When Pavelid Castañeda was a
boy in Colombia, his older brother returned
from the eastern part of the country, Los
Llanos. The brother, who had been working as a
cowboy sang the beautiful songs of the llanos
that captured Pavelid's imagination.
Pavelid developed a passion for the
harp music of the Llanera, but realizing his
dreams was an elusive pursuit. His family
was too poor to purchase a harp, so Pavelid
mastered other more accessible instruments.
When he finally studied music at
the university, he had to major in piano
because the music department didn’t consider
the harp a legitimate instrument.
As a young man he immigrated to New
York, taking few possessions and even less
A few years later, he got a chance
to play at a Mexican restaurant, but the
owner didn’t want him to play the accordion
he had picked up. So Pavelid sent for his
wife who had stayed in Colombia and told her
to bring his harp.
Here he plays Carau Carau, based on
the legend of a feckless boy who is
transformed into a mournful bird.