Tuesday, March 08, 2011
TUNES FOR TUESDAY -- Chicaquichá
Some readers may argue that the music here discussed thus far is old or outdated. There may be some truth to that. But just some. In reality, the fact that these songs have been around for so long, that younger generations still dance to them, and that they keep being remade prove that this music is timeless.
Having said that and before we go on, what's new in Colombian music, then?
A lot, it turns out. From the new albums of the well-known (Juanes, Shakira) to a recent release and today's feature:
Chicaquichá by Andrés Villamil.
Guitarist Andrés Villamil is a graduate of both the Music Conservatory at Universidad Nacional in Bogotá and the School of Music and Dance in Cologne, Germany (Hochschule für Musik und Tanz, Köln). He has received awards and recognition in both Colombia and Germany for his music.
The song, Chicaquichá, is a great example of Villamil's ability to blend his training in classical guitar with the unmistakable sounds of traditional (folkloric) music from the mountainous regions of Colombia. And here's something that I love about the new generation of Colombian musicians: Whether rockers, salseros, or classic artists (and especially those who train and record abroad), in their music, they always return to the homeland. There's always a little of the Colombian common code tucked stealthily inside their songs. Andrés Villamil does it overtly in this album. Some of the songs are his own arrangements of old Colombian favorites. But you can hear it even in a new composition such as Chicaquichá.
Chicaquichá is a word borrowed from the Chibcha language, the one spoken by the Muiscas, the native inhabitants of the Bogotá plateau. Depending on the source it could mean "Our Great Village" or "City of Our Father". It was the Chibcha name for the city today known as Zipaquirá, a village that already existed when the Spaniards arrived in 1536, and that is, therefore, among the oldest cities in the New World. Andrés Villamil was born in Zipaquirá in 1976.
Here's a video of Chicaquichá: