INTERNATIONAL MEDIA APPEARANCES / by Ana Alcaide

ELSEWHERE - NEW ZEALAND - 11/2015

LEER/READ

"Alcaide -- who has a fascinating and somewhat improbably backstory -- has appeared at Elsewhere a couple of times for her pan-cultural folk which is on the cusp of Celtic sounds (and sometimes dangerously close to New Age). This time the singer and nyckelharpa player takes inspiration from time in Java where she explored local rhythms and scales..."

WORLD MUSIC CENTRAL - USA - 10/2015

LEER/READ

Tales of Pangea is a splendid album by a groundbreaking artist in the current world music scene.

ELSEWHERE - UK - 2014/07

LEER/READ

"...Ethnomusicologists will hear elements of Celtic music and stately medievalism (especially in her vocal pieces), and when I spoke on radio about this I am pretty sure I mentioned her as a one-woman Clannad (check out Y Arrelumbre) or a soundtrack to some tele-series set in Europe's 16th century (Tishri).

Not quite the mature album that La Cantiga del Fuego was obviously, but you do wonder why all music research projects can't be this interesting and made available for the wider world to hear."

MEDITERRANEO DIGITAL - SPAIN - 2014/06

LEER / READ 

"Tiene el don de trasladarnos a aquellas regiones lejanas donde viven nuestros recuerdos más queridos: escuchar su música es conectar con estos resortes íntimos del alma. Con ella, sentimos el escalofrío sutil de la memoria y de aquellas cosas que perdimos y -quién sabe- si también nos enlaza con las premoniciones ciertas de aquellas que nos quedan por vivir...".

MUSICFRAMES - NETHERLANDS - 2014/04

LEER / READ

"... Ana Alcaide baseert haar muziek op deze rijke lied cultuur. Ze heeft een prachtig heldere, soms breekbare stem die zo mooi past bij deze fragiele muziek...

BABELMED- MUZZIKA! - 2014/03

LEER / READ

Ana Alcaide a trouvé que le son de cet instrument, qui accompagne les chants traditionnels en Suède, était parfaitement adapté au répertoire séfarade qu’elle a entrepris d’explorer. Et dans cet album, «Como la luna y el sol», elle interprète plusieurs chansons traditionnelles, qu’elle a trouvées dans les pays les plus divers : Turquie, Bulgarie, ex-Yougoslavie, Grèce, etc

DONAUKURIER - GERMANY - 2014/01

LEER / READ 

Hoch emotionale Geschichtsstunde

Ingolstadt (DK) Ästhetisch - das ist mit das erste Wort, was einem beim Anblick und Hörerlebnis von Ana Alcaide und ihrem Trio in den Sinn kommt. Elfengleich schwebt die zierliche Spanierin mit ihner schewedischen Nyckelharpa zu eingespielten mystischen Klängen mit spanischen Sprachfetzen auf die von einem farbenfrohen Teppich bedeckte Bühne der Neuen Welt, um das zahlreich erschienene Publikum für zwei Stunden mit anheimelnder Weltmusik zu verzaubern.

ETHNOTEMPOS. Musiques ethniques d’aujourd’bui – FRANCE – 2013/06

LEER / READ

“…La Cantiga del Fuego s'avère passionnant et envoûtant d'un bout à l'autre…dans le vaste champ de la world music, on pourrait dire qu'elle est en quelque sorte une version judéo-espagnole de Loreena McKENNITT…”

SONGLINES – UK – 2013/04

Songlines nº91

Madrid-born Ana Alcaide went to Sweden to stuy biologist and came back to Spain to become a professional musician after falling under the spell of the nyckelharpa (keyed fiddle). She now lives in Toledo and her third album, La Cantiga del Fuego, was composed there during her first pregnancy. It's the first to receive significant international distribution, based on its populatiry in Europe. The title of the albumn comes from a traditional Sephardic song describing a fire that ravaged Thessaloniki in Greece, and it's inspired by the journey of the Sephardic Jews, largely force out of Spain in the 15th century, as well as by the city of Toledo itself. In fact, one track 'El agua del Río' is even part of a permanent exhibit in the Sephardic Museum there.

There is a more widescreen sound than on her earlier albums. Alcaide in joined by guest musicians such as American Bill Cooley, principally on psaltery and oud, an her former teacher Reza Shayesteh, sho sings the closing itune 'Mikdash', with lyrics based on two ancient Persian poems. There's a delicacy throughout that could perhaps be mistaken for reticence, but which actually conjures an elegantly seductive tone that will beguile listeners far from Toledo.

