Thursday, September 03, 2009

Win Seis Poemas

A canoe in Puerto Maldonado
In the canoe a shout
A shot fired
A muted shore
A warrior dead
And a rower

A canoe in Puerto Maldonado
A long journey starts anew
With the river
A bell bursts
Under the water
I will sleep the rest
Of my amazement
So I can arrive early
There is still an open path
And a star

- translated from El Bosque Armado (La Canoa)
[The Armed Forest (The Canoe)]

So opens Seis Poemas [Six Poems], the latest release from Susana Baca and Luaka Bop Records. You might remember me writing about Luaka Bop earlier this year (back here in May), a very unique and interesting label started by Talking Heads founder David Byrne back in the 80’s. Dedicated to bringing world music to American ears, it does itself well with this release.

Susana was born in Lima, Peru, and sings the album in her native Spanish (although all of the songs are translated into English in the liner notes), celebrating the traditional culture that is being forsaken in her own country, as is the case in many places now a days. It is also a tribute to the late Chabuca Granda, another Peruvian folk singer who also tried to celebrate Afro-Peruvian rhythms in her music. The songs relate the complexities of Peruvian life, in all of its real, and often darkness. Even if you don't speak a lick of Spanish beyond taco or hola, listening to the music is very much like listening to poetry, as the title of the EP suggests. In fact, you don't need to understand the language to grasp the beauty inherent in Susana's voice.

The album was released several days ago, but if you'd like to win a copy free, simply leave a comment (or e-mail me) with your name and e-mail address and you'll be in the running. I'll pick a winner next Thursdayish and notify them via e-mail. In the meantime, listen to and enjoy the opening track from the EP below as well as a song from Chabuca Granda.

Visit her website, her label Luaka Bop, and become her friend on MySpace.

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