Spanish bagpipes

November 30, 2020
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Carlos Núñez plays a St. Patrick's time program Tuesday evening at Strathmore in Maryland.

In a penthouse apartment in Bethesda, you will find the noises of a fandango — a Spanish dance track — coming from a chanter, the section of a bagpipe used for the primary melody of a track. Alone, it's a lot like a flute. But this chanter belongs to a gaita — that's what bagpipes are known as in Spain. And performer is Carlos Núñez, among the best gaita people worldwide.

He hails not from a Celtic land, but from Galicia, in Spain's northwest highlands.

Núñez, performing Monday evening for a personal audience at an apartment in Bethesda. (WAMU/Armando Trull)

The viewers of approximately two dozen adoring fans during the private mini-concert includes a minumum of one ambassador and Alberto Avendano, editor of El Tiempo Latino, a local Spanish-language newsprint.

“Carlos has the capacity to assembled the secret regarding the Celtic globe, the Iberian globe, the Scottish and Celtic using Hispanic expertise in The united states, " Avendano states. "It is miraculous on the phase.”

Núñez periods his music with snippets in regards to the history of gaitas — and just how Irish and Scottish bagpipes could have descended from Galicia.

“whenever we perform Galician music, once we play Spanish-Celtic songs, the Scottish plus the Irish they feel this link — this Celtic link, ” he states.

In fact, bagpipes may predate Christian times.

"Discover a statue in a museum in Alexandria, Egypt, that goes to at least one, 000 BC therefore shows a guy with a case under their arm a blowstick in his mouth and playing the chanter, " says David Phillips, a bagpipe expert, just who served as a docent on now-closed bagpipe museum in Ellicott City, Maryland, for more than ten years.

He says the statue offers an idea as to how the bagpipes could have entered to the Iberian peninsula, that old times had many Greek colonies.

"which was probably a Greek, and so they probably brought it across, " Phillips claims, incorporating he's not surprised that there surely is a very good relationship involving the Spanish gaita and Celtic music.

Phillips states there is proof of bagpipe-like devices existing in ancient times. (WAMU/Armando Trull)

"additionally the interesting thing about this poem is the fact that inside popular history of Ireland as within Medieval Irish manuscripts, this is just what took place — the Gaels first originated from Spain and so they invaded Ireland and took it over, " claims Winick, just who carries out with Washington's Ocean Quartet.

'Special energy coming from the pipes'

Núñez knows a lot concerning the relationship amongst the Iberian peninsula plus the Celtic places throughout the water to its north. Now in his forties, the gaitero began to perform internationally once he was 12. he is shared phases and album credits with Paddy Moloney additionally the iconic Irish musical organization The Chieftains.

"the first occasion I played the bagpipes in a huge audience, I was ten years old and I saw just how folks became crazy and dancing, and so they told me, 'Don’t end, play it once more, play it once more Carlos, don’t end, '" he claims. "We felt there clearly was a unique power from the pipes.”

Some call Núñez "The Jimi Hendrix associated with the bagpipes."

“I think the gaita, the Spanish bagpipe may be the electric guitar of the old, " he states. "This Has this power, it offers all this noise that makes people crazy.”

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