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Luis David Aguilar — Ayahuasca - Música para Cine de Luis David Aguilar (1978-1983)
(Buh Records BR162, 1983/2022, LP / DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2022-11-08

Ayahuasca - Música para Cine de Luis David Aguilar (1978-1983)  Cover art

As the subtitle suggests, Ayahuasca is a compilation of soundtrack works by Peruvian composer Luis David Aguilar spanning the years 1978-1983. Aguilar is one of the premier and most prolific composers of music for film (as well as music for advertising and television) in Peru, incorporating a wide scope of styles including jazz, modern classical, Peruvian folk, experimental, and the avant-garde. His music incorporates a number of sounds, from piano and synthesizers to native instruments, found sound collages, voice, and full orchestra. The listener will certainly be surprised ay all of the variety of styles exhibited here, even without any knowledge or familiarity with the films with which they accompany. The entire first side of the LP hails from 1983, nineteen and a half minutes of "El Viento del Ayahuasca (The Wind of Ayahuasca)," a performance by the National Symphony Orchestra and Choir of Cuba, conducted by Aguilar. While the soundtrack spans an entire album side, it is subdivided into ten distinct musical sections (none of which are titled), each carrying its own unique character. Most impressive of these are the unusual choral sections, though one will find plenty in between those to capture the imagination, all together establishing Aguilar’s amazing orchestrational skills. The first fourteen minutes of side B feature “Anónimo Cotidiano (Anonymous Everyday)” from 1979, featuring Aguilar on synthesizers, Manongo Mujica on percussion, and David Sandoval on zampoñas, charango, and bombo, plus several female vocalists. Like the first side, there are numerous sections, although here they tend to morph effortlessly into one another. The percussion-driven section that opens up just before the nine-minute mark is certainly substantial, but opens the door for the vocal section just before the piece’s closing minutes. The second track on side B is from 1978 — "Los constructores (The Builders)," a relatively short piece of jazz / salsa featuring a horn, sax, and flute section with bass and multiple percussionists; at a mere three minutes it’s the most song-like piece of anything on the album, but it’s over all too soon. Ayahuasca presents a diverse cross-section of Aguilar’s soundtrack work in his early years; it remains to be seen if there’s more yet to come from the same archives.

Filed under: Archives, 2022 releases, 1983 recordings

Related artist(s): Manongo Mujica, Luis David Aguilar

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