James Last - The Bay of Biscay and the Basques' Mythology

Subject: 
James Last - The Bay of Biscay and the Basques' Mythology
Posted By: 
Jack Dancer
Date: 
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 02:31 pm

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James Last (also known as \"Hansi\", born Hans Last on 17 April 1929 in Bremen) is a German composer and big band leader.
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James Last first released albums in the U.S. under the titles The American Patrol on Warner Brothers around 1964. He also released a series of 9 albums in a series called Classics Up To Date vols. 1–9 which served up arrangements of classical melodies with strings, rhythm and wordless chorus from the mid sixties through the early seventies. Last released an album, Non-Stop Dancing, in 1965, a recording of brief renditions of popular songs, all tied together by an insistent dance beat and crowd noises. It was a hit and helped make him a major European star. Over the next four decades, Last released over 190 records, including several more volumes of Non-Stop Dancing. On these records, he varies his formula by adding different songs from different countries and genres, as well as guest performers like Richard Clayderman and Astrud Gilberto. He also had his own successful television series in the 1970s with guests ABBA and Lynsey de Paul.

Though his concerts and albums are consistently successful — especially in the United Kingdom, where he had 52 hit albums between 1967 and 1986, which made him second only to Elvis Presley in charting records[citation needed]—he has only had two hit singles with \"The Seduction\", the theme from American Gigolo (1980) composed by Giorgio Moroder, and \"Biscaya\" from the album Biscaya. The song \"The Lonely Shepherd\" was written by an unknown artist. The song was performed by Gheorghe Zamfir for over three decades before Tarantino decided to use it in his film Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003).[2]

He has won numerous popular and professional awards, including Billboard magazine\'s Star of the Year trophy in 1976, and has been honoured for lifetime achievement with the German ECHO prize in 1994. His song \"Music from Across the Way\" (recorded by Andy Williams in 1972) is a melody with a classical feeling and was a worldwide hit.

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Basques PreChristian Belief

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seems to have focused on a goddess called Mari. A number of place-names contain her name and would suggest these places were related to worship of her such as Anbotoko Mari who appears to have been related to the weather. According to one tradition, she traveled every seven years between a cave on Mount Anboto and one on another mountain (the stories vary); the weather would be wet when she was in Anboto, dry when she was in AloГ±a, or Supelegor, or Gorbea. One of her names, Mari Urraca possibly ties here to a historical Navarrese princess of the 11th and 12th century, with other legends giving her a brother or cousin who was a Roman Catholic priest. So far the discussions about whether the name Mari is original and just happened to coincide closely with the Christian name MarГ­a or if Mari is an early Basque attempt to give a Christian veneer to pagan worship have remained speculative.

Mari\'s consort is Sugaar. This chthonic couple seem to bear the superior ethical power and also the power of creation and destruction.
It\'s said that when they gathered in the high caves of the sacred peaks, they engendered the storms. These meetings typically happened on Friday nights, the day of historical akelarre or coven. Mari was said to reside in Mount Anboto; periodically she crossed the skies as a bright light to reach her other home at mount Txindoki.

Legends also speak of many and abundant genies, like jentilak (equivalent to giants), lamiak (equivalent to nymphs), mairuak (builders of the cromlechs or stone circles, literally Moors), iratxoak (imps), sorginak (witches, priestess of Mari), etc. Basajaun is a Basque version of the Woodwose. There is a trickster named San Martin Txiki (\"St Martin the Lesser\").

It has been shown that some of these stories have entered Basque culture in recent centuries or as part of Roman superstition. It is unclear whether neolithic stone structures called dolmens have a religious significance or were built to house animals or resting shepherds. Some of the dolmens and cromlechs are burial sites serving as well as border markers.

The jentilak (\'Giants\'), on the other hand, are a legendary people which explains the disappearance of a people of Stone Age culture that used to live in the high lands and with no knowledge of the iron. Many legends about them tell that they were bigger and taller, with a great force, but were displaced by the ferrons, or workers of ironworks foundries, until their total fade-out. They were pagans, but one of them, Olentzero, accepted Christianity and became a sort of Basque Santa Claus. They gave name to several toponyms, as Jentilbaratza.
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more
Basque Mythology

The Baskian Swastika Lauburu, its symbolic meaning and history
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Mr. Mujica believes that the Lauburu symbolizes mankind, made up of four elements: Form, Life, Sensibility and Conscience.

* Form:
symbolizes a passive quality and serves as a vessel for the other three; philosophically they are called Maria, Mari, Maya and Miriam. It is Mother Nature in a solid Form. Form serves as a tool.

* Life:
symbolizes strength or the spirit that we possess, also known as Iehova.

* Sensibility:
symbolizes Christ and in our evolutionary state it symbolizes love and human equilibrium. Sensibility guides us towards strength which acts through wishes and the conscience tells the individual how one should behave to achieve those wishes or emotions.

* Conscience:
symbolizes the Father.

The four basic human elements relate to the four scientific elements:
solid, liquid, gas and radiant
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Having outlined these two types of elements, Mr. Mujica suggests that the Lauburu is a symbolic expression of these elements.
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What else is there?

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