Unbounded music from the Colombian eastern plains

Close your eyes and imagine a safari. What do you see? Lions and giraffes all dancing all at the rhythm of the circle of life? Images like these are very common when we hear the word safari: an adventure, an opportunity to escape the quotidian, and to explore rich, untamed territories.

Like homeomorphisms in mathematics, our planet offers safari variations. One of those, that does not require traveling to a parallel universe, exists in the Colombian eastern plains. A new, unexpected world, away from civilization. Endless landscapes that tell you in a subtle, almost imperceptible voice:

There are no bounds. You can be free now.

The possibilities are as endless as the land, where would you go?

In this region, there are jaguars, scarlet ibises, crocodiles, and a number of animals (like the capybara) that you didn’t even know existed.

Riding into towns you will find cowboys, cattle, and horses, and you will draw parallels to more familiar latitudes. But, there is something unique here that is hard to describe. Part of it is the pervasive connection with the land, the observance of traditions that preserve the way of living, and of course, the music. A type of music that narrates the ups and downs of farming and cattle herding, the hardships, the exploration, and the longing for the loved one while riding your horse, back to town after a long day.

I long too for simpler times, for absent friends, and loved ones that exist now in a different plane. Or a different plain, beyond the horizon.

The title of this song is “La pena del becerrero” which translates to “The young cowhand’s sorrow”. This song talks about how a young man finding love for the first time:

Esta empezando a querer
Esta sembrado de amor
El becerrero del fundo
Es la primera mujer
Que lo ha mirado profundo

Which roughly translates to:

The seed of love is planted,
within the small farm’s cowhand,
oh she’s the first one,
seeing him with very deep eyes

Some details:
Orchestration: harp, maracas, bass, cuatro
Rhythm: pasaje llanero, a 3/4 based rhythm.
Key: C#m (IV: F#m, V7: G#7)
Chord progression: IV – I – V7 – I