Silvia Iriondo: Tierra Que Anda (CARMO/16)

Teirra Que Anda

Silvia Iriondo
Tierra Que Anda

Silvia Iriondo voice, percussion
Quique Sinesi guitars
Juan Quintero guitar
Patricio Villarejo violoncello
Mono Hurtado double bass
Mario Gusso percussion
Silvina Gómez percussion
Lilián Saba piano
Mariana Grisiglione voice
Mario Silva birds, water, trump, patagonic wind
Francesca L. Cervi voice
Recorded March/April 2002, Studios Gaucho Records, Buenos Aires
Engineer: Claudio Barberón
Mixed December 2002, Studios ION, Buenos Aires
Engineer: Jorge “el portugués” da Silva
Coproduced by Egberto Gismonti
Release date: May 9, 2005

Argentinian singer, songwriter, and ethnomusicologist Silvia Iriondo is one of those rare musical souls who moves like a planet: which is stay, in fixed orbit yet taking in a 360-degree view of the universe along her travels. On a more terrestrial level, her dedication to art, history, and life itself welcomes perspectives from all directions. As put so lovingly by coproducer Egberto Gismonti in an album note: “I sense that your main goal (the music you make) is to have a peaceful relationship with the past and the future, without prejudice.” And certainly we find that timeless instinct sustained from first breath to last. Hence the title Tierra Que Anda, or “Walking Land,” which by its multivalence indicates both the origin and the destination of this self-styled journey across Argentina’s creative spectrum. Rendering popular melodies and songs by greats of her homeland—including Cuchi Leguizamón, Delia Cazenave, and Juan Quintero—while nestled in a band of kindred spirits.

Each song is built around one of a handful of rhythms, many of which were brought over from surrounding lands before settling in Argentina itself. The underlying pulse and feel of “Alas De Plata” (Silver Wings), for example, has Afro-Peruvian roots. By the handiwork of Quique Sinesi on piccolo guitar, it evokes a watery float along terrain where only the soul may tread without breaking tension. Peru is likewise referenced in “La Arenosa” (The Sandy Land). Grounded by the bass of Mono Hurtado and percussion of Mario Gusso, it pushes through layers of time as an archaeologist might dig through strata of sediment: both treat their art as a way of uncovering the dead to speak anew.

Three zambas, including the Quechua-inspired dance of “Vidalero” and the album’s crowning jewel, “Zamba De Ambato” (Zamba For Ambato), heave as shoulders bearing the weight of a collective heritage. Sinesi’s guitar and the cello of Patricio Villarejo move in total attunement, while Iriondo’s voice touches the heavens with its unforced purity. While many such passages evoke broad landscapes, both within and without, the salt-of-the-earth cast of “Vámonos Vida Mia” (Let’s Go My Life), the Mapuche chant of “Weque – Las Barbas De Mi Chivato” (Weque – The Beards Of My Goat), and the Bolivian footwork of “Tun Tun” humble us with their unmitigated expression. As in the farewell of “La Nostalgiosa” (The Nostalgic Song), they square the circle of our listening with dust, bone, and memory.

One of the brightest stars in the CARMO constellation.