Artist Profiles: Taremuru

Tarén o Taremurú is a Pemón word that means blow and it is used when referring to magical incantations. It is a genre of its literary creation and it praises the Penatosán eremú (chants of the ancient).

Taremurú started to take shape in 1995 when musicians and composer Elías Castro traveled to the Venezuelan regions of Gran Sabana, Edo. Bolívar and later to Río Negro, Edo. Amazonas with the intention of researching the music of the indigenous population in the area. He later moved to Caracas to continue studying the indigenous music and the African influence in the country through foundations such as FUNDEF (Fundación de Etnomusicóloga y Folklore) with FUNDEF ethnomusicologist Lizardo Domínguez as his advisor. Castro compiled a wide variety of music legends, instruments and rituals of Venezuelan aboriginals and the Afro-Venezuelan culture.

The research and compilation of the Venezuelan roots phase had the intention of rescuing the indigenous and African tendencies in Venezuelan music to project tem later using audio contemporary sound channels where the rhythmic and melodic structures of contemporary music such as Jazz or electronic music are combined with a wide variety of aboriginal and Afro-Venezuelan instruments and chants.

With this cultural manifestation Castro experiments with the sound of a country characterized by racial diversity.

In 1998 added Jonathan Velásquez who plays piano and synths as well as programming and sampling. Later Oswaldo Rodríguez, Juan Santana and folk multi-instrumentalist Luís Negrín were added to form Ensamble Taremurú in 1999.

With the sponsorship of Corporación Cafeína, Taremurú recorded Sincretismo sonoro de una raza which includes sounds of the Pemón Ye´kwana hiwi and wayu ethnic groups as well as Afro-Venezuelan music. The group uses instruments from the rich Afro-Venezuelan tradition of coastal Venezuela: cumaco, tamboras de fulías, culo e’ puya, and quitiplás. In addition there are native Venezuelan folk instruments such as cuatro, bandóla and maracas used with a contemporary foundation.

Musicians involved include Huáscar Barrada, Ernesto Laya, Alberto Vergara, Ricardo Hernández, Carolina Sequera, Fernando Colina and Omar Herrera.

• Elías Castro: guitars programming and samplers.
• Jonathan Velásquez: keyboards and samplers.
• Oswaldo Rodríguez: drums and percussion.
• Juan Santana: Bass.
• María Elena Millán: vocals.
• Luís Negrín: vocals, cuatro, bandóla and percussion.
• Cesar Natera: violin.
• Wilmer Ríos: percussion.

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV 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 albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.

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