Nilamayé and his aeshetic proposition of the tradition.

Colombia is shaped in the north by the Caribbean and by the Pacific Ocean in the West. It shares a border in the east with Venezuela, to the south with Brazil and Peru and to the north-east with Panama. According to human and social sciences Colombia was divided into different regions: the Andes, the Plains (Llanera), the Insular, the Caribean or Atlantic and the Pacific. These divisions have changed over the years and have been remodelled in keeping with the resemblance of characteristics shared by the inhabitants of these regions as well as by political choice.

The geographical, economic and cultural variety of these regions has shaped the distinctive contours of Colombian music. Thus the local and regional musical traditions were a springboard for making urban and popular music as well as national and international sounds emerging during the course of the 20th century (Ocean 2003). Nilamayé derives from local and regional Colombian music and attempts to capture and absorb the musical languages of different regions offering a modern reading of tradition in concert form. It ranges from the "canciones de boga"  (1) sung a cappella, the traditional drum format from the Atlantic coast through to the marimba ensemble (2). These are all accompanied by soundscape playbacks from the regions represented by this repertoire and this attempts to convey not just beautiful sounds but also the overwhelming impression of these strange tropical regions where rationality is suspended. (Wade 2000) (3).

This show doesn't set out to reproduce a "pure" or "fixed" fragment of Colombia. Neither does it try to present "true" or "authentic" Afro-Colombian music. Nilamayé  is proposing an aesthetic rendering of a tradition.

Music types move as they have always done, they change too. Art is ever-evolving and it is this ever-evolving collective existence which Nilamayé proposes to share with you.


1 Chansons interprétés pendant le voyage en pirogue. Bogar c’est le fait de ramer.

2 Ensemble d’instruments qui accompagnent le marimba de chonta dans l’interprétation du répertoire du Pacifique Sud colombien.

3 À l’instar de l’anthropologue Peter Wade, nous utilisons cette phrase pour faire référence au réalisme magique, et plus précisément à l’œuvre de Gabriel Garcia Marquez, qui a permis d’une part avec ses articles journalistiques et ses ouvrages littéraires de constituer une partie de l’« identité costeña » légitime (Villate 2000) ainsi que la valorisation de la musique « folklorique » du littoral atlantique (Wade 2002).