The Michigan Daily Monday, September 30, 1985 Page 7
Chilean folk mixes emotion and politics
By Laura Bischoff
IT'S A SHAME that more people
didn't see Inti-Illimani Thursday
night at the Power Center. But for the
hundreds who were there, the concert
by the Chilean folk group was nothing
short of incredible.
Inti-Illimani, a seven member
group founded in 1966, is a key part of
the New Song Movement, a cultural
movement in Latin America that
protests social injustices using
folkloric tradition. The movement,
which began in the early '60s, is an at-
tempt to preserve traditions and fight
for a cultural identity.
The group proved more than com-
petent on a variety of acoustic string, -
percussion, and wind instruments.
They played with flutes, snare drums,
bongos, guitars, a Mexican guitarron,
a charango (string instrument made
from an armadillo shell), Ecudorian
wind instruments, and more.
Although their music has folk roots,
group member Jorge Coulon said it
isn't folk, classical, jazz, or rock.
"Our music, it has no familiar name.
It is not good for music (to be put into
categories). We are musicians of
today," Coulon said.
The group's voices meshed perfec-
tly on every song and every note. The
beautiful voices, superb musical
score, and instrumental depth alone
would have been enjoyable, but what
made the concert incredible was the
emotional intensity that the group
achieved. After witnessing such an
emotional performance one has to
believe in the integrity of Inti-Illimani
and the message of the New Song
Movement: freedom and peace for all
The members of Inti-Illimani have
been living in exile in Italy since
Chile's military coup in 1973 which
overthrew the democratically elected
socialist government and established
a dictatorship. The group escaped the,
coup because they were out of the
country at the time serving as
cultural ambassadors in Europe.
After 13 years in exile, away from
his wife and children, Coulon still says
he will return to a free Chile in his
lifetime. Coulon and the other mem-
bers of the group have not given up
hope for a democratic Chile.
Their voices became the unbridled
voices of democracy Thursday night.
For one of the encores after the stan-
ding ovation they played "Samba
Lando?," a song which calls for liber-
tad para los negros (freedom for
blacks) all over the world. It was in-
troduced as a song against "racism,
sexism; for freedom, for peace, for
you, for us...for all the crazy people
who want to live."
Daily Photo by SCOTT LITUCHY
Chilean folk group Inti-Illimani received a standing ovation Thursday night at the Power Center for a perfor-
mance that dripped emotion and politics.
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