Hato Gató Collective, Mallorca.

Hato Gató Collective, Mallorca.

26-10-2021P. Pellicer

The Hato Gató collective is a group of people who meet once a week to play percussion and sing popular songs that were popular long ago.

Their new ‘Music without egos’ project, aims to rejuvenate the age old tradition of women singing popular songs at parties and social gatherings in the countryside and they want to expand the custom by performing in the streets.

“Around 15 people sit in a circle surrounded by tambourines, drums, jars, shells and many other types of percussion instruments," explains Hato Gató Director and percussionist, José Llorach. "They are onomatopoeias: each syllable represents a specific type of noise. Gato is a play on a word for a Mallorcan dessert and the word Hato is almost obsolete which means a group."

They meet every Tuesday at Llorach's house on the outskirts of Lloret to make music and create a community spirit.

"We focus on folk songs, whether it's a Galician muñeira, a Huelva fandango or a Salamanca charro, as well as popular songs from Venezuela, Argentina and Brazil," explains Llorach.

“The most beautiful thing about this is the community spirit and the coming together to create music together," said Hato Gató member and Social Educator, Angela Guerrero. "I spent some time in Latin America and I was amazed that people had a habit of getting together to play. It would be wonderful to spread this custom throughout the streets again and for children to grow up in contact with community music, which is popular because it's made by everyone, for everyone."

“Being part of Hato Gató requires commitment, perseverance and a lot of enthusiasm," says Peter, who’s a metal worker. "You have to practice at home and be strict about it. The problems of everyday life don't disappear when you get to rehearsals, but you just get carried away by the music and the group."."

"It's beautiful to leave the ego behind and immerse yourself in a group like this, which is also very plural, with people who have never played an instrument before and others who are professional, such as singer-songwriter Mar Grimalt," says singer-songwriter Laura Campello. “At first, it started as a percussion workshop with José as a teacher and we just got together to play, enjoy and learn, but little by little more people came and things started to sound really good, so we decided to do an end-of-year performance,” she explains.

The incalculable value of folklore and popular music has always been here, but sometimes we don't pay attention to it,” says Flamenco dancer Patricia González. “They are simple, powerful songs that are repeated like a mantra, until the group enters something like a trance. In the beginning, I was very embarrassed to sing, but it's a matter of getting carried away by the group and understanding that these songs were sung by grandmothers and you don't have to have the best voice. In the end, it hooks you.”

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