Oreka TX
Gig Seeker Pro

Oreka TX

San Sebastian, Basque Country, Spain | SELF

San Sebastian, Basque Country, Spain | SELF
Band World Folk




"Nomadak Tx"

A Bartonfilms release of a Txalap.art/Arena Comunicacion/Parallel 40 production. (International sales: Autlook Filmsales, Vienna.) Produced by Igor Otxoa. Executive producers, Otxoa, Pablo Iraburu, Joan Gonzalez. Directed by Raul de la Fuente. Co-directors, Pablo Iraburu, Harkaitz Martinez, Igor Otxoa. Idea, Martinez.
With: Harkaitz Martinez, Igor Otxoa, Mikel Laboa, Bagubahi, Rappai Pootokaren, Ichou Benazza, Batbuyan Butjav, Terje Isungset, Jana Mangi, Garazi Hach Embarek, Josu Iztueta, Altai Hangai, Jayan Nair, Palani Velu, Ante Mikkel, Chimbad. (Euskadi, English, Hindi, Sami, Arabic, Spanish, Hassaniya, Mongolian dialogue)
The music does the talking in "Nomadak Tx," an exhilarating, feverishly globe-hopping doc that follows Basque musical duo Oreka Tx as they seek out fellow artists in far-flung nomadic societies. Very possibly the Next Big Thing for world music mavens and hipster armchair travelers alike, pic confidently relies on images and rhythms to demonstrate how small the world can be. It's hard to imagine a more ideal festival film, appealing as it does to cinema, music and exotica fans in equal measure, pointing to terrific worldwide theatrical and vid biz with certain CD tie-ins.
Although open to criticism that it merely glosses over various corners of the world, the film is unquestionably devoted above all to music-making and how it functions to bind together disparate groups. Harkaitz Martinez and Igor Otxoa, playing an ancient and remarkably simple Basque instrument called the txalaparta (made of two or more wood planks placed on a stand and covered with insulated material, and played with thick sticks), produce just the kind of drum-based music that allows them maximum flexibility to blend in with a rainbow of world music traditions.

Brief, typically pulsing opening shows the pair sawing and sanding the wooden elements of their latest txalaparta with Otxoa likening the music's improvisation to travel: "You don't know where it will end up."

First stop: Mumbai, where the guys practice and then perform with Jayan Nair and his high-energy ensemble. Soon, they venture by muddy backroads into the state of Gujarat to meet the Adivasi people, nomads cut off from India's dominant caste system. After a goat sacrifice, musician Bagubahi plays a song about a quest for the earth's sounds, using an even more primitive instrument than the txalaparta.

Martinez and Otxoa travel by cross-country skiing into the Arctic Circle for some rewarding performances on a txalaparta carved purely from ice, producing an astoundingly echo-y acoustic effect. They also find some gorgeous voices to play against, including that of vocalist Jana Mangi, recorded in a giant igloo.

Director Raul de la Fuente makes all this even more exotic than a description suggests, and (as his own editor) finds an angular, elliptical cutting style -- sometimes recalling Michael Winterbottom's approach in "In This World" -- that communicates his own giddy excitement at being able to jump from one extreme corner of the globe to another.

He next leaps from ice to desert, as Oreka Tx seeks and finds a wide range of musical partners in the greater Sahara stretching from Morocco to Algeria -- from a wandering group of Sudanese musician/dancers to several Berber master players, including Ichou Benazza. After chiseling a txalaparta out of rock, the duo performs to a rapturous crowd in an Algerian refugee settlement, Camp Dalja, where Berbers have fled from the country's bloody civil war.

Final section follows the happy wanderers through the vast steppes of Upper Mongolia to a snowbound area occupied by the Tsaatan, a tribe so tiny that only 40 families remain. Finale montage, matching the txalaparta's heavily syncopated rhythms with the beat of galloping horses, finishes pic on an exceptional high.

Only the best homevid audio playback systems are suitable for capturing the inevitable vid version of pic's complex and superbly mixed soundtrack; au - ROBERT KOEHLER - Variety


QUERCUS ENDORPHINA (Elkarlanean, 2001)
Produced by Kepa Junkera.


Oreka Tx (Harkaitz Mtez. De San Vicente & Igor Otxoa)
Glen Velez (USA).
Michel Bordeleau (La Bottine Souriante, Quebec).
Mikel Laboa (Basque Country)
Phil Cunningham (Scotland)
Justin Vali (Madagascar)
Kepa Junkera (Basque Country)

NOMADAK TX (World Village, 2009).
Distributed by Harmonia Mundi.
Produced by Harkaitz Mtez. De San Vicente.


Basque Country:
Oreka Tx (Harkaitz Mtez. De San Vicente & Igor Otxoa), Angel Unzu, Iigo Egia, Ion Garmendia, Xabi Zeberio, Javi Alzola, Julio Andrade, Pello Ramirez, Iigo Agirre, Mikel Laboa.

