Monday, September 21, 2015

voice of the xtabay

Yma Sumac expressed the lure of the unknown love in this exotic orchestral suite of Incan chants.  The Peruvian five-octave soprano was born on September 13, 1922 in the coastal city of Callao as Zoila Augusta Emperatriz Chávarri del Castillo.  She changed her name to Imma Sumack and performed with Moisés Vivanco's Compañía Peruana de Arte on the radio.  She married Vivanco and moved with him to New York City where they performed with her cousin Cholita Rivero as the Inka Taky Trio, at which point her stage name became Yma Súmac.  

Capitol Records vice president in charge of repertoire Alan Livingston signed her and wanted to preserve the integrity of her natural incantation:   "She sang what I suppose you would have to call folk music...her music was absolutely unique.  She could not read music; she could not write music;  she did not sing songs;  she sang only what she had learned as she grew up in this very high altitude.  In trying to decide how to harness this talent, I felt that it had to be done using her music rather than trying to get her to record or to do anything which would be particularly American or Western or European in its sound." 

He enlisted Les Baxter, whose debut album for Capitol 'Music Out of the Moon' had been a huge success, to do the musical backing.   Baxter says:    "These were Incan folk melodies and I arranged them in a concert style.  The studio musicians I used were concert masters from all the studios; Fox, MGM, everywhere, from all over the world.  Those orchestras don't exist anymore because they don't carry them at the studios."  

Sumac would recount:   "[Baxter] wanted credit for EVERYTHING! BOTH he and Moisés took credit for many of MY compositions! I am not only a singer, you know. ALL of the improvisations on my records were my idea. They came off the top of my head, from within. Mr. Baxter wanted credit for all my success! NO! Outrageous. Such an ego. His followers can believe whatever they like, but I know the truth. ... I just sing and what comes out is what you hear. When I was a little girl, I didn't know my voice was any different than anyone else's...I started very young, on radio shows near where I lived. I kept this a secret at first, even from my parents! But they found out, and eventually accepted it. They were very upset though, when I left Peru to come to America. When they saw the great success all over the world, they supported my choice. They came to many of my concerts. My mother was a great woman. She was very strong, but she also had a very gentle side. She never let a lost cat or dog go hungry, or any children. My father was a very good man and supported anything I did." 

"Voice Of The Xtabay" sold over a million copies in the first year of its release, leading to extensive concert tours and movie appearances.

"High Andes! (Ataypura!)"

"Virgin of the Sun God (Taita Inty)"

"The Forest Creatures (Chuncho)"

"Voice Of The Xtabay"
full album:

1. "Virgin of the Sun God (Taita Inty)"   Moisés Vivanco 3:06
2. "Lure of the Unknown Love (Xtabay)"   Les Baxter, John Rose 3:18
3. "High Andes! (Ataypura!)"   Vivanco 3:04
4. "Monkeys (Monos)"   Vivanco 2:40
5. "Chant of the Chosen Maidens (Accla Taqui)"   Les Baxter, Rose 2:43
6. "Dance of the Winds (Wayra)"   Vivanco 3:02
7. "Earthquake (Tumpa!)"   Vivanco 3:20
8. "Dance of the Moon Festival (Choladas)"   Vivanco 2:33

"Voice Of The Xtabay" 
00:00 Taita Inty (Virgin Of The Sun God)
03:05 Ataypura (High Andes) 
06:15 Accla Taqui (Chant Of The Chosen Maidens) 
09:00 Tumpa (Earthquake) 
12:22 Choladas (Dance Of The Moon Festival) 
14:58 Wayra (Dance Of The Winds)
18:02 Monos (Monkeys) 
20:44 Xtabay (Lure Of The Unknown Love) 

"Inca Taqui - Chants Of The Incas"
24:04 K'Arawi (Planting Song)
27:26 Cumbe-Maita (Calls Of The Andes 
30:33 Wak'Ai (Cry) 
33:06 Incacho (Royal Anthem) 
36:18 Chuncho (The Forest Creatures) 
39:59 Llullia Mak'Ta (Andean Don Juan) 
42:26 Malaya! (My Destiny) 
45:53 Ripui (Farewell) 

Total: 48:58

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