R2 ROCKnREEL– UK – 2013/03

Ana Alcaide is inspired by the music of the Sephardic Jews and her home city of Toledo in Spain; added to this is her high, pure voice and her skill at playing the nyckelharpa, the Swedish fiddle which sounds a little like a hammered dulcimer.

She began recording in 2006 and this is her third album, beautifully packaged and presenting a memorable, haunting amalgan of Spanish, North African, Middle Eastern, Indian, and Celtic influences, with perhaps a slight tinge of a new age, Clannad type of sound and a strong liturgical feel on some tracks.

The music is mostly acoustic and string- based, though with clarinet, accordion, and gaida (eastern European bagpipes) used in one or two places, and the songs themselves draw on venerable themes and legend - all create strong impressions.

fRROTS - UK - 2013 / 02

fROOTS Nº97  

This came our in Spain early in 2012, and by August wap up to numbrer three in the WMCE European world music radio play chart. It's recently risen again to the top ten, presumably because now it's been given wider release via ARC.

Ana Alcaide is a singer and instrumentalist from Toledo, with a particular interest in Sephardic music. Her prime instrument is nyckelharpa which she came across while studing botany at Lund University in Sweden; subsequently she went back to learn more about it, and did a degree at Malmö Academy of Music.

Her singing has a light, airy sweetness that could have become cloying or wifty in the wrong production hands, but there's a mature elegance in the arrangements and production, which are both by Ana Alcaide herself joined by a small, flexible team of musicians, particularly the adaptable Bill Cooley on santur, psaltery, ud, lute and tar and Jaime Muñoz's traditional reeds and flutes. The final couple of tracks feature the singing of Iranian musician Reza Shayasteh of Malmö's World Mix Orchestra. The material, which she sees as being strongly related to the old cultural mix of Toledo, draws primarily on Judeo-Spanish musical and lyrical traditions and her own compositions, with some Persian and Bulgarian influences.

Her 2007 second album Como la Luna y el Sol had good ideas but, I reckoned -perhaps because of over-adherence to click-tracks- it plodded somewhat. With this one Alcaide enters a much more fluent, world-class league.

CITYPAPER – USA – 2013/02

LEER / READ

“…Alcaide’s voice floats and dances effortlessly and seamlessly atop each tune. The songs are brilliantly arranged –one false move and this material could’ve easily taken a wrong turn onto Pretentious Boulevard. And the use of exotic instruments – the oud, Turkish ney, psaltery, lyra, and Alcaide’s own nyckelharpa –is original, innovative and inspired.”

LIRA– SWEDEN– 2013/02

LEER / READ

“...Hennes ton och teknik är imponerande, liksom hennes egna, eklektiska kompositioner som har inslag av kastiliansk, muslimsk och sefardisk kultur, men också ett uns svenskt vemod.”

BABELMED-MUZZIKA! – FRANCE – 2013/01

LEER / READ

“…Cette artiste, originaire de Tolède, nous propose un délicieux «voyage judéo-espagnol»… le climat doux et apaisé de cette musique, qui vous enveloppe et vous fait du bien...”.

LA NACIÓN - ARGENTINA - 2013/01

LEER/READ

"...En definitiva, una curiosidad artística (fue probablemente la primera audición en nuestro país de un repertorio casi desconocido) con intervención de un extraño instrumento del medioevo al parecer muy usado en territorio de lo que es hoy Suecia. Se trata de un mágico instrumento de la Edad Media que se escuchó aquí por primera vez de la mano de una intérprete protagonista de la que emanan riqueza intelectual, delicadeza, sobriedad y simpatía. Es de esperar que en varios escenarios de nuestro país se la pueda apreciar en otras oportunidades."

VOCES DEL MUNDO - SPAIN - 2012/12

LEER/READ

"Retomamos la iniciativa de nuestro primer año de elegir el que para Voces del Mundo ha sido el mejor disco de este 2012, y lo hacemos reconociendo el espléndido último trabajo de la madrileña afincada en Toledo, Ana Alcaide..."

PERCEPTIVE TRAVEL WORLD MUSIC REVIEWS – UK – 2012/12

LEER / READ

“… Although the result is gentle and evocative with a hint of romantic whimsy, any comparisons with the ethereal ear-floss that is Enya should be politely disregarded. Ana Alcaide is very much her own woman and this is a highly enjoyable and original collection.”

ALLMUSIC – USA – 2012/11

LEER / READ

“Her music's often described as the Toledo soundtrack.,. The closest analogue, perhaps, is Loreena McKennitt, and although their areas are very different, there's a distinctly common feel to them… and Alcaide is masterful in her creation of atmosphere. Something different and a musical journey well worth taking.”

