MUSIC from the ANDES...and nearby regions Español


Notes by Paul Farren of the performing group ACHALAY in London.


nothing.gif (54 bytes)  

CHOCLITO de CHACRA AJENA - Kollahuara - Bolivia (Odeon SLDC35315)
I translate this as "Sweetcorn from someone else’s farm". It’s a Bolivian huayno.

AGUINALDOS - Alirio Díaz - Venezuela (Orpheus LDM-102)
Aguinaldos are Venezuelan Christmas songs and are always in 5/4time. This set of aguinaldos was put together and played by Alirio Díaz.

YO TAMBIÉN ME IRÉ - Los Incas - Argentina (Philips V 29)
("I’m Leaving, Too") a bailecito in Argentine style.
"Se fue mi negra y yo tambien me iré
Ay, palomita, ¿qué haré, con quién me consolaré?
Adiós mi negra, yo también me iré
Ay, palomita, ¿qué haré, con quién me consolaré?
Cartas y más carts por el correo
¿Qué haré con tantas cartas si no las leo?

Mi corazón sufriendo no sé qué
Ay, palomita, ¿qué haré, con quién me consolaré?
Estar solita y triste moriré
Ay, palomita, ¿qué haré, con quién me consolaré?"

(A lovers’ parting: How will I be consoled? Letters and more letters in the post….what’s the use if I can’t read them?)

A LAS ORILLAS del TITICACA - Los Incas - Bolivia (Philips V 29)
"A las orillas del Titicaca grabé tu nombre sobre la arena
Vino la ola y lo borró todo. Y de tu nombre no quedó nada.
Sobre las peñas grabé tu nombre, vino la lluvia y lo borró todo
Sobre las peñas grabé tu nombre, vino la lluvia y lo borró todo"

I wrote your name in the sand…a wave came and rubbed it out.

PAJARITO, PAJARITO - Savia Andina - Bolivia 

CANTOS del PILÓN Soledad Bravo - Venezuela  (Buda B000001N7S)
A song sung by village girls when grinding maize into flour using the pilon, which is like a huge pestel and mortar. As they bang down the mortar, they sing the "Ï-yo"¨and then the cheeky verses. 

"Goodbye, dear "manita" 
Goodbye and I'm saying to you
Tell me why you don't answer me
Bang the mortar down hard
it's just broken.
In the mountain there's lots of wood
And papa can make another.
I've got a headache from working so at the pilon
to fatten a pig and buy myself a nightgown.
Up there in that hill there's an odd couple
the thick donkey with the thin violin-neck.
If your husband decides to run off
I haven't even a cretonne nightie
To give you.
I don't want a married man
That'd really drive me mad
I want a single young man
Who smells like a ripe pinetree.
There goes her with the devil's face with the heart of a demon
who'se got a black tongue full of slander.
And the blockhead believes you get what you deserve
She lives in a broken-down cottage that trembles when the wind blows."

NELLY (A. Lauro) - Gerald Garcia - Venezuela 

FIESTA NATIVA - Inkhay - Bolivia (LAT 50615)
Ecuadorean group led by harpist. The harp of Peru/Ecuador is different from the harp of Venezuela/Colombia and all are different from the harp of Paraguay.

PILCOMAYU - Kollahuara - Bolivia (Odeon SLDC-35315)
("River Pilco") a bailecito from Bolivia sung in Quechua and Spanish. This group comes from Chile

IMILLITA - Awatiñas - Peru (Odeon LD-1406)
This is a large Peruvian indian band. The photo on their album shows 20 of them plus the two singers. The song is in the rhythm of the huayno. This sounds typically andean music. It is its pentatonic character which gives all Andean music its special "sound". ALL music of the Andes is based on descending pentatonic scales. If you play down the 5 black notes of a keyboard you’ll produce just such a scale. It’s what gives the music its profundity, as it changes constantly between major (happy) and minor (sad). EVERY andean song ends on a minor chord, no matter how happy it has been. If you want to play a typical intro to an andean song on the guitar, try this: G7/C/E/Am or in the key of G/Em: D7/G/B7/Em

A LOS BOSQUES - Savia Andina - Bolivia 

CUMBIA CIENEGUERA - unknown group - Colombia
This gaita music from the coastal region of Colombia. The cumbia is danced at night on beaches. The women wear white dresses and hold a lighted candle in the palm of each hand, turning the hands elegantly as they dance. (Cieneguera because it comes from La Ciénega).

