This weekend aims to expand our view of Orisha music by including a more in-depth look at ritual Orisha music in Cuba while at the same time developing the work on Candomblé rhythms and songs taught in the first course. This special weekend is set in the beautiful Lancashire countryside in Saddleworth, on the outskirts of the Peak District.
Knowledge of the orishas/orixas arrived in Cuba and Brazil with the first West Africans transported from their homelands from what are now Nigeria and Benin. Over the following centuries many different local practices arrived with knowledgeable priests, musicians, dancers and herbalists from all parts of this huge area. Many of these were added in to the main body of Orisha worship in these new locations while others established strong local roots that have led to independent traditions of their own. This process has led to a huge diversity of Orisha practices that can seem confusing and daunting to musicians starting to investigate this beautiful ritual music.
This weekend aims to provide an insight into some of the connections, similarities and differences between the music of the Orishas in Cuba and Brazil. It will establish strong building blocks to aid continued study of the ritual praise rhythms that have developed independently in both countries. Each rhythm will be built in relation to clave and the function of each drum of the ensemble. The role and voice of the speaking drum in many of its different forms, rum, caja, iya, yanofo, will be explained and examples of phrases and conversations given. Songs will also be taught for each of the praise rhythms and we will spend time strengthening the familiarity and ability with singing and playing at the same time that was started in the first weekend.
This intensive study residential weekend will be accessible for all players who have experience in hand or stick drumming, nurturing beginners and improvers as well as challenging even the most experienced players. The course is designed to delve deeper into Orisha/Orixa percussion and songs as well as allowing time and space to sing, play and enjoy these beautiful age-old musical traditions, together.
The residential weekend will also include an optional Carnival rhythms day that will explore the relationship between traditional ritual rhythms and songs and more modern Carnival styles. The group will have the opportunity to play Carnival arrangements, drawing influence from traditional Orixa / Orisha rhythms on Carnival parade instrumentation. A great way to celebrate the achievements over the weekend and place the knowledge into another more familiar context.