Biography

THE BEGINNING

Amarok (wolf in Eskimo) came into being at the beginning of 1990 as a product of the creative efforts of Robert Santamaría and Lídia Cerón. Robert, who holds a PhD in Paleontology and who is the main composer of the group, has a long history of multimedia compositions on electronic keyboards and piano, centred on themes involving nature and scientific subjects. Lídia, the vocalist, had a classical background and training in singing, and was a member of the Independent Univesity of Barcelona Chorus, among others.

Between 1990 and 1992, with the aid of different musicians and instrumentation, Amarok performed in numerous venues around Catalonia. In the summer of 1991, they released their first group recording, "Migracions" (Migrations), and in February of 1992 Amarok was invited to participate in the "IV Encuentro Latinoamericano de Música Electrónica" (Fourth Latin-American Electronic Music Encounter). This meeting took place in Caracas (Venezuela), and among the musicians invited were Suso Saiz, Jorge Reyes and Alan Thibault.
1993 was a landmark year for Amarok. Following the principles that inspired its creation, the band decided to build a small recording studio powered exclusively by solar cells. This studio (and home) is a country house situated in a densely forested region in northern Catalonia. After more than a year of work, in the spring of 1994, Amarok released its self-produced first CD "Els nostres petits amics" (Our little friends). This recording was the result of the challenge taken by the members of the group to use only solar energy and to live respecting nature as much as possible. By this time, Amarok already had a steady lineup in addition to Robert and Lídia: Manel Sesé, percussionist and composer; Joan Morera, violinist; Asy Guerrero, guitarist and artist; and Kerstin Kokocinski, oboist (who lived in Germany and commuted to Spain).

As a result of the critical success of this first CD, in 1995 the well known label Lyricon (from Madrid) released Amarok´s second CD, titled "Canciones de los mundos perdidos" (Songs from the Lost Worlds), which was recorded in a digital studio. The songs in this recording were mostly inspired by the works of J.R.R. Tolkien and Robert Holdstock. On this album the sound of Amarok shifted towards acoustic instruments, and the music was often rounded by ethnic and folkloric influences, without renouncing the electronic roots of the group.

 

CHANGES

In the spring of 1996 there was another change in the structure and direction of Amarok, with the addition of two musicians with a classical background and a strong interest in Celtic music: guitarist, bass player, professor and composer Víctor Estrada, and flutist Manel Mayol. The last piece of the puzzle was completed with the addition of Robert Abella, a classical violinist and composer.

Between 1996 and 1997, Amarok performed a series of concerts in preparation for the band´s third major effort, "Gibra’ara". In this work, the style consolidated and the group settled on a music based on acoustic instruments with marked influences from ethnic and folk music, combined with elements from progressive rock. This CD was released in Japan on the Belle Antique label in a special edition which includes two bonus tracks.

Amarok's connection with the TV program "Hidrogen" made possible the recording of two pieces for the program “Espais naturals de Catalunya”. Both of them were released in compilation CDs which achieved massive sales.

In 1999 Amarok played concerts in “La Cova, III International Festival of New Music in Catalonia”, in l’Espluga de Francolí (Tarragona) and in the "First Festival of Medieval Music of Dragón”, in Pinto (Madrid). In March of 2000 Amarok performed music from its 4th album “Tierra de especias” (Land of Spices) in the "cicle de folk del C.A.T. (Centre Artesà Tradicionàrius)" in Barcelona, finally releasing the album at the end of 2000 on the Tecnosaga label. The album received favorable reviews.

 

CONSOLIDATION

In the summer of 2002, the group's fifth album "Mujer Luna" (Moon Woman) was released on the Tecnosaga label in Spain and the Luna Negra label in Latin America. "Moon Woman" is a work in which progressive rock and Mediterranean influences are more readily apparent than in previous albums. Between autumn of 2002 and spring 2003, the band has presented the music of "Mujer Luna" on tour. As of now they have performed in Barcelona, Madrid (Suristán and Lamala), and at the well-known international rock festival BajaProg in Mexicali, Baja California, México.

We would like to thanks Wheat Williams (www.wheatwilliams.com), Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America, who help us to edit part of this section.

 

DISCOGRAPHY:

  • Migracions MC 1993
  • Gibra’ara (Belle Antique, Japón) CD 1998
  • Mujer Luna (Luna Negra, México-Musea, Francia) CD 2002
  • Quentadharkën (Luna Negra, México-Musea, Francia) CD 2004