La Bojiganga is a band that performs traditional music from the Iberian Peninsula (Spain & Portugal), and they do it in their own way combining instruments such as: zanfona (hurdy-gurdy), three holed flute & tabor from the Salamanca province, Galician gaita, strings drum psaltery from the Pyrenees, accordion, traverse flute, sax, frame drums, friction drums,…. La Bojiganga enjoys a lot looking back into the old traditions and the almost-forgotten ways of life. But the other aspect that they like is the theatrical reconstruction of scenes from the past, and the building of half fictional stories around those pictures.
The members of La Bojiganga develop their musical activity in the center of Spain, in an area that goes from Madrid downtown up to the northern areas in the mountains and forests that separate Madrid’s province from the neighbor ones of Segovia and Guadalajara. We are talking about places such as: La Cabrera, valle del rio Lozoya, Alameda y Oteruelo del Valle, Puebla de la Sierra, Rascafría, Madarcos, Robregordo, Navalafuente, Prádena del Rincón, La Hiruela, San Pedro de Gaillos, Retiendas, ….
El Viaje Entretenido - The Entertaining Trip
In 2013, La Bojiganga started the recording of their first CD named “El Viaje Entretenido” (‘The Entertaining Trip’). Such title refers to the literary work with that same name, which was written in the 17th century by the Spanish author Agustín de Rojas Villandrando.
The book from Agustín de Rojas develops a fascinating story combining fantasy and adventure, and in one of its chapters it goes into the description of the different categories of travelling theatre companies that existed back in 17th century Spain. One of those categories was the one known as ‘bojiganga’.
The CD ‘El Viaje Entretenido’ from this 21st century folk music band named ‘La Bojiganga’ will be (hopefully) published in 2014. The CD cover displays an improbable meeting of historical characters, each of them possibly having a peculiar story in their life, just as peculiar as the songs contained in the CD. The music of La Bojiganga embraces traditional rhythms such as: songs for gaita charra y tamboril (pipe & tabor) from the province of Salamanca, polkas, pasodobles, jotas, Galician jigs (muiñeiras), traditional tunes from Zamora, León, Portugal, Asturias, medieval and Sephardic songs,…
La Bojiganga also likes to research & even recreate historical events, instruments, tools or scenes, which keep certain relationship with the traditional music that they perform. That is the reason why La Bojiganga has other pictures where they set up theatrical groups of people (for example, family photos), that could illustrate stories (half true & half fictional), about the sort of socio-political circumstances that later developed certain historical events such as the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), and the four decades of General Franco’s dictatorship that came afterwards.
Besides their creative (although complex to describe) exercise on traditions, history, and photography, the musical project of La Bojiganga is performed by:
Estrella : voice, frames drums, snare drum, percussions
Sonia : chromatic accordion, percussions
Cristina : voice, frame drums, percussions
Ismael : voice, pipe & tabor from Salamanca, psaltery from the Pyrenees mountains, percussions
Miguel : hurdy-gurdy, Galician gaita bagpipes, frame drums
Alfredo : Traverse flute, sax, frame drums
Pio : Galician gaita bagpipes, percussions
Photo Credits: (1)-(2) La Bojiganga (unknown/website).