04. We’re on the Celtic Fringe! Celtic Music and Nationalism in Galicia



1. Emilio Cao, “Fonte do Araño”

From: Fonte do Araño. Novola NLX-1080, 1977, 33⅓ rpm.


Emilio Cao: voice, harp; Xosé Ferreirós: bagpipes.




Stivell’s liner notes in Fonte do Araño.


This album, the first of Galician harpist Emilio Cao, is considered the cornerstone of Galician Celtic music. It included the important contributions of Ferreirós and Seoane, future members of Milladoiro. The liner notes by Alan Stivell sealed somehow the twinning of Galicia with the rest of the “Celtic nations” within the framework of the then dawning Celtic music.


2. Milladoiro, Danza de San Roque de Hío

From: A Galicia de Maeloc. Ruada R-103D, 1980, 33⅓ rpm.


Performers (for the whole album): Xosé V. Ferreirós: bagpipes, oboe, mandoline, uillean pipe, tin whistle, tambourine, bouzouki, voice; Fernando Casal: bagpipes, clarinet, tin whistle, tambourine, crumhorn, voice; Ramón García Rei: bodhrán, snare drum, percussion; Rodrigo Romaní: Celtic harp, guitars, bouzouki, ocarina, voice; Antón Seoane: harpsichord, guitar, hurdy-gurdy, accordion, voice; Laura Quintillán: violin; Xosé A. F. Méndez: flutes.




Maeloc was a Breton bishop who emigrated from his homeland to Galicia in the fifth century AD. A Galicia de Maeloc was Milladoiro’s first release: it includes eight Galician traditional themes, an Irish one and four new compositions. The reception of the album was terrific, inside and outside Galicia. A milestone of Galician Celtic music, A Galicia de Maeloc pointed the aesthetic and cultural way forward for many musicians and followers.


3. Carlos Núñez, A irmandade das estrelas

BMG Ariola 74321 391542, 1996, compact disc.


Performers (for the whole album): Paddy Moloney (with and without the rest of the Chieftains): uillean pipe; Ry Cooder: guitars, cittern, mandola; Luz Casal: voice; Derek Bell: harp; Kepa Junkera: accordion; Diego Bouzón: Spanish guitar; Pancho Alvarez: bouzouki, mandolin, acoustic guitar; Fernando Fraga: accordion, piano, keyboards; Marcos Vázquez: bodhrán, drum, tympani, percussion; Enrique Iglesias: violin; Carlos Núñez: bagpipes, recorder, whistle, ocarina, Jews harp; and others. Live performance of the whole album.


Part 1


Part 2




A irmandade das estrelas (Brotherhood of Stars) reflects the 1990s Celtic music wave in Galicia, the second and most powerful one. It was the first  album by Galician piper Carlos Núñez, and his personal leap to fame. The hybrid and translocal character of the music seems clear considering the impressive list of players and the fact that it was recorded in Dublin, Madrid, California, Paris, Lisbon and Vigo.


4. José Angel Hevia, “Busindre Reel”

From: Tierra de nadie. Hispavox 7243 4 98338 2 1, 1998, compact disc.


Performers (for the whole album): José Angel Hevia: bagpipes (electric, Asturian), low and thin whistle, tambourine; Juan Carlos Mendoza: electric bass; Tao Gutiérrez: didgeridoo, percussion; Cristian Constantini: drums; Javier Monforte: electric guitar; Marco Rasa: keyboards; Mari Luz Cristóbal Caunedo: voice; Villaviciosa Pipe Band: percussion, bagpipes.




The album sold more than a million copies in the two years that followed its release, well above any other Iberian Celtic album. Thenceforth Hevia has been the most acknowledged piper from Asturias, the neighbour region of Galicia in the northwest extreme of Spain, and known worldwide for this tune.