ROOTSTIME  - BELGIUM – 2012/11

LEER / READ

“…Ana met haar engelenstem de diaspora en de odyssee van de Sefardische joden vanaf Toledo over de hele Middellandse Zee… 'La Cantiga del Fuego' een briljante, warme en bovendien uiterst verfijnde gezel voor de donkere, koude dagen... en voor de rest van het jaar!”

FOLKWORLD.EU – GERMANY – 2012/11

“…Neben der Nickelharpa, der Violine sowie der keltischen Harfe, lässt sie ein buntes Spektrum an weltmusikalischen Klängen in ihre Musik einfließe.. "La Cantiga del Fuego" klingt stellenweise nach Mittelaltersehnsucht, jüdischen Schwer- und nordeuropäischem Langmut. Eine gewisse Schwere steckt in allen Liedern, viel Ernsthaftigkeit und etwas Wehmut. Und doch wirkt die Musik lebendig und frei. Ein eigenwilliges und schönes Album.”

WORLD MUSIC CENTRAL– USA – 2012/10

LEER / READ

INTERVIEW WITH RISING SEPHARDIC AND WORLD MUSIC PERFORMER ANA ALCAIDE

Spanish musician Ana Alcaide has become a familiar name in Europe thanks to her new album La Cantiga del Fuego that hit the world music charts in Europe at number three. The album will be available in Europe and North America in November 2012.

WORLD MUSIC CENTRAL– USA – 2012/09

LEER / READ

“Fans of Celtic powerhouse Enya’s early work will likely dip into Spanish singer, songwriter and musician Ana Alcaide and find a reason to rejoice. Hitting the world music charts in Europe at number three with her La Cantiga del Fuego..Writing all of the tracks on La Cantiga del Fuego. ... Cleverly working with a wide range of instrumentation.”

LINK CLUB NEWSLETTER – JAPAN – 2012/09

LEER / READ

“…ニッケルハルパを弾くことは、精神のセラピー..”

OSSOVER – POLAND – 2012/08

“…Ana jest która odwołując się do dawnych czasów, przetwarza ich spuściznę w nowoczesny sposób, każąc spojrzeć na ten czas, w zupełnie nowy sposób, odkrywając prawdziwego ducha epoki… obiecuje to nie lada ucztę dla ucha.”

KULTUR.DN.SE – SWEDEN– 2012/08

LEER / READ

“..Nya stjärnskottet, spanska Ana Alcaide, uppdaterar ladino på ”La Cantiga del Fuego” med en sjövild instrumentering..  plus instrument jag aldrig hört talas om. Likväl andas skivan, lugnt och övertygande: ladino.”

FOLK WORLD – UK – 2012/07

LEER / READ

"Ana Alcaide goes on with her successful fusion between the Nordic sonorities of the nyckelharpa (Swedish keyed fiddle), the Sephardic (Spanish-Jewish) music, and the traditional sounds from several places around the Mediterranean Sea... Ana sings with her beautiful voice while also playing: nyckelharpa, moraharpa, violin, and Celtic harp (this is a pleasant innovation!)… an artist with such an exquisite level of sensibility, this might be a factor to be perceived in the future progress of her fruitful career.”

DIARIO ALTO DE ARAGÓN – SPAIN – 2012/07

LEER / READ

“…Ana Alcaide se ha convertido en la principal divulgadora de la Nyckelharpa en España. Ahora lanza su tercer disco, ‘La Cantiga del Fuego’, en el que consigue trasladar al oyente a tiempos pretéritos...conectando los aromas mediterráneos y los ecos celtas. Habrá quien piense en Loreena Mckennitt o en Enya, pero lo cierto es que esta toledana tiene su propia personalidad, y canciones como “El pozo amargo”, “Baila donde el mar” o “El agua del río” son auténticos remansos de paz”.

UN TAST DE JAZZ..! - SPAIN – 2012/06

LEER / READ

“ Solo muy de vez en cuando, se nos brinda la oportunidad de descubrir una voz, un talento, una forma de expresar los sentimientos, tan pura y delicada..tras escuchar repetidas veces este nuevo trabajo –resulta tan hechizante que es imposible no recurrir a él una y otra vez-“

EL PAÍS - SPAIN - 2012/01

LEER / READ

"...La cantiga del fuego, una nueva vuelta de tuerca a sus indagaciones sobre el legado de los sefardíes. Alcaide es una curiosa perseverante y ejerce una inequívoca militancia en pro de lo tradicional, pero jamás se muestra distante, inaccesible o sesuda. El folclor nos apega a la tierra y termina, venga de donde venga, haciéndonos cosquillas en el estómago..."

EL PAÍS - SPAIN - 2008/04

LEER / READ

"Los instrumentos antiguos se sienten en el estómago"