nothing.gif (54 bytes) MUSIC from the ANDES...and nearby regions  Español

This site now has a consultant - Paul Farren of the London based group Achalay. From left to right: Gregorio (Goyo) Melnick, Ricardo Yocelevsky, Egberto Bermudez, Paul Farren, Peter Matthews, and Ian Mursell. This is the group that performs 'Añoranzas' and 'Yaravi' in the group of selections.

"Like you, I just love this music, and I'm delighted to have the opportunity to help people to hear it" - Paul Farren 

I've gotten many requests to have more information about the music, so here are many examples representing Argentina, Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, and Uruguay with comments by guitarist Paul Farren (see picture) - Jim

NIÑA, BAILA LA ZAMBA  - Argentino Luna and group//Argentina (Agave SDL 27014)
The zamba - pronounced like 'Samba' - couldn't be more different. This is the national dance of Argentina, a courtship dance for couples, each waving a white handkerchief. He sings to his girl urging her to dance the zamba and telling how it thrills him to see her dancing. Being Argentine, it's very stately

CHIMBALOMACHIMBALOMA - Boliviamanta//Ecuador  (A.S.P.I.C. As 13.01)
 Boliviamanta means both "from Bolivia" and "Made in Bolivia" in Quechua. It's a mixed group of Bolivians, Peruvians and Ecuadorans. This is so Ecuadoran and features the rondador, the national instrument of that country.

MINERO - Savia Andina//Bolivia 

DOLOROSO - Altiplano//Bolivia (EUCD 1416)
This is a "cacharpaya", a song of farewell, often sung and danced at farewell parties for the teenage lads who are leaving the village to seek their fortune in the big city. Words such as "Adios, my dear village...God knows when I'll see you again" are common. This one is about the parting of lovers - "such a long time of enchantment came to nothing....". The cacharpaya is also used as the last dance of the evening.

POLO DOLIENTE - Inti-Illimani//Venezuela
The very famous Chilean group, Inti-Illimani, had a fine Venezuelan musician with them for a while; he can be heard on harp. The polo comes from Margarita Island (Venezuela) which - until the recent tourist boom - lived by fishing. Many polos have words which tell of fishermen lost at sea.  This one tells how four men set sail to fish last they are being buried....and after the funeral we can see oars floating on the water. This is typical of a very peculiar aspect of Latin American music - from Puerto Rico to Tierra del Fuego: very sad words sung to very bright and happy-sounding music - and the same in reverse. They've mixed in a joropo with this polo; usually the polo is more gentle.  When we visited Margarita Island, it became known to the hotel musicians that I knew about their music. They announced that this polo was dedicated to me and proceeded to sing a beautiful polo telling how their island, once an unknown fishing community, now welcomed visitors from all over the world. I sat almost in tears as they sang their song for me. When my Venezuelan friends in London had played me scratchy old 78 rpm records of polos, I didn't dream that one day I would be on Margarita having one specially played for me.

AÑORANZAS - Achalay//Argentina
A chacarera doble played by my own group, Achalay. I open the piece on guitar and play the bits between the verses. It's a very chauvinistic song where the singer grumbles about all things modern and yearns to be buried in his native Santiago del Estero - the province from which the chacarera comes. It's a long song, but the words are interesting.

SAN JUAN de IMBAQUINGO - Jatari//Ecuador 

CANTO DE AMOR - Luis Anibal Granja/ensemble//Ecuador (Granja LP.351-0024)
The melody alternates between the harp and the requinto, which is the name in Ecuador for a guitar with a section cut away to enable the player to reach the highest frets. It often has a metal top-string.

CUANDO MUERE el ANGELITO  Argentina (RCA ND 70168)
Another sad song to bright music. I have a sung version of this which is heartbreaking. I'ts sung by a woman asking why her tiny baby - the 'angelito' , so innocent and without sin, should have died. The bovine noises are made by the erke (or erque), a long thin tube stuck into a ram's horn, ie, an alpenhorn.  My friend brought one back from Argentina. He had to take it with him into the cabin of the airplane, lie it along the edge of the gangway and constantly watch to see that no-one trod on it!

Another by Inti-Illimani when they had a Venezuelan member. This time he plays cuatro. I included this so that you could hear the 'mina' - see 'Barlovento' on the first page. All the drumming sounds come from the same log.

MILONGA - El Faustin Argentino (The Argentine Faust)//Argentina (BMG BM 650)
There are two types of milonga; that sung by gauchos of Argentina and Uruguay to their own guitar accompaniment and this type for dancing in Buenos Aires and Montevideo.

GASTO YAUICUY - Karu Nan//Ecuador (TUMI CD 027)
The huayno is Peruvian, but this one is very Ecuadoran.

AMANACER (Daybreak) - Eduardo Fernández//Colombia (Decca 443 999-2)
A guitar solo in the rhythm of the Colombian national dance, the bambuco.

SABANA BLANCA/MOCHO HERNANDEZ - Soledad Bravo//Vnz. (Buda B000001N7S)
Sung by a Spanish artiste who specializes in Venezuelan songs, the main accompaniment is on the bandola, a 4-stringed mandoninish instrument. Listen how he plays melody and accompanies himself rhythmically in the bass....all on 4 strings!

