LUZMILA CARPIO TO RELEASE YUYAY JAP’INA TAPES – 21ST AUGUST ON SQUIRREL THING
HEAR ‘WARMIKUNA YUPAY-CHAQAPUNI KASUNCHIK’ (WOMEN, WE HAVE TO BE RESPECTED) NOW
Squirrel Thing Recordings, in cooperation with France’s Almost Musique, is proud to announce the forthcoming release of Yuyay Jap’ina Tapes, a radical collection of restored Quechua obscurities from Luzmila Carpio. Although Carpio has been renowned for decades as the inimitable “Voice of the Andes,” this new collection unearths and presents recordings only previously heard on cassettes distributed amongst villages in the Bolivian Andes.
In 1949, Luzmila Carpio was born in the rural town of Qala Qala, Bolivia. It was there that her earliest musical experiences – and the genesis of her unique voice – shaped her decades-long career writing and performing Quechua music.
The social, political and economic stigma that came with identifying as Quechua was keenly felt throughout Luzmila’s formative years, though the tide began to shift in the late 1960s. At age 15, Luzmila joined the group Los Provincianos and has continued to make music ever since. Her distinctive musical style comes from her impossibly high upper register that oftentimes mingles so closely with the timbre of a quena flute.
‘Warmikuna yupay-chaqapuni kasunchik’ (Women, We Have To Be Respected)
In October of 1992, Luzmila began working with UNICEF on the Yuyay Jap’ina campaign for adult literacy. The goal of the project was to increase Quechua and Spanish language literacy amongst Quechua-speaking populations. The designers of the Yuyay Jap’ina project commissioned recordings by Luzmila that featured local musicians performing both traditional Quechua songs and those specially composed by Luzmila. Cassettes were then played in libraries and learning centers and distributed for free in participant villages. In keeping with the core mission of the literacy campaign, written song lyrics accompanied the tapes in both Quechua and Spanish.
Many of the songs take a pedagogical approach; they testify to the importance of clean drinking water (‘Ch’uwa yaku kawsaypuni,’ “Crystal Clear Water Is Life”), the self-actualizing power of literacy (‘Riqsisqa kasunchik,’ “We Will Be Recognized”), and the self-assertion of women (‘Warmikuna yupay-chasqapuni kasunchik,’ “Women, We Have To Be Respected”). But looking at the Yuyay Jap’ina Tapes as a set of instructional songs would be only the narrowest interpretation. Taken in context, the songs are a bold celebration of language and culture.
LUZMILA CARPIO LIVE
25 July – WOMAD Festival Charlton Park
LUZMILA CARPIO YUYAY JAP’INA TAPES TRACKLISTING
Ch’uwa yaku kawsaypuni
Warmikuna yupay-chaqapuni kasunchik
11. illpi Tillpilla
Sumaq awaq warmi
Amautayku, Avelino Siñani