Celebrating the Life of Jaime Guardia, One of Peru’s Most Famed Musicians

0

Peru’s famed charango player who popularized musical styles of his native region of Ayacucho will be remembered for his skillful and unique musical styles. He’ll also be remembered for his generosity as a musician and a mentor. Here are some reasons why his music will continue to influence the world.

From humble beginnings, he rose to fame, collaborating with Peru’s most important artists and musicians.

(Photo: Ojo Peru)

Guardia, who grew up and spent his life in the region of Ayacucho, started playing the charango when he was 13 years old. His first instrument was made of willow, with strings of goat sinew. He played with the encouragement of family members, many of who were also musicians.

From these beginnings, he spent more than 70 years of his life as a musician, collaborating with Peru’s most respected artists. Jose Maria Arguedas, one of Peru’s most important literary figures of the 20th century, actually dedicated one of his books to Guardia.

Jaime Guardia spent much of his career with the musical group Lira Paucina, which played traditional music from the region of Ayacucho. Here is a taste of their traditional music:

Guardia continued collaborating with some of Peru’s best musicians until the last years of his life. Here is a more contemporary version of the same song “Madrecita,” which he recently sang with musicians from across Peru.

A unique musical style, working with the arpeggio

Jaime Guardia took the charango, a traditional Andean stringed guitar, and played it with freshness, while also embracing traditional musical styles. He was a master of a technique known as the arpeggio, which is a way of simultaneously plucking several strings to create harmonies. With the arpeggio, he created masterful melodies. This song, Virgines del Sol, is one of Peru’s most important traditional songs, yet Guardia brought a fresh flavor.

Putting Ayacuchian music on the map

Traditional Ayacuchian music differentiates itself from other types of traditional Peruvian music because of its emphasis on simplicity, lyricism, and harmony. The themes of many songs relate to connections with nature, such as water, fertility, and life transformations. And of course, Ayacuchan songs are often about love. Since Guardia spent much of his life researching the musical styles of his native lands of Ayacucho, he recovered many histories that we would have otherwise lost. To get another taste of Ayacuchan music, check out this video:

 

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

RARE ANDEAN INSTRUMENTS: HAVE YOU HEARD OF THE BANDURRIA?

A CRASH COURSE: ANCIENT ANDEAN INSTRUMENTS

CUSCO’S ARTESAN INSTRUMENT MAKERS: FOR THE LOVE OF ART

Comments

comments

Scott Montgomery is a multi-medium storyteller and holistic creative, a travel guide and transformational coach, whose core mission is to help others to live authentically with purpose and intention in order to make an impact in the world. After earning his masters degree in creative writing at Arizona State University in 2013, he made the move to Peru in order to write about indigenous communities of the jungles and the Andes, and to explore what this might have to do with his own life path. These years of traveling and living across the country have helped him to embrace a more purposeful lifestyle that's guided by the values of collaboration, creativity, and transformation. To find out more about what Scott's up to and how you can get involved, visit his personal website www.voyagewithscott.com