Arco Iris were/are a group from Argentine who brought a unique blend of ethno folk with jazz, and  progressive music, with pre-Columbian associations. They lived under extreme discipline under lead of the spiritual guidance of Dana, with Tibetan backgrounds. The group made several music concepts worth to trace. 


1º Formation: 
    Ara Tokatlián (winds), Gustavo Santaolalla (voice and guitar), Guillermo Bordarampé 
2º Formation: 
    Ara Tokatlián (winds), Gustavo Santaolalla (voice and guitar), Guillermo Bordarampé 
   Horacio Gianello (battery). 
3º Formation: 
   Ara Tokatlián (winds), Guillermo Bordarampé (under), Mario Cortez (keyboards), 
    Enrique Villafane (battery). 
4º Formation: 
   Ara Tokatlián (winds), Guillermo Bordarampé (under), Diego Rapoport (keyboards), 
    Nicky Mitchell (battery), Ignacio Elisavetsky (guitar). 
5º Formation: 
    Ara Tokatlián (winds), Guillermo Bordarampé (under), Diego Rapoport (keyboards), 
   Ignacio Elisavetsky (guitar), Jose Luis Gómez (battery). 
6º Formation: 
   Ara Tokatlián (winds), Guillermo Bordarampé (under), Milcho Leviev (keyboards), 
    Richard Madariaga (guitar), Chester Thompson (battery), Hartt Stearns (percussion). 



Gustavo Alfredo Santaolalla, together with Altar Tokatlian and Guillermo Bordarampé, formed several bands in the 60s (The Rovers, The Blackbyrds, The Crows) to play covers at first and later on, their own songs. 
After recording a 3-song demo tape for their group "The Crows", they met producer Ricardo Kleinman (owner of the successful radio show "Modart en la Noche") who agreed to sign them with the condition that they sing in Castilian and change their name! 
From that time, in 1967, the group Arco Iris or "the Rainbow" was formed and entered at the same time a new area in their life, still at that time with Gustavo Santaolalla (guitar and voice), Altar Tokatlián (winds) and Guillermo Bordarampé. Some drummers came and went from whom Alberto Cascino stood out. At that time Arco Iris was the group that investigated the South American sounds much more. 

The following year they published their first single with a late 60's pop tune "Lo veo en tus ojos
(="I see in your eyes") and "Canción para una mujer" (= "Song for a woman")(-there's no relation with the Vox Dei song with the same name) with orchestral arrangements by Rodolfo Alchourrón. another 
Kleinman demand -note the great similarities with the first Almendra single-) :
1969 - Lo veo en tus ojos/ Canción para una mujer (RCA Vik 31Z-1486) 

Months later Arco Iris released a second disappointing single 
1969 - Solo tengo amor/ Luisito cortate el pelo (RCA Vik 31Z-1569)

and met former Jean Cartier model Danais Wynnycka (a.k.a. Dana). The life of the members of Arco Iris ("Rainbow") changed radically when they met her because Dana turned out to become their 'spiritual guide'. Arco Iris became a community that worked in an old large house of the Buenosairean district of San Telmo. There, yoga in all its branches was practiced: the spiritual one, mental and the physical one, under the indications of Dana, who was also the daughter of a yoga teacher who emigrated from Tibet to Argentina. The Rainbow became the symbol what leaded them. They called themselves "the housewives of rock". There was much mysticism around. They all had also a symbol around their neck recalling the meaning of "the evolution of the man in the universe" and followed many rules for living. On the other hand they were also lead by almost too many rules and discipline. That part wasn't particular an pleasant memory, sometimes wondering if it still was healthy or necessary to do so, but they loved her presence (and lead) at the same time. The background of Dana is rather interesting and has significance in the story worth to mention:

From :

