10 October 2012

A song in Iberian

It's true, I haven't published any posts in the last few months, and the main reason is that I've been busy with other things. For example, I've written and directed my first short film, and now I'm starting the production of a play that I wrote some years ago. But anyway, I'm back on Language Continuity. My re-activation coincides with an interesting event that will take place in my city (Valencia), from the 24 to 26 of October: the IX International Conference on pre-Roman Languages and Cultures of the Iberian Peninsula (you can find the programme here). I'll be busy at work those days, but I'll try to attend as many lectures as possible. Among the participants, some of the most prestigious experts in the field. The readers of this blog might be familiar with some of the names: Xaverio Ballester, Eugenio Luján, Eduardo Blasco-Ferrer, Joan Ferrer i Jané, Joseba Lakarra, Eduardo Orduña, Javier Velaza, Nemí Moncunill, Martín Almagro-Gorbea and John T. Koch.

The speeches on Saturday 26, including Koch's, will be held at the Archaeological Museum of Llíria, a town near Valencia with some interesting pre-Roman and Roman sites. The finest examples of Iberian painted pottery have been found there. Some time ago I visited Edeta, a very well preserved pre-Roman site, and I was just impressed. Edeta is strategically placed on top of a mountain, overlooking the fertile plain around Llíria and the mountains beyond. This is one of the photos I took that day:
The venue for Thursday the 25th is the Museum of Prehistory of Valencia, which is also worth a visit. In the evening, during one of the breaks, there will be a music performance by a band called Ovidi Twins. What's peculiar about this band is that they actually have a song in Iberian! It is called Irriké, and its text is adapted from a well-known inscription that was found in Alcoi (plomo de la Serreta de Alcoi). As far as I know, it's the only Iberian song ever recorded. You can listen to it here. The song is included in a beautifully edited CD-book called Montgòlia (2011).

If you prefer, you can also take a look at the following video, where the members of the band present the song in Valencian. This is one of the things they say:
            - "(Iberian) is a language that can be read, but not understood."
           - "Like French".


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