Iaquin vahu


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Bernat Etxepare was a man of his time, undoubtedly a Christian, but at the same time a connoisseur of courtly poetry transmitted by troubadours and, above all, aware and optimistic about the future of the Basque language, which he wrote to be printed for the first time in 1545. A very modern way of thinking, spiritual curiosity and a thirst for writing all characterise the literary style of this priest from Eiheralarre of whom the few autobiographical details we have appear in the poem «Mossen Bernat Echaparere cantuya».

Now, almost 500 years later, IbonRG has set to music each and every one of the poems contained in the great book «Linguae Vasconum Primitiae» (when the poems are not interpreted in their entirety, the selection of stanzas has been made by the writer Itxaro Borda). A total of sixteen pieces, some of them sung a capella, others on the piano. Some of them solo; others with various collaborations, among them Enrike Hurtado, Garazi Navas, Miguel A. García, Verde Prato, Maite Arroitajauregi ‘Mursego’, Matías Riquelme, Fernando Ulzión, SusanaRG, Ane Arana or Paralux. Each song demanded a way of recording and a location, whether it was Bilbo, Duzunaritze -the place where Etxepare was born-, or the church of Eiheralarre, and all those recorded sounds have taken this final shape thanks to the meticulous work carried out for months with Ibon Aguirre in his Audiogela studio.

Etxepare brought the Basque language to the printing press and, for this reason, Ibon wanted to bring these sounds to a book -musical, in this case- entitled Iaquin vahu» (if you had known). For this, Jon Martín has taken on the task of microscopically restoring and cleaning that 1545 typeface, not to give the work an aged aura, but to imagine how it came out, how Bernat Etxepare picked up his copy from the printing press, in the same way that Ibon has tried to imagine with his voice how those texts vibrated in Etxepare’s head, with his Basque, sufficiently understandable for the Basque-speaking people of today. Itxaro Borda has contextualised the work more deeply with an introductory text and both have reviewed and updated the translations of the parts performed in this «Iaquin vahu» that René Lafon and Patxi Altuna have translated into French and Spanish.


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