Danais Wynnycka was born in the Ukraine, like her parents. She was a survivor and third daughter, after two sisters passed away to short age. Her mother was a sensible and demanding psychologist. Her father was a diplomat and singing lyrical songs. For that reason Dana grew up in Rome, until in an accident, her father lost his appraised gift more: the voice. This distressed everything in such a way that they travelled to Tibet looking for a solution. Although he did not recover his voice, he found a teacher spiritual that changed his life. He lived three years in a monastery, of where he returned with his family to give them also a spiritual guide, slightly westernised. From the more negative vibrations that emanated Italy from two post-war periods, they now emigrated to a full site of positive vibrations, in the opposed pole of the Himalayas: the Mountain range of the Andes. With him it brought his wife and Dana, who was then 10 years old. 
"The Mountain range is an important pole of feminine energy. It is necessary that the Argentineans realize this, and they take advantage of it, although our geographic place is so isolated and near the pole. All our country is a very good place at vibratory level, and is so that there are great changes possible. Until that vibration becomes reality, the negative part makes pressure against it. As greater the light, as greater its shades". Dana was a kind disciple of the lessons of its father. She said that "never I was in the pavada ? one, nor I had fiancès ?. I listened my father and learned with him the bases of the spiritual search. I always used the principles of the medicine Ayurveda, the Feng Shui, acupuncture, the homeopathy, macrobiotic with him. With Altar we are vegetarian, never in the life we proved meat, neither we took alcohol, nor we used drugs, nor we smoked". 
Dana studied Rights, that was the education of her father. Then she left to study journalism, roaming that was left. 
"In a summer in the coast, I was chosen to 'Miss Sea'. Then I knew designer Jean Cartier, that prepared me to become mannequin. With which I won in the parades I paid the studies of my definitive race: I made Musicotherapy in the University of the Salvador." 
The nexus with Arco Iris made one lady of which helped with the changes express it of clothes to leave to the footbridge: she said to him that friends of their son were interested in their Eastern philosophy. 
"As soon as I knew them, I followed with them as their spiritual guide. I had a special capacity to give answers that filled peace to these boys of 18 years. They called her a teacher, because in addition she knew much of yoga and Zen culture..."
CD reissue
LP Ara Tokatlián & Enrique Villegas : inspiracion, (1975) 

Still in 1975 only solo album is released : Ara Tokatlian meets Enrique Villegas, with AT : alto & tenor sax, flute & percussion ;  and EV : piano ; Guillermo Bordarampe : bass & percussion . It's a rare spiritual jazz album. It includes a poems booklet . 

Two sides of jazzy improvisations. First side as a duo, second as a trio. First track is moody jazz improvisation of sax with piano. Second track is layers of flute of a New Age jazz improvisation. Third track is in so called spiritual jazz mode (sax, piano, bass). "Danara" is a jazz improvisation of flute, piano, sax and bass, with also some spiritual jazz touch.  Nice moody jazz album by Arco Iris members under the Arco Iris label.

Info : ; review I did of reissue here

Santaolalla and Gianello quit formed Soluna, with some new unknown musicians. They released a single in 1976 "Energía natural" / "Mañana puede ser el día". In 1977 they recorded an LP also titled 
"Energía natural" (although the self-named song was not included). It was a fine acid folkrock flavoured debut. I don't think it's longer associated with Arco Iris. 

Nice folkrock album and first project by Santaolalla and Gianello after having left Arco Iris. "Ella Despertaba" is an incredible romantic beauty highlight. It has Charly Garcia as guest musician.

(PS. From the new members Polizzi later played with the avant-symphonic band Bubu, and Alejandro Lerner is now one of the biggest ballad composers and performers of Argentina).

Complete members list at :

After this Gustavo founded Wet-Picnic, after the 1st Soluna´s record. The military coup and the new political situation forced Santaolalla to move with wife Campins to Los Angeles, USA. There he played in the pub´s circuit of the city.

