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“In August 2015 I went to live in Arsèguel, in the Baridà area, with the idea of Rufaca in my head. At that time the project went by the generic name of Projecte Cadí, having emerged from my classes with Ivan Garriga in the three years before at the Superior del Liceu”

···· Sergi Vergés

The original idea consisted of bringing the traditional music of the Pyrenees to a standard big band format, and I already suspected then that this would not be just any project: it would be my first personal project, in the summer of my 50th birthday and after at least two decades writing big band music on commission. But I had no idea of the magnitude of the journey I was about to embark on: how strongly these tunes would become part of my life, the hundreds of kilometres I would travel around the area with them in my head,

or going in circles in the dining room at home, like a caged beast, in the warmth from the fireplace. Inspiration, if it exists, is no more than compulsion, as Gil de Biedma rightly said. I had no idea of the many days of absolute frustration or the (less common) days of stunned euphoria; the books, records and concerts I would feed on and above all the landscapes and people that were to come along and have now shaped me for ever.

The result of this almost Homeric journey is what you now have before you. Listening to them I think, like Cortázar, that these arrangements deserve to be together so that out of the disenchantment of each of them grows the will of the next. I also think of the man Borges spoke of, who sets himself the task of drawing the world and one day discovers that his patient labyrinth of lines forms the image of his face. I recognise my face in all this music: my influences, my obsessions, the things I love. I don’t know whether in the end it’s jazz or folk, musical categories are of little interest to me: it is just a point of view of the musical world around me, a subjective but impassioned gaze. I spend my life teaching that passion is the only honest approach to my trade, and that everything you put into it ends up impregnating the music and, one way or another, manages to come across. I hope I am not wrong and this record bears out my argument. A big band with roots (27 musicians on stage!)