now presents in MP3 format the record Sonchapu by the Chilean musical group La Chimuchina. Their music
is made with pre-Columbian instruments; some
original, some remade.
By Rosario Mena
"To make music that's
ours, urban, modern, based on the American indigenous
aesthetic", is the main proposal of La Chimuchina,
a musical group born in 1993 at the Chilean Pre-Columbian
Art Museum, and formed by an archeologist, an ethno-musicologist,
a designer, an archeomusician and two other musicians.
Claudio Mercado, Victor Rondón, José
Pérez de Arce, Norman Vilches and Cuti
Aste are part of this urban contemporary tribe
that has taken the challenge of giving new life
to the original musical instruments of pre-Hispanic
Through geometrical figures,
the scores used by La Chimuchina -all created
by them- allow to reproduce the melodic movement
with no heights nor interludes.
The tracks from their
record "Sonchapu" take elements "developed
during centuries at the Andes, like multiorchestral
polyphonies, sound movements, changing musical
space, trance music, the complex relation between
music and its surroundings, and the use of homogenous
sound masses with its intricate harmonic language.
The orchestral formation coincides with that from
the Andean cultures and makes the group a unique
instrument, playing all in unison, with the same
kind of flute, the same melodic trace, but not
meeting at the heights nor the interludes. We
have also mixed different orchestral formations
trying not to coincide rhythmically, as it happens
in musical contests in Andean sacred celebrations".
The group's origin is related to the investigations
that for some years have been making Claudio Mercado
and José Pérez de Arce around America's
original music's aesthetic, concepts and beliefs.
This work includes ethno musical investigations
and registers of indigenous music from different
parts of the country and has been developed with
the help of FONDECYT (State Fund), the Andes Foundation
and the Chilean Pre-Columbian Art Museum. Parallel
to the investigation, these two musicians started
a long process of sound experimentation, based
on the observations of field works and different
conceptualizations about music and the sound world.
"The search centers in vocal techniques such
as multiphonic, nasal or "open throat"
singing, along with the interpretation of a wide
range of ethnographic musical instruments and