and avant-garde through melody, singing and percussion.

‘Ángaro’ speaks of the feeling of belonging as a common bond between all peoples. With this work, Pieles proposes a twinning between the five continents through popular music, since from the ethnographic point of view they reflect each cultural legacy. Musical folklore has the ability to travel in both time and space, so it contains common knowledge and spreads it around the world. It’s only a matter of time before we end up soaking it all in.

This interdisciplinary artistic project brings together sound and words. The sound and timbral sequence is developed taking into account the intact and ancestral musical germ that later became a global folklore. In this way, a bridge is built to the original rhythm with the intention of recognising the artistic-cultural content of the Canary Islands and the rest of the world, and its evolution to the present day. ‘Ángaro’ was born from a feeling of global belonging, which is why it is interested in the universal cultural heritage and promotes the rapprochement between different cultures. To do this, songs, rhythms, words, dances, images and popular knowledge are intertwined through old and new creative tools.

‍Fernando Alonso | Flutes – whistles

Jose Felix Alvarez | Voice – percussions

Laura Alvarez | Voice – percussions

Fede Beuster | percussions

Carlos Castañeda | percussions

Itahisa Darias | violin – whistle

Ventor de la Guardia | percussions

Jeremiah Martin | Piano – accordion

Guillermo Molina | Percussions – whistles – whistle

Juan Antonio Mora | double bass – bass

Fatima Rodriguez | Voice – percussions

Jonathan Rodriguez | Percussions

There was so much to admire in this presentation. The fanatic spotlighting on the percussionists at the back of the stage, redolent of McCartney and his muckas being caught in the spotlights of the police when they were a Band On The Run, or so that album cover would have had us believe. There was the stick percussion, seeming to me to be of the Brazilian fashion, that Paul Simon employed for his recording of The Rhythm Of The Saints as his follow up to Gracelands. There were the gently haunting sounds of the three female vocalists and soaring, scaring, and soothing sounds of the violins.

All this seemed to transport us to another world, to a time before time began, and yet it took us nowhere at all, for here we were, at the very end of a lava trail. It somehow felt as if we, the audience, and these performers were the first to emerge out into the world from these underground caves. The music carried an element of uncertainty, even an element of danger in the way it was performed and was yet full of hope.

Despite its intensity of volume and rhythm the music was energising, galvanising… and irresistible. The whole show told of learning to utilise, and clearly proclaimed that working in harmony enables and allows us to acquire our own individual skill sets. 

The programme celebrated the joy of creating the new to meet a need. The joy of creativity and that moment when we realise we somehow create something new.

And it delivered on the brave claims made in the programme note and editorialised in paragraphs two and three of this piece.

It is even tempting to believe that when Paul Simon wrote the following hook for his song Under African Skies, more than thirty years ago now, he might have been envisioning a sound like Ángaro. All fanciful nonsense of course, but nevertheless as we left the theatre after 75 minutes of this wonderful world of literally underground music, I found myself humming the tune to these words by Paul Simon.

This is the story of how we begin to remember
This is the powerful pulsing of love in the vein
After the dream of falling and calling your name out
These are the roots of rhythm and the roots of rhythm remain

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