Eduardo Paniagua performed at the Kamani Auditorium in New Delhi with accompanist César Carazo during the International Folk Dance and Music Festival held in October 2015 –
Is this the first time you are performing in India? How does it feel to be here?
It is the first time we have played in India. It is something special. We were looking forward to playing here as we have family here and our wish is to deepen this cultural tie and perform even more here.
Tell us about Spanish Medieval Music?
Spanish Medieval Music is a long tradition that unfortunately has been lost over time. It lacks any continuation. It involves a great deal of deep research and re-enactment. It is a work of love, dedication and tremendous amount of effort. This form of music is recorded in manuscripts; therefore it needs to be reinterpreted for a variety of instruments in order to be played as closely as it was originally meant to.
This music is mostly from the 11th century till the 15th century. At the time, the Iberian Peninsula was not a unified country. There were five kingdoms. One of them was Andalusia, which was also known as the ‘Marsh Kingdom’ due to its hydrography. There was a coexistence of different cultures – Christian, Jewish, Arabic and Muslim and different types of music – religious music, popular music and music from the courts.
How has the music from the medieval period influenced Western classical music?
Medieval music has heavily influenced Western classical music. First of all, through the material aspect – crafting of new instruments and many more instruments that were to come in the later stages. Secondly, the melody – medieval Spanish music melodies can be traced later on in Western classical music.
We cannot stress enough of the importance of the text – both the notes in the manuscripts and also the lyrics. They were inexplicably intertwined. Also we mustn’t forgot that both ancient music and medieval music upto the Baroque period was lost. In Spain it was not until the 1970s that the works of re-enactment really began.
How does it feel to be termed as Spain’s ‘cultural ambassador’ for your contribution to the Mediterranean cultures?
It is both a pleasure and a joy!
How should medieval music be supported in the future?
Researchers, re-enacters, performers and music archaeologists are the ones that need the full support. Not so much for the venues, theatres or institutions but for those who live for and by the music.
About Eduardo Paniagua