Chilean Andean music
The list of Chilean artists performing “Andean music” is too long to mention them all, but a few excellent choices, besides the five listed bellow, would be Margot Loyola, Víctor Jara, Violeta and Ángel Parra, and Osvaldo Torres; groups such as Conjunto Folklórico Cuncumén, Aparcoa, Barroco Andino, Bordemar, Caliche, Chamal, Chañar, Congreso, Conjunto Folklórico de la Universidad del Norte, Guamary, Ortiga, Punahue, Quelentaro, Santiago del Nuevo Extremo and Markamaru; and new ensembles like Inti Pacha (Copiapó) and Chuccuruma (Arica).
Kollahuara de Chile
Canto de pueblos andinos vol. 2
(EMI Odeón - 1974)
1. La mariposa – 2. La cacharpaya – 3. Waca waca – 4. Guapuru – 5. Recuerdos – 6. Tarkheada – 7. Alborozo colla – 8. Aguilita voladora – 9. El cóndor pasa – 10. Canción y huayño – 11. Auqui auqui – 12. Destacamento 111 / La cuesta de Sama
Formed in 1972 in Santiago de Chile, as a result of the fusion of two University ensembles, Inkawara (Chile) and Los del Kollasuyo (Bolivia), Kollahuara’s musical career started at the famous “Peña de los Parra”. Their first work was “Canto de Pueblos Andinos vol. 2” (1974), as part of the collection “Canto de Pueblos Andinos” produced by EMI, whose first album was recorded by Inti-Illimani. One year later appeared their second album, “Canto de Pueblos Andinos vol. 3”. Kollahuara remained in Chile after the military coup of 1973, and some of its members were targeted for surveillance.
In 1997 the band released “Llajta” featuring indigenous instruments such as mohoceños, jach’a sikus, quena quenas and ronrrocos. Kollahuara split in two in 1978, one of them continued in Chile while the other went back to Bolivia. In 1985, the Chilean group released what would be their last album “Runamanta” and came to an end the following year.
“Canto de pueblos andinos” includes traditional rhythms such as “Waca waca”, “Tarkheada” and “Auqui auqui” as well as tracks that would become very popular: “La mariposa”, “Aguilita voladora”, “El cóndor pasa”, “Recuerdos”, “La cacharpaya”, “Destacamento 111” and “Canción y huayno” would be recorded by almost every recording artist in the Andean scene, from Facio Santillán to Illapu.
Kollahuara’s sound is actually very simple and a good example of the early recordings of this type of music. However, despite its simplicity, it is an excellent work that enables listeners to appreciate the first steps of “Andean music” as it is known today.
(Fadisa – 1975)
1. Susurro – 2. Malembe – 3. Pido castigo – 4. Contraste – 5. El plan Leopardo – 6. Fiesta en la cocha – 7. Premonición a la muerte de Joaquín Murieta – 8. Sonatina – 9. La batea – 10. Otoño – 11. Cueca de la solidaridad – 12. Marcha por la unidad
Quilapayún (from Mapudungu külapayun, “three beards”, which refers to the three first members of the group) appeared in 1965 in Santiago de Chile. The band’s career started under the guidance of Ángel Parra, which lasted until the release of their first album “Quilapayún” (1967). In 1970, their Cantata “Santa María de Iquique” (a vocal composition with an instrumental accompaniment) marked a milestone in the history of the Nueva Canción Chilena (Chilean New Song). Quilapayún’s enduring career is difficult to summarize in a few lines: internationally well-known, they released over 30 recordings, including 25 studio albums, and forty decades on are still enjoying fame.
Alongside other exponents of the Nueva Canción (Illapu, Inti-Illimani), Quilapayún mixed Latin American folklore with Andean instruments and seasoned their compositions with socially and politically committed lyrics. All these ingredients are well recognized on the band’s thirteenth album “Adelante”. “Malembe” and “La batea” combine Caribbean rhythms with political messages; “Pido castigo”, “El plan Leopardo”, “Cueca de la solidaridad” and “Marcha por la unidad” also feature similar message, while “Susurro”, “Contraste”, “Sonatina” and “Otoño” are instrumental pieces with an Andean touch as in “Fiesta en la cocha”.
Most of the tracks on “Adelante” became hits. The album was re-edited on several occasions with few extras added like the live version of “Que lindas son las obreras”.