Argentine Commune based Ethno Folk Fusion Progressive Music presents :

Danais Wynnycka
2nd version
Gustavo Santaolalla, taken from "Como vino la mano", Orígenes del Rock Argentino Miguel Grimberg, Editorial DISTAL, 1993
LP 1969-"Arco Iris" (or " Rainbow") (RCA 1165)****  

By the end of 1969 Arco Iris had begun already some sessions for their first LP "Arco Iris" (for RCA) , to be released finally in May 1970. The pink cover showed a triangular logotype that represents the philosophy of the group. The album includes some very beautiful songs penned by Santaolalla in a vocal pop-folk style with both acoustic and electric instruments. Among them "Hoy te miré", "Te quiero, te espero", "Canción de cuna para un niño astronauta", "Tiempo", and the lengthy "Y ahora soy". The latter sort of previewed the instrumental development of future releases. (WFMU airplayed "Abre Tu Mente" )
More audio : "Quiero Llegar", "Hoy Te Mire". Review of CD reissue on next page->

The album is a strong, consistent and very pleasant acid folk début.

Alberto Cascino quit in unease with the "community life" (this is the reason why he is not in the album cover). Several drummers replaced him until Horacio Droopy GIANELLO took the job. In January of 1970 the group was celebrated in the Beat Festival with the song "Blues over Dana" which became their third single for RCA afterwards. "The day which we arrived at the Sea of Silver, in an omnibus where all the groups went, we entered by Av. Constitution and there was a hallucinating Rainbow on the sea". It was as if that symbol indicated already that they were going to win. 
Almost simultaneously with the release of the singel the first LP of the band "Arco Iris" was released.
1970 - Blues de Dana/ Quién es la chica (RCA Vik 31Z-1639) 

They performed their debut album the 7 of April in a concert in the Lorange Theater of Buenos Aires. 
In the month of November of 1970 they participated in the first editing of the Festival B.a.rock that was carried out in the Municipal Velodrome. 

Arco Iris kept working at the studio, and released a single in January 1971: "Es nuestra la libertad" with B-side "Zamba", which showed their first attempt to mix rock with argentine folkloric music -style they developed ever since. 
1971 - Es nuestra la libertad/ Zamba (RCA Vik 31Z-1814) 

At this point they changed the record company. Now in Music Hall label, they cut a highly successful single, the now classic "Mañana campestre" (="Rustic Morning") (with a non-LP b-side "I am a left piece of sun" ) this time for the label 'Music Hall'. It became a classic at that time one of the great successes of the group and it initiated their folkloric tendency to come with their next two LP's.

1971 - Mañana campestre/ Soy un pedazo de sol (Music Hall)

first cover
Cabal LPL 9013
(there exist many different covers)-

In 1972 their former label issued "Suite Nº1" (RCA Vik LZ-1210), an album of singles and unreleased tracks (some sung in English!) from their first LP. ("Woman" is the English version of "Tiempo" and 
"And I want" is the English version of "Y ahora soy"). 

LP 1972-"Suite Nº1", (or "Nº1 Suite") (RCA 1210 mono/ RCA 1520)***°°  

At the titletrack "Suite n°1" and "Y Yo Quiero" their original acid folk style blossems. Here we hear soft vocals, electric bass, acoustic guitar only. Sung in English. These two tracks are very good !

1st version
LP 1977- "Los elementales", (or "the elements") (Cabal LPL 9013)***°/****° 

"Los Elementales" is perhaps a somewhat underestimated album. First track has very good Canterbury guitars, and a fine, somewhat freaky jazzrock approach. This sound is another logical evolution for the group. Most tracks has these fusion-jazzrock elements, and I think they work very well, especially the first and last most freaky tracks.

‘Elementales’ has been reissued and remastered lately so that I could give it a renewed listen. And I must say the album sounds even better than I remember on my first listen. It comes very near to the sophisticated sounds of Canterbury (Egg, Soft Machine), mixed with a doses of progressive rock (using seperately moving complex layers, while remaining to sound bright and logical). Highly recommended ! Two additional tracks are added, from a single from around this time. It is more compact rock tracks however with the same musical elements. Not absolutely brilliant as a single but still perfectly fitting with the album’s style. On my second listen on CD I grade it ****°

Without its leader, Arco Iris summon to Ignacio Elizabetsky (guitar) and Mario Cortez (keyboards). They publish "Los Elementales" (Cabal 9013)(or "the elements") (1977) with the help of some other musicians. It was a more jazz-rock oriented LP published together with a single ("Sin contratiempos" / "Los del casco de oro"- Cabal 101). 

