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Category Archives: Modeste Hugues



“A pesar de que dejé Betroka muy joven, la música de Madagascar está incrustada en mi corazón, está en mi sangre y me mantiene fresco y feliz.”.

¿Cómo llegué a la música?

Me crié en Betroka, una ciudad del centro-sur de Madagascar.

La música que hago es única a la región, donde es influenciada por sonidos tradicionales y algunos ritmos de danzas suaves del sur de áfrica. Aunque mi madre canta y mí tío tocaba el acordeón, no empecé a tocar hasta los 15 años de edad. Un vecino había tocado la guitarra y me gustó tanto el sonido que se la pedí prestada y me enseñó. Luego se mudó con su guitarra, así que construí la mía en el taller de la universidad técnica local donde mi padre era maestro. Tuve que usar líneas de pesca para las cuerdas, lo que significaba que tenía que manteneme muy cerca para escuchar el sonido, pero perseveré a pesar de que probablemente estubiese totalmente fuera de tono.

Por ese tiempo me interesé por otros sonidos musicales, especialmente los de la Mervan, instrumento tradicional de Madagascar, una especie de caja con 24 cuerdas como el Kora, de África Occidental. También me sumergí en los sonidos de la selva, los pájaros, silbidos de los pastores en las montañas … cualquier sonido que llamara mi atención, yo trataba de imitarlo a mi guitarra casera.

Mi hermano, Zariny Albert, también estaba en la música en ese momento y tocamos juntos en fiestas locales. Incluso tuvo un gran éxito con su grupo. Durante esa época, debido en parte al estímulo de mi padre, me fui a Bulgaria donde tenía beca de la Unesco para hacer un posgrado en ingeniería electrónica. A pesar de que estaba ocupado con mis estudios siempre hice lugar a la música. Conocí a mi esposa griega por lo que nos trasladamos a Grecia. Trabajé como ingeniero, pero cuando nos mudamos a Londres en 1996 había decidido que quería dedicarme a la música porque es mi primer amor.

Read the Original Here

“Though I left Betroka as a young man, Malagasy music is embedded in my heart – it’s in my blood. It keeps me cool and happy.”

How I came to this music

I grew up in Betroka, a town in the central southern part of Madagascar. My full name is Modeste Hugues Randramahitasoa but I stick to Hugues because it’s shorter.

The music I play is unique to the Betroka region of Madagascar where it’s influenced by all the traditional sounds of the area together with some softer South African dance rhythms. Though my mother sings and an uncle of mine played the accordion, I didn’t start to play until I was about 15 years old. A neighbour played the guitar and I loved the sounds so much that I borrowed his and taught myself. Then he moved away with his guitar so I built my own at the workshop in the local technical college where my father was a teacher. I had to use fishing line for string so it meant I had to hold it very close to hear the sound but I persevered even though it was probably totally out of tune.

Around that time I got interested in other musical sounds especially those of the mervan, the traditional Malagasy instrument which is a box shape with 24 strings which you play like the West African kora. I also soaked in the sounds of the bush, the birds, whistling of the shepherds in the hills … any sound that appealed to my senses, I tried to imitate on my home-made guitar.

My brother, Zariny Albert, was also into music at the time and we played together at local celebrations. He even had a hit with the group, Zafison Karimbary but Zariny has passed on now. During that time, partly due to my father’s encouragement, I took a degree in engineering and when I was 26, I left for Bulgaria where I got a U.N.E.S.C.O. scholarship to do a post-graduate in electronic engineering. Though I was busy with my studies, I always made time for music and would lead all the student celebrations. Then I met my wife whose Greek so we moved to Greece. I worked as an engineer but by the time we moved to London in 1996 I had decided that I wanted to pursue music because it is my first love. It’s a pity my father is now dead. Though he was happy I completed my studies, I’m disappointed that he can’t experience my music as it evolves now.

from BBC.co.uk

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