“Cinco: Rhythms for Dancers” By Armando Mafufo
Looking for a new sound and music styling for your troupe? Armando Mafufo’s new CD Cinco: Rhythms for Dancers fits the bill for new music that provides a sound that allows for creativity and showcases the rhythm loving dancer. This CD is also an excellent teaching resource providing a rhythm reference and moderate tempos to enable finger cymbal instruction. This CD contains 17 new original compositions by Armando Mafufo, percussionist for bands Sirocco and Orient’al, in Santa Cruz, California - he is a multi-talented musician who plays all of the instruments and also painstakingly recorded this fine multi-tracked CD.
Hear sound bytes on Armando’s website at: www.unclemafufo.com/music.html
- Hablando: A mellow 8 count Masmoodi rhythmic piece with a Latin Groove with Doumbeq, Zils, Bongo, and String Bass. This piece begins quietly, then builds in excitement as the Doumbeq plays more filled-in beats and the Trap drum add a syncopated rhythm. A rhythmical piece good for tribal dancers’ slow movements. Excellent piece for teaching undulations and layering shimmies and alternating between shimmies at the hips and in the shoulders as you perform.
- Tamzara Strut: This 9/8 Tamzara rhythmic piece features the Tuba, Tabla beledi, Doumbeq, Bendir, and Riq with cymbals. A Tuba solo begins and moves along then dynamically picks up sound and speed along with added cymbal crashes filling out the 9/8 rhythm for an exciting finish. A nice mellow and moderate rhythmic piece that gradually increases in excitement with deep String Bass and with additional exciting Doumbeq, and nice flourishes with cymbals and Def. An excellent piece for teaching 9/8 cymbals and tamzara dance.
- Hot Spot – drum solo: This 2/4 Karachi rhythm drum solo has an interesting and unique sound with Tuba keeping up a steady rhythm with Doumbeq and Def. Lots of syncopated action from the Doumbeq riffs. Short and sweet – nice for a festival performance with ¾ shimmies – lots of exciting syncopation for a fun drum solo.
- Afghan Seven: A sweet piece begins with a beautiful Nai/flute solo joined by a brass drum in 7/8 rhythm. Bells chime in along with Doumbeq to a very sweet Afghani 7/8 that features the Nai. Lots of interesting syncopation among the instruments.
- Bend Ear: This piece includes the “Bendir” a frame drum with snare strings running under the drum head. This mellow 6/8 piece includes Zils and Bass. Excellent piece for teaching ¾ shimmy with traveling dance movement.
- North African Tune: Maksoom 2/4 rhythmic piece with Nai, Doumbeq, and String Bass. A nice brief drum solo with sections highlighting other 2/4 rhythms such as Libi and Karachi. The Nai and drum solo sections make this a great piece to teach performance styling. This is the melody to the well known “Dance Samrah Dance” by Aziz Khadra and John Belezikian –– that moves into a nice drum solo section – then back to Nai music and the melody. The piece would be good for a duet in a troupe show.
- Low Fire – drum solo – Malfoof 2/4 rhythm begins with Doumbeq and Tuba holding a nice 2/4 beat. A different drum solo with String Bass, Tuba, Doumbeq in a driving piece ends with Tabla beledi accents. Fun drum solo with lots of pops, and drum rolls for an interesting dance. Good resource for teaching dancers to perform interesting drum solos – following the rhythm and also performing to the riffs with rolls, stops, and pops. Fun ending with 3 doums for a precision ending.
- Def Ending: This Moroccan 6/8 includes Doumbeq, Tar, Shaker Zils, Bendir, and includes Bell Machete and Tabla Beledi, in a nice mixture that would be great for an entrance or exit piece for a troupe show.
- Short Six: This 6/8 rhythm piece features Nai, Tar, Tabla beledi, and sticks. Nice to add as a short folkloric piece for a festival performance. Excellent for teaching ¾ shimmies.
