Frank: The Silk Road in Peru

Frank: The Silk Road in Peru
On 16 September, Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble performs at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall and presents the world premiere of Gabriela Lena Frank's Ritmos Anchinos (Anchino Rhythms). Frank, known for sampling from the myths and musical traditions of her Peruvian background, adds a Silk Road musical "spice" in tribute to her maternal grandfather Máximo Cam Velazques, whose own father immigrated from China to Peru in the late 19th century. Frank scored the three-movement Ritmos Anchinos for string quartet, pipa (a Chinese lute) and sheng (a mouth organ). Soloists Wu Man and Wu Tong join the Silk Road Ensemble.Photo: Máximo Cam Velazques (left), maternal grandfather of composer Gabriela Lena Frank, with fellow workers at a Peruvian silver mine, ca 1930s.
Frank family archives
It has taken me a long time to appreciate the scope of Perú's multicultural history. As the American-born daughter of a Peruvian woman, I had primarily long been aware of Perú's Native American and Spanish past, and it's only recently that I've begun to try to understand its twofold African legacy from the Moorish-influenced Spanish conquerors and their west-African slaves. More personal to me, though, is the Asian presence due to a great-grandfather who left China in the late 1800s to open a country store in the Andean mountains. Old family photos and my mother's memories bespeak my Chinese forebears' presence in such highland and coastal towns as Colquipocro, Chimbote, Piura, and Moro. Across continents and over several generations, the tendrils of my Asian legacy touched me as a young girl growing up in California as chifa, Chinese-Peruvian stir-fry, was something often prepared in the kitchen by my mother. Ritmos Anchinos is dedicated to my grandfather, Máximo Cam Velazques (1911-1968).
— Gabriela Lena Frank
Ritmos Anchinos
Duration: c.15'
str4tet; pipa, sheng
I. Harawi para Colquipocro
II. Charangos de Chincha
III. Kachampa