Carlos Vives’ documentary aims to recognize and honor the origin of cumbia. / Courtesy: DirecTV
Going back to the origins, to the territories that produced the most beautiful sounds of Colombian folklore such as cumbia, vallenato and bambuco, was what Colombian singer Carlos Vives did on his album Cumbiana, and immortalized in the documentary The Lost World of Cumbiana , a space that she wanted to dedicate not only to music, but also to nature and the connection that exists between them and us Colombians.
The documentary, which will be available from this Friday at 9:00 pm on the OnDirecTV channel and the DirecTV GO platform, shows step by step the creative process of this album, which was awarded a Latin Grammy and is inspired by ancestral spirits. from an amphibious region on the north coast of Colombia, formed by the majestic swamps of the Magdalena River, the epicenter of cumbia.
“This documentary takes us to the Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta, which is the heart of cumbia, and through it we will see that to care for the essence of folklore we all have to work to protect this place, to protect our people, protect what we are as Colombians in all our diversity. Not making a difference between the people and the river, the people and the mountains, the people and the massif,” said Carlos Vives.
The territory that Vives shows in this production is a place through which he has traveled all his life, but which in the eyes of others seems uncertain, like invisible. A place where people lived on the water and had a deep connection between their way of life and the nature they inhabited. His inspiration to create the album was finally having understood all that and reliving what many years ago he called “the land of oblivion”.
Carlos Vives – The Lost World of Cumbiana (Trailer)
With songs such as “Hechicera”, “No te voyas” and “Vitamina en rama”, Vives sings to his land on this album, and through the documentary he seeks that both adults and new generations become more aware of the place that they inhabit “I think that the more we give this learning, the more deeply we will know what is behind our territories, in the stories of our rivers,” said the artist in an interview with The viewer.
But why is the theme of rivers so important to Vives in The lost world of Cumbiana? For him, purifying and cleaning the rivers that are part of Colombian territory is synonymous with its inhabitants cleaning their own soul. “The relationship we have, that’s why we talk about amphibian cultures, is deeply connected to the water and the land,” he reveals and adds that the entire documentary process, beyond being something musical, is also dedicated to nature. “The message is to understand that our rivers are like our veins, and that it will depend a lot on the health of our nature that the vallenatos and cumbias continue to exist,” he says.
The trips that Vives made with his team and everything he recorded on video for this documentary had one goal: to unite music with the land, in order to show the origin of cumbia. According to the artist, the first songs of the genre were not made to release records, far from it… they were part of everyday life, of telling sung stories. Over time, the cumbias reached the industry and it was recorded for the first time “The colored skirt”one of the most famous songs.
“I wanted to show you this place, the epicenter of the amphibian culture that is in the center of the Magdalena… for me it was very exciting to be able to show that even the Argentine cumbias have their origin in this territory of this large river that flows into the Caribbean”.
The sounds of the songs cumbian they are full of folklore, landscapes that connected Vives directly with his land and inspired him to create an entire narrative dedicated to that origin, and that awareness of caring for what is ours. His main influence in reaching the final result was, according to him, understanding that we had not valued our culture or many of the privileges that we have.
Carlos Vives – Cumbiana (Official Video)
Carlos considered that we Colombians viewed what was ours as less valuable than what was coming to us from Europe and other places outside our own. “The dimension of the damage to the ecology of cultural heritage was largely due to this lack of awareness of understanding the value of the place in which we live, and of understanding ourselves in our diversity.
The intention with the documentary is also connected with the new generations and to understand that modern music feeds on the old. What is modern are the instruments, and everything that is used today to make music, but, according to the singer, it is important to show how the dance-hallthe dembow, reggaeton and urban music in general come from sounds from before. “If we traveled to Panama we would find several hip hop groups that use many of the local essences of music such as cumbias, vallenatos… I used all those rhythms in songs like “For Maite”“Pescaíto”… all of that is in the genetics of what is used today to make music”, affirms the artist.
On May 13, Vives released his new album Cumbiana II, a sequel to this project that includes the participation of Ricky Martin, Fito Páez, Mau & Ricky and Camilo, among others. This new album continues the artist’s work to recognize and value the folklore, the origins and the sounds that our territories have left us, which, for him, are a fundamental part of our musical history.