One of the radio stations I listen to often is BBC Radio 3. In particular their world music programs: World on 3 and World Routes. This past week on World Routes, Lucy Duran introduced me to Carlos ‘Metralleta’ Orozco and his group from Venezuela. They performed a number of songs featuring the “joropo” dance music found in the vast central plains.
“Joropo is from the Arabic, xärop, a sweet liquid. In modern joropo the dancers mark the rhythm stamping on the floor. The man hits the floor with the full force of his whole foot, whilst the woman responds in silence, shuffling her feet in a series of intricately sweeping, high speed patterns. The man and woman never lose touch with each other. The joyful music that Carlos and his band of virtuosic musicians play is fast, infectious, and above all, uplifting.”
Carlos is a harp master and while he is an amazing soloist, his compositions shine as well. His moniker “Metralleta” is Spanish for machine gun. You can hear why. Unfortunately the sound quality on this live clip is a bit poor, but you can watch some video from the BBC Radio 3 session with better audio here.