Audio : "GOB(Mastero-Mago De Los Gnomos)", Necksa(Mastero-Mago De Las Ondinas)"
Full review of CD reissue on

1977- Sin Contratiempos / Los del casco de Oro (Cabal)

With this new formation they initiated the recording of a new LP, but in November again other changes took place. Cortez and Villafane moved away and their places replaced by Diego Rapoport (keyboards) and Nicky Mitchell (battery). This new group had its try- out 28 of November of that year. Altar Tokatlián published his first solo work at that time. Danais and Ara Tokatlian as basic members of the group also emigrated to LA, California in 1978, together they have held over 200 yearly performances at clubs, festivals and concert appearances in the greater Los Angeles area. There they had companions like Herbie HancockLalo Schifrin and Chester Thompson, among others. 

LP 1979- "Mañanas campestres", (or "rustic Mornings") (MH 2649) 

With a fusion of Latin rock with jazz they recorded two discs: "Cóndor " (1980) and "Faisán Azul (=The blue pheasant)" (1981). 

It is actually a compilation album of early work between 1971-1974. It does not contain any extra tracks that really makes it a must have.

LP 1982- Gustavo Santaolalla : "Santaolalla" 

In 1982 Santaolalla came back to Argentina and began his solo career . This album is in the same vein of "Clics Modernos-1983" of Charlie García or the "dancing-rythms" that you can find in Soda Stereo´s cds. From 1984-1986: Gustavo was the producer of the Leon Gieco´s greatest 3 cd work:"De Ushuaia a La Quiaca".

LP (rec.1981) 1986- "Faisán Azul", (or "Blue Pheasant") (CBS 20711)**  

This album was published in Argentina in 1986 and was presented/displayed live in the discoteca Paladium. This is a complete change in style again, because now the group uses much more Latin folk elements (also panflutes this time). There still is use of some jazz-improvisation, which is now a skilful, but more a stage-kind of entertaining style, which is less progressive. The musical explorations and the spiritual progression in music has been stagnated a bit to the stage of "mood" creation. This way the arrangements still have enough freedom in evolution to show a good sound. This was recorded in US. Still an enjoyable enough album.

1987- LP Ara Tokatian/ Milcho Leviev : tribute to Enrique "Mono" Villegas

Scarce pressing og this rare tribute to Enrique Villegas . Ara Tokatlian : alto & tenor sax , flute & percussion ; Milcho Leviev : avoustic & eletric piano. This rare album wsa recorded on 1987 and include a live perfomance of Tokatlian with Enrique Villegas. 

This album is reissued with Inpiracion in 2009. Review on

The group toured Europe in a show with renowned choreographer Oscar Araiz and the Gallet Contemporaine of Ange (Paris).

Ara and his vast collection of exotic Andean wind instruments such as the siku (pan pipes) quenas, pincullo, moxenio, erke (8 foot long bamboo horn which was used to send messages across the deep valleys of the Andes) are in constant demand for film work. 

1988- "Pipas de la paz", (or "Pipes of Peace")  

1992- "In Memoriam" 

In 1995 another Santaolalla LP came out, GAS came out, his second-soloist album.
In the meanwhile he also had produced the music in Amores Perros, 21 grams and The Motorcycles Diaries. 

1996-" Peace will save the Rainbow " 

Arco Iris latest recordings "Pipas de la Paz" (or "Peace Pipes"), "Peace will save the rainbow" received excellent airplay nationally. The lush and multilayered Peace Pipes reached #17 in the Jazz top-40 airplay. These release I heared must be a bit more New Age influenced in compairing with what they did before, but I can't be sure of that before hearing this.
"Ara and Danais live in a beautiful 100 year old cabin with an adjoining recording studio in the San Bernardino mountains. Their music and their lives is inspired by principles of universal brotherhood, acceptance and understanding of different cultural values, free artistic expression, and the goal of achieving the full human potential. All of this is communicated brilliantly and eloquently via this exhilarating magical music."


