SOBRE EL RÍO (PASSAGE) – tells of a journey along the lower Magdalena river in Colombia in search of the origins of cumbia music – and it is the sixth volume in an onging publication series about cumbia music and sound systems in Latin America edited by the Swiss artist Mirjam Wirz. The books contains photographs, extracts of conversations with musicians, composers and people connected to the river, and poetic texts written after the journey, remembering encounters, situations and landscapes.
The Magdalena river marks the birthplace and distribution system for cumbia music, which in its beginnings, dating back to the colonial era, was a prohibited ritual dance and one of the ways in which the indigenous and African populations interacted. Musically, it is made up of a combination of African rhythms, indigenous instruments, and Spanish lyrics. Since the 1950s cumbia has spread beyond Colombia to the working class neighborhoods in Latin America, taking on local specifics at each place. The Magdalena river stands for one of the many rivers in the world which acted as distribution channels and spread music throughout countries – and of water cultures, located along the rivers, which have absorbed very different influences from the interior of the country and from the world, making them multifaceted and thoroughly mixed, which is evident in the music as well. - @real_soniderocity