Hey look, it’s the Alturas Duo: Back for the third time

Written by Malika Muhammad   // November 11, 2011   // 0 Comments


On September 14th, the internationally famous group Alturas Duo graced the campus of CCBC for third time. Their performance was held at the Q building in the auditorium at 12:00pm. The concert was very intimate with a total of 30 students attending. At the concert the duo performed truly inspirational pieces.

The majority of the songs they performed were commissioned by the Alturas duo. For such a small group they have definitely had a big impact on the industry of music. “The pieces we left behind” was one of the many songs played by them. It was written by Ronald pearl who is from Baltimore, Maryland. The duo skillfully balanced rhythms of Chilean and Canadianmusic effortlessly. Other songs performed by the Duo included “Ventolera”, “Studio Para Charanga” and “Grooves.

Their performance of these songs was so amazing that some students risked the chance of being late to class just to hear the end of their set.  On stage they incorporated their carefree spirits and light hearted attitudes by cracking jokes and interacting with the guests. It was truly amazing to watch the duo play with such simplicity and stability.

Professor Donna Distefano who teaches Fine and Performing Arts invited her class to watch the duo perform. She stated how she saw the way music brought people together as she watched the Alturas duo perform. She observed “Here’s a guy from Chile and a guy from Canada who share the same interest in music”. She spoke extremely highly of the duo pointing out“They were both virtuosos and depicted incredible virtuosity in their musical performance.”

Professor Distefano brought light to the fact that they have inspired not only composers but also people who make the instruments as well. One of the pieces commissioned for them by Ronald Pearl ended up being one of the best pieces they had ever played.

The Alturas duo formed 10 years ago in college throughout the Julius Hart School in Connecticut. Since then they have performed in various places in the world including Brazil, Canada, Chile and the United States. Their unique collaboration of theAmericanguitar, viola and charanga delivers an extremely balanced and unique sound. This sound has earned them several awards and countless competitions.

The duo consists of Scott hill a guitarist from CanadaandCarlosBoltes a native of chile who plays the viola along with the charanga. The guitar that Scott Hill owns is one of a kind and was made by Alan Chapman. It differs from that of a normal guitar due to the placement of the sound holes in the upper bouts instead of where it is normally placed. This gives the instrument the ability to deliver a louder sound. One other interesting fact is that the instrument that Boltes plays is made from an armadillos shell; ironically it also delivers a forceful sound.

When asked how Scott hill and Carlos Boltes came up with the name “Alturas Duo”Hill admitted, “We just researched things online that Canada and Chile had in common-which was nothing except the mountains,” hence the name Alturas, which means the heights and duo of course for it being two of them. When asked about how life was treating them the last thing Carlos Boltes stated was “life…life is good”.

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