EL CANELAZO - Inti-Illimani - Ecuador (lvares C 457)
An albazo from Ecuador.
"Abra la puerta, señora, sírvame un canelacito
Déme unito, déme otrito hasta quedar chumadito

Abra la puerta, por favor, quiero olvidar lo que es dolor
Que estoy chumando y…qué caray…ya voy entrando en humor.
Toda la noche pasaré junto a mi longa con amor
Aunque mañana lloraré mi soledad y mi amagor
Que estoy chumando y…qué caray….ya voy entrando en humor."

Open the door, señora, serve me a drink
Give me one, give me another until I get sloshed.
Open the door, please, I want to forget sadness
I’m getting drunk…too bad….I’m getting happy.

All night I spent making love to my girl
But tomorrow I’ll cry for my loneliness and bitterness
So I’m getting drunk…too bad….I’m getting happy.

FLOR de SANCAYO - Inti-Illimani - Peru (DIPAC VC 0703)
A huayno from Peru, sung in Aymara.

"A la chuimani ilnilhuahuay
San Juan puipuir upur cachmá
Jashan jashani, concor cayuni
Perdón mayiri cutcitantau
Ay, mi palomita, perdón mayiri cutcitantau."

CHAGRITA CAPRICHOSA - Inti-Illimani - Ecuador
Instrumental from Ecuador very nicely arranged by this Chilean group.

PASCUA LINDA - Inti-Illimani  - Peru
Another fine instrumental (the title means "Pleasant Easter"), this time from Peru.

LOS MAMONALES - Los Macondos - Venezuela
The feature of this tuneful pasaje from Venezuela is the conversation bwteen harp and singer

LA EQUIVOCA - Ariel Ramírez with Jaime Torres - Argentina
Well before Ramírez became world famous for his "MISSA CRIOLLA" ( a Mass set to Argentine folk rhythms) he was a celebrity for his playing of Argentine folkdances on piano. Jaime Torres is Argentina’s leading player of the charango (a small 10-stringed instrument made from the shell of an armadillo). This is a chacarera, a dance originating from the province of Santiago del Estero. It’s danced by couples and is one of the few Argentine dances in which the woman gets the chance to show off.

FLOR de APURE - Adilia Castill0 - Venezuela (Barclay 86021)
A nice pasaje from Venezuela sung by one of that country’s best female singers. Apure is one of the United States of Venezuela and the name of one of its principal rivers.

LA LLUVIA - Alpamayo - Ecuador (EUCD 1184)
Very Ecuadorean instrumental. The wind instruments (quenas, zampoñas and rondadores) are great. The title means "Rain".

MI TERESA - Alirio Dìaz - Venezuela (HIFI R812)
This great classical guitarist always included Venezuelan music in his concerts. This song is in 5/4 time. Many people who try to work out 5/4 time do it like this: 1 2 3 4 5, 1 2 3 4 5, etc…In reality they’re doing SIX beats to the bar: 1 2 3 4 5 (&), 1 2 3 4 5 (&), etc….To do 5/4 time you must start on the second beat: 2 3 4 5 ONE, 2 3 4 5 ONE, haveyougotitNOW, haveyougotitNOW, etc….

HUAYNO de la ROCA - Los Incas - Bolivia (Philips 6332063)
Very well-known huayno from Bolivia. The huayno rhythm is CHICK-boomboom, CHICK-boomboom, etc. The "chick" is played on the rim of the drum. In Western music, the click-sound would be the weakest beat. In South American music, it is the strongest. In the Argentine chacarera, you could play the whole thing just on the clicks.

EL HUAQUERO - Lidia Tolara - Peru  (see
A song in the rhythm of the Peruvian marinera. Huaquero is a term originally of Peruvian origin now used throughout South America and Mesoamerica. The word "Huaca" in Quechua language of the Inca meant sacred place or temple. It had been corrupted into the Spanish-Quechua verb "huaquear", or "to rob graves". Individuals who plunder ancient graves (huacas) were called "los huaqueros".

HERMANOCHAY - Inti-Illimani - Peru
Peruvian song sung in Quechua by this Chilean group.

SOY de ARBOLITO - Los Cantores de Quilla Huasi - Argentina (Philips P-13911-L)
This is in the rhythm of the huella. "Una huella" means "a track", but in the speech of the Argentine gaucho it means the tracks left in the grass of the pampa by a wagon. The pampa stretches from horizon to horizon like a flat sea of grass. You can go all day without seeing another human being, so when the gaucho comes across a huella he is happy that someone else has recently passed that way. Maybe if he follows the trail, he’ll catch up with them and spend the night round the camp fire exchanging songs and tales and sipping maté tea.

