What is Piarango?
PIARANGO is formed from the words "Piano" and "Charango". The name is not only a play on words but also, and more importantly, refers to the special and unique "timbre" or "sound colours" which result from this combination.
It is perhaps difficult to imagine a more surprising combination of musical instruments as those featured in PIARANGO. The piano, symbol "par exellence" of an established European musical tradition, together with the charango, a small mandolin-like instrument from the Andes mountains of South America. Yet the real surprise is how well and unique they sound together.
Press comments about Piarango
On the occasion of PIARANGO`S debut concert (Berlin, 2001) the leading German daily, "Frankfurter Allgemeine" hailed the event as "extraordinary....due not only to the originality of the line-up and quality of the music" but as well " the sheer virtuosity and exciting temperament of the performers, José Hernán Cibils (piano) and Patricio Zeoli (charango)".
Since then PIARANGO have enjoyed a steadily growing reputation throughout Europe and have performed to date to audiences in Germany, Poland, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Czech Republic, England, Ireland, Estonia, Denmarc and Japan. Their concerts have included venues such as the Mikulov Palace (Czech Republic), Vilandi Festival (Estonia), The Egyptian Museum (Berlin) the "Sagrada Familia" church (Barcelona), the monastery of Montserrat, (Catalonia) or the Festival "Cosquín in Japan" (Kawamata, Fukushima, 2009), always drawing an enthusiastic and excited reponse from both critics and public alike. ..."the excitement of the audience knew no boundaries..." (Neue Presse, July 2003).
The musical origin of Piarango's repertoire
The music featured by PIARANGO does not lend itself easily to conventional classification. It derives principally from the folkloric tradition of Argentina, Bolivia and another countries of South America, as varied and contrasted like the original form and manner of execution of Piarango. This originality is specially evident in his own compositions.
The piano, of course, requires no introduction to musical audiences anywhere in the world. The charango, on the other hand, remains for many a little known curiosity and up until today has made little impact outside the world of Andean music. This very special instrument is a direct descendant of the european Baroque Guitar which was brought to the New World by the early Spanish soldiers and colonizers in the 17th and 18th centuries. Up until then, the instruments used by virtually all native American cultures consisted only of aerophones ( wind instruments) and percussion, the concept of stringed instruments was completly unknown. As with so much else, the indigenous inhabitants of the Americas were to develop over time their own versions of the european instruments wich they first heard in the hands of the Spanish newcomers and also to incorporate many aspects of the music they heard into their own musical tradition.
The charango today is a five-course ( 10 string ) instrument which resembles a small guitar. However the many different styles of playing along with a wide range of possible tunings have endowed it with a unique sound and musical personality which is far removed from that of the contemporary guitar. The first charangos appeared already towards the end of the 18th century in the highland regions of Potosi in Alto Peru ( present-day Bolivia) and since then the instrument has evolved into an indispensable element of Bolivian music. In the course of the 20th century the charango has been incorporated into into the popular musical cultures of neighbouring countries such as Peru, Chile and Argentina.