Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Dancing to the Pipes of Pan: Rumillajta and "El Sicuri"

Rumillajta (the name means "stones ruins" in Qechua) brings us the random tune today in the form of El Sicuri. Formed in 1980 in Bolivia, they are one of the most important progenitors of modern Andean music and their themes are based around folk tradition and nature as well as social themes such as coca, foreign exploitation and indigenous rights. Most of the group's instruments were built by lead flute player Adrian Villanueva. Rumillajta has apparently disbanded since 2001, but as modern pioneers their influence lives on in groups that incorporate indigenous sounds. You can find El Sicuri on their 1984 album City of Stone (re-released in 2006) and on the compilation CD Putumayo Presents: Music of the Andes (2014). The name of the song refers to the player of a traditional Andean panpipe and of a style of Andean music consisting of interlocking panpipes that extend the range of the instrument accompanied by drum.