RIP - Narf (Fran Pérez) 1968 - 2016

Narf at WOMEX 16, by L. Soto


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It was with great sadness that we heard of the death of Fran Pérez, better known as Narf, earlier this week (15 November 2016). He died aged 48, after a serious illness. Narf was well known to WOMEX and WOMEXicans as a pioneer of Galician roots music, and we had the honour of welcoming him to our stages on two separate occasions: in Sevilla in 2008 and most recently just last month in Santiago de Compostela with his collaboration with Timbila Muzimba of Mozambique. Narf's impact on Galician culture was highlighted by the Mayor of Santiago de Compostela at the WOMEX 16 Opening, who quoted lyrics from the song 'Santiago' - the lyrics and the mayor's words are below.

We are touched and privileged that Narf went through such efforts to make possible his wonderful show in Santiago this October, which turned out to be his last public concert appearance. We would like to extend our thoughts to all of his family, friends, team and fans. Let‘s celebrate his music! Ntumani, the first track you can hear here was recorded live at his show at WOMEX 16.

Son dunha cidade futurista. Coa alma enredada na espiral.
Arcos, casas, flores de pedra. Que alguén sementou.
A calma no medio do vendaval.
Cidade misterio, aldea oculta Santiago.
A maxia aparece, invade e transforma.
Os camiños son ríos. A pedra un manancial.
Cidade incompleta, faro errante, Santiago.
A noite dispuxo que guiasen os astros.
E saímos ao encontro. Dos que viñan do mar.
Retumba na néboa círculos. Campá no tímpano mental.
O lento lamento do temporal. A calma no medio do vendaval
Santiago, Narf (1968-2016)

Allow me to thank Santiago native Narf for that melody dedicated to our city. To his city. For being able to transmit the complexity that we treasure in this small city at land's end on the Atlantic. For having the vision to describe us as 'the calm in the eye of the storm'. Because that's really what we are. A storm of music creativity, a storm of melodies without which we would be unable to live.
Martiño Noriega, Mayor of Santiago de Compostela, WOMEX 16 Opening

article posted by:Jim Hickson, Piranha Arts