Friday, 21 August 2009

Music and Dance at Inca Arch

Last evening's offering in favour of the Apurimac project was a tour de force of Peruvian culture including music, dance, art, and food and poetry. The fact that you can find all this a stone's throw from central London never ceases to amaze me.

We (myself and Jorge a friend from Sevilla) arrived early and therefore received free complimentary Pisco Sours. The line up for the evening included a rich mix of Peruvian artists now domiciled in UK and Spain. We had every thing for a great evening - the line up included:

Chano Díaz Límaco

Sofía Buchuck (Singer and poet)

José Navarro (Scissors dancer, mime performer)

Juan Calle (singer, composer and poet)

David Mortara ( percussionist and "cajón" player)

Chano Diaz is an award winning musician and producer born in Ayacucho presented some songs from his latest albums. The proceeds of the concert went to Peru Apurimac Project.

We began the eveing with a presentation of recent support for impoverished communities in the high Andes and some of the work going on with remote communities to support more sustainable ways of life.

After that the entertainment began with contributions from all the above mentioned artists. Chano played the the spanish guitar and the charango. Originally, Andean music consisted only of flutes and percussion. The charango resembles a small guitar with 10 strings. The strings are tuned in pairs of five notes, with the middle pair being an octave apart. The rest are tuned in unison. The sound is quite high, almost "tinny" in tone, with a sharp attack. Chano plays the charango in this clip The other instrument played was the cajon, basically a square wooden bok on which one sits and plays like a drum on the front side.

One of the most notable parts of the evening was the Scissor dance performed by José Navarro. This is an acrobatic dance accompanied by what look like two halves of a pair of metal scissors which are beaten rhythmically. You can see it performed here

All in all this was a great evening and they went on to have a disco after we left to catch a train.

If you want to know more about the project there is an informative blog