Posts Tagged ‘Guillermo Seminario’

Chimu Inka’s New Band Member?


Guillermo and Family

Guillermo Seminario, leader of the Peruvian band, Chimu Inka, with is wife Lourdes and their new son, born in Trujillo, Peru about 8 months ago. They just sent us this shot, which we wanted to share with you. Congrats to Familia Seminario. Chimu Inka has come to the U.S. under sponsorship from MSI in the past and will be visiting again in 2012.

Sustainability and the American Mind


Another Tear-Down

Seminario, performing in Keene, NH

Guillermo Seminario, the director of Chimu Inka, the Peruvian band came to the U.S under invitation from Mountain Spirit Institute to run a program to perform and teach about Peruvian folklore music in 2008.  In one Vermont town, we were being housed in a very nice old residence in one of the more ritzy parts of town. At one point during the evening, Guillermo turned to me, shaking his head, saying, “In Peru, there are children without food, and a place to sleep.” He queried, “It confusing me, seeing such wealth in your country when Peru is so poor in many parts of my country.”

Our Peruvian Guests on the Coast, NH

We  have thought and discussed this much since that day. Tearing down a perfectly good house just doesn’t seem right.

It’s more than, “Finish your broccoli, there are people starving in other countries,” but it stems from the same disconnect. It’s true the U.S and other 1st world country’s inhabitants are happily oblivious to our role in contributing to The Empire’s excesses. It’s time to think small, and stop the waste. I have a gut feeling this level of living will not continue, mostly due to peak oil. It’s actually quite obvious.

MSI Sponsors Fulbright Applicant


Duke Student Plans for Film Making Project in Peru on Traditional Folklore Music
By D.R. Richards

Berkowitz applies for Fulbright

Avery Berkowitz will be sponsored by Mountain Spirit Institute should his application for a Fulbright Scholarship be accepted this spring. Berkowitz approached MSI in February to see if we were interested in providing contacts, support, and in-country affiliation for his film project, a documentary on traditional folklore music in Peru. The film will cover, not only the music, but the lives of the performers, as well as the impact the music has on audiences and the culture.

Guillermo Seminario, the muscial director of Chimu Inka, co-facilitator on MSI programs in the Cusco region, and key member on the Peru/USA Music Exchange in the U.S. will also provide support on the ground in Cusco.  The exposure could also be good for Chimu Inka, who, although are superb musicians, deserve to have their music and story told more than is presently happening for them. Any film coverage of their story would be beneficial.

Berkowitz is a student at Duke, and if accepted for the Fulbright, plans to head to Peru either in the summer of 2010 or 2011. We look forward to doing what we can to support Avery and wish him the best with his application.

Learning Zampoña on Lake Titicaca


Guillermo Seminario, leader of Chimu Inka band in Cusco, and co- facilitator for Mountain Spirit Insitute’s cultural immersion program in Peru teaches a few participants on the Peru’09 program how to play zampoña. They three had been learning from Guillermo for a few days before this footage was taken. They did well. I hope they are still playing!

Peruvian Music Video: Cusco


Online Release of Chimu Inka DVD
By Randall Richards

Chimu Inka Cover #3

Chimu Inka's 3rd CD

This is short version of a video, taken a few years ago on the streets of Cusco. It’s a project to promote  my good friends, and Mountain Spirit Institute Program Chimu Inka and their US educational tour. The band toured the northeast US in the fall of 2008 and we have plans to sponsor their return again in 2010. These guys are amazing.

If you would like to help support their tour by a donation or help with logistics, please let us know. Their first tour was hugely popular, and we expect their second visit to be so too.
The group performed and taught about the spirit of Peruvian Folklore music in their country. They also spoke of their instruments and lifestyle in Peru in a series of Q&A sessions after and during their performances. They visited schools, universities, kindergartens, town bandstands and coffeehouses.
Although I’ve had this video on disk for a year, I’m finally getting it online tonight. This is a shortened version of the original production. The higher definition and longer version is available for purchase through our Fair Trade page.  I hope you enjoy watching this as much as I enjoyed taping and producing it. Enjoy!

Spontaneous Musical Mentorship


Traditional Folklore Band Director from Cusco Inspires Local Young Musicians on Lake Titicaca Island

Guillermo Seminario while co-leading a Mountain Spirit Institute program on Lake Titicaca’s Amantani Island last July,  spontaneously struck up a musical conversation with a few of the island’s budding local musicians. The children were playing along side a path in the small hamlet of Pueblo, when the MSI group passed by. When the kids started playing their instruments, Seminario, a professional musician, joined in.  Seminario directs the Mountain Spirit Institute USA/Peruvian Music Exchange, performs, teaches and tours in the Northeastern U.S. with his band Chimu Inka and plays with his band in Cusco Peru. It was a magic moment, watching the kids play with Guillermo…….

