|Dimensions||21 × 15 × 1.5 cm|
High in the Andes, in the remote reaches of the altiplano, or high plains, is a region that the Spanish never conquered. There, the language of the Incas is still spoken and sung, and the sounds of pre–Columbian music still echo. The haunting whistle of the pan–pipes, the ancient flutes, and the drums are all featured on Inkuyo’s The Double–Headed Serpent.
This recording, like Inkuyo’s previous work, includes a number of traditional Andean folk songs and dances—some old enough to date back to the Incan Empire. The group also performs the recent Latin American phenomenon known as Nueva Cancion, or New Song, that contains social or sharply political lyrics, and combines traditional and European instruments.
Both styles can express different moods, from festive to melancholic. The centuries of Spanish oppression of the native culture are expressed in the flutes of the Incas which speak of the cold, timeless winds of the altiplano and the hardy people who have lived there. South American history also becomes the rallying cry for some of the alternately jubilant or dramatic songs of the Nueva Cancion.
The instruments on The Double–Headed Serpent vary widely, from instruments found only in certain parts of the Andes to more familiar instruments like the charango, a mandolin made out of an armadillo shell, or the sikus, a pan–pipe which is always played by two musicians, so that the melodies are pieced together like a jigsaw puzzle. Of course, there is also the bewildering array of wooden and bone flutes that characterize Andean music.
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