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For Gran Canarian artist Hirahi Afonso, traditional Canarian music could have been his natural environment, allowing him to move like a fish in water; however, the timple (a traditional five-string plucked string instrument native to the Canary Islands) has been his tool to explore different musical styles like jazz and pop. Hirahi is credited with renewing, for a new generation, the music that emanates from his instrument; his creations take him beyond the music of his Canarian roots into places unexplored by the timple.
In live performances, the timplista often collaborates with a band of brilliant young Barcelonian musicians, such as Pau Figueres (guitar) and Daniel Farran (percussion).
Recorded in Barcelona and New York, Hirahi’s first album, titled Memento (the Latin word for memory), is a compilation of original compositions that reflect the musician’s life experiences and channel his various styles – ranging from the Canarian tradition to Mediterranean song to Latin American folklore. It features contributions from renowned artists like singers Judit Neddermann and Sílvia Pérez Cruz.
Hirahi says, “The music [on Memento] sometimes drifts into something less cheerful, but they are memories that I look back on with joy and not sadness. It’s about emotions that happened to me at the time, and they were all for the best. It doesn’t evoke sadness and the cover photograph is in black and white because when you look back, everything is in black and white”.