Berimbau Music

  • Juan Diego Diaz
  • Quintet
  • 2020

“Berimbau Music for five tuned berimbaus, is an homage to American composer Steve Reich, who in 1972 composed “Clapping Music,” inspired by a West African bell pattern. In this piece, one performer claps the basic pattern while the second performer claps the same pattern, shifting its starting point systematically in the same direction along the time cycle until it comes full circle, finding itself in unison with the first performer once again.

In my piece I set a similar bell pattern and ask two of the players to steadily shift their starting points in opposite directions around the cycle simultaneously.

I am grateful for the wonderful work Arcomusical is doing to expand the repertory for the Afro- Brazilian berimbau and other African musical bows. As a researcher of Afro-Brazilian music and a long-term capoeira practitioner, I am aware of the symbolic power of the berimbau for capoeiristas and for Brazilians in general. I believe that Arcomusical’s innovative work is conducted with the utmost respect for tradition and for tradition bearers.” – Juan Diego Diaz

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