LINKS (-I used info of some of them to finish this page-):

Home page (of the latest version of the) group Arco Iris at 
Another page at
Another page at
More info at
Review in Spanish at
And three other pages at
Reviews of their items at 
A review in English of the group and their items at
Another sound file you'll find here : "manana campestre".
Gustavo Santaollala info :

Radioshow playlist at


You can also have a look at another ethnofolk fusion progressive music group 
from Chili (-living in Argentine for a while because of the coup in Chile-) : Los Jaivas.
from Chile : Los Blops

There are also some pages about Latin American Prog Folk

Go back to Argentine progressive music.
Go back to Argentine progressive music groups
Go back to the main index menu from my radioshow "Psyche van het Folk".


-All links are updated 2004-07-20- new remarks added 2010-2

To be even more confusing : on front of the CD reissue of "Tiempo de Resureccion" "Manana Tampestre" is writen as title.

In the month of August they presented the "Suite N° 1" in Danais in the Coliseo Theater. Víctor's "Suite N° 1" contained a long track in English that they had prepared for an attempt of American promotion that never came. 

In the month of November of that same year they returned to the Festival scene of B.a. ROCK III, this time in the Argentine field of the club Juniors. 

The album is also not so consistent in style, and varies from a more rock edgeto their recognisable acid folk style, like on "Tiempo de Resurrecion" and "Garza Celeste".

They also released a non-album 7" ("Llegó el cambio") : 

1972 - Llegó el cambio/ El niño, la libertad y las palomas (Music Hall 31888)

LP 1972-"Tiempo de resurrección", (or "Time of resurrection") 
(Tiempo : RCA 40011 ; Tiempo De Resurecion : MH 13000 )**°'  

At the same time, "Tiempo de Resurreción" (or "Time of Resurrection") their first album for Music Hall hit the stores. To mess things a little bit more, this record included a new version of "Blues de Dana", along with "Mañana campestre". The new folkloric-rock fusion was now clear, with the increasing use of saxophones and the distinguishing Santaolalla electric guitar. 

Audio :
LP 1970-"Blues de Dana", (or "Blues of Dana") (GROOVE 80020)**° 

RCA also issued yet another LP of singles and LP tracks called "Blues de Dana" (Groove 80020). 

Dana : "Several band members enamoured with me, and wrote very beautiful love songs to me. Gustavo Santaolalla very was in love with me. The famous "Blues of Dana" was composed with that feeling."
The title track and a few others are "blues" inspired, or "bluesrock", like "Para Vos". Others are more "folk" styled. Some of the tracks are more mainstream in style progression compared to the other albums. The track "Cancion para un mujer" is psychfolk styled.


There exist also  2CD/LP? set of this opera in English..

This is a first highpoint of the style of Arco Iris, with some more whistle instruments and arrangements. It is a kind of rock-opera which can be read on different levels. In some way it's the resurrection of the soul of South American people too, living close with the earth, with the joy it brings forth.


