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Fernando Unsain, musician, singer and audiovisual producer dies

  • Fernando San José Arze, known in the cultural world as Fernando Unsain, died in San Sebastian at 78 years of age from a stroke. He has been an important person in the Basque song, recording and production of records and audio-visual. ARGIA has long had a great collaborator in Fernando Unsain and also participated in the creation of Euskaldunon Egunkaria.

06 October 2023 - 17:35
Last updated: 2023-10-07 21:35:46
Fernando Unsain -ezkerretik lehena- joan den uztailean Baigorrin egindako aurkezpenean, Et Incarnatus orkestrak eta Donostiako Orfeoiak Eltzegorren "Sasitik Sasira" kantatari egindako bertsioa iragartzen.

Born in Beasain in a family of workers, he started working as a mechanic and at the same time started music from a very young age. He appeared in the Bostak del Goierri group in 1965 and the following year he won the Grand Festival of Novel Artists of San Sebastian. In 1973 he received the International Prize in Ostend (Flanders), with a repertoire in Basque.

With the watchtower "Bostak" in 1966. Fernando Unsain, second right.

In the early 1970s, the voice between singers and singers of the Madrid and Spain protest was known and was staged at those “festivals” of the time. To give an example, in 1976, five months after Franco's death, the name of Fernando Unsain appears next to Pi de la Serra, La Bullonera, Luis Pastor, La Fanega, Julia León, Elisa Serna, Mikel Labon-Manuel, Mikel Labo-Celoa, Mikel Labo-Celoa, He sang primarily in Spanish.

Fernando Unsain at the end of the 1970s.

Soon I would return to Euskal Herria forever, to publish on his behalf the first big album in Basque, which defends my father's house, and to founded the IZ record. The catalogue of the album IZ, closed by the retrospective of the creator, reflects the extensive work of Fernando Unsain in the production of records, in recordings of different music areas: tritikitxa, choirs, singers, groups, bertsolaris… Before his production he was singer-songwriter and musician – he has always played guitar in the scenes – musician and arranger for other singers and bertsolaris.

After the creation of Euskal Telebista, he was also involved in the production of audiovisual content. In anticipation that the films should be translated into Euskera – and surely EITB would translate them much more than it has then offered, much more than it has done – he founded the IZ-Bi doubling company with other partners, also the school of dubbing. Later we will discover the name of Fernando Unsain in the production Ikuskin, with productions such as the television programs of Txirri, Mirri eta Txiribiton, Function and Chiskola.

The Eltzegor group, in the first line with Fernando Unsain in a photograph of the album "Ebaventtz".

A high quality and gloss tenor, whose voice and singing has been recognized at the Orfeón Donostiarra in his concerts for the last time a few months ago. However, in the memory of many Basques, especially those of Iparralde, the voice of Fernando Unsain will be linked to the actions of the Eltzegor group. Many of the songs of the three albums edited by this group since the 1980s, among which the cantata Sasitik Sasira can be her main work, which has recently been performed by the orchestra Et Incarnatus within the Ur Muga in Baigorri.

Those of you who have met the Eltzegor group on stage remember Fernando's bronze voice and the warmth he was transmitting on stage forever. On the other hand, many members of cultural associations and popular movements will remember the courage they had to appear together with the group to sing in the sung recitals and tributes they organized in the most difficult situations, as well as the generosity always shown by Fernando Unsain to make the technical means available to the organizers.

Fernando Unsain's guitar recording of the song "Sasitik Sasira" in a program in 1988.

 


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