Today I have been creating Rhythms in a Sequencer called Percussion Studio,, in order to assist a group I taught at the weekend with their ongoing learning.
This is a rhythm called Mende, and is a composition of mine that was inspired by a series of workshops with a drummer from the Caribbean, who went by the name of Roger,some 15 years ago at a Festival called The Tribe of Doris
The rhythm is in a simple 4/4 structure and combines a number of instruments.
The piece is counted in by a Shaker, before the Djembe drum calls the group to a response.
In this version the group is only using one drum, a Tumba, in order to aid with the learning by keeping things simple.
You will then hear a sequence of the Tumba rhythm layered on top of the Shaker.
A second hand drum is then introduced, in this case the Djembe, and the two rhythms weave about each other in a motif that is supported by the steady shaker part.
The third drum sound to arrive is a Bass set called Dun Dun. Traditionally a set of three, we are using only two of them in this piece, the Dun Dun (Bass Tone) and the Sangban (Mid Tone), leaving the higher pitched Kenkeni to one side, although it is worth noting that I have written a variation of the rhythm which has added a Kenkeni part.
Now the whole ensemble is present and we move towards a Break in the rhythm which is essentially a call and response motif. The higher pitched Djembe calls and the Tumba/Djembe combo answer before the ensemble returns to the main groove for a while. The final part is another Djembe call to end.
For those of you that are perhaps not musical or rhythmic I hope the explanation provides some deeper insight into what is essentially a form of language.
Here is the sound file hosted by Soundcloud. I hope you enjoy.
Click the Orange button to play.