Finally on CD by Buh Records in a limited edition of 300 copies. This CD is part of the Sounds Essentials Collection, a rescue project of several fundamental works of Peruvian Avantgarde music, which will be published periodically. The project is made possible through the support of ATA (Alta Tecnología Andina)
Available in record stores and through web Buh Records.
THE RELEASE IN CD VERSION OF THE ESSENTIAL PERUVIAN MUSICAL AVANT GARDE ALBUM “PRIMITIVO” (1981) BY MIGUEL FLORES, IS A MEETING POINT BOTH OF ANCIENT AND NOUVELLE, FREE JAZZ AND PSICODELIA.
Miguel Flore is, alongside musicians such as Arturo Ruiz del Pozo, Luis David Aguilar or Manongo Mujica, one of the most important representatives of that period that spans from mid 70s to mid 80s, when experimenting musically in Peru united modern composing techniques of avant garde music and the search of the sounds of mother land.
A drummer turned into a multi instrument player, who began by playing rock from mid 60s on, with groups such as The Loop`s, Thee Image and most pointedly with PAX, iconic hard rock band of the 70s, Miguel Flores tackled Peruvian folk music by 1974 with his group AVE ACUSTICA, which included non conventional musical techniques into their performances. Those were times when folk music was widely promoted, as a consequence of the policies of Juan Velasco Alvarado’s nationalistic policies. The appearance of the Talleres de la Canción Popular, headed by Celso Garrido Lecca, in 1974, was decisive to brood a new generation of folk and new song groups. In this environment, and after leaving PAX, Miguel Flores goes deep into his interests in folk and sound experiments as well as free jazz, his attempts to fuse what was considered could not be fused, being rejected by all sides equally.
Upon his return to Lima, after an intense tour to Japan in 1980, Miguel Flores is commissioned by choreographer Luciana Proaño to write the score for her new contemporary performance “MITOS Y MUJERES”. Miguel Flores called Corina Bartra, Arturo de la Cruz, Manuel Miranda and Aberlardo Oquendo to play the music which brought together folklore and psicodelia, free jazz, electronics, tribal music and ashaninka chants. A hypnotic sound stretches a bridge between ancient and avant garde, the spirit of psychedelic rock, free jazz and pure sound experimentation.
The studio recording of what was the score for “MITOS Y MUJERES” was kept away for more than 30 years. Today it comes to broad daylight in a CD release. It is part of the COLECCION SONIDOS ESENCIALES, as edited by BUH RECORDS, with the aid of ALTA TECNOLOGIA ANDINA.
PIECES COMPOSED BY MIGUEL FLORES AS COMMISIONED BY CHOREOGRAPHER
LUCIANA PROAÑO FOR “MITOS Y MUJERES”
I played 14 independent guitars including the one that makes
up for the “huiro”.
The initial guitars are played backwards and at a slower speed
than the one of the original recording.
As my personal abilities didn’t allow me to play the solo “Spanish” guitar in real time I recorded it bringing the speed of the tape down to be able to finger my way properly… the result is the sped up sound of the guitar that plays the melody.
I didn’t use one single sound effect in any of the takes, all guitars are totally clean.
The feedback produced is just volume and distance and angle from the speakers.
The tapping I do in part of the piece had no name as a guitar technique at the time.
I used a Yamaha PA system and an amateur Kawaii guitar that cost me 30 bucks in Tokyo… I miss that guitar.
The piece has four parts to it:
1. Abstract creation of the universe
2. The pre Columbian empires of ancient Peru as they formed
and had intestinal wars
3. The final conflict as the Spaniards arrived
4. Present day urban
I must add that I made a simplistic representation of reality as in:
1. A first equation between creation / primitive / abstract
2. A second block that goes back to what we now know as the
basic rhythm of Peruvian Andes, huayno, but off beat… the guitars, instead of flowing together, clash more and more as seconds go by… in those years I wanted people to listen, not dance and I forced tempos running into each other to stop continuous dance
3. A kind of rhumba symbolizing the arrival of Spaniards
4. My second reference to “chicha” (previously it was “Una Virgen Es Como El Oro En Bruto" for La Zarzuela del Mendigo, the Peruvian version of John Gay's "The Beggar’s Opera”)
ORIGIN OF THE MYTH
Pachacuti is a synonym of changing times, transformation of an era, return to past times, revolution.
