Tim Irrgang djembe, drum kit, surdo Jim McCarthy djembe, vibraphone, glockenspiel Kevin Tuck djembe, bass guitar, darabukka Simon Varga djembe, conga, wind chimes, steel drum
Nothing matches the experience of percussion up close - it's loud, it's exciting and it's fun! The four sensational players of The Rhythm Works deliver a new program in 2004 that covers an enormous range of percussion music from African drumming to Caribbean inspired steel drum melodies and fast exciting latin tunes. Yours students will be motivated and inspired by the live musical energy!
Kevin Tuck, one of the four members of The Rhythm Works, wrote Sam the Callipo Man, inspired by a fusion of two different music styles: the calypso from the Caribbean and the samba from Brazil. The melody features the steel drum, a melodic percussion instrument from Trinidad and Tobago, which is the most widely recognised instrument from the West Indies.
The melody of Sam the Callipo Man is played throughout on the steel drum and is accompanied by the vibraphone, bass guitar and drum kit.
The drum kit is played with brushes during the A and B melodies and then has a short solo followed by a call and response section with the other members of the group and the audience.
Lemon Merengue Pie
Lemon Merengue Pie is a piece based around the Merengue (pron. ‘me- ren-gay’) rhythm, which is a feature of the national dance of the Dominican Republic, and its neighbouring island Haiti. One of the members of The Rhythm Works, Kevin Tuck, wrote the piece originally to assist in teaching his students the Merengue rhythm.
The most characteristic dance step of the Merengue is stepping to the side and then dragging the other leg together matches the Merengue rhythm.
It is also possible the Merengue musical style took its name from the confection made of sugar and egg whites because of the light and frothy character of the dance or because of its short, precise rhythms. In Haiti, the dance is even spelled ‘Meringue’.
This piece, written by Simon Varga from The Rhythm Works, features four Djembe (pron. ‘jem-bay’) drums. Simon was inspired to write this piece in order to explore the wide variety of sounds available on the Djembe and the range of textures or layers of sound available with four drummers.
Traditionally, Djembe drumming music is played at rituals and festivities where singing and dancing often takes place.
After an atmospheric introduction, the piece starts with a resounding ‘call’ featuring all four drums in unison, and then moves through several sections which feature all of the different sounds available on the djembe and a variety of textural combinations.
When composing Mystical Traveller, Kevin Tuck was inspired by the music written for the Middle Eastern drum, the darabukka. Many of the rhythms usually played on this drum are based around groups of 3 and 2, which seem to fall into a trance-like rhythm when repeated over a simple harmonic structure.
Mystical Traveller comes from an idea of a traveller who doesn’t know his destination – he knows he is going somewhere, but as yet doesn’t know where. Consequently, he keeps coming back to familiar territory, which is represented by the return of the melodic theme played on the vibraphone.
The piece is in two main sections, the first loud and confident, and the second quiet and reflective.