Carlos Arredondo, Carlos, Arredondo, Chile, Scotland, music, poetry, culture, Latin America  

Me defino un trabajador cultural por el tipo de labor que realizo.:



I am a singer/songwriter/musician
I am a self-taught musician and singer. I play Spanish guitar, Bolivian charango, Venezuelan Cuatro, Colombian Triple and a bit of Bolivian Quena. I have written more than 50 songs. I have been singing in Scotland for more than 30 years, becoming perhaps the oldest Latin-American performer in Scotland. I always sing in Spanish. My music and style have been inspired by the great Chilean folklorists, Violeta Parra, Victor Jara and by the "New Song" movement of the Americas of the 60s and 70s. My music also has been shaped by important events in recent Chilean history: The Presidency of Salvador Allende (1970-1973) and the Pinochet dictatorship (1973-1990). As I have been widely exposed to the Scottish folk scene I have also been influenced by Scotland musical culture.

I have performed all over Scotland, in Britain and abroad - in Chile, Peru, Canada, Italy and Sweden. I have performed many times in live shows for BBC radio ("Travelling Folk", "The Usual Suspects", Burns Supper celebrations, etc.) In December 2003 I featured for a half hour BBC radio programme called The World on our Streets". "Arredondo has the kind of voice that could chant the Santiago telephone directory and still tug the listener". Alastair Clark, The Scotsman.


I promote other people's music
The songs and music of Chileans songwriters Violeta Parra, Victor Jara, Patricio Manns, and of the Chilean band Inti-illimani have always been part of my repertoire. I also sung songs by Argentinean Atahualpa Yupanqui, Leon Gieco, Mercedes Sosa. I also sing Chilean traditional songs and songs from the Latin American repertoire. Also sing songs from what we call in Chile "El repertorio popular" ("the "Popular Repertoire"): boleros, tangos, Peruvian waltzes, and love songs. I have always encouraged to have in my cultural activities Scottish musicians and singers.




I write poetry and I promote the poetry of others

As I am a keen reader of Chilean poetry I have always encouraged poetry and the works of poet Pablo Neruda has been a constant feature in my cultural activities. I have always involved Scottish poets in my work and in many occasions I have been invited to take part, as a musician, in poetry events. In recent years I began to write my own poetry and although nothing has been published yet I have been invited, as a poet, to take part in poetry events in Scotland and Sweden. Some of my poems have been translated into English and I have translated other's people poems from the English into Spanish.



I founded FABULA (For a Better Understanding of Latin America)
FABULA is my cultural umbrella that I use to promote in Scotland anything related to Latin-America. My view is that Scotland is not concerned with Latin-America culture. Through Fabula I try to remedy it. In 2006 Billy Kay invited me to take part in his BBC radio programme "Freedom is a Noble thing" about Lord Cochranne, an admiral, involved in the Chile liberation struggle against the Spanish colonist in the 19th century.

I founded Latin America Canta en Edimburgo (LACE) and now I am working on an electronic paper called: 'Latin America en Escocia'

I have written extensively about my life in Chile.
I can explain nothing about me, about Chile, my political commitment if I do not provide those interested in Chile with an account of my background in the social and political context of my country. Years ago I began to write, "Una detallada reflexion de mi barrio" ("A detailed reflection on my neighbourhood") with a view to preserve in writing a story of my barrio which is in fact, "the Chile" of my nostalgias. I am proud to say that a tiny bit of Santiago of Chile has a written story. In some ways the Scottish Statistical Accounts provided me with ideas to write about my barrio.

I consider myself an enthusiastic keeper of the history of Chilean exiles in Scotland
On the 10th of October of 1974 a group of Chilean political refugees left London on a coach for Glasgow. I was one of them. Another small group of Chilean continued their journey the same day towards Edinburgh. We were in Scotland as a direct result of the bloody coup of the 11th of September of 1973 and carried out by General Augusto Pinochet against the democratically elected Socialist Government of Salvador Allende. Since my arrival I have been busy collecting all type of material related to the Chilean refugees in Scotland and the relationship that existed between the Chileans and the Scottish Solidarity Campaign. It is quality material which shows that our experience, as refugees, contrast greatly with those asylum seekers coming today to Scotland for safety. We Chileans in 1974 had a feeling that we were welcome by the government of the day, the Labour Party and by the People of Scotland. Today there is a felling that the government of the day, the Labour Party and section of the Scottish society careless about the refugee people. We in Britain are concerned in wars which help to create here a robust armed industry and in other places torments and misery for millions of people. The result of these policies is clear: the creation of millions of refugee people. Based on the material that I have collected through the years, I decided to write my own account about the Chileans refugees in Scotland with a view to preserve our history in the collective memory of this country and Chile. I called this account: "Una detallada reflexión de mi exilio y la de muchos chilenos en Escocia" (A detailed reflexion about my exile and that of many Chileans in Scotland) I am proud to say that those Chileans, who in this country assembles as political refugees, in the 70s and 80s, have a written account of their experiences. In some ways the Scottish Statistical Accounts provided me with ideas to write about Chileans in Scotland. Extract of this accounts are found within this web page. See Memories. I have also written in Spanish: "Detalladas reflexiones de una adventura en Londres" which translates in English as a "Detailed reflexions of an adventure to London" In 1998 Chile beat England 2-0 in a friendly football match and I was at Wembley celebrating the victory. I began immediately to write a story about my trip to London. A few months after the football game, General Pinochet left Santiago for London which resulted in his detention here. It was not difficult for me to return to my original story about the football match in order to continue with my London story this time with Pinochet in the middle: the Chileans football stadiums, after all, had been used by General Pinochet to torture and kill his opponents.

A lovely letter of thanks, in Spanish, and for the cultural work I do in Scotland,
from Vladimir A. Vega the cultural officer belonging to the Chilean Exile Organization: Chile Democratico.

1997: University of Edinburgh (Faculty of Arts).
Degree obtained: The General Degree: Master of Arts (with merit). I did Hispanic studies and subsidiary subjects: Scottish Ethnology. The History of Western Art, the History of Western Music and Western European History. Sept. 1993 - June 1994:

The University of Edinburgh (Access course).
1990 - 1993: Employed as a tutor of Latin-American studies at: The Centre of Continuing Education of the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow. My programme for this course included the exploration at introductory level of: Pre- Colombian civilizations, Post- Colombian culture, civilizations and history, Latin American literature, theatre, cinema, paintings, music, geography, topography, flora and fauna and current affairs.

Fluent in: Spanish, English and Italian.
I have been a member of "The Performing Royal Society" (P.R.S.), since 1989. I love football, Colo Colo is my Chilean team and Partick Thistle my Scottish team A Unison Shop Steward at my place f work..


  Carlos Arredondo, Carlos, Arredondo, Chile, Scotland, music, poetry, culture, Latin America