Abya Yala Choral Suite
Commissioned by Resonance Ensemble and ACDA Northwest
This multilingual composition is the result of many months of research and collaborative work with several poets in Latin America. As a composer with indigenous roots in South America, my original idea was to compose a choral suite that would include poems in several languages spoken by our indigenous communities in South, Central and North America - as well as their versions in Spanish.
I selected 5 bilingual poets from different regions of Abya Yala whose poetry spoke to me. My collaborative work with these great poets took different forms, ranging from writing adaptations to better suit the song format to discussing the styles of music and instrumentation we envisioned for each piece.
The poems were chosen for their beauty and subtle, yet powerful messages. In these texts we find the constant presence of our ancestors, a profound love for the land “Pachamama,” and a strong call to preserve the languages and cultures of our indigenous communities for future generations.
The result is this multilingual work that includes poets from the Mapuche, Aymara, Quechua, Maya K'iche', and Nahuatl communities. Although directly related to Abya Yala, the topics addressed by these poets are universal, hence the beauty and relevance of these poems for all.
Abya Yala Choral Suite
Freddy Vilches Meneses
Elicura Chihuailaf Nahuelpán (Mapudungun)
Estela Gamero López (Aymara)
Julieta Zurita Cavero (Quechua)
Rosa Chávez (Maya K’iche’)
and Gustavo Zapoteco Sideño (Nahuatl)
LATIN AMERICAN SUITE
An orchestral suite composed by Freddy O. Vilches
Arrangements by Giancarlo Castro D'Adonna
For this suite, I chose five musical regions in Latin America: The Andes, Venezuela and Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, and Cuba. The Suite consists of five movements that integrate different styles of music to the orchestral format and feature traditional rhythms, melodies, and instruments from each musical region.
Matices (Shades of Color) is a piece inspired by the music of the Andes in South America. It features the sounds of antara and zampoña flutes, along with the charango, a small 10 string instrument from the Andes. It combines several South American rhythms, including bailecito from Bolivia, chamamé from Argentina, and cueca and cachimbo from Chile.
En la Llanura (On the Plains) takes its inspiration from the music of the plains of Venezuela and Colombia. This piece combines the lively sounds of joropo in contrast with the more mellow, waltz-like rhythm called pasaje. It features the sound of the Venezuelan cuatro and maracas.
Camino Secreto (Secret Road/Journey) combines samba and bossa nova rhythms from Brazil. It features the sound of the Brazilian guitar and bossa nova harmonic progressions combined with jazzy melodies and solos.