Composer, singer, accordionist and pianist Pascuala Ilabaca and her band Fauna are playing in Chicago for the first time next week as part of their 2022 La Curiosidad International Tour. The band’s music blends traditional instruments and rhythms with lyrics reflecting a feminist perspective.
Ilabaca says her hometown, the port city of Valparaíso, is a cultural crossroads that inspired her to create music that is simultaneously familiar and modern.
“We received, since the 18th century a lot of people who came from the mountains and from the villages bringing their own native music and instruments. But also we received always all the music that came by boat, by ships from the UK and also United States,” Ilabaca said. “So there was a lot of cultural interchange, and my music has [drunk] that milk since I was a [child], like going to the traditional parties but also listening to Bjork.”
Ilabaca’s latest album has a distinctly feminist perspective in the lyrics, set to music that brings together traditional sounds and rhythms from her Valparaíso home.
“I was feeling we needed to create rancheras, boleros, Peruvian waltz, even revolutionary songs that shows more the contemporary feeling of a woman who needs to make contact with the traditional culture, but also needs to feel free and respected and who wants to talk about love in a different way,” Ilabaca said. “It’s very important to show diversity inside Latin American music and Latin American women, how we really are. When I’m traveling … I’m opening some kind of window to see a different type of Latin woman, and we are all different. So that’s very exciting for me.”
The 28-city world tour makes a stop at Martyr’s on June 25.
“It’s about our nomadic needs to show our culture in other places,” Ilabaca said. “I want to show our way of feeling music and looking to the world through music in other places.”