Semester: Fall 2009
Course: MUS64 Computer Tools for Musicians
This is an electronic music composition based on the West African Ewe drumming piece Atsia Agbekor. During this semester, I studied drumming as a member of the Tufts African Music Ensemble. I was fascinated by the polyrhythms within the piece and how each different drum part had its own unique feel. The song starts with all drum parts playing the traditional Agbekor rhythms. As the song progresses, different groups of parts are then brought out with different palettes of synth, drum, and sax sounds. Constant changes throughout the song are meant to mimic the drummer’s experience of snapping their focus from one feel to another. The final few measures feature an ending rhythm traditionally played by the lead drummer to signify and synchronize the end of the piece.
All instruments were played and recorded by me. The African drums were using a Zoom H4 stereo recorder. Baritone sax was recorded with a Shure SM57 microphone. All other parts were created in Reason 4 and played in on a MIDI keyboard. All arrangements were done in Digital Performer 6.