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.