Testimonies

The testimonies are sorted by publication date, showing the new ones first.
Click on to sort by witness, to sort alphabetically by musical piece title, or to sort by publication date.


Return, Return, Return (Volver, volver, volver)

Author:
Vicente Fernández
Testimony by:
Jorge Montealegre Iturra
« At the Chacabucan artistic shows, Hugo Peñaloza sang tangos, including “Volver” (Return) by Gardel and Le Pera. This caused a lot of self-ironic laughter when he sang  “que veinte años no es nada” (twenty years is nothing) given our situation of uncertainty in which no one knew how long we’d be imprisoned. »
[Read full testimony]

Published on: 06 January 2015


Captive Quena (Quena cautiva)

Author:
Claudio Enrique Durán Pardo (aka Quique Cruz)
Testimony by:
Claudio Enrique Durán Pardo
Place & date:
Campamento de Prisioneros, Tres Álamos, September - December 1975
« I first laid my hands on a quena (Andean flute) when I was nine years old. It was resplendently fragile and lyrical. My passion for this instrument was immediate, or rather, the quena chose me. Five years later, aged 14, I had already become the quena player of a quartet in ​​San Antonio. »
[Read full testimony]

Published on: 06 January 2015


Saint Gregory’s Tonada (Tonada San Gregorio)

Author:
Pedro Humire Loredo
Testimony by:
Pedro Humire Loredo
« This tonada song* recalls the horrible situation I was subjected to in the cells of the police station in the San Gregorio district in southern Santiago. That afternoon of 11 September 1973, I was at school marking some music tests. After a while I heard a very loud bang on the door and went to open it at once. »
[Read full testimony]

Published on: 05 January 2015


Story of the Chair (Historia de la silla)

Author:
Silvio Rodríguez
Testimony by:
Eduardo Andrés Arancibia Ortiz
Place & date:
Cárcel de Santiago, 1980 - 1991
« This was one of the songs Silvio Rodríguez sang to us the day he visited the political prisoners in Santiago’s Public Jail in 1990. I had the chance to thank him on behalf of Víctor Zúñiga Arellano, a political prisoner who died in an escape attempt in 1987 in the Santiago Penitentiary, as this songwriter had been a treasured companion during Víctor’s life in hiding. »
[Read full testimony]

Published on: 05 January 2015


Futuristic Anthem (Himno futurista)

Author:
unknown
Testimony by:
Patricio Polanco
Place & date:
« In 1973 and 1974, Pisagua was characterised by the harsh and cruel treatment of political prisoners. Singing was mandatory for prisoners, who were guarded by Army platoons, and it was also a means to avoid beatings and collective mistreatment. »
[Read full testimony]

Published on: 05 January 2015


From the Poplars I have Come, Mother (De los álamos vengo, madre)

Author:
Juan Vásquez
Testimony by:
Luis Cifuentes Seves
Place & date:
Campamento de Prisioneros Chacabuco, November 1973 - February 1974
« Los de Chacabuco, a band created and conducted by Ángel Parra, performed this traditional Spanish song at the Chacabuco concentration camp. »
[Read full testimony]

Published on: 31 December 2014


Candombe for José (Candombe para José)

Author:
Roberto Ternán
Testimony by:
Sara De Witt
Place & date:
« We were in Tres Álamos barracks in September 1976. I don’t recall how many of us women were imprisoned there. I believe there were close to a hundred of us. »
[Read full testimony]

Published on: 29 December 2014


Ode to Joy (Himno a la alegría)

Author:
original by Friedrich von Schiller (lyrics) and Ludwig van Beethoven (music). Free version in Spanish by Amado Regueiro Rodríguez, aka Orbe (lyrics) y Waldo de los Ríos (music), popularised in Chile by Miguel Ríos.
Testimony by:
Amelia Negrón
Place & date:
« Preparations for that Wednesday night became more intense. It would be a different night. We women prisoners had secretly organised ourselves, but more importantly, we had also coordinated with the male prisoners. I’m not sure whether it was our idea or whether the men had proposed it. »
[Read full testimony]

Published on: 29 December 2014


How We Resemble Each Other (En qué nos parecemos)

Author:
Unknown. Popularised by Quilapayún
Testimony by:
Luis Cifuentes Seves
Place & date:
« During the 1960s the band Quilapayún popularised this old Spanish song in Chile. Víctor Canto and I performed it as a duet in Santiago’s National Stadium - which had been converted into a concentration, torture and extermination camp - from September to November 1973. »
[Read full testimony]

Published on: 23 December 2014


To Sing by Improvising (Pa’ cantar de un improviso)

Author:
Violeta Parra
Testimony by:
Claudio Enrique Durán Pardo (aka Quique Cruz)
« We made a Venezuelan cuatro from a large plank of wood attached to one of the walls of the "ranch" where we ate. »
[Read full testimony]

Published on: 23 December 2014