Luis Perez Ixoneztli: Pre-Hispanic Aztec Music of Wonder

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It seems by now that the end of the world will not occur today.  Thank goodness.  It would have ruined Christmas.  (BTW there was never any eschatological mention of an end day;  the date 2012 was mentioned in the Mayan and Aztec calendar, but there was nothing about what that date signified).  The whole thing came from new age noodle heads, the Da Vinci Code, and other things.

Jeremy Sole is playing some Aztec re-grooved music on Morning Becomes Eclectic (Jason Bentley is away on the S.S. Coachella Love Boat Caribbean cruise.  I’m reminded of some fascinating Aztec music Luis Perez Ixoneztli (last word is nahuatl, the Aztec language)   did live on MBE back when I was music director.  His music features pre-Columbian (i.e. before 1519, when Cortez’ arrived) featured instruments he borrowed on loan from the archeological museum in Mexico City;   things like clay flutes and other ocarinas, small whistles made from bee’s wings and butterfly chrysalises, and instruments of bone and feathers and other such things.  With these instruments he recreated the kind of music the Aztecs were making before the European conquest.  It took Perez a full two hours just to set up these valuable and priceless historical musical instruments for his live shows.

Visit Luis’ website to see both the historical and reconstructed instruments:

The Aztecs were a remarkable civilization.  They had a structured, hierarchical society, skilled architectural construction, and a sophisticated irrigation system.  They also gave the world chocolate,  which the kings and princes drank as a ceremonial beverage.

The Aztecs also sacrificed thousands of young people to the gods, often ripping out hearts from the unfortunate youth.

Luis Perez’ music is both fascinating and creepy.  It is some of the most unusual, otherworldly music I have ever heard.  I was lucky to have him perform live on Morning Becomes Eclectic, and later in my UCLA world music classes.  I only wish it had been filmed.  It was not only amazing to hear, but to watch as well.