When they ask me to write something about Susana, I realise how difficult it is to talk about her without it coming across as paternal love. As such, I never forget about that small and clumsy girl, holding a broomstick as if it were a microphone, singing, dancing and imitating Spanish singer Miguel Bosé.
Showing her the fingering positions on a recorder, a chanter and the keyboard of what is now an old Farfisa organ, was like sowing seeds on fertile land, we immediately realised that she had a special gift, a musical ear capable of learning a song the first time around.
We were excited with that integral artistic musicality: singing, dancing, gaita, recorder, piano and Galician percussion instruments: ‘vieiras’ (scallop shells), ‘pandereta’ (tambourine), ‘tambor’ (side drum), ‘bombo’ (bass drum). From the beginning, she realised whether the gaita was in tune or not and insisted on us correcting it for her. Regarding the gaita, some told me that she was going to ‘explode’, others that at the age of fifteen or sixteen she would lose interest.
She admired the bagpipers and the bagpipers were equally astonished with her. At the age of ten she was asked to appear at a multitude of festivals, sharing the stage with Ricardo Portela, Moxenas, Henrique Otero, Juanjo Fernández, Os Rosales, Milladoiro…, who would influence her career greatly.
I believe that bagpipers become good by putting in lots of interest, passion and study, but as well as this, it is better if they are born as bagpipers or, in this case, a female bagpiper breaking the mould.
We had imagined that her future would be in music but we never though that it would be the gaita specifically which would take her around the world as a professional musician.
The harmonious sound quality of her gaita is unmistakable, especially on slow pieces, vibrato, measurement of timings, more in the manner of a musician than a bagpiper and with the right amount of decor, achieving with all this something very important and difficult, which is to transmit what is carried inside.
I will not carry on because it will be very obvious that I am her father.
Susana, if you have not yet ‘exploded’ and have not stopped playing at the age of fifteen or sixteen, you should never do so.
A hug from your father.
> Access the website of Susana Seivane: www.susanaseivane.com