The experience of listening to a concert in the Ermita de la Virgen de la Piedad, in the municipality of La Almunia de San Juan, in Huesca, is very different from that of attending in the idyllic setting of the Llanos de Planduviar, in the Broto Valley, or watching the sunset in a musical evening in front of the imposing Cartuja de Nuestra Señora de las Fuentes, in Sariñena.
But if these enclaves have something in common, it is that they are places of singular beauty, natural or patrimonial. A feature shared by the scenarios of the Sounds in Nature Festival, better known by its abbreviation: SoNna. A bet of the Provincial Council of Huesca (DPH) that reaches its fourth edition with proposals as suggestive as Los Secretos, Rodrigo Cuevas and, together, Ariel Rot and Kiko Veneno.
The concerts of these great artists, which will close the festival on September 7, 8 and 9 in the Charterhouse of Sariñena, are the only ones that will have a ticket to use, since the rest only have a symbolic price of one or three euros, depending on the capacity, so that those who book are committed to attend. Tickets can be requested from May 15 on the website of the Diputación de Huesca.
Rodrigo Cuevas, Los Secretos, Ariel Rot and Kiko Veneno, big names in SoNna 2023
The Asturian Rodrigo Cuevas will inaugurate the powerful stage of the Cartuja de Nuestra Señora de las Fuentes, on September 7 at 7:30 p.m., with a show that draws on some songs that will make up his new work and in which there is no lack of “humor, criticism, staging, costumes and play”. On September 8, at the same time, it will be the turn of Los secretos, the incombustible band from Madrid that is getting several generations to chant in their concerts slogans like ‘Déjame’, ‘Pero a tu lado’ or ‘La calle del olvido’.
On September 9 will close a winning alliance, Ariel Rot and Kiko Veneno, who face the challenge of bringing to the stage the spirit of the television program ‘Un país para escucharlo’.
Selected concerts in the rural world for small audiences
Beyond the groups that will play in the Charterhouse, with capacity for 2,000 people, the bulk of the program is made up of other proposals not so well known but equally of remarkable quality, which are moved to magical corners of nature or coquettish squares that are filled with people every summer. In these latter spaces the average capacity is about 250 people, with some more intimate bets reserved for 50 people.
“The spaces are as important as the programming”. This is how Begoña Puértolas, the DPH’s Culture technician, sums up the raison d’être of this initiative to Go Aragón, who recalls how this cycle was born in the middle of the pandemic, as an alternative to the year in which Pirineos Sur could not be held. When asked about some of the most emblematic moments of the festival, Puértolas hesitates for a few seconds to end up rescuing two. The first was the tribute of the musicians of Jarabe de Palo and other artists to Pau Donés in Montanuy, the town in the Aragonese Ribagorza where he used to return to meet his roots and his father. The second one is dedicated to one of the many magical moments created in the Charterhouse: “Juan Perro playing by himself in front of the Monastery is an overwhelming, very beautiful thing”.
“What we want is to publicize our territory: a province that has many natural areas, very varied between the northern part of the Pyrenees and the Monegros. In some shows we don’t even set up the stage, the artists are in the natural space and there is a very close proximity”.
And he goes on to explain another of the pillars of this festival that not only brings music to the rural world, but also theater and circus. “We try to dignify the work and quality of the artists. We want to intervene in the rural world in the best possible way and the program is very eclectic and varied in terms of styles: there can be from classical music to popular music, something that interests us a lot”, continues Puértolas. In fact, the first proposal announced by the DPH is along these lines: “Enredadas: Coplas y Alalás”.
A show that unites Martirio, Carmen París and the Galician Uxía and Ugia Pedreira.
They will inaugurate the unique SoNna route on the night of July 1 at the Centro de Arte y Naturaleza (CDAN) in Huesca to share “creativity and commitment to music”. As highlighted from the organization, the four composer voices have much in common, as they have all fought for the renewal of the Spanish popular song. “It could be said that they are kindred spirits from different cultural universes“, they point out about these four women “lyricists and at the same time lovers of poetry, of the songs of yesterday and always, and who surround themselves with great musicians to drink directly from the great Latin American songbook”.
