Ravelers and the trips of a tribe
On February 1, the Ravelers celebrated the anniversary of their self-titled album at MALI, a show that we did not want to miss because of the performative and musical proposal that this band presents. In fact, the album was celebrated as the best of 2017 according to the newspaper El Comercio and so far it is heard fresh and innovative thanks to the fusion they have made with a variety of instruments and rhythms from the interior of the country, without losing current sounds that They give that youthful tint.
Ravelers is as a whole a result that will remain in time due to its autochthonous and contemporary sound that, with resources, whether these rhythms or instruments, make Peruvian music feel alive again and always.
Its members let us interview them on that February day and we want to extend their words with other questions that we find interesting to deepen about their performance, about the singles that come, about their particular sound and some curiosities about their instruments.
Scésar: In the previous album you have taken the Peruvian folkloric varieties and have united them in their music. How do you pretend that union again and make different that new material?
Kunturi Samael: As a band we always try to look for the differential factor and above all that it is heard fresh and appetizing for all, in our first material the fusion was quite notorious because we used varied elements of the music of the different regions of our country in each of our songs, either in drum patterns and rhythms, as in winds and melodies. In the new material we seek that this fusion be maintained, but in a slightly more organic way where the autochthonous and contemporary elements are one, in a perfect balance.
S: What ritual of the interior of the country has influenced you for your live acts and for the musical creation.
Amaru Champi: What we do as a ritual, or try to bring it closer, or rather, to a ritual prior to our concerts, is to make a small payment to the earth, but this payment is made with our art. We try to make this event or show a small offering, not only for the people, but also for the land in the form of gratitude for the opportunity to play music with our instruments.
And already in the show, the performance is inspired by festivities such as the Takanakuy, the walks and dances that the Pablitos do on the way to the Qoyllorrity, or the Santiagos, the festivities of San Pedro and San Pablo in Apurímac. In that, with all the psychedelia that surrounds all this type of dance is what in some way has inspired us in how we react when we are on stage.
The musical creation also comes to be music inspired by these traditionalist parties. Not necessarily from a specific artist, but from these parties and their instrumentation. And combined to our tastes that we have for European, American groups, with everything that has to do with rock, electronic, indie.
S: Tunche, we always see you with different wind instruments when you performe live. Can you tell us how you handle so many and a little of the exploration you have had to reach them?
Tunche Yawá: It has been a kind of study that I did in different places doing trips, collecting, that’s why they always see me with different instruments like for example the wajarapuco, which is made to base of horns, I have the pincullos, which can be found in Cajamarca and in the jungle: these are cane instruments. The tarka, is very interesting because its origin is between Bolivia and Puno and when you play it is not like a quena or like another instrument that sounds sweet, they call it a cracked sound, which is a bit loud sound, because it breaks the air. When you blow the energy in the instrument, it is heard too strongly. I have my quena made of oak with a bone mouthpiece, it is Bolivian and is normally used in Cuzco, in fact I bought it there, and these quenas were invented to seduce at first.
How I got to handle so many instruments. I practiced with a teacher called Zenobia Santos who does sikuri, but only zampoña. With the other instruments, like the quena, the pincullos, which are like flutes, for me it is something innate, because my family comes from the jungle and the mountains, so it is very organic and very natural to be able to touch them, it is not that I have a specific knowledge of the instrument, but I feel a familiarity, perhaps genetic or inherited from the past.
S: Can you give us some of the surprises that come with the new material. And his contribution as a member in these issues compared to the previous album.
Kunturi Samael: We are in the pre-production stage now, we already have two advanced songs in 50%, the only thing I can say is that we have returned a bit to that wild and energetic essence prior to the release of our first album. Each member of the Ravelers tribe is free to propose and play the songs as they see fit, as far as I play the drums, I always try to give the songs plenty of power and energy, I like to mix rhythms of different genres and try mixes of different drum patterns. I think that in this new stage, we seek to achieve a more mature sound, but without losing our essence.
Amaru Champi: We have not experimented with music from the 80s or 90s, we have taken the risk of going a little further back, because we want to show a raw, wild sound and I think it will be an interesting part, maybe not in the first song that we are going to launch, but in the next one. Unlike the first album, we are going to release single by single to give you the necessary time, so that people can know each of the songs and that it can also be released with a videoclip and it is more interesting to tell this story, possibly go be united with one another.
We are working on the theme of sound synthesis to be able to create new sounds, making enough samples to make the instruments that we are going to put in the best way. It’s going to be a bit stylized, maybe it’s not going to be as danceable as the previous one but it’s going to be an interesting new stage and that’s what we want and believe that our audience likes: to generate an impact on each song. And live, too, we are already working on the ideas of how to make the performance of these new songs.
Tunche Yawá: The new material is totlamente different from the first because they are other experiences, other influences, individually and as a group that have made us grow, then our sound is more mature, just as there will be many things with the sound that is completely different.
The composition is the contribution I’m making and the production, the details of the lyrics, of course we always polish them in a group, how we structure it from the beginning until it’s totally a song. We are putting our hearts as always.
Ravelers live in MALI, a recorded by Panoramity
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