Xabier Díaz (A Coruña, 1969) is one of the most recognised Galician folk musician nowadays. His music is based on recreating and recomposing traditional songs, derived from his visits to villages and hamlets around Galicia. Since the 80’s he has been an academic researcher who has lived with communities and interviewed older Galician residents, discovering forgotten songs from Galician cultural heritage. He has carefully documented these obscure lyrics, melodies and dances for posterity and he uses the material in conjuction with Mediterranean, North African and pop elements to create new compositions.
“As Catedrais Silenciadas” (Músicas de Salitre, 2020), released on 13th March, is his latest album. This album is a complex project, that goes beyond music. It talks about the part of Galicia, mostly its interior, that was abandoned and all the tangible and intangible heritage that was left behind. As Catedrais Silenciadas, is obtaining a widespread recognition among critics and audiences, and it is a sales success. The prestigious magazine Songlines has chosen this album as part of the Top of the World on its september’s issue and for three months in a row the album was in the top ten of the World Music Charts Europe.
As in his previous albums, Xabier Díaz is accompanied by As Adufeiras de Salitre, a group of women that are in charge of percussion and voices. Iván Costa’s skills with zanfona (hurdy-gurdy) and the mastery of Roberto Grandal with the accordion are also remarkable. In this album, the galician folk music that Díaz rediscovered for years in small villages in Galicia is combined with instruments of ethnic music and modal harmony. In short, like in his previous works, Díaz updates old forms of traditional galician music. Altogether, 10 songs that bring fresh new air to the tunes he collected in different parts of Galicia.