Pedro Rodriguez Chirinos was born in Arequipa, in southern Peru, at the foot of the Misti, Chachani and Pichu Pichu volcanoes. He grew up in a very musical family. At first, Pedro was mainly interested in classical music. As a teenager, he discovered Andean music from the Altiplano. Especially during Carnival and the Candelaria Festival, the indigenous population, descendants of the Incas and Aymaras, celebrate these festivities with exuberance and lots of music.
The siku, a kind of pan flute, the quena and the charango are the traditional instruments that are played in all the towns around Puno, on the shores of Lake Titicaca, up to Cuzco and Machu Pichu, in each town with your own variations.
Pedro studied the classical guitar, the siku, the quena and the charango from his youth. With his brother Jaime de él, he founded the Conjunto Queñal to preserve these musical traditions from oblivion and compose Andean music.
Pedro also composes for symphony orchestras, chamber music, voice, electronic and film music ensembles. He is a visionary and has many different musical projects.
For example, he wants to perform in TonaliAndes 10 different works around his land music and associate it with the Pythagoras theorem. Pedro told me that each TonaliAndes work corresponds to a color, a perfume and an object for a tactile experience. The first Compact of this musical series is called Lapislazuli. It is ultramarine blue in color and goes along with a lapis lazuli stone and a perfume fragrance. For this Compact Pedro was inspired by the overwhelming beauty of Lake Titicaca, located at an altitude of 4,000 meters.
The new Compact “Morada Mistica”, which comes out at the end of 2022, revolves around three important composers from his hometown Arequipa. That is why it is purple and yellow, which Pedro associates with the colors of the sunset in Arequipa.
But Pedro has many more projects, which I discovered in the patio of my beautiful hotel, near the famous monastery of Santa Catalina. He has so many musical ideas that our very interesting conversation lasted over an hour and I split it into 2 episodes of our podcast series.
Listen for yourselves to this inspiring talk with talented musician and composer Pedro Rodríguez Chirinos on a beautiful spring afternoon in Arequipa.