GENERAL INFORMATION FROM THE TUTORS
The Cuban element of the weekend will draw on ritual rhythms from the traditions of batá, bembé, and arará music to construct on ‘oru’ (a cycle of praise songs and rhythms) dedicated to a number of Orishas. Familiarity with the claves of this music lies at the start of all study of all Orisha music. Only from this solid foundation can we build the elements of the fixed rhythm section that provide the framework for the speaking drum. The role of this important improvising element, the speaking drum, will then be explained and a context provided for the phrases and improvisations taught. Emphasis will be placed on the rhythmic function of the songs as well as their melodic, lyrical and ritual characters, and the social function of the music as a whole will also be discussed.
The course will be a total emersion in Orixa rhythms and songs. We will study several different traditions and styles and every member of the group will be encouraged and pushed whatever their level of experience. This is an intensive residential course with playing and tuition going on into the evenings making the most of the time we have together.
Time will be available to socialize with the study group and discuss the rhythms and songs with each other. We will eat, have fun and enjoy music together in a supportive, structured, focused and fun learning environment.
If you haven’t already, we know you will fall in love with these fascinating and beautiful rhythms and song sequences. By the end of the course the songs covered will stay with you forever, enriching the sound track of your life. This will be a very special opportunity not to be missed.
“It’s expanded my knowledge quite considerably. Myself and two others, who were on the course, are now working on this music to ensure we build upon it. I wouldn’t have had the confidence to do that before.” – Percussion and songs of the Orixas participant March 2016
Further information from the tutors about this course:
About singing and playing:
Singing and playing simultaneously is one of the most important areas of any percussionists’ development. This skill and ability will enable you to focus your musical mind in several different areas at the same time enabling you to detach from the physical act of playing drums and focus on the bigger picture of the whole arrangement. Whether you play Samba, Cuban percussion, Maracatu or West African djembe rhythms, this skill will be invaluable to your personal development as a player or teacher.
I can’t sing. Is this course for me?
The songs of Candomblé can easily be accessed by all. By singing together, in unison the energy of the group takes over the focus of the arrangements. As long as you can make a note, any note, then this course is suitable for you. We will teach the melody lines in bite sized chunks and work to the level and speed of the group.