The Cork Board, World Music

The absorbing amalgam of Ana A

It’s not possible to like all types of music. Personally, rap is misspelt and I’m not particularly a fan of folk music – fingers in ears and black dogs and stuff. But, to blanket ban some of these forms in ones listening is to narrow down your options of coming across a derivative that may just pique your listening interest. I’m not particularly a fan of Celtic music, though it creeps in now and then on the blind side when I’m listening to something else. A little of a different colour perhaps.

I do like discovering new Spanish music, it helps me develop my embyronic language skills for one thing, and it’s not unusual to occasionally sense a Celtic influence in Spanish music. Galacia,in times gone by, was very much home to a Celtic tribe and it seems that the music still seeps up from the ground, impacting as it does, upon interpretations, new compositions and artistes, thus refusing to lie down and be confined to history.

Ana Alcaide

On listening to the new album by Ana Alcaide it all became clear to me. I was listening to an exceptional work of art. Here is a quote from Ana’s website

“….I love writing music inspired by ancient traditions and cultures. My creations are the result of a personal vision after exploring the common links between different traditions from which I feel attracted….”

Ana A plays a nyckelharpa, a type of keyed fiddle, originating in Sweden and worn across the body as you would a guitar. Chord tones are created by depressing keys which change the pitch of the strings. The sound it creates is quite enveloping. As an artiste she is always searching for interesting sounds and instrumentation to augment her ideas and compositions. The new album “Leyenda” (Legend) draws inspiration from the female figures of Europe who have driven and championed the stories and the power of the feminist message and tradition.


It is an album blending Celtic influences, reed pipes, nyckelharpa and layered vocals with a hypnotic quality. The music is often transporting, dark, scary even. The album opens with the sounds of a slow flowing stream and owls, night sounds and a steady pulse. A sacrificial march perhaps, at the dead of night. Is that my imagination? You are drawn in to a track of much more drama and drive as “Diosa Lulaien” picks up the pace with a danceable rhythm.

“El puente de San Martin” invokes Moorish influences and not a little flamenco. The beautiful “La esposa Selkie” is almost Hebridean.

Ana A’s vocals are tonally rich, strong and at the same time possess a gentle quality.

This is indeed a cracking album. I love it.


… and if you visit Toledo you are likely to see Ana busking on the street… she loves it …

3 thoughts on “The absorbing amalgam of Ana A”

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