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  • Writer's pictureVíctor Agudelo

¨La Madre de Agua¨ at Grant Park Music Festival, Cond. Miguel Harth-Bedoya, July 15 & 16 of 2022

Composed in 2005 for the ensemble Contemporary Chamber Players, The University of Memphis, and re-orchestrated as a commission by conductor, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, this work is inspired by one of the Colombian myths, Mother Water.

She is an aquatic divinity or a nymph of the waters, and is the folk myth of rivers in Antioquia, Tolima and Magdalena Medio. She shows herself as a beautiful girl with golden hair and blue eyes, a rather penetrating and mesmerizing look, and a powerful attractive force.

A very distinctive feature of hers is that her feet are turned backwards. This makes it so that those who follow her tracks believe they are following her, but become disoriented because she is moving in the opposite direction.

Farmers believe that Mother Water became a deity of the river because her father, a Spaniard who had an indigenous leader imprisoned for him to reveal the hiding place of his treasures.

The daughter who was in love helped the prisoner escape, fled into the jungle and had a son with him. Unfortunately the father found out through an old love of the Indian where they were hiding. He killed the child, fruit of their love, threw it into the river and beheaded the Indian lover. His beautiful daughter, unable to deal with the pain, rushed back in search of her son and drowned after a few minutes. Since then, her lost gaze seeks her young indian lover and her son in all the rivers of the world.

Mother Water seeks only children, she is very passionate about them and calls with love and tenderness. She hypnotizes them and takes them to the banks of rivers and makes them throw themselves into the water with her melodious voice.

Taken from ¨Lo que contaban los abuelos, Mitos y leyendas de Colombia,¨ Investigación y recopilación, Lic. María Elvira Morales.

Photo by: Grant Park Music Festival, 20 Ago, 2020

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