They will be followed by the talented duo Pol Battle and Rita Payés at the Espacio Vicente Baldellou in Alquézar on July 2nd. Abraham Cupeiro (July 8, in the forest park La Sierra, in Ballobar), Bladimir Ros (July 9, Ermita de San Antón in Zaidín), Nuei (July 16, on the spur of the Arguis reservoir) and Joan Garriga y el Mariachi Galáctico (July 22, Centro de Arte Rupestre in Colungo) are the names of the national scene that complete the program of the first month of the festival.
In August, the musical events include Sheila Blanco (5th, at the Larredán holm oak), Amorante (6th, Gabasa ravine, in Peralta de Calasanz), Paul Vallvé (12th, at the Benabarre Castle), Jordi Fornells and Mario Mas (13th, at the Isábena viewpoint trail), Vicente Navarro (25th, San Isidro Hermitage in San Esteban de Litera) and Arnau Obiols (August 27th, El Cornato trail in Bielsa). In September, close the concerts of reduced capacity Flores & Mcewen (September 2, Espacio de Arte y Naturaleza de Berdún) and La cara B de Uesca (3, Ermita de Santa María, in Chalamera).
Music from Turkey, Argentina, Poland, Senegal and Brazil.
6 names, 5 countries and 3 continents summarize the international aspect of SoNna. They are Ali Dogan Gonultas (Turkey), a world reference in the folklore of Anatolia and Mesopotamia; the Argentine Sofia Viola, singer, actress and composer of Latin, Andean and jazz roots; the viola, accordion and double bass ensemble Kroke (Poland); the Senegalese Momi Maiga, who uses the kora and the voice as a vehicle to convey reflections on human values, as his family has done from generation to generation; the Brazilian multi-instrumentalist, singer, composer, arranger, music producer and activist Bia Ferreira, and Diana Baroni (Argentina), one of the most renowned flute players in Latin America, who will present her work ‘Mujeres’ in trio format.
The Bodegas Enate will be the stage for the performance of Bia Ferreira on August 19 and the sculptural ensembles of Abiego and Piracés will host the proposals of Diana Baroni, on August 20, and Ali Dogan Gonultas, on July 15. On July 23 will be the turn of Sofía Viola, who will perform at the hermitage of the Virgen de la Piedad, in Almunia de San Juan. On July 29 Kroke will perform at the Rincón del Olivar in Alberuela de Tubo and on August 4 will close the list of international names Momi Maiga, in Llanos de Planduviar (Broto).
Circus and theater to surprise small audiences
Although SoNna is an eminently musical festival, circus and theater are part of its DNA since the second edition. This year, the first date will be with the Catalan juggler Jordi Querol (Kerol), former collaborator of Crazy Horse Paris or Cirque du Soleil, at the Balsa de la Culada in Almudévar on July 30. He will present his show ‘Welcome to my head’, “a solo of eccentric juggling and buffoonish beatboxing” that has won awards at festivals in Paris and Japan. On August 5, the Magic Factory of the company Civi-Civiac will perform at El Pueyo de Santa Cruz in front of the smallest capacity of the festival: only 50 people. Another of the most special moments of this fourth edition of SoNna will be experienced in the Plaza de la Iglesia de Benasque, on August 11, with the show of the Catalan Jordi Mestre, ‘Soul Mountain’, which combines music, mountaineering and audiovisual production.
On August 18, the festival’s caravan will travel to the town of Fonz to host the SoNna Huesca 2023 circus gala, to be held in the gardens of Casa Ric-Otal with a cast of artists from contemporary circus disciplines and directed by Encarni Corrales (Teatro Indigesto).
On August 27, the show ‘Meñique’, by the pulse and plectrum orchestra Atenea and Habana Teatro in the park of the hermitage of San Bartolomé, in Altorricón, and ‘Golondrinas’, by the Violeta Borruel Company, will follow on August 27. Their contemporary dance proposal, which they will perform at the Anzánigo train station, pays homage to the women of the Pyrenees who migrated to the south of France during the 19th and 20th centuries to work there during the winter and returned home in the spring.