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Interview: Amaru Pumak Kuntur at Spirit Festival.

Blending a mix of Spanish and Qechua vocals, Peruvian music masters Amaru Pumak Kuntur present their message from the mountain at Spirit Festival.

Peru’s Got Talent

Blending a mix of Spanish and Qechua vocals, Peruvian music masters Amaru Pumak Kuntur present their message from the mountain at Spirit Festival.

How has Peru and the Inca trilogy influenced you work?

The trilogy of the Serpent, Puma and Condor influences our work heavily and influences the work of all people walking the spirit path of the Andes. The band is primarily Peruvian and so our culture is the primary creative inspiration in the songs that we sing.

How important are the snake, the puma and the condor to your culture and your music?

They are very important to us as they are entirely sacred. They are sacred to the Andean path as they symbolise the trilogy or the ‘three worlds’ that we exist in, the underworld of all consciousness and sub consciousness, where all things are possible and in the dreaming. This world is the Ukhu. Pacha and is symbolised by the SERPENT. The middle world that is symbolised by the PUMA, that represents the physical world, our physical existence, is KAYPACHA. The upper world symbolised by the CONDOR represents our divine origins. We exist in all three; we bring consciousness to all three so that we can live lives of better service, being conscious of all parts of ourselves.

How do you use music to honour and tell the story of your sacred animals?

We use the music to tell the stories of the indigenous culture and the traditions of the people not only in the Andes but in the Amazon also. The animals represent so much more than the three worlds mentioned before. They represent particular energies that we all have within us and our songs are performed with these energies in mind and heart. We choose to directly transmit the energies of these animals in order to remind and inspire people of their inherent powers.

What have been the greatest threats to culture in Peru?

The greatest threat to culture in Peru is the influence of the cities: the influence of big business, mass commercialisation, environmental destruction, pollution. This is also affecting our culture in that more and more the younger generations want to be a part of those western ways, the cities, and are leaving behind the most powerful traditions of connection to Nature, connection to community.

Why does western culture still see forests as something to be used rather than served?

We think this is because, generally speaking, western culture has become very divorced from nature and so doesn’t feel the connection to these forests. When we don’t feel connected to something, it’s much easier to destroy it. It’s a question of connection and feeling. The inherent connections between all sentient beings are being lost by western culture and this makes the environmental destruction far easier to carry out.

How are music and the arts part of resilience ?

Music and art are relatively free. In very few parts of our society can we have freedoms now. We are so controlled. Music allows us to express ourselves fully. More and more people are having awakenings with conscious music. Musicians are able to influence and empower audiences greatly, at times much more than politicians are able to. It is an honour to use music to be in service to Mother Earth.

Can you tell us what to expect from you at Spirit Festival?

AMARU PUMAC KUNTUR deliver a very high-energy, shamanic musical experience. People can expect a strong fusion of Andean folk music, tribal percussion and rock. People should expect to dance and sweat!

What kind of experience do you like to give people?

We love giving people an experience of pure strength, purity, beauty and empowerment. The music is strong. Our voices are strong. We have a huge amount of energy to give onstage, and we do. We love to have people feel nourished in their souls by the music, by the words, by the pledges to our Mother Earth that we are singing about.

These winners of Peru’s Got Talent perform at Spirit Festival on Saturday 21 April. For more information about this 20–22 April festival go to www.spiritfestival.com.au


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