InCuikatl (The Chant in Náhuatl language) is a proposal of acoustic immersion, between a language that refuses to dissappear and a...Read Biography
InCuikatl (The Chant in Náhuatl language) is a proposal of acoustic immersion, between a language that refuses to dissappear and a sea with musical waves, that invite us to dive in a denial of time as being linear, it reinvents this concept of time, it overcomes it and suggests joining together past and present periods. For this reason, when one listens to InCuikatl in a context of urban traffic which we cannot denny, it implies an invitation to navigate through No Time, or at a lagoon where different times coincide, a combination of times where one can find rhythms from present-past-future. It is a reinterpretation; without wanting it to be the original, the authentic, the primary, the primitive, but rather wanting it to be a recognition of the influence of art in general throughout history, the influence of music, of the modern poetic word, of contemporary languages, of the Náhuatl language, the native language of Middle America many centuries ago and still used today in underground Mexico. InCuikatl is considered today an old chant, poetry of past times going way way back, developed by our complex urban and cosmopolitan context.
To preserve our ancestry would come from this reinterpretation, this updating. It means to perceive the stubborn musicians and dancers of the “Concheros” current like a wave of renovated mexicans, denominated neomexicas, because we assume that they are presumedly getting involved in renovating the old, as we are doing with our proposal that does not deny the latest influences.
Technically speaking, the proposal can be described as Blossomed Song, that is to say, poetic song, considering that the pre-hispanic glyphic of native civilizations in Mexico represents poetry with a flower emerging form a mouth.
This Blossomed Song implies a reminder message of the necessity to preserve the nature enclaves that still exist in Middle America, those are the Foggy Forest, the water bodies which are in danger of dissapearing or getting polluted and other elements of nature and traditional cultures that are shown with the images displayed in the show.
This project is also about communicating the historical heritage of a civilization that was dominated by another civilization. InCuikatl consists of setting to music the works of registration and translation of the most important researcher of Náhuatl language in the twentieth century, León Portilla, who studied and gathered the classic Náhuatl poetry, transcribed into Latin characters by the colonial chroniclers, he translated and interpreted its multiple meanings according to the Nahua world view, a product of thousands of years of a civilization development, that originated the domestication of corn.
Likewise, it is a reminder that together with the necessety of preserving certain languages that are in danger of losing speakers because of the obliged cultural homogenization, there are animal and plant species, and regions around the world that deserve being protected for their intrinsic ecological value.
The composer and performer Dan Vera is joined by Gonzalo Delgado percussion, Enrique Soto Bass, that by using modern and ancient instruments produce an interesting acoustic experience.
Who has listened to the imposing strenght of the “Concheras” percussion in Mexico City will be able to recognize the delicacy of this subtle and fine reinterpretation of the same rhythmical basis, which have a different treatment in order to let the voice and the rhythm of Náhuatl language, sang by a soprano, stand out. This treatment is done with an excelent technique, trying to achieve a warm profile and technical ability in the selection process, to be able to avoid the most common patterns of pop music and produce a soft communication of the Blossomed Song.
The musical instruments played in this project are divided in two groups. On one hand the traditional instruments from pre-hispanic and colonial times:
On the other hand the modern instruments:
Double Bass and electric bass guitar
Nylon and metal electro-acoustic guitars
Electric shell (mando guitar), adapted and tuned like the native tradicional instrument, which was made with a box that consisted of an armadillo shell (concha). The word “conchero”comes from this intrument, and it refers to the musicians and dancers that danced in honour of the godess Tonantzin (our mother). This godess was and is replaced with the same meaning by Guadalupe Virgin in the colonial and nowadays context.
Additional elements that can be included in the show
The ritual vinculated to the music and dance offering, aimed to the universe paths as a way of harmonizing the human being with nature, to “ask permission”, can be represented in a different kind of performance, if required by stage and the public characteristics, and is agreed beforehand.
It can be presented in different context, such as book fares, performing dance series, music festivals, art exhibitions or any other kind of exhibition. Any other proposal can be evaluated.