Los sonidos invisibles

Los sonidos invisibles
The invisible sounds
Ana María Arango. Gregor Vanerian
(2007 – 37 min. – Colombia – Alemania)
Asociación para las Investigaciones Culturales del Chocó (ASINCH)
Instituto de Investigaciones Ambientales del Pacífico (IIAP)
Akademie für Bildende Künste Johannes Gutenberg – Universität Mainz
Universitat de Barcelona
“The invisible sounds expose the musical life and the town festivals of the Chocó – one of the poorest and most stigmatized regions of Colombia. Going beyond merely visualizing the well-known problems of the region: war, the “misery” and the exploitation, this documentary tells us of the subtle forms of domination and resistance through music, where the song converts itself into a mirror of the culture.

Octavio Panesso (musician, composer and idealist) stars in this short film; his experiences and those of his friends allow us to understand how the teachings of Father Isaac Rodríguez from the Spanish Claretian missionaries, were used by the musicians as tools for reclaiming and strengthening what it means to be black and Chocoano through celebrations, popular music and the lyrics of the songs.”

The Chocó

Chocó province is an isolated rainforest region along Colombia’s northern Pacific coast and the border with Panama. Its main artery, the Atrato River, connects it with the Caribbean. The Chocó was an important destination for African slaves, who were sent there to work the rich gold mines of the region. The best-known music of the Chocó is the lively brass band music called chirimía. This music includes such international genres as polka, danza, contradanza, and mazurca, probably imported from the Caribbean, as well as local forms like abozao and levantapolvo. The chirimía band features homemade bass and snare drums, cymbals, euphonium (a small tuba) and one or two clarinets, and in its older version, reed flutes as wind instruments.
San Pacho

Chirimía is particularly popular in the October festivals of San Francisco (affectionately nicknamed “San Pacho”) in the city of Quibdó, which features over a month of chirimía dancing in the streets.

Tambora, a musical form usually associated with neighboring Panamá, and which features drums and singing, is found on the coast of the Chocó.

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