Thursday, February 3, 2011

Magaly Solier: Warmi (2009)

I first heard of Magaly Solier when she won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film festival in 2009 for "La teta asustada" (which is an excellent movie by the way). Like in her previous movie "Madeinusa" she had short sequences where she sang in her very unique and impressive style. Luckily, she also decided to publish with Warmi a really uniquie and beautiful piece of music. There are severaly things that make this record particularly special: The songs are sung for the most in Quechua (a native language of Peru and the Andes) and all the songs are written by herself. I have not been much of a fan of pan flutes and south american folk groups (playing in city centers) but Magaly Solier has changed my perception about Andean music strongly.

The songs accompanied by guitar, charango, quenas and violins have an exotic mood with Solier’s voice adding a very natural feeling. Lyrically, the songs deviate from standard folk music: One of my favorites from Warmi (meaning Woman in Quechua) "Ripu Ripusajmi" is a protest song that tells the story of a girl escaping from the physical abuse of her father. If you do not understand the language (like me) it gives you a pretty happy mood contrasting the actual dark lyrical theme. The record left my with a very intense impression changing my impression of Andean folk music but unfortunately Warmi is not commercialy available outside of Peru.
If you want to explore further this kind of music I recommend this blog which is dedicated solely to South American folk music.