Memorias de una Pirca (Suramusic, 2005)
From Argentina comes this superb band that specializes in music from the Quebrada de Humahuaca mountain valley, which is located in Tulcara in the province of Jujuy (extreme northwest of Argentina, bordering Chile and Bolivia). Grupo Chalas uses familiar instruments such as the siku or zampoña (pan flute) and lesser known instruments such as the erque or corneta, which is a very long tubular wind instrument, that is between 3 and 5 meters long; the erquencho cow horn; and two percussion instruments known as caja and wankara (or guancara).
The musical result is a mesmerizing celebration of local traditions that includes traditional beats and pentatonic ancestral melodies combined with contemporary influences. The vocals are in Spanish and Quéchua, an indigenous language. The album’s title makes reference to pirca, a Quechua word that means wall.
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.