Leonor Gonzalez Mina / Melodías eternas
Here is another album from Leonor Gonzalez Mina, “La negra grande de Colombia.” This one focuses largely on the types of music that were born in the mountainous Andean regions in the center of the country, instead of Atlantic coastal music from Leonor’s birthplace that we heard in Cantos de mi tierra y de mi raza. These musical genres tend to be less rhythmic, and have more emphasis on flutes and strings. There’s more indigenous and Spanish influence, and less African influence.
Let’s start with a joropo. This is a sort of South American waltz, but it is fast-paced with a lot more legwork than its European counterpart, and man those kids are incredible, really, check this out:
At first it looks like a pretty standard waltz, but some of that latin flavor enters around 45 seconds. Why does everyone dance so well in Colombia…? They start young!!!
The joropo is called música llanera (“music of the plains”) because it comes from the tropical grassland between eastern Colombia and western Venezuela. It’s played on string instruments descended from Spanish guitar. The track I’ve picked is called Carmentea:
El boga is a Bambuco, one of the most European-sounding Colombian genres you’ll hear. It sounds and is danced much like a waltz, and comes from the Andes. I can’t find the lyrics for this one anywhere, and can’t understand them in the title, so it’s hard for me to translate the title. It might refer to a rower (hint from the album cover) or maybe a type of fish.
El caiman (“The Alligator”) is a catchy porro I threw in for fun. Nothing really new here, I’ve already put a lot of these on this site.
Finally, Chocoanita (“Girl from Chocó”) is a Bolero, a Cuban ballad broadly popular across Latin America.