From a cult group, to the cultivation of spirituality

The musician Pedro Burruezo, in the Casal de Barri de la Prosperitat, in Barcelona.MASSIMILIANO MINOCRI (THE COUNTRY)

In the eighties he led a group that is now cult, along with his then wife, María José Peña, and Antoni Baltar. They were Claustrophobia, an unclassifiable trio with attachments to a tradition not then manifested in all its fullness. They went on to record with Nuevos Medios before disbanding in the 1990s. Since then, Pedro Burruezo (Barcelona, ​​57 years old) has followed a musical career in which spirituality and tradition feed, sinking his roots in that Spain of Arabs, Jews and Christians that throbs in his latest album, al-Majnoun, where an Arabized sardana coexists with a Sufi habanera and Mozarabic jarchas interpreted together with his group Nur Camerata. “Our roots and culture have been frozen for 500 years and now they are thawing encouraged by our DNA and because the perfume of Al-Andalus remains”, he assures from his home in Sant Feliu de Guíxols after a new international tour. Because Pedro and his group, Nur Camerata, perform both abroad and among us, in their own circuit that goes from conventional concerts to food fairs and sacred festivals, passing through routes set to music through heritage sites. His music breaks through.

Pedro Burruezo, also an environmental journalist at The EcologistHe was an agnostic until he discovered Islam in the 1990s “and I realized that you don’t need a beard to be a believer,” he says with a smile. He speaks slowly: “I was struck by the fact that, like other great religions, it meant ending attachments and living as freely as possible. Jesus, Buddha and many sages have lived frugal lives in common, just the opposite of what politicians and rock stars do. The search for a simple life that respects the planet and its resources is in the essence of the tradition”. Burruezo’s thoughts are not dictated by any kind of ascetic intransigence, as he freely admits: “I have an orchard and a chicken coop that produces a good part of what we eat at home, but I live within the system, of the modern world, and I also take planes in a hurry and I have a family to support. I do things that I don’t like, but I don’t live with my back to society, I have everyone’s problems”.

“Music is a way of transmitting a spiritual message”

This link between respect for nature and spirituality translates into a music that lives at the crossroads of various traditions that it accepts as its own, based on the theses of the historian Emilio González Ferrín, exposed in his text General History of Al-Andalus. Thus, Burruezo maintains that “in reality there was neither conquest nor reconquest, these ideas are typical of historians with certain political ideas, what happened was a gradual conversion of the Arians to Islam. Gothic Arianism did not accept the Holy Trinity and Islam rejected it by proposing a traditional monotheism. On top of that, Islam was decentralized, women had more freedoms, society was fairer, and taxes were less abusive, ”he says.

This acceptance of “the Moorish” as something proper and not foreign to our culture, also supported by the philologist and historian Dolors Bramón in the trailer of the documentary in the recording process Sufisme BCN: spirituality, music, ecology with his phrase “Catalonia was Moorish rather than Catalan” is at the base of Burruezo’s musical project, which considers Teresa de Jesús, Fray Luis de León or Nicolás de Cusa as heirs of Al-Àndalus. “One of his mystics, Ibn Arabí, was from Murcia, like my aunt,” he jokes, not jokingly. Thus the search for spirituality, a concept cornered in a society in search of hard and fast goods, is another of his foundations: “Music is a way of transmitting a spiritual message. And spiritual I see lto music by Franco Battiato, Arvo Pärt or Omar Faruk”. These convictions have led him to also sing in Arabic, a language of which he knows some words but does not speak, “well”, he specifies with a laugh, “I speak it like Gipsy Kings, you don’t even know what they say, so although I I don’t pronounce Arabic well, in Morocco and Sudan they understand me and that’s enough for me”, he concludes.

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From a cult group, to the cultivation of spirituality