Sikuris, for strings and percussion
“Sikuris” for large orchestra was written in 1999 to compete in the 3rd edition of New Works by Chilean Composers of the Symphony Orchestra of Chile. The work won the competition and the same year was adapted for string orchestra by special request of the Chamber Orchestra of the Conservatory of the Austral University of Valdivia. “Sikuris” has been adapted also for chamber orchestra in 2009 and for chamber ensemble in 2011, by special request of Caminos del Inka Ensemble.
The motif upon which the work is built was compiled in San Pedro de Atacama. The ethnic group of the region is known as Atacameños, Lican-antay, or Kunza (this last word refers to their language, now extinct, the kunza).
The work unfolds in three sections that follow one another without pauses. The first, in alternating bars of 2 and 3 beats, is energetic and rhythmically agressive. In the second section, the melody is accompanied by placid sounds of inevitable tonal character. Finally, the third section is cheerful and imitates the typical brass bands of highland festivals.
“Sikuris” was premiered by the Symphony Orchestra of Chile in the same year of the competition. It has been included in the concert seasons of all Chilean professional orchestras, played by major orchestras in Latin America, the U.S. and Europe, in addition to being performed and recorded by an ensemble of electric guitars. The version for string orchestra was recorded by the Orchestra of the Modern School of Music directed by Maestro José Luis Recart.
Due to the number of times it has been performed and the many conductors and orchestras that have programmed it, “Sikuris” has become one of the most important and representative works of Chilean composers in the repertoire.