Palani Velu, Jayan Nair, Manikandan Nair, Kutal Khan, Bu, Gobbi.

Saapmi (Lappland):
Terje Isungset Ice Man, Yana Mangi, Ante Mikkel.

Amazigh People (Berebers):
Groupe Zaid, Abdelhak Akandouch, Ouafaa Aouattah, Foud Elttabi, Asma Aouattah.

Saharawi People: Tiris Band.

Chimbad, A. Udarma, Ganbold Muukhai, Ganzorig Nergui, J. Munkhbat, Ailanys Band (Khakasia), Alexander Samozhikov, Oleg Chebodaev, Yelea Chezhinova, Alla Burnakova.

SILEX (SiO2) (Txalap.art 2013)


OREKA TX: Harkaitz Mtnez de San Vicente, Mikel Ugarte, Iigo Egia, Mixel Ducau, Juanjo Otxandorena

KALAKAN: Jamixel Bereau, Xan Errotabehere, Thierry Biscary.

ALOS QUARTET: Xabi Zeberio, Francisco Herrero, Lorena Nuez, Pello Ramirez




Oreka TX  is one of the leading groups promoting the txalaparta, pushing it as a musical instrument both in form and style.  Harkaitz Martinez de San Vicente ( Donostia, 1975) and Mikel Ugarte (Oiartzun, 1973) are the txalaparta players of OREKA TX. The group was born on 2001 when they played on a band led by the noted basque composer, musician, and master of the trikitixa (diatonic accordion) Kepa Junkera, a collaboration that garnered them a Latin Grammy. They have shared the stage and/or recorded with a host of international stars, such as Taraf de Haidouks, Pat Metheny, Alasdair Fraser, Hendingarna, Dulce Pontes, Phil Cunningham, Oskorri, Hevia ,Manu Dibango, Carlos Nez, Joji Hirota...

Oreka Txs first album, Quercus Endorphina, was produced by Kepa Junkera and released by Elkarlanean in 2001. Tracks from this album were featured in the show Txalaparta by the famous Spanish dancer and choreographer Nacho Duato, represented by the National Company of Dancing at the most important auditoriums and theatres all over the world. In that year they formed their band (Oreka TX Band) and started to give concerts with it. They have also used festivals around Europe, America, Africa and Asia as a launchpad to gain awareness for the Txalaparta.

Nmadak Tx was their next project. Oreka Tx had a dream: they thought up a project that was to mark a turning point in the history of this unique musical percussion instrument. A project based on their understanding that the Txalaparta is a point of encounter, a means of communicating with others. Since 2004 they have travelled the world, using the Txalaparta as their vehicle and home, meeting musicians and discovering the reality of far away peoples, from Mongolia to Sahara, from Lapland to India. During their travels, they compiled visual and sound material, with a clear goal in mind: to share this music, these sounds, these images, and these experiences. Their dream became a reality and the result was an astounding documentary called Nmadak Tx which won multiple awards at international film festivals and is coming soon to theaters worldwide (the film was screened at WOMEX Film Programme 2007 at the section World Music Films on Tour), a CD distributed worldwide by Harmonia Mundi, a DVD and the a Nmadak TX Live which has participated in several festivals around the world.

Oreka TX, accompanied by musicians gathered together for the occasion, make an unusual concert - journey, in a combination of music and on-stage images. Played live, the richness of the sound and the variety of instruments provides the Txalaparta with an unusual yet welcoming environment, an environment in which the Txalaparta can evolve towards new horizons. The musicians play music created during their travels to India, Lapland, the Sahara and Mongolia, alongside other musicians who appear on a large screen. This screen, set at the back of the stage, becomes a huge window, to view and discover different places and different peoples. Experimentation and fusion are the tool of this new concept for multimedia concerts whilst cultural interaction is its goal.

After that they have developed several spectacles and projects like Hostoak (Leaves) that is a fusion between dance, chant and music. Their last spectacle HERRITMO is built around the concept of balance through dance, live music, singing and rural sports. Basque rural sports, known as Herri Kirolak in Basque, is the term used for a number of sports competitions rooted in the traditional lifestyles of the Basque people The axes, stone, augers, saws, scythes inspire musical compositions. Also, the rhythmic movements of labor and the field are the inspiration for the choreography.These expressions brings a new area for this ancestral activities. A production that looks at the roots of the past with a view to the future. Song, music and dance together. A dialogue between arts which blends leading artists from different disciplines that taking the tradition have evolved and developed modern and contemporary approaches.

On 2014 they have released their last album (SILEX SiO2). The new album brings together the repertoire of their recent projects and develops the sound of his stone txalaparta. It also includes some collaborations with groups like Kalakan, Alos Quartet and We are Standard a well known group of electronic dance music.

Band Members