It’s only a few short months until festival season hits Adelaide, and next year’s WOMADelaide lineup promises to be something very special.
The four-day festival from 6-9 March, set in beautiful Botanic Park will feature some of the world’s most revered performers and artists.
Luzmila Carpio is one such artist who will travel across the world to join performers like Sinead O’Connor, Youssou N’Dour and Neneh Cherry at the 22nd annual World of Music and Dance festival.
Luzmila was born in the tiny village of Qala Qala, 10,000 feet up in the Andean Mountains.
Her music came to national recognition after she arrived in Paris in the early 1980s to work with UNICEF to promote education in Bolivia through folk music.
Since then, she has collaborated with various artists, which have led to recordings, shows and events across the world, but WOMADelaide 2015 will be her first trip to Australia.
“It will be the first time for me to come to discover Australia,” Luzmila said via a French interpreter. “I am very excited about this. I have always dreamed of coming to Australia so I know this is a very important step in my life.”
Currently staying in France after a series of performances there, Luzmila normally spends her time living between Paris and Bolivia.
Growing up in Bolivia, Luzmila learned the daily songs of the Quechua and Aymara indigenous people and still sings in the 2000 year old Quechua tongue to reflect her passion for respecting the earth in the way of the original inhabitants of the land.
“In Bolivia there’s 36 different idioms. One of those is Quechua, my mother tongue, which is why I sing in Quechua. What I’m singing reflects how important it is to respect planet earth,” she said.
“All population used to feel the same way, but as we evolved, we had a bad tendency to forget that we should respect the earth. We need to leave it to our children. What are they going to do if we don’t take care of the earth? How are they going to survive? How will they keep breathing?”
Luzmila’s passionate lyrics, which are accompanied by her five-string charango, speak of resistance against social injustices and racial segregation suffered by Indians living in Bolivia, as well as calls for the emancipation of women.
But running parallel to these ideals is her clear passion for taking care of the earth, a topic she keeps coming back to.
“Apart from singing for the rights of women, the most important thing is respect for earth. That is what is so strong in my songs. I am actually singing to nature. I am singing to the mountains around me, the birds, the water, the animals. It’s all about the surrounding nature that we should respect,” Luzmila said through her French interpreter.
“The most important thing today is to live in harmony, especially with planet earth. There’s an Indian saying and it is: We are part of the earth. We don’t own the earth, we are just part of it and we should respect it.”
Luzmila has received many accolades for her unique style, with world renowned violinist Yehudi Menuhin describing her as a ‘singing violin’.
She is thrilled to be bringing her message of hope and respect to Adelaide in 2015 and promises to bring her very best.
“I’m going to give my best to the festival with my voice and songs and spirit,” Luzmila said. “To show the emotion, I need music and the music I’m going to bring is from a European musician I met during a different trip. These musicians understand me and my culture and it’s a wonderful union about respect and peace for planet earth.”
By Libby Parker