Salem State University | Language Resource Center | Spanish Lyrics Collection

Inti-illimani (group)

From: Chile

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"Sons of the predictatorship ferment that brought fame and eventual ruin to Chilean poet-warriors like Victor Jara, Violeta Parra, and others, Inti-Illimani is an institution along the lines of Argentina's Mercedes Sosa and Americans Woody Guthrie. It was 1973 when this group of Andean-instrument-toting poets set off for a European tour as cultural ambassadors. Back home, General Augusto Pinochet led the army in a coup, resulting in "the longest tour in history" for Inti-Illimani as they lived in de facto exile. Able to return to Chile only in the late '80s, Inti-Illimani bring a certain cosmopolitan world-weariness to their songs of struggle and truth. The mood is best savored on 1996's ARRIESGARÉ LA PIEL (I WILL RISK MY SKIN). Horacio Salinas and company dwell as much on the dangerous relations between lovers as between nations, but they do so with a stateliness that bespeaks of exile of the heart as much as a longing for home. "Medianoche" is a bolero of parting, of "the eternity of our two exiles"; "El Hacha," a son montuno with a message in parable of environmental and political disaster. Elsewhere, Inti-Illimani flex stylistic might in directions African ("Kalimba"), European ("Entre Nosotros") and Latin American. A shimmering and resonant vision of South American soul." Mark Schwartz (Review from Barnes & Noble)

"When dictator Augusto Pinochet seized power in Chile in 1973 with the help of the CIA, artists and musicians were often singled out for persecution. The members of Inti-Illimani, an adventurous group that had been formed in 1967, were among those who fled the country, but they continued to record and tour outside of Chile. Inti-Illimani was still going strong when Xenophile released Arriesgare La Piel in 1996, which showed how eclectic and unpredictable the group can be. The music of Chilean and South American Indians is a strong influence on this CD, but Spanish influence is equally prominent. Though ballads and slow tempos are a high priority, Inti-Illimani provides a very dancable and invigorating mixture of Afro-Cuban and Peruvian elements on "El Negro Bembon," "Caramba, Yo Soy Dueno Del Baron" and "El Hacha." Inti-Illimani has recorded many memorable albums over the years, and Arriesgare La Piel is certainly up to the Chileans' high standards." ~ Alex Henderson, All-Music Guide (Review from Barnes & Noble)

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[All translations by Jon Aske. Please give credit and send suggestions.]

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Last updated: June 23, 1999