Mercedes Sosa
Mercedes Sosa

Written and composed by the Argentine copmoser Ariel Ramírezin in 1963, Misa Criolla has become one of the most well known and oft-performed South American choral works throughout the world. A product of the composer’s long study of Argentine folk music, the piece synthesizes popular and liturgical styles, drawing on the rhythms and melodies of Argentina and other South American cultures. The opening Kyrie (“Lord, have mercy upon us…”) uses the slow rhythms of the vidala-baguala folk style (characteristic of northern Argentina) and a spare accompaniment to depict the loneliness of the high plateaus. In the Gloria (“Glory to God in the highest, and peace to all people on earth…”), the joyous rhythms of the carnavalito style are temporarily interrupted by the soloists’ plaintive pleas for mercy. The following Credo is based on the obsessive cross-rhythms (two against three) of the chacarera trunca style, emphasizing the conviction of this profession of faith. Similar cross-rhythms from the Bolivian carnaval cochabambino underlie the Sanctus (“Holy, holy, holy…”). The closing Agnus Dei (“Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, hear our prayer…grant us peace.”) uses the estilo pampeano (“style of the Pampas”) to evoke the solitude and distance of that southern plains region. Though originally scored for keyboard, string bass, and standard percussion, our performance utilizes indigenous folk instruments, which the composer elsewhere has endorsed, in order to capture the flavor of the underlying musical styles.

Watch Mercedes Soza with – Misa Criolla on Youtube.

I first heard the music while riding on the enourmeous Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia in 2004. Picture this : riding in a four-wheel-drive, with the music from Misa Criolla as a guide perfomed by Mercedes Sosa…..Salar de Uyuni is the world’s largest salt flat. It is located in the Departmento of Potosí in southwest Bolivia, near the crest of the Andes, 3650 meters high. Some 40,000 years ago, the area was part of Lago Minchin, a giant prehistoric lake. When the lake dried, it left behind two modern lakes, Lagos Poopó and Uru Uru, and two major salt deserts, Coipasa and the larger Uyuni. Uyuni is roughly 300 times the size of the better-known Bonneville Salt Flats in the United States. Salar de Uyuni is estimated to contain 10 billion tons of salt of which less than 25,000 tons is extracted annually. Every November, Salar de Uyuni is also the breeding grounds for three breeds of South American flamingos – Chilean, James and Andean. It is also a significant tourist destination. Have a look at the video made during our trek at the Salar de Uyuni :

Salar de Uyuni - Bolivia

Speaking of Mercedes Sosa, while we where in Arica Chile we met a couple street-artists who where singing Todo Cambia live in the streets. “Todo Cambia” (Everything Changes), a new version of one of her biggest hits, is a very brave and meaningful song that has turned into a Latin American hymn as voiced by Mercedes Sosa. The songs also tell of the “suffering earth,” the “forgotten street children,” “lost love,” and the escape into music: “Sometimes I sing ‘Milongas’ when it seems like life won’t go on.” Although Sosa just celebrated her 70th birthday on July 9th, she has not let age get in the way of making the music she loves. Sosa continues to uphold her reputation with this album by producing a huge effect with her powerful, charismatic voice- remaining unmistakable more familiar than ever. The cover art for the album continues the simplistic theme of the album. It was drawn by friend and fan Joan Baez who gave it to Mercedes Sosa as a gift in 1988. Have a look at the video made in Arica of the both street-artists :

Todo Cambia - Arica Chile

Todo Cambia’ (Everything Changes….)

Cambia lo superficial
cambia también lo profundo
cambia el modo de pensar
cambia todo en este mundo

Cambia el clima con los años
cambia el pastor su rebaño
y así como todo cambia
que yo cambie no es extraño

Cambia el mas fino brillante
de mano en mano su brillo
cambia el nido el pajarillo
cambia el sentir un amante

Cambia el rumbo el caminante
aunque esto le cause daño
y así como todo cambia
que yo cambie no extraño

Cambia todo cambia
Cambia todo cambia
Cambia todo cambia
Cambia todo cambia

Cambia el sol en su carrera
cuando la noche subsiste
cambia la planta y se viste
de verde en la primavera

Cambia el pelaje la fiera
Cambia el cabello el anciano
y así como todo cambia
que yo cambie no es extraño

Pero no cambia mi amor
por mas lejos que me encuentre
ni el recuerdo ni el dolor
de mi pueblo y de mi gente

Lo que cambió ayer
tendrá que cambiar mañana
así como cambio yo
en esta tierra lejana

Cambia todo cambia
Cambia todo cambia
Cambia todo cambia
Cambia todo cambia

Pero no cambia mi amor…

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MAR 03, 1999
About Mazalien
Mazalien the Philosopher and sky watcher is born about 50 years ago and is very much a travel buff. The most beautiful in the world is, of course, the world itself. So lets explore the world drifting from one world of dreams into another.....