MISA DE LOS MINEROS
The Misa de Los Mineros (The Miners’ Mass) was composed by Mauricio Venegas-Astorga in 1998/1999 and first performed in Chile and London by Quimantu in 1999. In 2021 a new symphonic and choral arrangement was commissioned for solo voices, choir, string quartet, piano and Quimantu. This was performed by Quimantu with the Andover Museum Loft Singers, members of the Cecil Sharp House Choir and Alkyona Quartet in November 2021 in London and Hampshire.
The creations of Chilean exiles around the world have been extraordinarily prolific and enlightened.
In the case of the Chilean artist, musician and composer Mauricio Venegas-Astorga, resident in the UK since 1977, this wandering has allowed his work to fly and grow and be nourished by sources so different and virtuosic they range from Western classical music, through English folk music, soundtracks for films, and finally landing in the amazing and vibrant territory of the social, community and inter-cultural fraternity that exists particularly in London and in England in general.
Composed by Mauricio in 1998/99 as an homage to Chile’s coal miners and coal mining communities around the world. It was premiered in the UK in 1999 at the South Bank Centre’s Purcell Room and has also been performed in Chile. In 2021 a new arrangement was commissioned by Musiko Musika for solo voices, choir, string quartet, piano and Quimantu and performed in concerts in Hampshire and the Actor’s Church, Covent Garden. The choral parts were arranged by Rachel Pantin and the string quartet and piano parts by Gabriel Nuñez.
Mauricio’s influences and roots are evident in the remarkable beauty of the musical and aesthetic communion achieved between the talented British choir Andover Museum Loft Singers, the marvellous singing of Laura Venegas-Astorga and of Mauricio Venegas-Astorga himself, the arrangements for strings and piano of Gabriel Núñez, and the masterful execution of the string playing of Rachel Pantin, Jobine Siekman and Emma Purslow.
The production of this album and its final mastering merit an additional note, both are exceptional! The first of these tasks carried out by Colombian producer Juan Contento Bermúdez and the second by his compatriot Carlos Arturo Silva. The care and delicacy to masterfully achieve a balance in the audio that allows the voices and the various instruments to breathe and vibrate individually and at the same time be part of a beautiful very contemporary and current sonorous whole is simply wonderful.
The album is dedicated to the late Paul Sartin who embraced with love and commitment the collaboration between Quimantu and the Andover Museum Loft Singers to perform and then record the Misa de los Mineros.
THE 2023 RECORDING OF
MISA DE LOS MINEROS
Mauricio Venegas-Astorga: Music Director, Vocals, Guitar, Charango, Charangón, Tiple, Kena, Kenacho, Irish Whistle, Moceño, Sikus, Bombo, Chajchas, Cajón, Sanza
Laura Venegas-Rojas: Vocals
Rachel Pantin: Violin
Emma Purslow: Viola
Jobine Siekman: Cello
Jorge Campos Astorga: Double Bass
Juan Contento Bermúdez: Guitar
Galvarino Ceron-Carrasco: Guitar
Mark Troop: Piano
Clare Hayes: Violin
Andover Museum Loft Singers and members of Cecil Sharp House Choir:
Rob Bartholomew, Carol Barwick, Nick Barwick, Jodie Blackstock, Helen Burgess, Guy Chant, Gill Corbett, Ross Dewfall, Amber Geer, Chris Hall, Richard Hawkins, Charmaine Hoey, David Ingram, Rob Jordan, Amanda Kane-Smith, Frank Kenny, Caroline Maynard, Juliet Offner, Savvoulla Savva, Sheena Smith, Fiona Stamp, Chris Way, Sue Way, Mandy Wright
Whitchurch November 2021 (Photo: Richard Greary)
Covent Garden November 2021 (Photo: Peter Lewis-Dale)
Gabriel Núñez Arancibia: String quartet and piano arrangements
Mauricio Venegas-Astorga: Andean instrumentation and percussion arrangements
Rachel Pantin: Choral arrangement
Producers: Mauricio Venegas-Astorga, Rachel Pantin, Juan Contento Bermúdez
Mastered by Carlos Arturo Silva Castro at C1MASTERING
Tatu Music Studios, London
Kennedy Hall, Cecil Sharp House, London
Tatu Music Studios (Photos: Musiko Musika)
Cecil Sharp House (Photo: Julio Etchart)
“Quimantu's album 'Misa de los Mineros' is a captivating masterpiece that weaves the traditional with the contemporary through the beauty of heartfelt performances and arrangements, a rare feat nowadays. From the emotive and distinctive opening movement featuring Mauricio Venegas-Astorga's sonorous vocals and thrilling choral singing on the refrains wonderfully delivered by the Andover Museum Loft Singers, to the enchanting melodies created by a fusion of Andean instruments and classical European strings, the album is a testament to the band's artistry.
“Throughout the album, Quimantu showcases their ability to evoke deep emotions and transport listeners on a musical journey. The vocal performances by Mauricio Venegas-Astorga and Laura Venegas-Rojas are full of tenderness and sincerity, infusing each track with moving expression.
“The fusion of energetic strings, heartfelt Andean instruments and skilful arrangements creates a rich soundscape, taking the listener into a complete and immersive experience. Quimantu's signature sound, blending contemporary and traditional elements, is present throughout the production, with a warm and earthy quality, while the lyrics focus on paying homage and admiration to the Chilean miners of Mauricio’s homeland. Overall, the album is a refreshing listening experience for a fast-paced world that grabs you from beginning to end, a distinctive feature of Quimantu that is also present every time you get to see them play live.”
Felipe Arévalo, Music Producer/Label Manager at SOMOS, West One Music Group