periodismo patagónico independiente

Music CDs

(For information on how to receive a copy, scroll to the bottom of this page.)

Talampaya was recorded in August 2005 in Talampaya National Park in La Rioja province of northwestern Argentina, by Denali DeGraf, Alberto Magnin, and Nagua.  With special permission from Argentina’s National Park Agency, we spent 10 days in the park’s canyons with our instruments and recording equipment.  All the material on the album was composed, arranged and recorded in Talampaya Canyon.  Every morning we would set out with our instruments to play in a new corner of the canyons, and see what happened.  As ideas arose, we composed them, arranged them, practiced them, and recorded them on the spot with ambient microphones to capture the natural acoustic properties of the environment.  We used instruments from many parts of the world, in large part built by us as well.  Over the course of our days there, we realized we were making music with sounds and styles typical of many different cultures, from the Andean altiplano to Africa and Australia, from the native cultures of North America, to India and the Middle East.   But despite their disparate origins, all of these musical influences came from desert areas, as is only fitting for music created between the stone and sun of La Rioja.

The entire production, from the recording to the editing, from the graphic design and mastering through ordering the first print run, was done by the three of us who play on the album.  We have no recording label to fund the project, and every CD we print takes logistics and finances from our own brains and pockets (respectively.)  So all support of this independent project is greatly appreciated.

Instruments used:

Native American Flutes, Double Native American Flute, Quena, Sikus (or zampoña), Bansuri, Bamboo Recorder, Tabla, Charango,Sarangi, Berimbau, Ektara, Guitar, Kalimba, Udu, Didjeridoo, Teponaztl, FrameDrum, Footsteps, Stones, and assorted maracas, shakers, etc.

Park and Environmental Information

Aside from the phenomenal natural acoustics provided by the canyon walls, there were other reasons to record an album in Talampaya.  The place is lucky, as it is protected as a National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site.  But many areas nearby, as well as up and down the western side of Argentina are currently in the crosshairs of, among others, multinational mining companies looking to open dozens of open-pit cyanide-leach mines all along the Andes.  Argentina has never been a mining country, and in these regions, everyone’s lives depend on the steady flow of clean water coming down from the mountains, since the lowlands are dry.  Needless to say, leveling entire mountains with dynamite, leaving pits up to a kilometer deep and 2 km wide, grinding the former mountains to the consistency of talcum powder, and pouring cyanide over them in giant leachfields to extract gold, using 1000 liters of water every second is not exactly beneficial to the water table, the local wildlife, or anyone and anything that lives downstream.   Furthermore, every single company involved is foreign, so all the minerals are shipped overseas (that is, they are not minerals being mined to meet local need), and there is no actual “income” for anyone in Argentina (unless you count corrupt politicians),  since Argentina is not even doing the exporting, but instead giving permission for foreign companies to come do business here, and they “export” the minerals to themselves.

There is a growing movement of citizens to stop this from happening.  This CD is being sold in Talampaya National Park, and contains information to raise awareness among visitors about this growing problem as well as other environmental issues in the region.  Furthermore, proceeds from sales are supporting us as we continue to build the community momentum necessary to protect our lives, livelihoods, ecosystems, and water sources.   None of us, in any of these citizens’ assemblies, has any external funding for anything.  We are not NGOs, there is no institutional structure, and all organizing is done, very intentionally, with horizontal leadership in which no hierarchical system runs the show.  For this reason, any financial support we receive through the sales of these CDs is greatly appreciated, as it allows us to continue our organizing at a grassroots level.

In addition to the text and photographs in the liner notes, the CD also contains a set of photos and cultural/historical/ecological information about the park on the disc, to be viewed on a computer.

How do I get one?

This CD is being distributed through the gift economy.  As in, it’s a gift.  We give it to you (just pay the $5 shipping costs, we still haven’t convinced the postal service to give away shipping services.)  And you can make a gift so that someone else (or several someone elses) may receive it.   So really, it’s not us that’s giving you the CD.  It’s someone like you, who when they ordered one, donated some money for a future recipient, also like you (in this case, you.)  It’s already waiting for you, right here.  And then you can give something for the next person to get one.  If you’re short on cash, you can pay less.  If you feel like making it possible for someone short on cash to have one, you can pay more.  Likewise if you want several copies (to give as gifts… right?  the gift economy…)    Everything works, and everyone wins.

To have one sent to you, write to denali  at  denalidegraf.com (yes, put an @ where it says “at”), and tell me where you want your copy sent.  And click the button below to make a donation towards production costs, giving away more copies to people like you, and supporting community-based socio-environmental work in the Andes of Argentina.  Don’t be shy.

If you want to be old-fashioned and just “buy the dang CD”, in that case you do, well, exactly the same thing.  Imagine what you normally pay for a CD, add 5 bucks for shipping, and send that using the “Donate” button.  And then let me know where to send it.  It’s all the same in the end.

[for credit cards or a Paypal account]

Reminder: this is old-fashioned “manual” technology, and takes a two step process.  The donation button is not a shopping cart; it will only send money, it will not tell me who to send how many copies to, or where.  So you have to write me too, and then things will be on their way.