ECHOES DOWN FROM MACHU PICCHU Andean music of Inkas Wasi strikes a chord with Methuen audience

PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

METHUEN — The sounds of Peruvian music filled the Great Hall at Nevins Memorial Library on July 19 when Inkas Wasi thrilled the audience with the sounds indigenous to their native lands.

Sergio Espinoza, Miguel Duenas and Lenin Sabino thrilled the crowd with songs from Peru, Ecuador, Argentina and other South American countries.

“We’re very happy to see old friends,” Espinoza said. “And to meet new ones.”

The trio dressed in traditional Peruvian Sunday garb for the first half of the show.

“We are wearing the traditional costume to show how people in other areas of the world live and dress,” Espinoza said. “We wear our colorful sandals with handmade socks by our parents and we use fabric for belts.”

The costumes featured brightly colored birds and flowers representing Peru on black jackets and pants.

After intermission, they changed into their summer costumes, worn during the Sun Festival — each wearing white shorts and a white shirt, again with colorful birds and flowers. According to Espinoza, the Sun Festival brings over 100 musicians and dancers to perform.

The instruments of choice for Inkas Wasi at Methuen’s library were of Peru as well, with the exception of a guitar and a bass pedal.

Espinoza played the siku, a traditional Peruvian panpipe with multiple bamboo tubes and used to accompany folk music of the high Andes, plus the quena, which is a single-tube flute with multiple holes played like a recorder. Espinoza also supplies the percussion from the maracas and chachas, which are made of fruit seeds and cloven animal hooves.

Duenas joined Espinoza on the siku and quena, but mostly played the charango, which is a lute resembling a smallish guitar with five, double-string.

“We take the guitar to use as a reference to make the charango,” Espinoza said.

Rounding out the trio is Sabino on the guitar, although even Inkas Wasi’s guitar had a unique appearance. The guitar was thin and hollow — just the frame, neck and strings.

Both Duenas and Sabino performed solo for the crowd.

“When we feature the charango, we try to feature the guitar,” Espinoza said. “The guitar is not Peruvian style, but Lenin will tune it down to play solo.”

Inkas Wasi invited six children and two parents on stage with them to try and play some of the instruments. The kids were given various maracas and chachas to shake while the parents were given the 5-foot siku to manage. As Inkas Wasi played, the kids and adults clapped along to the beat.

“Congratulations,” Espinoza said. “You have a wonderful rhythm.”

Espinoza even taught the audience how to say the three Inka laws — Never lie; never steal; don’t be lazy — in his native Quechua language.

Inkas Wasi is based in Saco, Maine, and was formed in 2003 by Espinoza.

For more information about Inkas Wasi visit www.inkaswasi.com.