From August 5 to August 14 2022, the Lorient Interceltic Festival will be holding its 51st edition : Asturias are the guest nation this summer in Lorient !
Located in the heart of Spain's green belt, facing the Cantabrian Sea to the north and surrounded on its southern flank by mountains over 2,500 metres high, Asturias is a territory recognized as a "Natural Paradise" in Spain.
With one million inhabitants and 10,600 square kilometres, it is home to seven areas classified as UNESCO biosphere reserves, including Spain's first national park - Picos de Europa - as well as 400 kilometres of the best preserved coastline in the country.
THE PEAKS OF CELTITUDE
Immerse yourself in the valleys and mountains landscapes of Asturias. A southerly wind is blowing towards Brittany, spreading the warmth of the south to the interceltic capital !
FOCUS ON RELIEF
In an effect of perspective, we find the different types of relief that characterize Asturias: valleys, plains, and of course mountains with the famous "Picos de Europa" range that straddles the region of Asturias. These can be seen in the centre of the poster and seem to hold up the logo of the Interceltic Festival.
A palette of bright colours evokes the warmth of the southernmost Celtic nation. There are also splashes of blue, echoing the Asturian flag.
The play of colours and textures recalls the setting sun. The colour gradients, with a very dark blue in the foreground, fade to lighter hues, bringing a sense of depth to the perspective and highlighting the mountain peaks mentioned above.
BANDA DE GAÏTAS
In the foreground, standing on the ridge, we can see the silhouettes of a typical gaïta band and dancers. Can you hear th ebeat of the drums and the playful tunes of the gaïtas? Admire the dancers' colourful dresses as they wave their arms in the air. Clap your hands in time with the Southern Celtic music as the banda makes its way towards Lorient. Most importantly, let's be there to welcome them!
NEW IN 2022
L’AMPHI - ESPACE JEAN-PIERRE PICHARD : the Festival's newest biggest stage !
In the evenings, this stage will be devoted to the biggest headlining acts of the Festival but will also offer music and dance performances on certains afternoons. Located on the Place d'Armes, the venue allows a new configuration !
As its name suggests, the stage takes the form of an amphitheatre, with seats arranged in a semi-circle. It is outdoors and the public can enjoy some of the LIF's best events here. The smaller capacity ensures that guests benefit from a stellar sound system and are closer to the artists on stage.
LE KLEUB : a new venue in the Town Hall
A venue for current and "ephemeral" Celtic music, Le Kleub is the newest stage at the LIF. Every evening, it will host musical proposals by the young generation, showcasing contemporary Celtic music as its best.
Dance to the tunes of the different guest artists, all from a wide range of Celtic nations. To close each evening's performances, a DJ set or electronic music will take pride of place. Le Kleub : the LIF's newest venue for post-traditional music !
THE LIF IN FIGURES
800 000 festivalgoers - 4 500 artists - 1 700 volunters - 250 concerts - 13 stages
ZOOM ON THE 2022 EDITION
ASTURIAN OPENING NIGHT GALA
For this opening night, the public can enjoy a tribute concert to Elías García and all those who passed away in the last three years. Birds instinctively know their way to more temperate climes. They have been migrating for thousands of years. Music should be made to attract birds back to our house when we need to feel their presence. When we see them flying high, we should remember the immensity of the sky, the passage of time, and the beauty of freedom.
Fleuves are an atypical trio: clarinet, Fender Rhodes piano, and bass. With their entire repertoire inspired by the rythms of traditional Breton dances, the three musicians have developed an original electro sound with strong cinematic potential. The group's compositions merge genres and produce a sophisticated and original electro sound that is refreshingly new. Fleuves invite audiences to move: the throbbing beat induces an almost levitating trance! The group are part of a new generation of musicians in Brittany, rooted in popular music but proficient in current innovative aesthetics.
Twenty-five years ago, in March 1995, Boire (Drink) was released on an independant label from Brussels. This low-budget record, with its tight compositions, rough lyrics, and without percussion, was a far cry from the radio-friendly music of the time. The album had nevertheless a significant cultural impact on a certain generation and artists like Gréco, Birkin, Gardot, Hallyday, Bashung, and Eicher have since drawn on it for inspiration. This concert is a reinterpretation of Miossec's first album, as well as songs written for others. Performing new music written during lockdown, and sung with Mirabelle Gilis, this event promises to be a memorable occasion.
LLAN DE CUBEL
Since their creation in 1984, Llan de Cubel have hounoured the Asturian musical tradition while giving it a new sound. Pioneers of Asturian fol, they draw inspiration from local archives and popular songs, but also from other traditions from the Atlantic Arc, which enrich their repertoire. The mainly acoustic compositions have solid melodic and percussive bases from the use of traditional instruments like the gaïta, violin, wooden transverse flute, etc., complemented by the harmony of the acoustic guitar and the bouzouki. Having already performed seven times at the Lorient Interceltic Festival, Llan de Cuble return in 2022 to proudly represent their homeland, and to showcase the rich Asturian musical culture.
Many festivalgoers discovered them in 2017 during exceptional performances at the Scottish Pavilion. Over four albums, Elephant Sessions have become the benchmark of the European neo-trad scene. This multi-award winning group continue to put on a memorable show and their music, with its rock, funk and trad influences, has been played at festivals all around the world! No doubt, the five young artists will spread their infectious energy at Le Kleub too!