ACT 1 :
"On the right margin of a river a decay empire lies struggling in its own human miseries. The emperor, far from seeing the catastrophe lives occupied in the different aspects from his ill mind. Nahuel, a young Indian, living in one of the so many conquering areas of indigenous towns, in spite of being bred in the middle of the luxury, did not want to participate in the emperor's orgies and banquets. Instead he's sunk in deep sadness, every time when he remembers with love his days of childhood in the natural and simple atmosphere of its tribe, illuminated by beneficial rays of the cult to the Sun, that began to reflect in its core. He reflects the son of the Sun, while the continuous dark that surrounds it presses its heart with pain. Amancay, beautiful sun of its love, flood of purity and inner light, has disappeared in the middle of the chaos, said to have died in the forest. Plenty of grief Nahuel sings its sad song ("the song of Nahuel") in the solitude of its room. A strange sound calls its attention, with refulgente light. In the window appears a winged being as a great golden bird that singing the song speaking him of its spiritual evolution and of its inner fights ("song of the gilded bird"). As a bird in freedom Nahuel feels a flood of happiness coming over in its mind, and he is left calm. As being rocked in a nest its core begins to float on a sea of moonlight, until arriving at a sunset from the forest ("it travels astral"). There it finds an old teacher seated in the stone of the memory, under the tree of love, telling him "prepare the way/path, because I am the one that returns towards you ". Nahuel understands then that he is the Chosen one ("subject of the teacher"). He must reunite with six men (?) and start off for the North. When he finds and sees the Tree of Love he perceives music flowers. In its leaves the gold of the sun surrounding the silfos (?) and fauna dance with the tiny beings of the field. The hour of the illumination had arrived ("illumination"). Plenty of fervor let Nahuel return to the city ("tour") promising whoever to follow  freedom, peace and a great Spiritual Treasure ("sigueme"). Like a grieved blackness he feels like a stranger in his own earth, now waking up in his core freedom calls ("the black"). Three farmers who had arrived at the city looking for economic improvement, and an adventurous traveller, promise to accompany him in his goal ("the farmers and the traveller"). Also a nature student sees his omen fulfilled in the words of Nahuel ("the student"). At dawn all undertake the "game" ("oration of the game") happyly and full of enthusiasm. As result Nahuel gives its first message of light to its future brothers ("sálvense already"). 

The passage and arrival to the House of the Sun in hills. Undertaking this passage, the student listens to the sound of the voice, caused by the tree (Arbol) of Love with branches in his own interior, with its 
light flowers with its musical echoes of their light ("Memory"). The immense full plain of joy is animated by a same ideal they intone ("the song of the travelling ones"). The wind takes its voices back to silence. Nahuel watches the sky with a blue bird of infinite eyes that watch it from the distant sound of its voice ("Amancay"). Plenty of hope he has a feeling that she is not dead, and faith increases with a force in his interior. The landscape has changed and it resounds the sounds in the forest attenuated by the cotton fields, and by the arms of the workers who reunite all the rates and all the yearnings of all that is loved ("man"). Some time later the disappointed adventurer not having seen these new sensations decides to leave them ("desertion of the traveller"). The fact causes restlessness under its companions. The farmers show their lack of faith intoning ("the doubt of the farmers"). Like an answer to the doubt, when the black increases, faith attracts in the tree of the love bees who murmer with hapiness the song of Spring ("God breath"). To his return to the city, the traveller finds an new adventure, and reveals the plans of Nahuel to the emperor ("the traveller exposes the travelling ones"). Furious and sore by the abandonment of his hijastro (?) he sends an army of mercenarios (?) to persecute the travellers. In the heat of forest the battle takes place. The result is  that they catch and kill two of the farmers ("persecución of the travelling ones") while the third it is captured. Surprisingly a light shines in the sky and a luminous disc approaches and the golden bird indicates to the rest whereto they must escape. Three days across the underground galleries full of mineral echoes, as a guardian of silence ("Amancay travels by the underground galleries") they travel until the light of the 'New Aurora' attracts them towards the exit to the borders of an immense lake ("exit to immense the lake-illumination") that shines brightly in the sun, thus extending its arms until Nahuel leads them all to the encounter place ("encounter with Amancay-we pray") where other beings from the four cardinal points arrive as well. They waited a long time for the return to home. They have left much to do in this earth, where the blood never has been spilled, where the  leaves of the tree of the love are recorded in gold, and where the voice of the Teacher ("the hills and the teacher") smile to the crowd, saying "my children! Brothers of the New aurora! Live in harmony with the Creator and reflect that image in his children. It leaves the Rainbow as a symbol of eternal alliance in this new Era." (of South America).  

