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.