BOQUERÓN ABANDONADO - Zulma Yugar//Bolivia
This is typically Bolivian, totally relaxed and laid-back. Boquerón was a fort during the Chaco War between Bolivia and Paraguay where 600 Bolivians were besieged by 15,000 Paraguayans.  The Paraguayans could only take the fort after 20 bloody days and at one point were on the brink of defeat. Some 200 Bolivian survivors were paraded through the streets of Asunción, where it was expected they would be lynched, but the Paraguayans bowed to them respectfully.

PRELUDIO PAMPEANOPRELUDIO PAMPEANO - Dúo Pomponio Zárate//Argentina (Mandala Man 4804)
Argentine husband and wife classical guitar duo.

VERBEÑITA - Savia Andina//Bolivia

LAS MIRLAS - Conjunto de Oriol Rángel//Colombia (Universidad de Los Andes)
The words say 'Cantan las mirlas por la manaña'....(The blackbirds sing in the morning), which is silly; It's the male birds (los mirlos) who do the singing. Still, it's a lovely example of the Colombian national dance-rhythm, the bambuco. The trick is not to play the first beat of every bar.

DE CAMPO AFUERADE CAMPO AFUERA - Suma Paz//Argentina (EMI 4 93379 2)
Suma Paz sings so well and accompanies herself beautifully on the guitar. The words - about the pampa - are beautiful too.

LA del CAMPO - Atahualpa Yupanqui//Argentina
"The Country Girl", a chacarera played as a guitar solo by the famous Atahualpa Yupanqui - guitarist, composer, singer, author and folklorist.

LA NARANJALA NARANJA (The Orange) - Trio Los Chasquis//Ecuador (A.S.P.I.C. X55520)
A beautiful popular song from Ecuador, very well arranged.

LA ROSA y el CLAVELLA ROSA y el CLAVEL - Hugo Lagos y cjto//Chile (ALCE 509)
A typical Chilean cueca - their national dance. The singer prefers the carnation (el clavel) to the rose, which he finds too sissy (It takes all sorts.....)

VIVA JUJUY - Jaime Torres and ensemble//Northern Argentina (Philips 9020)
Group led by the Argentine/Bolivian virtuoso of the charango (small 10-stringed instrument made from the shell of an armadillo), Jaime Torres - or Jimmy Towers if you prefer. This is in the rhythm of the bailecito, a lovely dance of courtship originally from Bolivia but also popular in Northern Argentina.

CHIQUIT GUAMBRITACHIQUIT GUAMBRITA - Los Calchakis//Ecuador (Philips 9020)
"Guambrita" is Ecuadoran quechua slang for an indian girl. This very nice arrangement includes all the best instruments: harp, quenas, rondador, charango, etc.

SERENATA - Berenice Chávez y Los Provincianos//Colombia (Philips BL 7777)
Lovely Colombian bambuco. It was recorded about 40 years ago, and they didn't get the balance right. Consequently, the singer is sometimes drowned out by her accompanists.

ITALIANOMASICUNA - "Trencito de los Andes -ZigZag//Ecuador
"Italian Guys". I love this unusual Ecuadorean record. It finishes with two rondadores (the national instrument of Ecuador) tuned an octave apart- very effective. It also contains two rustic folksongs and a clarinet. OH yes...and two kids. "Trencito de los Andes" is a musical institution Founded by Raffaele M. Clemente and his brother Felice M. Clemente. We thank Raffaele for writing us with this information. If you see this CD: buy it! It's full of good things.

SIETE LEGUAS (7 leagues) - Rafael Arias Paz y cjto//Bolivia
Utterly typical "cuequita boliviana" played by a group led by a fabulous guitar-player. All very relaxed and Bolivian.

DOÑA SOLEDAD - Zitarrosa//Uruguay (Odeon LDB-151)
Uruguay has always felt itself squeezed between the giants, Brazil and Argentina, and it shows in this piece. We have the negro drumming influenced by Brazil, and the gaucho guitars from the Argentine side. The singer castigates this woman Doña Soledad for her lifestyle - sleeping around, quarrelling over a bit of meat in the market, drinking too much, etc. He warns her she'll find herself in an early grave without the price of a coffin.

PARASPARAS - Expresión//Peru
On the theme of "harvest".

QUISIERA TENER CIEN PESOS (I wish I had 100 pesos) - Isabel Parra//Chile
...because, the singer tells us, then all the local boys would be after her. This is Isabel Parra, a truly fine Chilean artiste, daughter of the famous folklorist Violeta Parra. It's a very rustic and very truly Chilean cueca.


EL HOMBRE - Martina Portocarrero//Peru
Peruvian protest-song which praises the man who won't bend the knee to the tyrant. Very Peruvian, with a cajón (literally 'big box', which is what it is; the drummer sits on it and plays it with his hands_). Like all such Peruvian songs, this one has a coda in which the singer sums up the whole thing. I saw Martina perform in London. She had several hats, shawls and wrap-around skirts on stage, which she changed into between songs. She explained that she can't sing a song of Ayacucho wearing the costume of Puno.

MI CHIQUITA - Inti-Illimani//Peru
A lovely song from the negro tradition of coastal Peru.

DE FIESTA EN FIESTA - Peteco Carrabajal y Conjunto//Argentina (EMI 7 2434 96953)
A Chacarera. I like the interaction between piano and voice.

TONO del DORMILÓNTONO del DORMILÓN (Sleeper's Song) - ZigZag//Ecuador
Obviously from Ecuador and - like them - somewhat unusual but nice to finish with.





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