Peruvian Folklore Gets an Electronic Treatment on “Sonidos Raíces del Perú”

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Since 2010, the website and publication Sounds & Colours has been digging deep into the diverse cultures of South America and amassing an archive of original features on music, film, and art from this part of the globe. The site’s content is particularly focused on underrepresented cultures, helping to share works that often go unnoticed outside of their respective communities.

In addition to its digital offerings, Sounds & Colours also produces books, helps organize events, and produces compilations of music from South America. Today, the team has unveiled its eighth album, Sonidos Raíces el Perú, a compilation that commissioned eleven South American producers to rework and reinterpret traditional and folkloric sounds from Perú.

The project began as a collaboration with the acclaimed independent French filmmaker and ethnographer Vincent Moon (also known for his one-shot live music Take Away Shows), using a selection of sounds he captured while traveling in Peru, consolidated in his Collection Planetes Petites. The recordings range from shamanic rituals to village processions, experimental noise music, and ancient Andean chants, sounds which are used as musical elements and environments for original compositions. The result is a sonically diverse throughway to a variety of folk songs, ceremonies, and environmental field recordings from all over Perú.

The album opens with the sparkling “La Familia Choquihuillca” a hyperactive cumbia jam by Chile’s El Sueño de La Casa Propia, composed of original music performed by Jorge Choquewillka y Su Familia.

Ecuador’s Quixosis reinterprets Manuelcha Prado’s somber “Mana Waylluna” and the syncopated drumming of Los Ballumbrosios as a stuttering, swinging dance track on “Ballumbra en Pucallpa.” The song by Sr. Prado was the last of Moon’s 33 recordings, and perhaps one of the most special of the project:

“Manuelcha Prado embodies everything I love about Peruvian culture – a unique sensitivity to the elements, a gentleman way to talk to the other, a refinement getting rare nowadays.” – Vincent Moon

The album is rounded out with “Viracocha,” a contribution by Dolli from Caracas, Venezuela, who combines ambient sounds from Lake Titicaca, the impassioned poetry of Hildebrando Briones, and the haunting ceremonial songs of Justina Serano Alvarez to create a dark, muffled ambient piece alluding to the deep spirituality of Peruvian culture.

Find the full Sonidos Raíces del Perú album on Bandcamp, and discover Vincent Moon’s full series of videos from Peru on Vimeo.

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