Today’s Music section features the group Huichol Musical( pronounced =Wee chohl) SONG= Cumbia Cusinela (Cook’s dance)
ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Known for mixing indigenous culture with contemporary musical styles, Huichol Musical are a quintet from the Sierra Madre Occidental region of Jalisco, Mexico. The band takes its name from the Huichol, an indigenous ethnic group of the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range whom the Aztecs called “the Ancient Ones.” Huichol Musical made their major-label recording debut in 2008 with Desde México… “Cumbia Cusinela” on the Universal-affiliated label Machete Music. Given its novel mix of indigenous cultural cues with contemporary regional Mexican musical styles, Desde México… “Cumbia Cusinela” became a sensation, spawning the hit singles “Cumbia Cusinela” and “La Cusinela,” the former of which features lyrics sung in the Huichol language. ~ Jason Birchmeier, All Music Guide (off Amazon.com)
Unfortunately there’s been a mixed reaction to such a group. Some are taken back by how: original,creative, and wonderful their music & sound is. Others say that they are embarrassing, that those who see them will think badly of us Mexicans, & think that we are all :poor, uneducated little villagers. Yes these men have humble origins, but so what?! They are our people, and our culture is theirs ,our culture IS people like them. They are part of those few special people who refuse to let their roots and heritage die. Yes some of us are city people, and we have different stories, and lives then them. No NOT ALL Mexican are the same, BUT neither of us is better or worse!
The disc contains two version of “Cumbia Cusinela” The original, a techno version.
INTERVIEW WITH THE GROUP
TRANSLATION OF THE INTERVIEW:
HOST–And we are back with our big bash today. We are here with the guys from Huichol Musical. They are visiting us here on the show for the first time. Guys thank you so much for being here. How are you?
Huichol Musical–We are doing well, thank you so for inviting us. We are truly proud , firstly to be able to represent our state, and the region of of Mesquiti Jalisco. You see we(the Huichol)reside in the states of Nayarit, Durango, and Jalisco.
HOST-And your’s is a quite interesting story ! Your style of music is something that is very new to us. It’s something we had not see either in Mexico or here in the States. Huichol is the name of your tribe right?
Huichol Musical–Yes our tribes name is Huichol & our language is also called Huichol. Hence our name Huichol Musical(musical Huichol)
HOST–How did you guys get started in music?
Huichol Musical– Well you see, in the Sierra there is not many jobs, other than agricultural fare. Of course that works well with those who own land and livestock. For us we had no such assets, we had look elsewhere in search of our livelihood. So we would travel from our villages into the cities especially during fairs and we would slowly started forming what the group.
HOST–Where did you guys learn how to how to play and write?
Huichol Musical- Well, we learn amongst friends. When you like something you find those who know, and you learn. We have never been officially attended a school or of music or any such institute. We are self-taught.
HOST– Now this instruments, are they traditional instruments of your culture of your native music?
Huichol Musical-Yes this is according to regional music. As those who are knowledgeable about music would say, this is an acoustic style of music. We do not use any electronic instruments or devices. Our instruments consist of : Two guitars, two violins and a toloche(The tololoche is a traditional instrument of northern Mexico. Is actually a slightly smaller version of the European bass, big respect for the instrument to produce low sounds. Usually has 4 strings, is played with a bow and is noted with the fingers. It is not used in classical music, being purely a folk instrument.- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tololoche)
HOST– By the way guys, I’ve heard that it’s going very well for you. Everywhere you go, when in Texas you gained quite a following. In Mexico of course, as well. You have even been awarded a gold disk. Your first album and, you have achieve a gold record. How does this make you feel? You guys coming in with a brand news style and everything.
Huichol Musical-We honestly, are very happy. We want to thank everyone, the audience for supporting us. We ask that you please continue to give us your support. Up until now everyone’s been very supportive, for example with our song “La Cusinela”. We want to give thanks to those like you who have opened the doors for us to come and visit, and perform. So yes, we are very happy, yet somewhat nervous, as we are receiving a gold record for the first time.
HOST–Just a bit huh? Now going back to your origins, the song “La Cusinela” speaks of a female cool correct? However, this song is in the Huichol language?
Huichol Musical–Yes it is. Some people, may actually be thinking that we are speaking nonsense or profanity or just find the sound weird all together. Kinda like a “what the heck is that gibberish ?!” kinda reaction.
HOST–“What the heck must they be saying” right?
Huichol Musical-But we assure you, it’s nothing like that. The song is about a cook. Cusineala, simply means cook. Now these are folk songs, so this song is simple. Just imagine a guy telling the girl he loves that she’s pretty and that she is great cook.
HOST–Aww how sweet! Now are these the typical kinds of song that you would hear in your culture?
Huichol Musical-It was more like, we were inspired by the need to praise the beauty of women and their importance. For example in our village women contribute more than a great deal, and so in our own way we sort of pay homage to them. All of their work is amazing and , for example all you see here: our accessories, and clothing was made by women of our village.
HOST –Now this clothing is traditional correct?
Huichol Musical –Yes this is authentic Huichol clothing.
HOST–Now a very interesting fact: You guys told me that it takes up to 2 years to finish one of these outfits? The embroidery is all done by hand correct?
Huichol Musical-That’s correct ,all this beautiful, ornate stitching is done by hand.
HOST– So I can see why you guys are very proud to be able to take your music and traditions to other places and share them.
Buy the CD
How did you guys get started in music?
I apologize for any misspellings .