LE VENT DU NORD
Le Vent du Nord (Nothern Wind) are not only considered an incomparable French-speaking ambassador but a motor of the Quebec progressive folk movement. They have also contributed to the revival of traditional music in Quebec. Since their beginnings in 2002, the group has experienced a breath-taking meteoric rise! The group's skills at performing, arranging and composing, as well as their very strong stage presence and deep generosity, are celebrated worldwide. The folk/trad quintet celbrates their 20th birthday with the launch of their 11th feel-good album 20 Printemps. Le Vent du Nords invites audiences to discover twelve lively pieces and songs in this memorable concert, with Lorient's darling, Acadian musican Dominique Dupuis opening the evening.
The quartet Mec Lir truly shatters the genre of Celtic music! Founded in 2014, the group have since performed on some of the biggest stages of various Celtic festivals. This daring and exuberant Isle of Man/Glasgow-based band feature an interstellar line-up: virtuoso violinist Tomas Callister (Ímar), accompanied by fellow musicians Adam Rhodes on bouzouki (Ímar), David Kilgallon on keyboards (Chronicles), and Scotsman Greg Barry on drums (Elephant Sessions). They spent three years writing and recording their first full album, Livewire, released in 2020. Well known for their tight, lightning-fast playing and impressive sound, Mec Lir’s main aim is to create music that makes listeners happy. Good times guaranteed!
Silvia Quesada is an Asturian singer, instrumentalist, and composer. Her voice is not unknown to lovers of recent Asturian music: she has been part of groups like Tejedor, Los gatos del fornu, Muyeres, and Blima. She began her solo career in 2014 with the album La pena abierta, and won the AMAS (Asturian music award) for Best Voice. In 2019, she released her second album, Prefiero ver llover, which earned her the AMAS Prize for Best Record.
Asturian singer Rodrigo Cuevas describes himself as a “folk agitator”. Driven by a deep love of folk music and a desire to revive it, Rodrigo Cuevas launched an ambitious operation to modernize Asturian traditions. His music is inspired by the traditional rhythms and songs of northern Spain, which he appropriates by modernizing them with electronic instrumentation and a certain formal audacity. The originality of his approach is also reflected in the stage persona he has constructed for himself: half-drag queen, half-gentleman-sorcerer, wearing a queer costume new to the conservative world of traditional music and rural Spain, where he now lives. His latest album, produced in collaboration with producer Raül Refree, is innovative, insolent, and sensual. The new darling of many major festivals and the media, the remarkable Rodrigo Cuevas is sure to ignite Le Kleub stage on Sunday, 7 August!
CAPERCAILLIE & THE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA
Founded in 1984, Scottish group Capercaillie has been one of the leading groups on the world Celtic scene for over 35 years. The group has skilfully merged its Gaelic roots with contemporary influences, mixing modern and so-called ancient instruments (keyboard, bass, percussion, guitar, flutes, fiddle, accordion, uilleann pipes, etc.), alternating compositions and traditional pieces, and singing both in English and Gaelic. Led by singer Karen Matheson, the group has recorded almost 20 albums, selling more than a million copies worldwide! For this special concert in Lorient, Capercaillie will be accompanied by the Lorient Interceltic Festival Orchestra, conducted by Greg Lawson.
The show is an invitation to travel along the celtic arc with 18 artists : Karen Matheson (Scotland), Denez Prigent (Brittany), Karan Casey (Ireland), Cerys Hafana (Wales), Fransy González (Galicia), Sylvia Quesada (Asturias) and Lauren Chandler (Cornwall) singing – Donal O’Connor (Ireland) playing the fiddle and the piano, José Manuel Tejedor (Asturias) playing the bagpipes, Tomas Callister (lsle of Man) playing the fiddle, Donald Shaw (Scotland) playing the accordion and the piano, Adam Rhodes (Isle of Man) playing the bouzouki, Niall Vallely (Ireland) playing the concertina. Alongside Ronan Le Bars playing the uilleann pipes, Liam Roudil (guitar), Pierrick Tardivel (bass), Aymeric Le Martelot (keyboards) et Thomas Bessé (drums).
Discover “Celtic Horizons”, the largest night-time show of the Festival, held at the Stade du Moustoir. This remarkable show, suitable for all the family, brings together music, dance, and song, and features over 500 artists from all of the Celtic nations. Dance to the sound of bagpipes, percussion, and other traditional instruments. A light show, with spectacular video projections on giant screens, combined with digital sequences, transports audiences to the magical world of Celtic culture. A fireworks display brings this memorable evening to a close. A night to remember!
NOT TO BE MISSED: THE GRAND PARADE OF THE CELTIC NATIONS
A veritable highlight of the Festival, the Grand Parade is a unique event that should be experienced at least once in a lifetime! Every year, it brings together some 3,500 artists in traditional dress from all over the Celtic planet. Dancers, musicians, bagadoù, pipe bands, and bandas de gaïta parade through the streets of Lorient, providing an exciting spectacle for festivalgoers. According to tradition, the parade opens with the flag procession of the Celtic nations, followed by the renowned Bagad de Lann-Bihoué, and then a whole host of other musicians and dancers stroll through the streets of Lorient.
Photo Credits: (1) Lorient Interceltic Festival, (2) Hevia/a>, (3) Llan de Cubel, (4) Le Vent du Nord (unknown/website); (5) José Manuel Tejedor (by William Kennedy Piping Festival).