17 Aug 2019

BERMÚDEZ – Colombia Tierra Querida

by Michael Clive

The countries of Central and South America, and of central Europe, were decades ahead of the United States in this regard. The formative years of the Colombian nationalist Lucho Bermúdez parallel those of European nationalist composers such as Janacek and Bartok: a musical prodigy who became enthralled with the native folk music he heard in childhood and went out into the countryside to do his own primary research, becoming a major musical figure in the process. Born Luis Eduardo Bermúdez Acosta, Lucho Bermúdez became simply “Lucho” — a composer, arranger, director and performer whose influence continues to extend far beyond his native Colombia, where he is one of the nation’s most prominent cultural figures. Bermúdez’s compositions incorporate Colombian dance rhythms and melodies with European compositional techniques and orchestral instruments (many of which he learned to play while still a child). The centennial of his birth, 2012, was “The Year of Lucho Bermúdez” in Colombia. His song “Colombia Tierra Querida,” roughly “Beloved Colombia,” is a musical icon in that nation.