Sunday, July 3, 2011

One of My Favorite Group: Inti Illimani


Don´t get me wrong, I love the cold, and I know I was asking for it, but it´s different from back home in Canada where you can enjoy the cold ouside for a while, and then go inside to a nice warm house or coffee shop or whatnot. Here, you´re going from the bitter cold outside, to the just as bitter cold inside. Most people don´t have or use central heating in Chile so most of us have to get used to going to bed with freezing noses poking through the 20 layers of blankets we have cloaking our beds. We have so many blankets piled on our bed that I can barely move from the weight of them when I tuck myself into my bed at night. The worst part is waking up at 6am and seeing your breath as you walk to the bathroom to take a shower and have to wait a whole 3 minutes stark naked as you wait in the shower for the water to heat up. Friday night and Saturday night parts of Santiago reached -7C and -8C respectively! I feel like I´m back in Canada, except without the pretty snow and central heating. Okay, enough complaining, no matter how cold I get, I prefer it 10000 times more than the brutal summer Santiago heat. I´m happy to bundle up in nice warm sweaters and boots, my favorite things to wear.

Friday was Canada day, and because the only Canadian I know is currently in Canada, I didn´t have anyone to celebrate it with so it was just another normal day. July 4th steals all of Canada day´s thunder down here in Latin America ha ha. When I tried explaining Canada day at work, nobody even know about it and some thought I was confused for American Independance Day. Poor Canada, always taking a backseat to the States ;). However, I did have a pretty good Canada Day, even if I wasn´t celebrating Canada in particular. I did go to see my favorite group play with my darling husband and his parents. Inti-Illimani played at a big outdoor theater in Peñalolen Friday night and I was so excited to go since I haven´t seen them in so long. I have already been to 4 of their concerts and I NEVER get tired of them!

I´m not really a big concert person so the fact that I never get tired of going to see Inti-Illimani is really surprising to me and my husband. I just can´t get enough. They are the most talented group I have ever seen in my life. The combination of all those instruments mixed with their powerful sharp voices just takes my breath away. They also sing and play with such passion and their songs carry so much meaning because many of them represent important events and difficult times in Chilean history. Inti-Illimani used to be one group but years ago they separated into two groups due to differences in opinion regarding their musical style. One group wanted to incorporate new talent and new styles of music while the other group wanted to stick to the same style of music and not incorporate any new members. The two groups became known as "Inti-Illimani" (the former) and "Inti-Illimani Historico" (the latter). My favorite is "Inti-Illimani" just because their music keeps evolving and I love the way they have updated many of their songs and added a more modern and energetic spin to them. They are truly a treat for the ears. During their concerts, they pass around their instruments and laugh and dance and have so much fun on stage. They also talk about important issues in Chile throughout their shows and really reach out to the audience. At all of their concerts I feel like I´m at a big yet somewhat intimate party.

Of course since the members of Inti-Illimani started out as communists and are now passive leftists, their concerts attract many communist and leftist crowds, especially since many of their songs represent communist ideals. One of their songs called "Venceremos" (We Shall Win) actually became the anthem of the Popular Unity Government (a coalition of the leftist governments in Chile) of Salvador Allende. At the moment of the Chilean coup of September 11th, 1973, Inti-Illimani were on tour in Europe and were not allowed to return to Chile because their music was banned by Pinochet´s junta. I can´t imagine going on a trip and then being told that you´re never allowed to come home. Wow. So when they were in Europe, on "their longest tour in history" their music took on a new character and incorporated elements of European baroque which they mixed with their lively Andean and Latin American sounds. They were finally allowed to come back to Chile in 1988 and continued playing their music and touring Chile...And I love them. And I think their history, and the lyrics in their songs, are fascinating.

Foto of the original" Inti-Illimani" group before they split.
Taken fromthe" Inti Illiami Historico" website:

Foto of the original" Inti-Illimani" group before they split.
Taken fromthe" Inti Illiami Historico" website:

Foto of the original" Inti-Illimani" group before they split.
Taken fromthe" Inti Illiami Historico" website:

Love this photo. Represents good times on the road.
Taken from "Inti Illimani Historico":

Foto of the original" Inti-Illimani" group before they split.
Taken fromthe" Inti Illiami Historico" website:

Photo of the new "Inti-Illimani" taken from their Website:

A mix of the original and newer members.

Friday´s concert was incredible, as usual. I had goosebumps all night...which could have been from the freaking cold since it was -3C in that area at the time, but I didn´t care, I couldn´t tear myself away. Here are links to some of my favorite songs of theirs (in no particular order) to give you an idea of how amazing they are: This is a very powerful leftist song

-Samba Lando
-Exiliada de Sur
-La Fiesta Eres Tu
-El Pueblo Unido (this is a very powerful leftist song)
-La Negrita
-Antes de Amar de Nuevo
-Sobre tu Playa
-Danza Mediterenea
-Danza di Cala Luna

-San Juanito

There are so many more but I don´t know or remember the names of so many of their songs so if you like them, you´ll just have to go look up their music yourself. Anybody planning on visiting Chile simply MUST see this group whose music is so haunting and beautiful and so engrained in Chilean culture. I already have tickets to their next concert in October where they will play with "Illapu" (another traditional Chilean group I love). I´m obsessed with folkloric music from any country, I don´t know why, it just touches my soul since this type of music usually has deep roots to the countries history and all their suffering and joy.

Alright, now I´m off to enjoy my Sunday being lazy with my husband at home. But first, to cook a delicious stir fry and carrot ginger butternut squash soup for lunch. I usually cook as much as I can on Sunday so that we have food for the week since I have no time to cook during the week. Happy Sunday everyone!

1 comment:

  1. I just came across your blog from an old Cachandochile post about how to annoy Chileans. I loved the PJ day! My daughters and I love to spend the weekend in our PJ's when we can, and I am sure my husband's family think we are crazy!

    I also agree with your comments about the cold and lack of central heating! (I made similar comments in my blog, maybe this year everyone is feeling the cold more?)

    At least dancing to great music will keep you warm!