Chicha, Fermented Corn


How chicha is made

How chicha is made

A local Cuscanian, Ernesto, explains how the fermented corn drink, Chicha is made, as guide Guillermo Seminario and the owner of a Chicha rest stop in the Sacred Valley look on.

Chicha is a traditional Andean corn beer that is shared during communal gatherings and festivals, and fosters a sense community. Chicha is most commonly made in small batches in the family kitchen.

Chicha is made from dried corn kernals, which have been soaked and allowed to ferment. They are then mashed and slow cooked in large a ceramic pot over a wood fire. The fermented kernals are sprouted,  water is added, then sugar and spices to taste, and the strained liquid is stored for two to four days which allows further fermentation.. Ummm!
Watch out though, it’s never done my stomach right, and it’s known to wreak havoc with locals’ digestion as well.
Want to learn how to make your own Chicha? Click here.

Fire! Fire!


Chimu Inka bandmember Wachi Taype recently celebrated his 30th birthday here in Cusco. Wachi visited the USA with Guillermo Seminario and Mario Montalvo to teach and perform traditional folklore music for universities, high schools and communities.

He experienced a novel birthday when the candles wouldn’t go out o his cake. Onlookers are Guillermo, Mario, Mario’s daughter Auerlie, Amanda Richards and Wachi’s mother.

Peru’09: To Ollantaytambo


By R. Richards
In the next few weeks I’ll be journaling the Peru 2009 Cultural Immersion program which lasted 14 days. I won’t chronicle every day but the most important highlights of our experience.

We had 7 participants: Sally R. and her husband Scott S., Gail and Hal B. of Sunapee NH, newlyweds Tim Y. and Amy G. and Betsy S. of Grantham NH.  Most were teachers which made for good dynamics. On our first day in Cusco, we hiked up to Sacsayhuaman ruins. After walking the great walls, we had a little meeting as the sun set, setting the tone for open communication and willing to stretch outside of one’s comfort zone. The group all agreed they’d give it their best shot.  That night we had dinner at the Retama where Guillermo is the music director of his band Chimu’s/Chimu Inka and plays there almost nightly.

Guillermo plays "cane" flute at Moray

Guillermo plays "Quena" flute at Moray

After a night in Tika Wasi in Cusco, we headed for the Chinchero and the fascinating agricultural terraces of Moray.  Here, Guillermo took out his flute and played, setting a surreal tone in the ruins. You could hear the music echo through the terraces below. Then there was a hair-raising ride (not so much much for me, I’m used to the heights) to the Inka salt pans just before the sun set, then off to Anna’s pension.  Many thanks goes to Julio of Personal Travel Service for setting up our ride with Ernesto and the Mercedes bus plus all tickets and other logistics in the Sacred Valley.

Anna's Family, Guillermo & Ernesto

Anna's Family, Guillermo & Ernesto

It had been a few years since I’d seen Anna when I stayed at her pension for night. It was good to see Anna again, her daughter Katey and her other daughter who had been in Italy for four years, who I’d not  yet met. Anyway, we all settled in nicely, the participants heading off to stay in nearby homes, down the street. We’d all met up for dinner at Anna’s though. Although it was a bit of a switch from the four star Hotel Antigua in Lima, everyone adjusted well to Anna’s where we’d be basing ourselves over the next few days. Below is a short clip as we arrived at Anna’s. Ernesto our knowledgeable driver, Anna, her godchild, daughter, and Guillermo are featured.

Peru’09 Program A Success

Peru'09 Group in Cuzco

Peru'09 Group in Cuzco with Chimu Inka

Facilitators Guillermo Seminario and Randy Richards are back in Cusco after leading a truly unique 14-day program.  “We set out to offer something that connects our participants with the culture, the people and land of Peru, and we did it” says Richards.  MSI’s programs and mission are inspired from both: a) Outward Bound experiential education programs, where participants practice community building, self-reliance, compassion and “stretching out of their comfort zones”, and b) a holistic learning center such as the Omega Institute in Reinbeck, NY. However our version of a “holistic learning center” is mobile.

R & G all decked out on the Peruvian coast

R & G all decked out on the Peruvian coast

The program went off without a hitch, and the participants left feeling like they not only learned immensely about Peru, its people and history, but also something about themselves.  The image at right is the group with Guillermo Seminario and fellow band members at the Rettama Restaurant in Cuzco. Guillermo took time off from the band in order to co-facilitate the trip.

Stay tuned – Since Randall didn’t have time to do journal entries while on the program, expect to see details on the program’s stop-overs in upcoming entries. These will be posted on (roughly) a daily basis starting tomorrow. We will cover elements of the program the exemplify the tenets of MSI.