Quique Cruz (Claudio Durán Pardo) has composed an exceptional score for the movie with his new dynamic Latin Americana group Quijeremá. It draws from the musical roots of the Americas, incorporating jazz ideals with South American instruments and rhythms. The album is named "Tinta Verde" after the green ink in which Neruda wrote his poems.


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Quique wrote: "The suite is composed in four parts with a flower at its center. The first part begins with tinta verde, in Neruda's southern Chile; a land of rain, forests, volcanoes, and lakes. This music is inspired by the Mapuche people, displaced from their land, still struggling to recover it. We use rhythmic and melodic elements as well as instruments from the region. In the introduction to his memoirs, (1974) Neruda wrote: "Anyone who hasn't been in the Chilean forest doesn't know this planet. I have come out of that landscape, that mud, that silence, to roam, to go singing through the world." When Neruda was forced into exile, (1948) he went south, and on a horse, in a galope winka, he traversed the Mapuche land and crossed the Andes to safety in Argentina. In Residence on Earth, (1933) he included "Dead Gallop," a surrealist poem, almost as a premonition of his later journey.

The second part of the suite takes the listener slowly towards the center of the country, with its urban worries. Here we encounter kueca de la espuma (cueca is the national dance of Chile). Then we stop at isla negra, and from the house of the poet, we contemplate the Pacific Ocean, with its chaotic and enigmatic uncertainty.
In the middle of the piece, thinking of the love that Neruda had for Matilde Urrutia, a flower grew in the form of a waltz.

The third part is a detour from the Chilean journey, via Madrid, Spain, where Neruda lived and worked in the late 1930's. There he had a beautiful home, which he named the house of the flowers. The fascist troops of Franco, bombed and burned la casa de las flores to the ground. He wrote about the event in 1947, in his book The Third Residence. Also, an incident took place that transformed Neruda's life: his beloved friend, the playwright and poet, Federico García Lorca was assassinated by Franco's troops.

In the elegy for Lorca, I imagine the playwright pacing, waiting, maybe lighting his last cigarette, before being taken away to be killed and buried anonymously in a mass grave. The piece sings to him and his companions with the tears of Spain.

The fourth part, Macchu Picchu, draws from the rhythms, instruments and sounds of the Andean planet. First, the music sings to mother earth, la pachamama, when only pipes, flutes, drums, and seeds were used by musicians-before the Europeans appeared on the horizon. Neruda wrote one of his most celebrated poems "The Heights of Macchu Picchu" after visiting this ancient peak and its ruins. Then, in pachakuti -returning to earth-all the instruments unite to celebrate the never ending return of the poetry of Neruda to our lives. Finally, the suite ends with a reprisal as the bard returns to earth and to us all, on the hundredth anniversary of his birth.

Note: the music was recorded mostly live, without metronomes to keep a constructed sense of time. We chose certain takes for their interpretation, letting time flow free, natural, subterranean. . . as in concerts.

The composer, Quique Cruz (aka Claudio Durán Pardo) is a Chilean born musician and writer. He has recorded several albums, the latest one tatamonk-with Alex De Grassi-an experiment with Andean and jazz forms. He has been awarded the prestigious Oshita Composer Fellowship by the D'jerassi Foundation in California, and received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, to compose music for his multimedia (musical suite, book, and film) project "Archaeology of Memory." He is a Ph.D. candidate in Modern Thought and Literature at Stanford University.

Founded in October 2002 by quique cruz (Chile), jeremy allen (US), and maría fernanda acuña (Venezuela), Quijeremá draws from the musical roots of the Americas, incorporating jazz ideals with South American instruments and rhythms. They define their musical genre as "new latin american music."

Jeremy has recorded and performed jazz, latin, and fusion music in the us. He has been featured with the San Francisco symphony's Adventures in Music program, and holds a B.A. from UC Berkeley. María fernanda acuña has been musically trained in Venezuela and the u.s., and is currently finishing a degree in Latin American Literature at Mills College, working on the historic and cultural development of Venezuelan music and the contributions of the African diaspora.

quique cruz: guitars, ronrocos, bandola & andean flutes. jeremy allen, electric upright bass. maría fernanda acuña, world percussion.
with morgan fichter, violin; david barrows, saxophones; afael afael, trompeta; cava menzies & alejandro sabre, piano

all compositions written by enrique "quique" cruz / Claudio E. Durán (BMI) except counterpoint line of the trumpet in galope winka written by maestro rafael manriquez.

All arrangements by Quijeremá

Composing the Music

I was commissioned to write incidental music for the first English film documentary about the life and work of Pablo Neruda. Usually incidental music is composed as a response to a nearly completed film, to enhance individual segments. However, for this project I found myself drawn into a bigger space. Thus, I decided to compose a whole musical suite based on what Neruda had given me as an artist: a world of hope, love, uncertainties, aesthetic possibilities, colors, and nothingness.

I met Neruda when I was twelve; he came to my middle school to read his poetry. He lived in Isla Negra, Chile, a few coastal towns from my own. In preparing to compose the music, I returned from California to Chile and visited Isla Negra several times, where Neruda wrote most of his poems using green ink. I needed an overarching metaphor as the key to write the music: Neruda wrote and sang to the "long petal of sea and wine and snow," as he called Chile. But he also sang to the American continent as well as the world. The resonance of Isla Negra gave me the Rosetta stone for the creation of the suite.