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Land of winds > Rhythms and styles > Style | Issue 02. Sep.-Oct.2010
By Edgardo Civallero | Sara Plaza

”Romantic” K’antu

The k’antu traditional style (see) was early developed in a different way by modern performers. Since the music produced by large groups of native panpipes was not to the urban audiences’ liking, it was created a sort of “updated” k’antu, which included string instruments (a strange element to all native sikureadas) and, sometimes, different types of flutes besides the panpipes.
The changes went even further when Andean romantic groups such as Los Kjarkas used the k’antu to make their own compositions. Stripped of its characteristic features, the traditional rhythm became a very particular style that has only retained the name of the original and not a lot else. Among other adaptations, the phukuna panpipes, the wank’ara drums and the chiñisk'u triangle were eliminated and, in addition to the strings, lyrics were also added, something absent from traditional areas.
The first k’antu recorded by Los Kjarkas was “Génesis aymara” (Génesis aymara, 1987), which, despite being sung, maintained the style as the original. During the following years the band would present “El Picaflor” (Chuquiago Marka, 1988), “Vivir junto a ti” (El árbol de mi destino, 1992), “Difícil de olvidar” (A los 500 años, 1995), “La mujer que llegó” (El líder de los humildes, 1998), and “El amor y la libertad” (30 años solo se vive una vez, 2000), all of them romantic songs.
Fortunately, while in their last productions there are still a number of arrangements, they begin to recover the traditional k’antu rhythm, as it is the case with “Munasq’echay” (35 años, 2006).

Video 01. “La mujer que llegó”. Los Kjarkas.
Video 02. “Munasq’echay”. Los Kjarkas.
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