Lone Piñon

Homebase:New Mexico

Genre:New Mexico Stringband
Lone Piñon is a New Mexican string band, or “orquesta típica nuevomexicana”, whose music celebrates the integrity of their region’s cultural roots. With fiddles, upright bass, accordions, vihuela, mandolin, guitars, jarana huasteca, and vocals in Spanish, English, Nahuatl, and P’urepecha, they play a wide spectrum of the traditional music that is at home in New Mexico.

The Norte has long been a crossroads of cultures, and centuries of intersecting histories, trade routes, migrations, and cultural movements have endowed the region with an expansive and rich musical heritage. After centuries of continuity, today the sounds of the old strands of New Mexican traditional music have become very scarce in their home territory: a casualty, in part, of the cultural disruption caused by New Mexico’s rapid and at times forced integration into the American economic and cultural environment. But testaments and bridges to this older world have remained in recordings and, most importantly, in the living memory of elders. The musicians of Lone Piñon learned from elder musicians who instilled in them a respect for continuity and an example of the radicalism, creativity, and cross-cultural solidarity that has always been necessary for musical traditions to adapt and thrive in each generation. In 2014, they started Lone Piñon as a way to explore and strengthen the oldest sounds of traditional New Mexico string music, sounds that had all but disappeared from daily life. Through relationship with elders, study of field recordings, connections to parallel traditional music and dance revitalization movements in the US and Mexico, and hundreds of performances, they have brought the language of New Mexico traditional music and related regional traditions back onto the modern stage, back onto dance floors, back into an aesthetic/artistic conversation, and back into the ears of a young generation.

Early on in the process, their involvement in New Mexican styles opened up connections to a network of related styles that cross state, national and generational borders. The group’s active repertoire reflects the complexity of this musical landscape and includes early conjunto duets, contemporary New Mexican rancheras, New Mexican swing, Hispanic Texan fiddle styles, Tohono O’odham fiddle tunes from Arizona, huapangos from the Mexican Huasteca region, and several styles of music from Michoacán: son calentano and son planeco from the southern lowlands and son abajeño from the P’urepecha highlands.

In the past years Lone Piñon has played extensively throughout the Southwest and the US and recorded four studio albums: “Trio Nuevomexicano” (2016), “Días Felices,” (2017) and “Dále Vuelo,”(2019) and “Nuevas Acequias, Río Viejo: Traditional Music of Northern New Mexico” (2020).

In August 2018, they were invited by the Library of Congress and the American Folklife Center to Washington DC, where they recorded a concert and an oral history of their work with New Mexican and Mexican musical traditions. In 2019 they were honored to teach and perform Northern New Mexico fiddle and dance alongside traditional masters from across North America and Europe at Centrum’s Festival of American Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend, WA. An award-winning documentary about their work with traditional music, “En Donde los Bailadores se Entregan los Corazones,” has premiered at select screenings in the US and is planned for film festivals in the US and Mexico starting this year. The band recently received the Parsons Award from the American Folklife Center, which will bring them back to the Library of Congress in Washington DC to study the Library’s collection of field recordings of Northern New Mexican musicians.

Lone Piñon est un nouveau groupe d’instruments à cordes mexicain, ou «orquesta típica», dont la musique célèbre l’intégrité des racines culturelles de leur région. Avec violons, contrebasses, accordéons, vihuela, mandoline, guitares, jarana huasteca et des paroles en espagnol, anglais, nahuatl et p’urepecha, ils jouent un large éventail de la musique coutumière du Nouveau-Mexique.

Le Norte a longtemps été un carrefour où s’entrecroisent des cultures et des siècles d’histoires. Les routes commerciales, les migrations et les mouvements culturels ont doté la région d’un patrimoine musical large et riche. Aujourd’hui, après des siècles, les vieux morceaux de cette musique traditionnelle néo-mexicaine sont devenus très rares sur leur territoire : victimes, en partie, des perturbations culturelles causées par l’intégration rapide et parfois forcée du Nouveau-Mexique dans l’économie américaine et son environnement culturel. Mais les témoignages et les ponts vers ce monde plus ancien sont restés dans les enregistrements et, surtout, dans la mémoire vivante des anciens. Les musiciens de Lone Piñon ont appris de leurs aînés, qui leur ont inculqué le respect de la continuité, l’exemple du radicalisme, la créativité et la solidarité interculturelle qui ont toujours été nécessaire pour que les traditions musicales s’adaptent et prospèrent à chaque génération. En 2014, ils forment Lone Piñon pour explorer et renforcer les sonorités les plus anciennes de la musique à cordes traditionnelle du Nouveau-Mexique, des sons qui avaient pratiquement disparu de la vie quotidienne. Grâce aux relations entretenues avec les aînés, l’étude des enregistrements sur le terrain, les liens avec les mouvements de revitalisation de la musique traditionnelle et de la danse aux États-Unis et au Mexique, et à des centaines de performances, ils ont ravivé la langue de la musique typique du Nouveau-Mexique et des coutumes régionales connexes sur la scène moderne. Ils sont également réapparu sur les pistes de danse, de retour dans les conversations esthétiques/artistiques, et de retour dans les oreilles de la jeune génération.

Share