Originally a guitar duet commissioned by Jane Curry with funding from Creative New Zealand, Muisca arranged here for percussion duo consists of three movements: Soledad, Chia, and El Dorado. Drawing inspiration from the rich mythology and history of the Muisca people of Colombia, each movement explores different aspects of their culture, from the mystical initiation rituals of the chieftains in Soledad to the worship of the goddess Chía in Chia, and finally, the legendary tale of El Dorado, the fabled city of gold.
Watch and Listen
Muisca (percussion duo)
for Percussion Duo (arr. Carmenates)
Arranger: Omar Carmenates
Instrumentation: Vibraphone & Marimba
The Muisca were the Chibcha-speaking people of the central highlands of present-day Colombia's Eastern Range. They were encountered by the Spanish Empire in 1537, at the time of the conquest.
Soledad: Direct descendants of the gods and fathers of the community, chieftains and priests were initiated in supernatural matters from an early age, acquiring great powers through arduous initiation rituals where they were confined in small churches, forbidden any kind of contact with the outside world for years on end.
Chia: The goddess Chía ("the one who is like the moon"), is a triple goddess in the mythology of Colombia in Precolumbian times. She was worshipped as one of the most important deities in that culture.
El Dorado: The name of a Muisca tribal chief who covered himself with gold dust and, as an initiation rite, dived into the Guatavita Lake. Later, it became the name of a legendary "Lost City of Gold", that fascinated explorers since the days of the Spanish Conquistadors. Imagined as a place, El Dorado became a kingdom, an empire, and a city of this legendary golden king.