Chile, 1981, progressive rock / progressive folk / Andean rock

Los JaivasAlturas de Machu Picchu: The lyrics of this wonderful album are from the poem of the same name by Pablo Neruda, one of the greatest poets of the 20th century. I’m not familiar with Neruda’s works, but I’ve read that the music for this album was composed not only with the themes of the poetry in mind but also taking into account the meter, to make sure that the very cadence of the poetry is reflected in the music. The blending of the dominant sensibilities of progressive rock with other musical forms such as cuecas (a traditional handkerchief dance) is superb. You can feel the spin this way and that in the music, like flowers strewn across your spirit. The opening of the album, with the use of the quena (a bevel wind instrument of the Andes), sets the indigenous mood of the album at once.

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