Groove for Shabbat
A 7/8 improvisation on a set of 3 Bata drums, accented with afucha, tube shekere and cowbell.
The number 7 is a symbol for perfection or completeness: 7 colors in a rainbow, 7 musical notes in a scale, 7 days = a week, etc.
In Cuba, the bata consists of a set of three tapered cylinders of various sizes. Iya, the largest, is referred to as ‘mother drum’. Itotele, the middle one, and Okonkolo, the smallest, are called ‘father’ and ‘baby’, respectively.
Bata drums are primarily for the use of religious or semi-religious purposes for the native culture from the land of Yoruba, located in Nigeria, as well as by worshippers of Santeria in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and in the United States.
As I place no religious significance to these drums or their rhythms, my ‘non-sacred’ Bata drums are called aberinkula -profane Bata- and I don’t abide by the traditional rules and rituals governing the construction, handling, playing, and care of the sacred bata: Only non-castrated male deer’s or goat’s hides may be used–female goats along with bulls, cows, and sheep are not to be used; only an initiate may touch or play the bata, as only they have gone through the ritual of ‘receiving Ana’ which grants them the forces necessary to play them properly; before a ceremony the drummers would wash themselves in omiero, a cleansing water, pray, and abstain from sex for a period of time. In Havana, the bata are not played after sundown, while in Matanzas, ceremonies often begin at night.
More information on Bata drums here.
(For those who may be interested in collaborating on this, this groove is most easily counted like this: “1+2+3+4+5+6+sev-en”.)