15/12/2009

Folklore Maya - Marimba Tecún Umán - Vol. 2



Folklore Maya - Marimba Tecún Umán - Vol. 2 (Dideca, Guatemala, 19??, LP)

Definitely one of my favourite records of the last months. Fragile music played on a very relaxed mood. Sunny, naive and approximate compositions for marimba, flute and drum. Just beautiful and sometimes quite out of tune too... These funny and vibrating sounds always put a smile on my face.

I found this LP in Graz (Austria) last Summer when Buffle played at the Karneval im Land der Cetacean ethnic music festival and I have been addicted to these sounds since then, just playing this record over and over. All tracks seem to have been composed by Arturo Méndez Cifuentes in the Mayan tradition... and I can't tell you much more about it unfortunately as my second hand copy of the record came housed in a wrong cover. For a few months (!) I mistook this masterpiece for a release by Bolivian band Inti-Mujus. Only a few days ago, when ripping the vinyl for this post, I finally noticed that the record didn't match the cover... Hem. I found the right picture above on the internet.

As read on Wikipedia, "Tecún Umán (1500?-February 20, 1524) was the last ruler and king of the K'iche' (Quiché) Maya people, in the highlands of what is now Guatemala. According to the Kaqchikel annals, he was slain by Spanish Conquistador Don Pedro de Alvarado while waging battle against the Spaniards in the grasslands of El Pinal (Valley of Olintepeque) on February 20, 1524. Tecún Umán is considered the most representative of his people for his bravery and dignity because he fought to protect his land and his people. He was declared Guatemala's official national hero on March 22, 1960 and is commemorated on February 20, on the anniversary of his death" (which is also the date of my birthday by the way).

Hope you'll like this one as much as I do.

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