"Makunaima, the dreaming warrior, spirit of the land,
once again wields his spear, a ray of light, facing the malicious spirit of
Kanaima as part of the eternal struggle between
good and evil."
A tribute to the music of the Pemon people, their language
and their different ways of expressing themselves.
MAKUNAIMA AND THE SPIRITS OF THE EARTH is a music creation composed by Gerry Weil and Hector Di Donna, built on the ritual, ceremonial and everyday songs of the Pemon of the Venezuelan/Brazillian Amazon. The Pemon recordings were provided to Weil and Di Donna by anthopologist Estaban Vicente Mosonyl Arreaza of the Institute of Ethnomusicology of Venezuela.
"From the moment we had the songs
in my studio at time in Caracas,
my friend Gerry and I, felt that the music spoke to us and we decided to devote ourselves to reinterpreting these songs by fusing them with contempory music" - Di Donna.
They invited other prominent Venezuelan musicans to join in on the project including strings, sax and flute. They also felt that some songs were so beautiful as they were, that they simply only added only a few ambient sounds to enhance the atmosphere and mood.
Gerry Weil is a Austrian born Venezuelan jazz musician. His first contact with music, started after the final days of World War II with exposure to Glenn Miller's swing and afroamerican music from the American troops in Vienna, Austria.
Weil's musical education started after his inmigration to Venezuela in 1957. At the age of 17, began to take classes from professional musicians and mail courses from Boston's Berklee College of Music. Between 1974 and 1981, went through a spiritual experience of musical isolation in Mérida, during which time, he blended Bach piano music with Hindu spiritual genres like Ragas. At the end of this period, he returned to Caracas in order to resume his musical career, working also as music teacher.
In the early 80's he started to work with Midi technology, and later returned to acoustic music. Gerry Weil has been a producer for artists and groups like Maria Rivas, Desorden Público, Tulio Chuecos, among others. In 2009, Weil received the Decoration of Merit in Gold from the Austrian government.
DONNA DI is a Venezuelan/Italian musician, composer who currently
lives on the Canary Islands in Spain. He is a researcher and creator of ethno world music, blues, jazz, pop, electronic and
contemporary music. He plays
the guitar, the piano and synthesizers. Much of his life has been dedicated to music education and makes music therapy.
He creates concerts in special live environments, where it interacts with the audience and he explains the benefits of music on health. He has taught workshops, courses and performed concerts in Caracas, Miami, New York, Las Palmas, Rome and Naples for over the past 25 years.
Also, he has created musical productions of folk, jazz, blues, pop and rock music for theater, sound sculptures and other venues.