Posts Tagged ‘Malambo’

Anda Rondando un Malambo

26 februari, 2011

Voor het CD-project “Touched” (die binnenkort te koop is via DMP) schreef Carlos Passeggi een volledig ritmisch werk, getiteld Anda Rondando un Malambo, in het Engels vertaal There’s a Malambo in the Air. Het is een zeer speciaal werk geworden, met weer zeer veel invloeden van het geboorteland van de componist Argentinië. Lees hieronder de (Engelstalige) toelichting op dit werk:

This musical piece finds its inspiration in the Argentine folklore dance called MALAMBO. This dance, MALAMBO, is a typically and exclusively masculine dance, of a free structure, usually popular in areas from the central part of Argentina to the northern part of the country. It is believed that the dancer, or dancers, “imitate” the sound of the hooves of a trotting horse with the rhythm of their tapping dance.malambo2

Roughly speaking, there are two kinds of this dance: the “MALAMBO NORTEÑO”, from the north of the country, and the “MALAMBO SURERO”, from the south or rather, more precisely from the centre of the country.
The MALAMBO NORTEÑO has a more energetic and heavily marked rhythm in which the physical, rhythmical and choreographic dexterity of the dancer and the accompanying musicians is strongly demanded. The sound of the bombo legüero (Argentine folklore bass drum) and the dancer’s boots perform a very powerful 6/8 rhythm, by means of which there is a constant alternation of questions and answers, generally in a great crescendo, using even and odd notes.

The MALAMBO SURERO has a similar rhythm, in 6/8, but it is much more delicate and refined. In this variant, the dancer instead of wearing the ordinary boots, wears “botas e’potro”, which are simply a kind of horse-leather wrapping, with no heel or sole, in other words he is practically bare-footed. This is the reason why the dance is much softer, the use of the “bombo” much more delicate, and the guitar becomes the most important accompaniment of this version of the dance.

Now, this particular musical piece is more similar to a northern malambo; however, obviously,  it does not make use of the typical accompanying instruments;  neither does it pretend to be music meant to be danced, though it could well be. The typical rhythm is present since the very first bar in the bass drums, which play the same role of the bombos legueros in the traditional versions.

This piece is written for 11 percussionists: 2 sets of small rototoms which give the idea of a very simple melodic sound ( typical of a malambo),  making it convenient to tune the instruments in the suggested way, or at least keep a certain relation, 2 bass drums (acting as bombo legueros), 4 tom toms, 2 drums, triangles, cymbals, 4 kettle-drums, bongo tambourine ( the Brazilian tambourine without rattles), shaker and another tambourine.


That kind of  “irregular interpretation” is like the “swing” in many argentine folkloric genres like Chacareras, Gatos,  Zambas and others. Of course that “interpretation” most be combined with the regular 6/8 notes. Moments like endings or soloistics parts, or “fill ins” are specially useful for that “swing”. In the quadruplets, “repique” in the folkloric language (rebounds), it is important to respect the suggested digitations (generally L R R L ) because it may well be said that they are rudimentary in this style not only for the bombo but also for the dancer’s tapping.

The MALAMBO is a sure must in any Argentine folklore ballet because of its visual and sonorous impact. Despite the many videos on the Internet which can be of great help to fully appreciate this dance, do not ever miss the opportunity to see a malambo being danced live.  THE EXPERIENCE WILL BE UNFORGETTABLE!!!

Carlos Passeggi

Bekijk hier de pdf van dit werk.

Beluister hier een demo:

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