"Marimba in a can"

"Marimba in a can"

Calixto Raúl Araújo Monroy (Colombia)

The Alabao and the Gualíes are the songs with which the blacks of the Afro communities of the Colombian Pacific, accompany the ritual of farewell of their dead; with the belief that with the song they help the passage of the deceased to eternity. The alabaos are for adults and the gualíes for children.

In this experimental process of composition we wanted to unify this rite, taking as reference an alabao interpreted by Helena Hinestroza and imitating the initial phrase on the deployment of a choir of children's voices that will develop, improvised, the initial idea of the alabao.

The harmonic base of the marimba in Tonic and Dominant, over percussions of timbales and gong that resemble the tempest of the Chocoan jungle and at the same time the pain of the community for the murder of their leader; they move over a prepared piano, repeating approximately every 4 pulses, what the choir has just sung as a continuous response.

Subsequently, and on the rhythmic basis of the currulao of the Pacific Region, elements of the melodic structure of the "marimba de chonta" were taken from renowned marimberos from the region such as maestro Hugo Candelario and Jackson Ayovi, and they were interpreted on a sampled instrument. conventional marimba, respecting the pentaphony of the construction of the heritage instrument. Over repetitive synthesized percussion, the marimba motifs are taken up by a simple synthesizer voice, over which a solo mezzo-soprano voice sings, while virtual synthesizer loops move randomly across the listening pan. The currulao ends this proposal of composition exercises.

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