NOKA and Mikel Markez: "Saldu Nenduen"
Although they were relocated indoors due to the hot summer storm ensuing outside, there couldn’t have been a better venue to hear the rich harmonies of NOKA and Mikel Markez. As drenched visitors packed into the East Wing of the Arts and Industries Building, the Chino, California-based trio and the well-known Basque guitarist captivated the audience with folk songs whose melodies were sometimes familiar, yet whose words were in a language that was undoubtedly new to many ears.
Singers Andrea Miren Bidart, Cathy Petrissans, and Begoña Echeverria use Euskara to entertain but also seamlessly educate their audiences about the history and condition of the Basque language, its nuances—such as the now rare form of feminine address that is their namesake—and the Basque American immigrant experience.
In this song, NOKA reworks a traditional tune into “Saldu Nenduen,” which translated as “He Sold Me.”
Aita nuen saltzaile /// My father was my seller
Ama diruen artzaile /// My mother, the money taker
Anaia Bernardo /// My brother, Bernardo
Mairu-errira entregatzaile /// Manager of the village Moors
Saldu nenduen dirutan ere /// He sold me for money
Aunitzetan dirutan /// A lot of money
Neunek pisa-ala /// For my weight in gold
Urretan bi ezti kupeletan /// And two barrels of honey
Saldu nenduen /// He sold me
Neure alaba /// My daughter
Zer dun orrela nigarrez? /// Why do you cry like that?
Ire yauntziak eginik /// Your clothes will be made
Urre ta zilarrez /// Of silver and gold
Andre Emili, andre, gora /// My wife, Emili, go up
Orai ez arto-jorra /// There is no more corn
Ogirik orra hain guti /// And so little bread
Zoaz Mairu herrin gora /// Go up to the Moors’ village
Videographers: Pruitt Allen, Andrea Curran, Joshua Davis, Ryan Shank
Sound recordist: David Walker
Editor: Ryan Shank
Text: Kyle Baker