Brazilian rhythms afoxe ijexa educational products drumming percussion ethnic

Kim Endorses LP products and maintains an active schedule of teaching and performing work. He is based in the San Frn

He is one of Rhythmweb's recommended teaching resources.

Visit Kim Atkinson at Pulsewave



Speaking of Rhythm Volume 1
Afoxe by Kim Atkinson
Review by Eric Stuer

When we decided to start doing reviews here at rhythmweb, I knew one of the teachers whose products we'd want to cover would be Kim Atkinson. We met Kim way back in about 1995 at the NAMM show in Anaheim. He was kind enough to spend an hour giving us tips on shekere technique, as we sat in a motel room one evening. Now, nine years later, we are still working on what he gave us that evening. We have the basics of it, but the applications are endless. That, to me, is the mark of a solid teacher.

Kim has a variety of educational products at his website, Pulsewave, and although i wanted to get everything there, I decided instead to start with the first volume of his "Speaking of Rhythm series, which features the Northern Brazilian Rhythm AFOXE.

Speaking of Rhythm is described at Pulsewave as, "a multi-volume set of instructional CDs covering a range of common ensemble dance rhythms from the Caribbean, Brazil and Africa. The instruments used are conga drums, bells, sticks, shakers and scratchers." They go on to say , "The teaching is meticulous and involves you in learning to speak syllables that mimic the sounds of percussion." The Speaking of Rhythm series, then, is intended as a return to the Aural/Oral tradition, and can be regarded as using a logical extension of Baba Olatunji's Gun Go Pa method.

For volume one, Kim introduces "Gun Go Pa", with specific hand references (the syllables gun go and pa are dominant side and dun do ta the non-dominant side, etc.). This arrangment of Afoxe requires only Baba's drum syllables. Later volumes of Speaking of Rhythm add other strokes, such as ku, tu for muffled strokes etc.

(For a more detailed audio introduction to the syllables used in the Speaking of Rhythm series, Free from pulsewave, click here. You can hear it all in this 6 minute audio introduction.)

Volume 1 Afoxe

The audio tracks are very clear and well recorded, and the individual parts are expounded slowly and carefully, so that even the newest newbie can let it soak in. Three conga parts, two bell parts. Clave. There are exercises which involve clapping clave while speaking the rhythms.

The parts more advanced players will find useful are the longer sections: Kim includes two 16 minute mixes that are very useful, including one where the mix changes as it goes along to include various combinations of the parts. This is good for guessing which part just dropped out or came in, and good to supply the missing part, and so on. During one section it is quite a challenge to discern which agogo bell is playing what; they entwine very subtly..

All in all, the speaking of rhythm series is a real good resource. Good work, Kim. We look forward to seeing other volumes. Visit Pulsewave

Eric Stuer, 2004

More notes ! (SIDE NOTE FROM STU) Of course, you know me; 1st thing I did was locate the individual parts and type them into notepad and jot them down with a pencil in a portable notebook in standard notation, for reference..:-)they are useful to my western brain; please forgive me you guys.. i have been jotting stuff down for so many years that it is like second nature to me..I use the syllables too..

x..x..x...x.x... x..x..x...x.x... [clave]

ll.h.hh.l.l.h.h. ll.h.hh.l.l.h.h. [agogo]

h...h.l.h...h.l. hh.hhll.h...h.l. [agogo2] (starts on 4)

b...b.t.b...b.t. b...b.t.b.t.t.t. tumba

high drum , middle drum , etc.

Incidentally, While surfing "Ijexa" I came up with some useful stuff at this page:

The atabaque parts given there are different from the ones in Kim's version of Afoxe, but they all fit together..I was curious about the relationship between Afoxe and Ijexa, and I had a couple of questions, so I wrote to kim:

Hi Kim
I'm enjoying the CD; you've done a real nice job, and the 16 minute sections
are very helpful.. I have two questions about this arrangement of
1.Is there a particular recommended afoxe/cabasa part?
2. Is there ever a part for surdo or tan tan for Ijexa? (I have not come
across one previously, but you never know for sure unless you ask.)Most of
the Candomble realated stuff does notinclude those instruments,right?Are
there other stick drums that take over that function in such situations?

kim wrote back:

Hi Stu. The casbasa Afuche part is your basic and a one - and a two. You
can hear some of the things i did on the intro music, its sort of like the
samba part but with a squarer feel. Straight upbeats sounds good too.

Ijexa is a Candomble rhythm and is origianlly played on atabaques with
hands. The parts are very similar to Afoxe, only simpler. Read the stuff on
my site about it. In a ceremony when the atababques are being played with
sticks ala ketu or gege style, if Ochun arrives there are a few different
rhythms that can be played for her with sticks, but many times the drummers
switch to ijexa (with hands). Ijexa has become a very popular rhythm in
Umbanda and has spread out from there.

Use of the Surdo or Tan Tan is in my opinion what makes one of the major
differeces between Afoxe and Ijexa. Surdo mean party or parade, Atabaques
means ceremony. The Afoxe surdo or tan tan part is 2 an , 4an either with
the 2 and 4 or not. You can hear this as the bass line in many Giberto Gil
cuts. Again its sort of like a squared off samba part, no 16th note
anticiapation of 1, just 8ths.

I learned songs in Ijexa language for Exu, Ossain, Yansa and more as well
as the original versions of the Oshum songs, from Jorge Alabe' ( if you
ever get a chance to study with him, he is the best) .

all the best

Well, this had me thinking, because as luck would have it, Jorge Alabe is currently living in San Antonio, only 4 or 5 hours away frm me..hmm..maybe I can stop by on my way to Corpus Christi this coming summer and get a few days in.. I suppose I'd better woodshed these AFOXE & Ijexa parts in the meantime..i would love to do california brazil this year..then I would probably get to study with Jorge Alabe AND Kim Atkinson.





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