Yesterday, we brought back an article we’d written all the way back in 2012 where we discussed the Soinu Mapa at Audiolab, which was collecting the sounds of our country.  We found the idea thrilling, and were so glad they were doing it.  Looking back now, it could even be successor to the work of American ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax who, from 1952–53, paid us a visit and collected audios that have extraordinary value.  Find out more about that here.

By the way, the surname Lomax has a long and fruitful history with the Basques.  Bess Lomax Hawes, the first director of the Traditional and Folk Arts Program and the NEA, and sister to Alan Lomax, is the creator of the National Heritage Fellowship (NEA), which has been awarding traditional artists in the US since 1982 through the National Endowment for the Arts.  This award has been granted to Basque-Americans six times for their contributions to American culture.  Find out more here.

But getting back to Audiolab and their work on the sounds of our nation,.  This non-profit cultural association dedicated to sound research is based in Bera, Navarre, and is part of the European Tramontana network, whose goal is to document, process, analyze, reproduce, and share, through innovative, participatory, and dynamic means, the intangible cultural heritage of the rural and mountain societies of Europe.

And the reason we brought back a ten-year-old article is because we wanted to give some context to the entry we’re writing today.

Among the many works collected on this European network’s website, there is one that, in addition to being of great importance for preserving and maintaining intangible cultural heritage, as they all are, is also very current: the sounds of carnivals.

Audiolab, who’s in charge of the project, named “Inautherria”, collects the sounds of Carnival festivals from all over Europe, but what we can mostly find are the sounds of carnivals in the Basque Country.  They are the sounds of the celebrations held across the length and breadth of our land, from Soule to Biscay and from the Basque Country to the Bardenas.  They’re jewels that let us travel across the whole of the geography, and traditions, of our country.

We’ll leave you with some of the reports we’ve seen in world media about our carnivals.  We even dedicated one of our Viewpoints episodes to the Mascarada in Xiberoa,  including a video.

Tramontana – 6/2019 – Europe

Noise and voices from European Carnivals

Europako inauterietako hots eta zaratak is a project developed by Audiolab in collaboration with the various partners of the Tramontana III network during the years 2018 and 2019 using the tools of the Soinumapa digital repository.

(Follow) (Automatic translation)

Header photo: Carnival of Auritz/Burgete  – Audiolab

NB: Inauterriak is the Basque word for “Carnivals,” and Herria is, of course, “Country.”

Last Updated on Feb 8, 2023 by About Basque Country

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