World Music Series Kicks Off in Las Condes

The metallic tapping of steel drums called to mind the patter of rain in the jungle. The sweet calls of rainforest birds arrived onstage disguised as the melodic sounds of a small wooden flute. A lilting voice rang out softly amidst the drumming, and the crowd swayed blissfully in their seats. Last Friday at the Centro Cultural Las Condes, Mundo Vivo kicked off its fall World Music Series with the Brazilian sounds of Segrio Boré and Group. Each Friday night in May, the center will feature music from different parts of the world, from Brazil to India to Latin-American fusion.

 (Photo: Anika Rice)
(Photo: Anika Rice)

Mundo Vivo is an independent Chilean music label and producer that dedicates itself to world music. There are 19 groups on the label. Mundo Vivo also comes out with various compilation discs and collaborations between different musicians.

For the past 12 years, Mundo Vivo has staged a biannual world music series featuring bands from all over the world. During January, the summer concerts are held outside, while in the fall they are held in the Centro Cultural Las Condes’s theater.

 (Photo: Anika Rice)
(Photo: Anika Rice)

“Each series is unique, with a different focus,” says Mundo Vivo’s Artistic Director, Subhira. “We don’t limit ourselves to bands that are on the label.” In addition, the organizers always include at least one Latin-American group in the line-up. This fall, two Latin-American groups are featured: Sergio Boré and Group, from Brazil, and the new Chilean group Ayaju.

At last week’s opening show, “Sounds of Northeast Brazil,” Sergio Boré introduced his set saying, “this is music from the Northeast of Brazil played for large groups of happy people, and I play it like this…” He and his group played original music based in Afro-Brazilian and Latino rhythms. Creative jazz mixed with elements of voice and percussion from different cultures made for a unique and eclectic sound.

Boré expertly played three types of steel drums accompanied by voice and percussion by Pilar Benítez, as well as flute, bass, and electric and acoustic guitar by the other group members. A table at the back of the stage showcased the myriad of wooden instruments used throughout the show such as flutes, maracas and shakers called caxixí. Boré also played the African udú, a ceramic jug with a hole in it, and the Peruvian cajón, a box-shaped percussion instrument.

 (Photo: Anika Rice)
(Photo: Anika Rice)

The music varied from fluid, jazzy guitar solos to rhythmic clapping, bird-like yelps, chanting and drumming. At times, Boré included lyrics and rhythms from Brazil’s indigenous Tupi peoples. Between grand crescendos on the drums, he calmly chanted “espírito” (spirit) and “energia” (energy).

Coming up this Friday, May 10th is the Chilean group Ajayu, who will be launching their album. Mundo Vivo’s Artistic Director, Subhira, refers to them as “a great new Latin-American fusion group made up of youngsters from Valparaiso. The show should be excellent.” Later in the month, the series will feature Indian music and dance with Tomas Thayer and K.P. Rakesh as well as Flamenco from the Tiempo y Compas Music and Dance Company. If the energy, musical variety and cross-cultural beauty of these upcoming shows are anything like the first, you won’t be disappointed.

Músicas del Mundo
Ciclo de Otoño 2013

May 3, 10, 17 and 24
9:00 pm
Centro Cultural Las Condes
Avenida Apoquindo 6570
Metro Manquehue
Tickets: $3,000-4,000 (CLP)
www.culturallascondes.cl

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