(Roughly translated from

A bit more detailed band information about the item you used to find at (new link ?)
A review from the album you can find at & 
Spanish review :
A sound file from the album you can find at
Some chords at


The double LP "Sudamerica o il regresso a la Aurora" with poster.

LP 1972-"Sudamérica, o el regreso a la Aurora" (South America or the resureccion of the aurora)***°°

Some time later Arco Iris presents its conceptual work, "Sudamerica o il regresso a la aurora" or "the South American opera or the Return of the Aurora", presented soon in the Stage River Plate during the month of October and in the theater 'Operates'. The album was published by the end of 1972 as a double LP.  In that opera they had made and printed a poster that they doubled in four (they were 5000) and did put it within each disc. The unusual programs that were triangular (our symbol). The asceticism had much to do, and gave them a kind of extra energy. Talking about that energy  : " In us there was a fantasy of the message, that thing of superman. It was not an invention but a truth into a kind of maximum sacrifice to become so... Music was my only goal, and I offered it everything in my life, until for example the relation with a woman. It gave everything by music... But we all had an impressive energy. It was the channel: music arrived. But I realize of which it was an ill thing. I did not have opportunity to chat. It was its own state of being. The outside of it was negative. There was some differentiates between the external world and the internal one. I always stayed to the margin, that means: through this group they pass the guidelines. Although we read Marx, Freud, and in the group that was not allowed, some of the sacred books (that Dana read). In addition there was no time to read, because there was always the necessary to drive all the day: to work, to do this, the other, to try (we did it every day) I arrived at Cuzco with Dana, touched stones and we cried. It cried like desperate. It was a weeping that came to me from inside " They performed in the Buenos Aires Festival Rock and the way they performed gave them an esoteric and magical touch him to be remembered in such a legendary way like Monterrey Pop and Woodstock. But the group and their opera never was understood completely. The group was regarded the first Argentine band that lived in community. They even wore communitarian clothes on stage. And they seemed to be busy with praying and until at least 8 at night. "Sudamérica", probably the highest point of Arco Iris' career, was an ambitious work both in musical and ideological aspects. It tells the deep political standpoint story of a heterogeneous group of pilgrims at the verge of the resurgence of an Old Latin-American Empire in a New Era. Musically, it achieves an excellent mixture between different Latin-American folkloric rhythms along with rock, blues and jazz using a wide range of native instruments. A truly masterpiece in it's own style. Although it is a whole work,we can single-out tracks like the bluesy "La canción de Nahuel", the beautiful "Gira", the continuity of "Sígueme", "El negro" and the rhythmically rich "Los campesinos y el viajero", the brave "Sálvense ya", the lengthy "Hombre" (featuring a great fuzz guitar solo), "Persecución de los peregrinos" (with killer guitar), and the superb carnavalito finale "Sudamérica" (also released as a single). (Carnavalito is an uptempo dance style from the Altiplano -at the Northwest of Argentina and South of Bolivia and Peru). Sudamérica o el Regreso a la Aurora is, in short, a highly recommended album for those willing for new -and I mean NEW- sounds. An instrumental percussion fragment of "Hombre" is played live on the movie Rock hasta que se ponga el Sol (filmed at the BARock Festival), thought it is not included on the Soundtrack LP.

LP 1973- "Inti-Raymi" (MH 13059)**°

In 1973, continuing with the idea that was shaped in "South America or...", they published "Inti Raymi", a new Lp of the band was released and was presented officially the 5 of November in the Theater once more. The record was good altogether though not as good as its predecessor. Both Sudamérica and Inti Raymi feature great cover artwork, based on pre-Columbus motives. The original edition of Sudamérica was released in a box -it was later reissued with a foldout cover- and included a poster. At this point, Arco Iris was also known for their highly controversial live appearances.

Sometimes this is a bit like "the Suite" LP or like "Sudamerica" without being as solid and effective. The title track is best. Still one of the less interesting albums.