- Shifty Santuri: This 8/8 Chifte telli rhythm piece features hammered Santur, Doumbeq, and Def. A beautiful haunting melody – nice for a gentle flowing floor dance with a veil. A nice long piece good for a large dance troupe and I can picture tableaus of dancers in different arrangements on the stage.
- Napoleon – drum solo: This is a 4/4 Wahida rhythm drum solo featuring Doumbeq with Def accompaniment. A challenging drum solo with lots of exciting rhythmic embellishments, then changes to solo Doumbeq with a slower speed, then picks up speed in a Walking Maksoom 4/4 with a nice ending. A perfect drum solo for teaching the art of matching dance styling to the drum solo – especially the drum and Def rolls.
- Cane Horn: This track features the Zoumada or Mizwig – (Armando also handcrafts these cane horns). A Mizwig solo with drone accompanied by Tar. A good piece to teach stylized taxim dancing to typical Middle Eastern style taxim with slow undulations that mirror the sound of the Mizwig – picture musical styling similar to the Islamic muezzin “call to prayer” or of “smoke rising from an open fire”. Excellent piece for a folkloric troupe dancing with snakes.
- Changes – drum solo: Nice drum solo that provides great rhythmic changes moving back and forth between Chiftetelli to Beledi and Ayoob; then into 6/8 rhythm and on to Beledi and back to Chiftetelli – then back to Ayoob giving the dancer the opportunity to show her knowledge and expertise of rhythms and dance. This would be an excellent piece as a class exam testing for a dancer’s improvisational drum solo proficiency.
- Slow Groove: Doumbeq and snare drum in a quiet duet with keyboard playing a slow piece that allows the dancer to perform slow, slinky, snaky moves layered with subtle shimmies. A nice mellow Masmoodi 8/4 rhythm that rolls along. Armando says “strut your stuff” – with Doumbeq, String Bass, and Cymbal. Definitely a great piece for a tribal fusion show that includes slow athletic movement.
- Dessert: Want more excitement at the end of a show? This piece features Doumbeq supported by a solid rhythm from a Def. Doumbeq delight with 6/8 rhythms on Bendir, into an Ayoob rhythm with bell, and cymbal flourishes. The piece pauses, then the Doumbeq in an echo chamber makes a re-appearance for a challenging Libi ending.
- Def Trance: This piece highlights the magnificent sound of several Defs supported by cymbals and Doumbeq. A rolling Masmoodi Kabir 8/4 with Tar, Gong, Bells. A “Def Trance Dance” – imagine on a distant horizon - the dancer moving to “sound like thunder and lightening” from large Def riffs that bounce off the kettle drums and the sound of heartbeats with dance movements that evoke the gut feelings of the heavy Def accents – great accents for an interesting Zar performance with floor work and hair tossing. Or perhaps floorwork with a sword. This is a nice long piece of music and I envision an entire stage of dancers performing a group sword dance.
- Chicadudum: The title of this piece is reflected in the rhythmic pattern that is a combination of Middle Eastern and jazz musical influences. The whole band with Tuba, the conga rhythm, with a New Orleans style rhythm and the Trap drum makes for a unique original musical piece. You will hear the Doumbeq, snare drum and cymbal, with Tuba playing a fun syncopation against the rhythm instruments. Like a 4/4 Baladi with the 2 doums. This piece would be great for class warm up or the ending of a troupe show.
To listen to sound bytes from this album go to:
Ma*Shuqa Mira Murjan (Los Gatos, CA www.MaShuqa.com) has been acquainted with Armando “Uncle Mafufo” Fojaco and performing together with him since 1976. Ma*Shuqa studied doumbeq with Uncle Mafufo, who has also taught several drum workshops at Ma*Shuqa’s studio in Los Gatos, CA. We’d love to hear your comments and stories about your special performances the Cinco CD. Armando and Ma*Shuqa both look forward to seeing festival performances with this music. You can send us messages about your dance experiences to Armando – at firstname.lastname@example.org and to Ma*Shuqa at MaShuqaDancer@gmail.com www.MaShuqa.com