Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Bigger than Snipe: Inti-Illimani and "A La Caza Del Ñandú"

Inti-Illimani brings us the random tune for today, called A La Caza Del Ñandú. Formed in 1967 by university students, Inti-Illimani gained popularity in Chile due to their song Venceremos (We Shall Overcome) which became the anthem of the populist movement. This led to their exile - Allende's government was overthrown while they were on tour in Europe and, fearing for their safety, they stayed in exile in Italy until 1988, leading them to joke that their exile was the longest tour for any band ever. While in exile, they began to combine their Latin musical heritage with elements of European baroque and popular music, and by doing so helped create some of the first "world" music. Their music was banned in Chile, though distributed underground, and in 1988 they were allowed to return to their country. They participated actively in the campaign that ousted Pinochet from power in a democratic election, and continue their political activism to this day. However, in 2001 the band split over musical and political differences, and there are now two bands. The first retained the name of Inti-Illimani, and the second became Inti-Histórico. A La Caza Del Ñandú is on Inti-Illimani's 2002 album Lugares Comunes. The song refers to hunting the large, flightless bird called the rhea (ñandú in the Guarani language).