Cantigas d'Amigo

A Spanish and Celtic Tapestry of Song

 

 

(L-R) Sharon Berman, Dain Forsythe, Kathy Olszowka, Juan Wijngaard, Drea Pressley, Catherine Harlow, Richard Savino

 

Scenes of Spanish mountains, of green rolling Irish hills and cliffs by blue seas, of Scottish moors overlooking dark lochs - the songs of Spain and the Celtic Isles bring all these images to life. Spanning centuries of a musical treasure trove that includes the Spanish Baroque, medieval Galicia, and traditional Celtic folksongs, Cantigas d’Amigo: A Spanish and Celtic Tapestry of Song is a musical feast for the ears, transporting the listener on a time-traveling journey to visit days gone by. In August 2014 my fellow musicians and I took the stage and embarked on our inaugural performances of the cantigas d'amigo. Well received, with standing ovations at both venues, the questions most frequently heard from audience members were and are – “When is the next performance?” 

 

In today’s fast-paced world, it is important to remember where we have come from and to keep our traditional cultures alive and ever present in the new digital age. Live music and audio recordings are two ways we stay connected to older traditions or discover “new” traditions from around the world. I have long been fascinated with family history. My father’s side of the family is Celtic, with ancestral roots in Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. My mother’s ancestors came to New Mexico from Galicia and Cantabria (Spain in the 17th and 18th centuries). The music of Galicia is Celtic in nature, due to the Celts fleeing to Northern Spain in the 4th -7th centuries, evading the Anglo-Saxon invasion of Britain. The medieval Galician poetic genre, cantigas d’amigo (songs about my boyfriend), is the anchor of these concerts that combine Spanish and Celtic music together in my native land. New Mexico truly is the Land of Enchantment, rich in heritage and culture, music and arts. I would like to see this Spanish Celtic musical history come to life and thrive in New Mexico and beyond.

 

The vibrant sounds of the ensemble include voice, Celtic harp, vihuela, gaita (Spanish bagpipes), hurdy gurdy, cello, viola da gamba, double bass, flute, recorder, conchas, and the Irish bodhrán. The unique blend of folk and classical instruments creates a haunting soundscape. The result is a beautiful tapestry of sound, one which should be shared with as many people as possible. Listen to samples from concerts, and read full artist bios.

 

 

Thank you!

~Drea Pressley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audience Comments

“A fascinating, inspiring, and stirring concert. I will wait with bated breath for the CD.”

 

“A special program, winningly performed.”

 

“It was a magical concert.”

 

“I loved every minute of your concert. I didn’t want it to end. You touched my heart. Let me know when you have it on CD – I need some!”

 

"We still rave about your research and the program you did tracing your musical roots. It was absolutely beautiful!"

Prior Performances

 

Santa Fe, NM July 25, 2015, 7:30pm

First Presbyterian Church

208 Grant Ave.

 

Corrales, NM July 26, 2015, 7:00pm

Old San Ysidro Church

966 Old Church Road

 

Santa Fe, NM August 8, 2014 7:30pm

The Church of the Holy Faith

311 E. Palace Ave.

 

Corrales, NM August 9, 2014 7:00pm

Old San Ysidro Church

966 Old Church Road

If you are interested in making a donation to help us produce more concerts and an audio recording, please contact us at info@dreapressley.com for more information or donate here, through paypal.  

Thank you for your support!