Abakua - Interview!!!

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Re: Abakua - Interview!!!

Postby TONE74 » Thu Aug 28, 2008 1:07 pm

Just read this article on afrocubaweb. Ivor Miller the person who wrote the abakua article was involved so I figured I posted here also.

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Re: Abakua - Interview!!!

Postby jorge » Sat Aug 30, 2008 2:56 am

Yeah, I hope they can work out the politics over there without anyone getting killed.
By the way, Tone74, I just saw your post from Sept 10, 2007 and wanted to respond to the question of playing Abakua rhythms in public when Abakua members may be present. I wasn't there at the situation you described, but it may or may not be related to the Abakua. There is a lot of posturing that goes on at rumbas, not just with the Abakua guys, people get attitudes for many different reasons. Some of it is legitimate, like when your timing is off, or you cross the clave, play the rhythm wrong, play the wrong part, or play over the singer. Some guys may give you constructive criticism (especially if you ask them), some just get up and walk away in disgust, depends on their mood, their blood alcohol level, who else is watching, their verbal communication skills, and other factors. Other times it is just that you are not playing what they want to hear at that particular time, like when you play a yambu or slow columbia and they want you to play faster, or you play a part Matanzas style and they want Habana style. It does seem to be a little more so with the Abakua guys when you play Abakua rhythms. When you ask them about it, some of them are old school and object to anyone who is not Abakua playing Abakua rhythms. Others don't mind as long as you play the part right. Once the Abakua singing starts and the iremes start dancing, you know its cool. Some have told me that it is ok to play any of the Abakua music as long as you are outside the sacred room where they do the secret ceremonies (ie, anywhere outside La Habana or Matanzas). Others have told me it is ok to play any part except the bonko enchimiya part, that only Abakua initiates should play that part, and only in ceremonies. That interpretation does seem inconsistent with the fact that many recordings have been made of Abakua music by Abakua members, even instructional recordings like the Abakua CD in the Antologia de la Musica Afrocubana. Bottom line, if you are in doubt, it is probably best to ask them, that way they see that you are sensitive to the issue and respect the culture.
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