Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Troubador: Pedro Yáñez and "Los Chanchos de Pedro Urdemales"

Today's random song is by Chilean artist Pedro Yañez, a musicologist and folklorist and a founding member of the legendary folk group Inti-Illimani. He was one of the creative impulses behind musical movements such as the Nueva Canción Chilena, the Nuevo Canto and Canto a lo Poeta. Pedro Yañez was introduced to the music of Violeta Parra and Atahualpa Yupanqui in his teens, and immersed himself in guitar and the life and music of peasants. While attending school in 1966, he met other musicians with whom he formed Inti-Illimani, but after a tour of Argentina he left the group and school to devote himself completely to music. He decided soon after that it was better to finish his studies, so he re-enrolled in college and also formed the duo Coirón with Valericio Leppe with whom he recorded an album. During this time, he was introduced to the guitarrón, and developed an interest in folk poetry. His music became centered more around a troubador style. In 1971, he joined the faculty of the University of Chile, teaching ethno-musicology, but the military coup in 1973 interrupted his career when he was kicked out of the university. He returned to rural Chile and continued to research folk music and oral tradition. He continues to play and perform, and in 2006 he rejoined Inti-Illimani as a guest musician on their album Small World. This song, Los Chanchos de Pedro Urdemales, can be found on his 1976 album Pedro Yáñez. El Canto del Hombre.