From beginning to end this is a wonderfully mellow collection of some seriously lovely, relaxing and most enjoyable music. A step away from his usual flamboyant style, it is seriously lovely to bask in the other side of Ciro Hurtado’s music, that of deeply felt spiritual magic.
Commencing with the lovely, Macchu Picchu the ghosts of those gone before are summoned to bask in the delightful interpretation of their spiritual homeland ensconced by mist and lush vegetation and the deep mystery of time.
Altiplano, the title track is reflective piece which is delicate, light and gentle, created in homage to the Altiplano of the Andes Mountains, the majestic scenery and the deep spirituality that is to be found. A special place in Hurtado’s childhood.
The album gently moves across various beats and rhythms with the surprising Rumba Andina, a song which goes for 6:53, a complete contrast to expectation. Mellow and gentle, but then up-tempo, pulsating and fascinating, with the addition of vocals from his wife Cindy Harding, Hurtado has created a fresh take on flamenco/rhumba and traditional Andean mountain folk singing.
Two delicious guitar pieces are Ciudad Del Lago, a complex solo guitar piece and El Ayaymama, with vocals from Alexa Ramirez, as she tells the tale of children left in the jungle who turn to the birds to help them find their lost mother.
Entre Las Estrellas or ’Between the Stars’ is a divine solo guitar piece; a piece that showcases a man a one with his music, combining the best of Peruvian and European music to create a journey into tranquillity and peace.
Re-recording Triste with Cindy Harding on flutes, has given a freshness to a piece composed some time ago for the soundtrack of the film ‘Baraka’. Slightly sad and a little melancholy, it offers the perfect lead into the final track and one which is a surprising addition.
The House of the Rising Sun, is a traditional folk song, made famous with the rendition by Eric Burdon and The Animals in 1964, which is either loved or seriously detested. Hurtado’s cover of this sensual piece is simply perfection. Long a favourite, this version simply shifts it into another perspective, that of beauty, influenced with a certain reflective melancholy, with roots that may well go back to a 17th century folk song known as Rising Sun.
As an album of original and selected compositions, Ciro Hurtado has paid tribute to his Peruvian Andean Roots, his family, pictured on the inside cover, who encouraged a love of traditional, folk and modern music and the days of his youth where he developed his passion for music.
Overall, Hurtado has achieved a technically brilliant album, filled with emotion, magic and spirituality.