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Although they are not a traditional band, in the strict sense, they are fully respectful with the tradition, and very proficient musicians in all senses. Milladoiro is, without any doubt, the best known Galician folk band.

``Milladoiro'' is the Galician name for the heaps of stones built by shepherds. It is also the name of a Galician folk music band with some 15 years of history. Milladoiro plays traditional Galician tunes, arranged for different instruments. They play as well compositions of their own and tunes of Breton, Scottish and Irish origin.

At the time of writing this, Milladoiro is composed by:

The former violin player, Michel Canadá, left the band some years ago. Previously to him, Laura Quintillán was the first violin player of the band.

A Short History

Part of the musicians in Milladoiro (X. V. Ferreirós, F. Casal), together with R. García Rei (not in Milladoiro) used to play traditional Galician music in open air festivals, gathering experience and learning from other traditional bands: os Campaneiros, os Irmáns Garceiras, os Areeiras, os Rosales... and many more. On the other side, there was a couple of musicians (R. Romaní, A. Seoane) which were more interested in the sound and instruments of middle age music, in an eternal pilgrimage through Galicia, seeking for the craftsmen who still built the offsprings of these ancient instruments. Another musician, X. Méndez, used to spend his time at musical libraries in cathedrals and old archive buildings. They, together with the violin player Laura Quintillán, were the first Milladoiro formation. Laura Quintillán left some time ago, to be replaced by Michel Canada, and by Antón Seijo after Michel.

``We belong here as long as we know and respect the time and space, rich and diverse we live in. We do not pretend to make any proclamation with our music. We only want to entertain and to have fun with a treasure: the melodies our country bequeathed us, a fruit of anonymous, traditional musicians.''

``We would like to give our country back all we received from it in the shape of beautiful, live music, in the hope that it will help us to exist under the unavoidable cover of the global village.''

Milladoiro changed their style as time passed, and even in a single CD the play very different types of tunes. Their recordings range from plain traditional music to quite sophisticated renderings of symphonic music by Galician composers. As time passed, Milladoiro's melodies and arrangements become more complex.


Their first recording, with only two members. Simple in the form, but deep in contents.

A Galicia de Maeloc
(Galicia in the times of Maeloc -- Ruada, 1979) The full band plays here.

O Berro Seco
(Dry Shout -- Ruada, 1980).

Milladoiro 3
(CBS, 1982).

(not a Spanish or Galician word -- CBS, 1984).

Galicia no Pais das Maravillas
(Galicia in Wonderland -- CBS, 1986).

Divinas Palabras
(Divine Words -- ION, 1987) Music for the Spanish film of the same title, based on a novel by the Spanish writer Valle-Inclán.

Castellum Honesti
(Honest Castle? -- Ariola/Green Linnet, 1989) This recording, for me, marks clearly a transition point in Milladoiro's style. Interesting for those who already know Galician music, because of the new treatment given to old melodies. Available in Green Linnet.

Galicia no Tempo
(Galicia Through the Ages -- Discmedi/Green Linnet, 1991) A suite composed for the exhibition ``1000 years of Galicia''. Available in Green Linnet.
A Vía Lactea
(The Milky Way -- Cormorán, 1993) I believe this is a soundtrack for some theater play.

A Xeometría da alma
(The Soul's Geometry -- Cormorán, 1993) Music for the exhibition of a Maruja Mallo, a Galician artist.

Iacobus Magnus
(The Great James -- Discmedi, 1994) St. James is one of the disciples of Jesus Christ. St. James is supposed to be buried in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela (Santiago comes from Saint James, Compostela from the Latin Campus Stellae, ``the Field of the Star''). Quoting from a newspaper,
The last musical adventure of Milladoiro is, without any doubt, the most ambitious one in their long career. The band faced a long orchestral suite built on the huge musical background of their homeland. New music, jointly written by all the components of the bane, which combines their usual folk sounds with beautiful symphonic moments, with the collaboration of The English Chamber Orchestra. Iacobus Magnus is a piece of work with lots of feelings and love for the past and present of Galician music.
Gallaecia Fulget
(Galicia Brights -- Cormorán, 1995) Music track for the commemoration of the 500 years of Santiago de Compostela University

As fadas de estraño nome
(Fairies with Strange Names -- Discmedi, 1995) Recorded live; I love it very much, and I deeply recommend it, since it gives a thorough view of Milladoiro's music - perhaps forgetting a little bit their more Celtic-like side. Get this one if you can.

Other Works in Collaboration:

with The Chieftains.
Solstice Live
with Paul Winter.
The Seville Suite - Kinsale to La Coruña
with Davy Spillane, Mairtin O'Connor, Milladoiro and the RTE Concert Orchestra, composed by Bill Wheelan.
The Given Note
with Liam O'Flynn.

Where Can I Get Milladoiro Recordings from?

Other than those carried by Green Linnet (and maybe by CBS?), I know of no international source of Milladoiro recordings. I'm sorry.

More about Milladoiro

If you find this information interesting, drop me a mail telling me so; I'd be glad of knowing that. But don't ask me for more specific information, since there is little more I can say. Milladoiro can be reached at:

Estudios Cormorán
Parque empresarial ``A Picaraña''
15980 Padrón
A Coruña
Ph. +34-81-803490 -- 597358
Fax +34-81-803490

Other Sources of Information

Check out this interview which I got from Roots World.

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Next: Durindaina Up: Galician Bands Previous: Contents