In addition to working in the field of folk music and the Sephardic tradition, Evoéh’s repertoire also includes original pieces composed by Jesús Olivares, the band’s guitarist and composer. Some of his creations have won awards in various competitions and highlighted among them is the award for first place in the 2019 composition competition “Words on the Pentagram” organized by the National Distance Education University (UNED) for the song Un Rossinyol Cantava.
Most of Evoéh’s own pieces put music to the verses of renowned poets, but there are others that come from original texts. This is the case with the award-winning song Un rossinyol cantava, which is based on a poem by Jesús Olivares himself and tells us how important it is for each individual to exercise their capacity for self-criticism and reflection in overcoming prejudices and situations of intolerance and hatred that unfortunately still manifest themselves in our society. An elegy to life, a song of hope, the song was recognized by the award in the general category of an edition of the composition competition “Words on the Pentagram” whose aim was to work from the concept “Anatomy of Terror” and to rethink the presence of terrorism in Europe.
The jury of the song competition distinguished the song for its allegory to the nightingale and its connection with the Catalan popular musical tradition (in reference to the song El Rossinyol) as the main element that represents hope in the face of a dark world, charged with violence and hatred. The jury also valued very positively that the arrangement, played with a subdivided arpeggio, which led to the recalling of the singing of an actual nightingale. They also highlighted that the voice and the instrumentalization of the piece evoked positive emotions and feelings.
The song was composed for seven instrumentalists and performed by Ariana Barrabés (singing), Lucía Salgado (oboe), Natàlia Brzewska (violin), Arabela Fernández (viola), Ma-riona Tuset (cello), José Luis Garrido (drums) and the aforementioned Jesús Olivares (guitar).
“Un Rossinyol Cantava” is part of the project L’AIRE, a work that proposes a reinterpretation of the traditional Catalan songs collected by Felip Pedrell in a journey through flamenco, fusion, modern and classical music. This multidisciplinary project received the support of one of the Agita scholarships awarded by the Figueres City Council to promote artistic creation and, thanks to this, the group will soon present it as a new album.
The award “Words on the pentagram” 2019 represents valuable recognition to Jesús Olivares’ composition and to the creative work of Evoéh, but the greatest satisfaction of all is to be able to share Un Rossinyol Cantava with all of you, so here you have it.