Published On: Tue, Feb 19th, 2013

Bang

a dance

By John Latimer

Bang to the beat of the drum, groove to the infectious rhythm.  Actions synonymous with Ayawara, an Afro percussion band based in Glasgow for the past seven years.

The group play diverse rhythms and songs of traditional West Africa and the West Indies. The music is played on ‘djembe’ and ‘dundun’ drums, as well as a variety of other percussion instruments such as bells and shakers. The result, a fascinating vibrant tapestry of rhythms originally played during celebrations (such as religious occasions, harvests or victories), work and initiation rites.

Erick Mauricia, group leader, said, “We have a very energetic, committed and hardworking team of individuals.”

Practice sessions take place in the Mel Milaap Centre, 134 Berkeley Street, Glasgow, G3 7HY. Dance sessions practice separately from the percussion group and then both collaborate in order to familiarise themselves with routines in their full splendour.

As well as performing at events and venues, the group are at the heart of the community promoting music through, council projects, school projects, classes and workshops. They have a passion to broaden musical and cultural awareness.

Emphasising the diversity of the group is Bruno Lowit, the Musical Director.

“I was born in France and have been a percussive musician for thirty years, fifteen years of those experimenting in a more purposeful way. My western influenced theory and approach compliment that of Mauricia’s African derived cultures and sounds.”

Origins of the group range from African to Scottish, including French, Czech, Slovak, Spanish and Iranian.

High intensity routines fuelled by passion energy and spirit is at the very heart of this ambitious cohesive unit.

Bruno Lowit, said,  “It takes concentration, application and patience especially when practicing or performing new routines.

“At any one time, there can be six rhythmic patterns being produced by nine different instruments.”

Lowit as well as conducting the percussive elements within the group also showcases solo rhythms during routines. Ad-libbing at its finest.

As well as empowering people to make their own music, Ayawara aim to provide a motivational experience, especially in relation to development of individual and group working skills. They also strive to make every workshop a joyful and energising experience.

Mauricia said,  “2013 is going to be an exciting and pivotal year as we hope to be performing at various festivals.”

To check out the group visit: www.ayawara.co.uk.

(Picture byErick Mauricia)


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