Because man does not live on rock alone, we went to see the band from Barcelona Malva de Runa, a squad that although with a more medieval beginnings and more presence of electro, have progressively evolved towards more Mediterranean music with a wide range of sounds. It is not a strange thing, for the Iberian Peninsula has always been a crossing point for many cultures, and that is obvious in the Catalonian society. This is why we find sounds which take us to the Arabic, Jew, Greek, Roman or Phoenicia tradition. Malva de Runa gathers all these cultures by means of a large diversity of instruments as the llaüt, the bouzouki, the bandurria, the Spanish guitar, the harp, the gralla, the flutes, the violin, the accordion, etc. A very good exhibition of the Mediterranean cultural heritage, without leaving behind contemporary music.
Putting aside all superstition, the past Friday June 13th they premiered their first album in the Centre Artesà Tradicional de Barcelona. A concert where family, friends and some of the sponsors that made their first work Cor y Destral (Picap 2014) possible got together. A title that evokes the many difficulties, but also the joys, that come along with the task of being a musician, as Claudia Colom, singer of the band, explained during the concert.
Cor i Destral is a collection of 11 songs, pieces of their own (one of the traits of the band), and within their own style. Songs that speak about things that could have happened, but didn’t, L’aucell, or that tell us stories as the one in Oli de trementina, about the Trementinaires, XIX century women who introduced in Catalonia much knowledge about the medicinal virtues of plants and ancient unguents transmitted orally over time.
The malva de runa is a type of flower which sprouts from filth, from between stones of old buildings that have been left derelict and have fallen into oblivion, as legends or myths. That same name becomes the essence of the band who seek to resurrect legends, myths, popular stories, Catalonian symbols and landscapes, not to lose such a rich lore as that of Catalonia, and to blend contemporary and traditional music looking for innovation in harmony and rhythm.
Translation by Irene Soto.