Fetén Fetén, los "luthiers" de la España vacía, report at El País Semanal by Félix Krinner.

You can read it here.

Photo by Victoria Iglesias.

 


Biography

Spanish traditional music with unusual instruments

Feten Feten is much more than the musical project of Jorge Arribas and Diego Galaz, it’s the language of the soul in harmony. The first notes were heard in 2009 out of the necessity of these two musicians from Burgos to “soundtrack” their influences and memories. Feten Feten’s music is a path through the memory of our roots and traditions. Their compositions guide us, using dance rhythms, through the fox-trot, the waltz, the chotis (traditional dance music of Madrid), seguidillas (music and dance piece in a fast triple rhythm) or habaneras, making us sway with their chords on the Iberian Peninsula and making us fly from Italy to Japan or from Argentina to Portugal.

“We offer a contemporary interpretation of traditional music and folk dance music, styles that inspire us and that we want to honor using our imagination and creativity. We are two lovers of unusual musical instruments, that’s why in our shows, in addition to conventional instruments like the violin or the accordion, we play weird instruments such as saws, trumpet violins, phono violins or the camping chair flute.”

The result is a fresh and original music suitable for dancing and having fun as you listen to beautiful waltzes, fox trots, chotis, jotas, seguidillas, rondas, pasodobles or habaneras.

It’s a live performance of instrumental melodies that goes back to our roots and adds renewed musical nuances that recall the different European and South American landscapes that Fetén Fetén has visited while on tour.

It’s a musical journey that conveys us from the Iberian Peninsula to exotic lands, assimilating Balkan echoes, manouches sounds, Japanese evocations, the cries of seagulls and even the sound of the waves.

The original compositions of Fetén Fetén, a variety of musical trends, manage to make the audience smile with evocative sounds and titles like “The Wasabi Jota,” “I’ve seen a bear in the Carpathians,” “Fandango de Atapuerca,” or “Swing in a fricassée.” It’s a repertoire that amuses and thrills both children and adults alike, since this music tells stories without words and blends well with audiences either in big concert halls or in the open air.

They have played in over 1000 concerts across the Iberian peninsula and have participated in important festivals such as Pirineos Sur, Folk Segovia, Tres Culturas, Madrid Folk, Facyl, Clásicos en Alcalá, Noches y Almenas, Actual, etc. In 2010, they started the first of their international tours in places like Costa Rica (Arts Festival), Nicaragua, Belgium (Marni Jazz Festival Brussels) Argentina, Morocco (Instituto Cervantes), Latvia, Estonia (Viljandi Folk Music Festival), Slovenia (Keltina Festival), Slovakia, Germany, Tunisia, Austria (International Accordion festival), Portugal, UK and USA.

Since beginning their journey in 2009 by means of micro-sponsorship, the duo has self-produced the albums "Fetén Fetén" (2011) and "Bailables" (2014). In 2016 "Cantables" arrived, an album in which they incorporate both voice and lyrics to their musical compositions, including artists such as Fito Cabrales, Jorge Drexler, Julieta Venegas or Natalia Lafourcade, among others. In 2018, they published "Overseas Melodies", a self-produced album in which they suggest that we accompany them on the trips they have made over the seas and oceans that unite each of the locations this original group has visited. These are places in which they have been nourished by different rhythms and musical styles, with these two original artists reinventing the way we understand popular music.

Currently, along with with composer and producer Sebastian Schon, they are immersed in the recording of "Cantables II", in which once again they again add lyrics and singers to their melodies. This original creative exercise, which came to be as a first installment in 2016, will enjoy a second part in a new album published by "Madame Vodevil" in early 2021.

In 2019, the music commission for the Spanish Network of Theaters, Auditoriums, Circuits and Festivals of public ownership included their show in the "Recommended Music" Notebook. In 2020, the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) has included Fetén Fetén in the catalog of artists who represent our country in cultural programs abroad.

Currently, in addition to the live concerts, they also do a series of school programs and composition for documentaries and short films (TVE, Aitor Gutirerrez ...). Collaborations with internationally renowned artists (Jorge Drexler, Pasión Vega, DePedro, Rozalén, Javier Ruibal, Pedro Pastor, etc.), participation as guests in the 20th anniversary tour of Fito & Fitipaldis, and the show “Pretérito Imperfecto” (recently released in collaboration with journalist Nieves Concostrina) complete the panorama of this versatile duo. 

Feten Feten

  • Diego Galaz: Violin, trumpet violin, phonoviolín, saw, mandolin, seagulls and… cows.
  • Jorge Arribas: Accordion, camping chair flute, vulture’s wing, flute, castanet and… cowbell.

What the press says…

"Fetén Fetén, the luthiers of empty Spain" (El País Semanal)

“Fetén’s humor, vitalism and technique make us love them” (Fernando Neira)

"Fetén Fetén, I love the name! It is an original, risky duo that turns all their live shows into a feast for the senses ”. (Andreu Buenafuente)

“Definitely the best live group for all audiences” (Diego Manrique)

“An extraordinary live show by a couple of big-time musicians who honor their name” (Diario Crítico)

“Feten Feten demonstrates that other music is possible” (El País)

“A party of sound and emotions” (Eldiario.es)

“A dynamic and happy show full of improvisation and emotions by means of popular music”” (20 minutos)

“The duo Feten Feten belongs daring stock of pure musicians, gifted with knowledge and curiosity to give and take simultaneously (…) Their music is friendly, intimate and playful." (Metrópoli, El Mundo).

Diego Galaz

He was part of the legendary band “The Musgaña,” with which he has played in more than twenty countries. He plays the violin in Na- cho Mastretta’s orchestra, and he is the founder of bands like “Zoobazar,” “Exciting music from films,” and “Evening Dance.” He has performed with remarkable artists such as Kroke, Marta Sebestyen, Alasdair Fraser, Kepa Junquera, Jorge Drexler, Cormac Breatnach or Pasión Vega. He is fiddle teacher at the prestigious “Sierra Fiddle Camp” in California, and at “Crisol de Cuerda” in Spain. He gives courses and master classes at the “School of Creative Music” in Madrid and at Barcelona’s Classroom of Popular and Tradi- tional Music. He is director and co-artistic crea- tor of “Burgos Unusual Musicians and Musical Instruments.”

Jorge Arribas

After studying accordion and flute, he started working combining tours with groups like “Celtas Cortos” with his own musical projects, music re- cordings, and projects in collaboration with musi- cians of different styles: Maria Salgado, Javier Paxariño, Manuel Luna Trio or Rao. In 2005 he joined “The Musgaña,” a musical project that gave him a different view of traditional music and allowed him to share and show Castilian tradi- tional music in countries like the United States, Canada, France, Algeria, Russia or Morocco.

The result of travelling, continuous learning, and the knowledge of tradition, has been the crea- tion of two musical duos: Taper Duel with Cesar Díez (electric bass) and Fetén Fetén. He also works in collaboration with bands like “Mastretta,” “Ibérica de Danza,” “Zoobazar,” “Korrontzi,” “Celtas Cortos”m “Alain Perez”, “Marwan” or “Zenet.”