May 11, 2021

Los Jaivas, Pablo Neruda ‎– Alturas De Macchu Picchu (1981, LP, Chile)

A1 Del Aire Al Aire 2:14
A2 La Poderosa Muerte 11:13
A3 Amor Americano 5:15
B1 Aguila Sideral 5:19
B2 Antigua America 5:37
B3 Sube A Nacer Conmigo Hermano 4:48
B4 Final 2:34

Gato Alquinta / lead vocals, electric & acoustic guitars, bass, cuatro, siku, quena, ocarina, tarka
Eduardo Parra / Fender Rhodes, Mini-Moog, tarka, handclaps
Claudio Parra / piano, Fender Rhodes, Mini-Moog, harpsichord, marimba, tarka
Mario Mutis / bass, electric guitar, siku, quena, tarka, vocals
Gabriel Parra / drums, chimes, marimba, timbales, bombo legüero, trutruca, tarka, handclaps, vocals
Alberto Ledo / vocals and all instruments (1): siku, trutruca, trompe, sleigh bells, bombo legüero
Patricio Castillo / quena (4), tarka (5)

Historical, temporal and astral regression, suffering and joy in the fortress of the heavens, clouds and of the fallen, hidden in the Andes. The work of walking laborers, benevolent farmers and sublime architects. The citadel of Machu Picchu engenders in its histrionic stone and clay walls, in its architectural configuration and in its geographical position mysteries and human history that tell not only the legacy of the Andean people, it is also a point of reflection for Mesoamerican heritage.

Add to this natural, cultural and poetic majesty; original guitars, drums, keyboards, voices and instruments; and we have as a result the famous and praised album “Alturas de Macchu Picchu” by Los Jaivas, based on the poem of the same name by Pablo Neruda.

Pablo Neruda, was a great poet, thinker and political activist of the 20th century in Latin America, known for his populist ideals and his epic verse, Neruda died in 1973 in Santiago de Chile. Recognized by Gabriel Garcia Márquez as "the greatest poet of the 20th century in any language."

His poetic masterpiece would be contained in what he called "General Canto" published in 1950, a reflection and tribute that addresses the historical legacy of Latin America through its different poems, this contains the sublime poem "Heights in Machu Picchu" that had already been previously published in 1944 and later attached to the "Canto General". He was so amazed at the magnitudes and beauty of the ancient citadel that it was a great inspiration for his verse.

The poem is divided into XII sections that pose in its lyrical beauty the greatness of the Inca site and the relevance of the beings that built it, leaving aside the great Inca rulers such as Pachacútec, it focuses on the men who built this architectural wonder, the suffering they endured and of course the legacy they left us.

Los Jaivas lived in France in the early eighties, while they were finishing their last musical work, Peruvian producer Daniel Camino approached them to explain his idea: Create a Latin American musical composition or cantata based on Neruda's work and performed in the ruins of Machu Picchu. At first the band did not take the idea seriously, however as time went by and at the insistence of Camino himself, the band started the project that would lead them to position themselves at the top of their careers. Like the cycle of human gestation, in nine months the musical arrangements and the poetic adaptation were completed.

Released in 1981, this album stands as one of the most important albums in Latin American history. It is the shining point of Los Jaivas, who had already been composing and touring for some time, however "Alturas" would be the peak of their career.

The album was recorded in Europe in early1981 and after finishing it, in September the group traveled to Machu Picchu to record the Chilean/ Peruvian television special that would provide the visual backdrop for the soundtrack. The members had never been there. When interpreting the songs they clearly saw Neruda's words materialize, they understood with clarity the message contained within. Surprised by the magic that the ruins projected together with their musical performance, the event was a success. The project also had the participation of Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa who introduced and commented on the life and work of Neruda. An extraordinary and unique musical event that compares to Pink Floyd's performance at Pompeii.

A passage through mythical heights. Sounds of a living and multicolored nature, an astral wind blowing from an Andean pan flute guide lost souls solemnly ready to initiate the tribute rite to a mythical heritage of our ancient being. The album deserves a complete English translation along with this review, but that exercise extends beyond the limits of this review. (ProgRock_JazzFusion_More)

1 comment:

centraldoprog said...