Kamac Pacha Inti
(Alerce – 1976)
1. Saludo de Chiapa – 2. Trote en sikus – 3. Chascosita – 4. El loco Vicente – 5. Diablada tradicional – 6. Cuando me vaya – 7. Mi raza – 8. K’allampitas – 9. Flor de papa – 10. Cueca larga – 11. Osito de color – 12. Zumapuni – 13. Cueca en sicus – 14. Despedida de Chiapa
Formed in Tocopilla (Antofagasta region), in the Norte Grande Chileno (Chilean Big/Far North), Kamac Pacha Inti’s career took off in Santiago with the release of band’s first LP, “Mi raza”. Shortly after the album came out the individual members of the band scattered, though they still managed to go into the studio once more to record “Sentimiento de Kamac” (1977). A few years later, the band was re-founded in Germany and launched “Alas de libertad” (1980) before being dissolved.
“Mi raza” features musical styles ranging from sikuriadas (“Trote en sikus”, “Cueca en sikus”), to diabladas (“Diablada tradicional”), huaynos (“Chascosita”, “Flor de papa”), morenadas (“Osito de color”) and chovenas (“El loco Vicente”), besides including famous tracks like “Cueca larga”, songs with charm and character like “Mi raza” and songs of Carnival in Chiapa.
Despite its short career, this was a very influential band, with such groups as Huara and Arak Pacha treading the path previously laid by Kamac Pacha Inti towards revitalizing the sonorous landscape of the Chilean altiplano.
Viene el chaparrón
(Alerce - 1988)
1. Ñuca llacta – 2. Plaza de la nostálgica – 3. Comparsa de olvidada tierra – 4. Viene el chaparrón – 5. La banda del litrho – 6. La golondrina y el zanate – 7. También es cueca – 8. Fundación del sueño
The band formed in 1975 in the northern village of Huara (Tarapacá region) and three years later moved to Santiago with an innovative proposal to for merging contemporary styles with Andean music and jazz. Their first album was “Tren a los Andes”, followed by “Huara” (1982) and “Viene el chaparrón”. Shortly after “Cafuzo” (1989) came out, the band renamed as “Comparsa Huara” and launched two new recordings “El fulgor” (2003) and “El desierto que canta” (2006).
With the exception of “Ñuca llacta” (a traditional sanjuanito from Imbabura) and “La golondrina y el zanate” (a traditional tamborillada from México), all the songs included on “Viene el chaparrón” are Claudio “Pájaro” Araya’s compositions, co-founder of the band. It’s worth highlighted the track that gives name to the album, “Comparsa de olvidada tierra” (with a beautiful saxo solo) and “También es cueca”.
Huara is one of the best examples of fusion music in Chile, though, even today, its work (praised by eclectic sound fans) remains misunderstood by much of the public, little acknowledged and with scarce distribution.
No se llevaron el sol...
(Arak Pacha - 1995)
1. Janiwarmaña – 2. Kullawa – 3. María Parinacota – 4. Sones de sambo – 5. Kutima – 6. Y no se llevaron el sol – 7. Jakatataña – 8. Takirari en Putiri – 9. Cacharpallaxa
Arak Pacha (in Aymara “sky, upper world”) was born when members of Los Troveros del Norte and Arak Saya joined together in 1981 in the Norte Grande Chileno (Chilean Big/Far North). In the following years the band gained success with the albums “Arak Pacha” (1984), “Por los senderos del indio” (1987) and “Urusa purk’iwa” (1989), all of them examples of traditional nature with the remarkable presence of charangos, zampoñas (panflutes) and lichiguayos framing the famous verses recited by José “Patara” Segovia. Then their members decided to take some time off and some of them went on to collaborate with Guamary in fusion works such as “Tupac Amaru, 500 años”. After a while the band returned to traditional music with “No se llevaron el sol...”. In 2003, Eric Maluenda, an “exiled” from Illapu, joined the line-up until his death in 2005. Arak Pacha’s last album, “Inmortal” (2006) is dedicated to him.
Although “No se llevaron el sol...” is one of their less popular works and includes little-known tracks with the exception of “Kutima”, a song telling the story of peasants and miners migrating to cities in search of employment, it features arrangements of the best music from northern Chile (“Janiwarmaña”, “Cacharpallaxa”). All in all, this is a recommended album where Arak Pacha moves between tradition and innovation, showing a small part of the sounds that are out there in the Chilean altiplano.