Galicia No Tempo


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Galicia No Tempo Review

by James Christopher Monger

Galicia Over the Years (Galicia No Tempo) is a special composition accompanying the 1991 Galician sculpture and gold work exhibition in Santiago de Compestela, Spain. In four movements, the seven members of Milladoiro provide an eerie musical lecture on their native northwest corner of Spain, utilizing a vast arsenal of traditional instruments. Beginning with an almost jazz-like motif, layers of harp, flute, and percussion lurch behind a rainstorm, setting the table for the characters of these four historical periods. Clarinets and bagpipes weave in and out of sparse, medieval arrangements, and Gregorian style chants burst into festive Celtic dance numbers. (Galicia is reminiscent of the British Isles in song and geography) Each movement could have been broken up into three or four extra tracks, as ideas tend to stop abruptly, and listeners may find themselves skipping ahead to search for a particular strain. The final movement provides the project's most memorable melody, as uillean pipes sail over a two-chord soundscape, surprisingly reminiscent of Philip Glass or Brian Eno. Not surprisingly, the absent visual portion of the work leads to moments of questionable pacing, and the somber tone may isolate fans of the group's more bombastic recordings. However, top-notch musicianship and sheer vision make Galicia No Tempo among the band's most cohesive efforts.

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