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  • 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

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