Jose Miguel Candela – Chacabuco

Jose Miguel Candela – Chacabuco

Jose Miguel Candela


The first edition of “Chacabuco” (in cassette format) was in 1996. In this the music composed for the choreography and video-dance * homonyms of the La Vitrina dance company (Chile), where the experience was rescued of the bodies that suffered the Chacabuco saltpeter mine works as an economic prison (in times of the nitrate boom) and as a concentration camp (during the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile). This music was not only my first of many collaborations with this artistic collective, but it was also my first composition for contemporary dance, an artistic field to which I have dedicated my musical life ever since. Today, 25 years after its composition and editing, I present this music again, remastered for its virtual disk format, to share this piece of history with new generations.

With this album, we also inaugurated, always with Pueblo Nuevo Netlabel‘s unconditional support, the “Greatest Dance Hits Collection”. This series of publications will attempt to compile the music that I have composed for contemporary dance during the last 25 years.

All work was composed, sequenced, and mixed on the Ensoniq TS-12 workstation. Much of the sounds of “Chacabuco” were recorded directly there and then sampled for use in this workstation.

In the text of the original 1996 cassette, it noted the following:

Being in Chacabuco is not an experience that is easily forgotten: all that strength contained in each of its machines (“cachuchos”), in its streets and houses destroyed by deaf sounds, in its land (crunchy by the saltpeter), and in its evening wind (a great shaker of unclamped roofs) leaves a mark, an invisible (but powerful) mark, in the last emotional corners of those who visit it. I hope that these intangible impressions are somehow reflected in this composition.

The resulting language of “Chacabuco” would not have been possible without my previous “Give me a Loop”, a personal project born in May 1996. “Give me a Loop” reflects my search for intimate corporal rhythms (search for a corporal ritual), and therefore of a musical language according to this search. From another point of view, the loop (the repetitive cycle and in this case, the micro-cycle) is found as an independent life; in its spatial movement, and at the same time trapped in its limitations; releasing itself through repetition, but dying out to make way for new cycles.

Finally, “Las huellas del Pequeño Venado” (“The Little Deer Traces”) (completed in December 1996), is also inserted within this language. The Huichol shamans, in one of their sacred rites, manage to see these footprints of the little deer (magical animal), the one that will lead them to the first peyote. For this reason, it is the beginning of the journey to the unknown.

(*) “Chacabuco – eslabón en la memoria” is the first video-dance in the history of the genre in Chile.

José Miguel Candela
(Santiago, Chile. Marzo / March 2021)

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