soprano voice and alto flute (2016)
I. Urqupi ichu kañasqay (The ichu that I burned on the mountain)
II. Patibamballay (Tree of Patibamba)
III. Kacharpari (Farewell)
About the work
At the heart of this piece are three anonymous lyrics in Kechwa, the most widely spoken non-European language in the Americas. An ancient tongue, it became the official language of the great Inca Empire, and is still spoken by about 10 million people in present-day Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia and Argentina. Having been an important symbol of status and high culture before the European Conquest, it developed a refined literature which has continued to live and develop orally throughout the centuries.
The specific texts I have chosen for this work reflect this sophistication of sonority and meaning. They are anonymous lyrics from the Apurímac region in central Peru, gathered by prominent Peruvian author and anthropologist José María Arguedas (1911-1969). After comparing these accounts to alternative versions by other native speakers, and relying on my own basic knowledge of the language, I made some minor modifications on the original texts and thus created my own renditions for the purpose of this work.
“Kimsa harawicha”, the work´s title, can be translated as “Three songs”.