conducted by Les Baxter
TAITA INTY (Virgins of the Sun God)
This traditional Incan hymn dates back to 1000 B.C. and is musical keystone to Incan worship of the Sun God. With the Spanish conquest and the attempt to convert the natives to Catholicism, this hymn was forbidden. It not only was in conflict with church teachings but evoked such a deep emotional response in the people that it incited rebellion against the new authorities.
ATAYPURA (High Andes)
The Andes fil with awe and affection the hearts of the natives who live in this constant mountain grandeur. Here are the voices of the people, mixed with the voices of the winds, a chorus of man and the elements, surviving and exulting side by side.
ACCLA TAQUI (Chant of the Chosen Maidens)
The highest honor that could befall an Incan girl was to be chosen, whe she reached her sixth birthday, to join the ranks of maidens whose next ten years would be devoted to religious training and veneration of the Sun God. At the age of sixteen the girls were given their choice - to remain virgins and spend the rest of their life in sacred wordk or to rejoin the community and become a wife and mother, a role less sacred but no less honored.
One of the most popular numbers in Yma Sumac's repertoire is an exciting vocal interpretation of that terrifying phenomenon - the earthquake. Earthquakes, responsible for squeezing and shoving the Andes high into the sky through eons of time, plagued the ancient Incas and still plague their descendants. Yma Sumac's voice here rumbles deeply as the earth shakes, then soars into flight like a covey of frightened birds.
CHOLADAS (Dance of the Moon Festival)
In what was a forerunner to the modern beauty contest, the loveliest of the Incan maidens were put to the test during a celebration thta come with the full moon. Chosen not only for their tasks, the girls would start at moonrise and dance till midnight, their white and gold regalia shimmering in the cool silver of the evening. At midnight the best dancer - more often than not the only one who was able to survive the rigorous marathon - was proclaimed Maiden of the Mother Moon.
WAYRA (Dance of the Winds)
To people living on the storm-swept peaks of the Andes, the wind is not only a part of their life but their religion. The young people, participating in Incan ritual, climb high up the treacherous mountains and expose themselves to the chilling blasts, dancing in wild exuberance, exulting in their youth and love, and purifying themselves with the sharp, clean wind that wraps itself around them while they worhsip their ancient gods.
The high forests of Peru are filled with all kinds of birds and beasts, all with their singular voices and manner of speech. Some of the birds speak with a lyrics loveliness, some ot the beasts roar and growl, but it is the monkeys who are the chatterboxes, who seem to have more to say than anyone. Moises Vivanco tells the story of the monkeys and Yma Sumac sings it.
XTABAY (Lure of the Unknown Love)
Xtabay, a lovely young Incan virgin, fell in love wiht a high prince of an Aztec kingdom. It was a forbidden love, however, for he was high born and she was but a simple peasant. The young girl, unable to keep the secret in her heart, sang to the mountains, the winds, whoever would listen to her song. Her voice was so penetrating and enchanting that ultimately it reached and killed the far-off prince.
INCA TAQUI - Chants of the Incans
conducted by Moises Vivanco
K'ARAWI (Planting song)
The sowing of seeds for the year's big crops, like all the significant moments of Incan life, was elaborately celebrated. On the first day of planting, the king himself worked alone, tilling the soil with a golden plough, and on the next day his people took up the task with appropriate ceremony. Music accompanied this activity, rhythmic chanting that gave movement and spirit to the workers. It was performed only by a group of women singers specially chosen for the occasion, and it is one of their songs that Yma Sumac sings here.
CUMBE-MAITA (Calls of the Andes)
From childhood, every Incan has learned the loud, expressive chants that carry news from one mountain farm to another. The chants have no words, but the ifinite variations of their melodies tell of every daily affair and sudden emergency that people need to communicate. For many centuries these musical messages have linked the Incans throughout the vas Andean area in which they live, transmitting information with a speed that modern inventions barely equal. Yma Sumac, who was born in a mountain range called Cumbe-Maita, sings the calls of her homeland.
A great cry of protest sprang from the Incans under the impact of invading Europeans, for they suffered the destruction of much of their civilization and the death of millions of their people. Wak'ai is their fervent prayer to the Sun God, a mournful chant that tells him of their misery and asks him to forgive human cruelty and allow the bright sun of brotherhood to shine again. This spirit of comradeship binds the Incans, and the message of this song is known and loved in all the villages of the Andes.
INCACHO (Royal Anthem)
No ceremony extends further back into the dim beginnings of Incan tradition than the coronation of a new king. Incacho is one of the many songs of that event's month-long celebration - a solemn song reminding the king of his great responsibilities to his people. It is sung by Yma Sumac as it was performed by a Princess of Music - a singer to whom royal respect and privilege were given because of her great talent.
CHUNCHO (The Forest Creatures)
The music of the Incans was inspired, in greatest part, by teeming variety of mysterious sounds of nature about them. And, as Inca maidens have done for many centuries before her, Yma Sumac has wandered through the forests of the upper Amazon, listening to their waking life, and calling to their creatures in imitative cries. That is the music of Chuncho, the wild, unearthly sounds of monkeys, jackals, and especially a fantastic host of colorful and chattering birds. Yma Sumac's singing is climaxed by her phenomenal "double-voiced" trill.
LLULLA MAK'TA (Andean Don Juan)
Like all peaceful peoples, the Incans had moments for gay banter about the lightest of subjects - and love. Llula Mak'ta is the song an Inca girl sings to a handsome, and insincere, lad widely known for his skill in winning feminine hearts. This he usually accomplishes by magical potions, a snake-head charm, and promises of an exciting life in the big city. But with the girl of this song, his tricks are to no avail; she jokes about his failure and leaves him with a laughing toss of her head.
MALAYA! (My Destiny)
The strong musical tradition of the Incans was influenced, but never destroyed, by the Spanish and Christian colonists who came to their land. Malaya! is an example of that influence, a part of the celebration honoring Senor de los Milagros, Jesus of the Miracles. It begins with a solemn precessional, and then becomes the music for a great dance festival that followed the religious ceremonies. The chant is a deep and soulful plea to God to save the Incans from times of darkness and trouble.
In the rugged Andean mountains, where travel is most difficult, the arrival and departure of visitors are important events. The hospitable Incans love to welcome guests from the world outside, and thier moment of leave-taking is very sad. The day must be chosen carefully - a gray one, so the traveler may "leave with the clouds, weeping like the rain". Yma Sumac sings the song of a visitor bidding farewell. It has only three words but they are full of meaning, for each is a cry of love. "When I go," the song says "my words will be