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Um Só

  • Alexis C. Lamb (b.1993)
  • Solo

Within the tradition of capoeira, the berimbau is always performed with a caxixi rattle. Similar to other instruments of African origin, the rattling is not only an additional layer of color and sound, but it is also considered a symbol of the prescience of ancestral spirits in the voice of the instrument itself. In all of the other pieces written in the MeiaMeia song cycle, we opted to not use the caxixi, instead favoring our exploration of harmony and melody.

In um só (or “only one”), I chose to bring the caxixi back into the music to pay respect to the berimbau’s tradition. I utilize the caxixi both as an independent instrument and as accompaniment to the berimbau. When these two instruments intertwine at the end of the piece, their voices become one. Their coexistence is reflected in the title of the work.

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