As in the Inkarri myth, this prophecy was found in the oral tradition of the Q’ero community which has secluded itself in Paucartampu, Cusco for more than 400 years.
PACHACUTI THROUGH HISTORY
It is believed that this prophecy has already proved itself many times: “… according to oral tradition the Inca empire was preceded by 4 suns for 4 races, each lasting one thousand years, and the end of each has been preceded by great catastrophes…
“ (Wari Wiracocha, Wari Runa, Purun Runa and Auca Runa, as indicated by Guaman Poma).
HUNU YAKU PACHACUTI (The flood)
Hunu (water in Cusquean Quechua) Yacu (water in general in Quechua) is understood as devastation caused by water, a flood similar in proportions to that of the Bible. In Andean stories
Wiracocha orders people to hide in underground caves to survive the flood. As they come out they consider the caves as their origin, the Pakarinas.
I wrote this piece based on Ashaninka myths from the Peruvian Amazon region, based on the sounds they attribute to thunderbolt. This repeats itself along the many moments of
The decision on the instrumentation and the way to play them comes from my desire to talk in a "universally Peruvian" way, rather than locking myself in just native instruments or
by just imitating local musical forms.
The main story tells about the life of a delicately beautiful woman who is made of clay and thus can’t walk freely in the jungle as rain would melt her. Her husband leaves her and, abandoned, she takes a second husband who in turn doesn’t care for her and, even more so, treats her as a man. She loses her self esteem and in fact turns into a man, leaving behind her fears on effects due to contact with water. One day she goes for a walk in the jungle and she literally melts.
Manuel Miranda plays wind instruments, Abelardo Oquendo plays electric guitar and Arturo de la Cruz is on synthesizer.I myself play the percussion.
The Ashaninka chants presented were taken from a field recording by Alejandro Ortiz Rescaniere and they become the voice of the woman made of clay who sings, sings, sings, and finally
disappears melted by the rain.
The long final sax solo is due to the choreographic needs of Luciana Proaño and Manuel Miranda’s ability to improvise with ever more fury as the piece evolves, as the clay woman leaves the stage, melting away.
A group of Ashaninkas came to the opening night and they laughed all through the piece to later explain to us that they had enjoyed it, expressing so by laughing all the way throuhg.
Between 1560 and 1570 there was a first organized native reaction to Spanish presence in the Tawantinsuyu. This was a religious movement called Taki Onqoy or Aira (the dance
ailment, similar to San Vito in Europe). It originated in Ayacucho and Apurimac. Leaders demanded people to forget about Christian gods and Spanish habits, to come out of their sufferings, indicating that sickness and death were the punishment for abandoning and replacing the ancient and forgotten deities, the Huacas. A return to ways of life previous to Spanish presence had to take place, there had to be a return to the Huacas.
Even though this movement had a fatal ending it proved not only the desperate situation of natives due to brutal colonial exploitation but also that even after 30 years into the Spanish
conquest, the Incas continued being tyrants too. This is why the call was to return to the Huacas.
The dance ailment is the starting point to this piece and due to the ailing condition I present it in a dysfunctional way. The parts are not united but rather they follow each other in a violent
Manuel Miranda is on sax and flute while Corina Bartra sings. The parts for Miranda were written while the vocal parts were indicated, leaving margin for a certain degree of improvisation.
The percussion behind Corina’s voice is Luciana Proaño’s body as she evolves and hurdles herself against the walls of the recording studio.
Miguel Flores, 1981
released February 6, 2015
These pieces were recorded at Gerald Paz's MIRAL studios in Lima, Peru in 1981.
01 was played solely by Miguel Flores on guitars.
02 was played by Manuel Miranda on sax and siku, Abelardo Oquendo on electric guitar, Arturo de la Cruz on sinthesizer and Miguel Flores on percussion.
03 was played by Manuel Miranda on saxes and flute, Corina Bartra on vocals.
The three pieces were composed by Miguel Flores
Miguel Flores is a self made musician, composer and producer born in 1951 in Lima, Perú.
He began by playing drums at 13 in a school band: The Loop's (1965 - 1968).
He moved onto Thee Image (1968 - 1970) and then jumped to fame as drummer for PAX (1971 - 1975).
Then he founded Ave Acústica (1975 - 1978) and La Orquesta Integral del Sol (1979) to fuse Peruvian folk music and modern concepts.
He has composed music for theatre, dance, ballet and movies and currently continues doing so.
Sounds Essentials Collection, curated by Luis Alvarado