LP 1974-" Agitor Lucens V" (MH 90972/3 )****° 

The 7 of June of 1974, Arco Iris returned once more to the scenes of the Coliseo theater with another conceptual work. Where the native elements were still there on their last album it was even more worked out with some symphonic edge. This work was titled "Agitor Lucens V", being published by Music Hall. So it was not exactly an opera, the "story" this time was based in the alleged relationship 
between the pre-Columbus native culture and visitors from outer space. Without losing their identity, the music was more symphonic oriented with long instrumental segments and heavier use of keyboards. To promote this interesting album, Arco Iris joined efforts with reputed argentine choreographer Oscar Araiz and played some unforgettable ballet and group shows. 

-The album has some of the most progressive moments of Arco Iris.-

“Agitor Lucens V” was based upon an audio-visual project which came first, called "the Cosmos and the Fifth Man". The piece was also transformed into a ballet version with choreography by Oscar Araiz. Both parts of it were presented in France, one in 1974, the second one in 1975, this time without Arco Iris (?).  

The music for it was recorded in 1974, and was presented in the Coliseo theatre. 

It was about an extraterrestrial being that visited a native civilisation. If I understood well 'Agitor Lucens V' was member of some dynasty and had, according to native sayings, lossed the mothership. The latin “Agitor” means “moving” while “Lucens” comes from “light”. There are some connotations refering to the Christians coming with Columbus, changing the nation, because there was a prophecy waiting for them to come. Not sure to how this story explains this historical point of change. Any how, the conceptual disc surely describes also some triangle of important words : “metaphysical, space and monumental” also associated with the Mayan Inca. The music itself is therefore also much more progressive/symphonic with lots of organ, a Pink Floyd-like heading-for-space mode of symphonic psychedelica, (in this case a let's say more a “peyoteria” kind of psychedelica), with some sax and flute, with various jazz-rock and even more progressive guitar riffs, with some folkloristic background song elements, to the point of the liturgical. Here Arco Iris style is at its most impressive and progressive, and transcendent. The album should also refer somehow to the approach of our roots in a revolutionary form that search for the infinite space heading metaphysician, different from the one line lineair concept of thinking which if I understood well came along with the Spanish Christians.

The back of the LP says : 

"en la casa de mi padre hay muchas moradas." Q.14:25

A que "casa de mi padre" se referia el maestro Jesus, sino al universo y la inmensidad del infinito ?

Y las "muchas moradas" de mil milionas de mundos serian solomente globos siderales que el padre puso a navegar el el océano cósmico dal infinito, 
completamente vacios para servir de regalo a los ojos de los habitantes pequenio planeta ?

"in the house of my father there are many who dwell there".

At which "house of my father" refers Jesus here, 
other than the universe and the immensity of the infinite ?

Are these "several thousands of dwellings" in the milions of worlds where the father sails the cosmic
ocean infinitely, so specifically meant to serve as a gift for those "eyes who see" 
of the inhabitants of this little planet ?

Spanish review :

from CD reissue
This is another conceptual piece, much more progressive as ever. Perhaps this shows Arco Iris at moments at its best. The 1442 long track has a fantastic progressive passage with electric guitar, electric bass, organ, drums. Especially the guitar solo is incredible. While the first album was more acoustic, especially the first track of the second LP continues in this vein. Second track has some jazzrock touch. Also some folk elements here and there. Then the progressive fusing guitars, drums and bass are back on. "Lucens V" is a "nanana" vocal track by Dana, with flutes, bass, quite guitar. (She's listed on the LP as "spiritual guide" and choirs). Track 9 is a jazzfusion-rock track lead by the sax mostly. With nice fusion bass by Bordarampe.

At this highlighting point it is really sad to know the singer and founder of the group, Gustavo Santaolalla (voice and founder of the group) and Horacio Gianello (drums and percussions) left the group some months later (in July 1975). They called the last left over recordings "Ceferino Namuncura",
which was supposed to be recorded for a new, now unfinished album.