"Yo no soy de estos pagos, soy de Arbolito
Lugar de mis amores, pueblo chiquito.
Es un pueblo chiquito, como les digo
Y aunque me encuentre lejos, nunca lo olvido.

A la huella, a la huella, camino largo
Estar lejos del pago es muy amargo.
A la huella, a la huella, corto el camino….
Cerquita de mi pueblo lo es lo lindo.

El que busca distancias puede ir andando….
Y el que quiera querencias pegarse al pago.
Cuando estaba en mis lares, andar quería……
Y ahora por volverme…qué no daría.

A la huella, a la huella, dénse las manos
Y sigan despacito como jugando.
A la huella, a la huella, dénse los dedos
Y ´dentren´ como guapos al entrevero."

I’m not from round here, I’m from Arbolito.
It’s a small place, but when I’m away I never forget it.
When I lived there, I dreamed of travelling……
Now, what wouldn’t I give to be home?

(All the songs in the rhythm of the huella have choruses which begin A la huella, a la huella)

TRES BAILECITOS - Los Incas - Bolivia (Philips 77.306L)
The bailecito originated in Bolivia and is now very popular in northern Argentina. It usually has three verses, but it’s common to put three different ones together. These are in Argentine style. Many years ago I went into a record shop intending to buy classical music. My eye was taken by the sleeve of a record of South American music. I bought it and was captivated by the first track….this one. That’s what started me collecting and later playing the music of Latim America… was this recording. The great thing is, it sounds as fresh to me today as it did then. As is traditional in the bailecito, the tunes are played on two quenas.

GALERÓN - Alirio Día - Venezuela (Orpheus LDM-102)
They have a galerón in Colombia and Trinidad, but this one comes from Venezuela - a brilliant piece for solo guitar.

PAISAJE - Trío Los Dávalos  - Peru (Festival FLD 19S)
When I bought this record a long time ago, it had already been recorded years before, so the recording quality is not the highest of FI. But what a lovely song (the title means "Landscape" or "Countryside") which evokes the beauty of Peru.

REGALITO - Adilia Castillo - Venezuela
Another lovely Venezuelan pasaje . The title means "a small gift".

LONGUITA - Coco Aramayo y conjunto - Ecuador
A lovely, well-known albazo from Ecuador. The rondador is prominent. This is the national instrument of Ecuador. Usually, when you make a panpipe you simply arrange the pipes (known as "canutos" from longest to shortest. However, in the rondador they intermix two scales with the result that you can play harmonies.

TU TRAICIÓN - Los Romanceros Criollos - Peru (Philips BL 7777)
Typical Peruvian waltz with plenty of tricky guitar work. The vals peruano has become very popular all over Latin America.

CORRIENDO en la MEDIA LUNA - Silvia Infanta y Los Baqueanos - Chile (Musart D641)
This group made itself unpopular in certain Chilean circles when it enthusiastically supported Pinochet. Whatever you think of that, you can’t fault them musically. This typical Chilean cueca (the national dance) is about a rodeo.

PIEDRECITA - Alpamayo - Ecuador (EUCD 1184)
A sanjuanito from Ecuador. You can hear everything on this: guitar, mandolina, quenas, sikus (also called "zampoñas") , rondador and violin. The title means "The Pebble".

"Caminemos, caminemos, largo camino tenemos
De Cayambé a Huachaylá, largo camino tenemos.
Quisiera ser piedrecita, piedrecita del camino
Para que tu pie tropiece cuando pienses olvidarme."

We’re walking and walking…….it’s a long road
From Cayambé to Huachaylá.
I wish I were a pebble, a pebble from the road
So that I could trip your foot if you thought of forgetting me.

TEMA CHILENA - Paul Farren - Chilean influence
Yes, folks….it’s me. When I played with a dance-group of Chilean refugees (from Pinochet) in London, we decided to put on a musical play about Chile. We called it "uot;uot;uot;"Chiloé", the name of the large Chilean island where the story was set. We realised that the audience would be mostly Chilean, but with a lot of English who wouldn’t understand the Spanish dialogue. So we arranged breaks in the action where someone would step forward and do a recitation to put the English in the picture; there would be typical Chilean guitar music in the background. This is one of the guitar bits I made up and performed in the play.



Ostenta Fine Arts

©1995-2021 Ostenta Fine Arts. This site began operating on October 3, 2000 and was created in Santa Cruz, California, USA. Boleadora is a nonprofit hobby project.