Carlos Aldama's Life in Batá: Cuba, Diaspora, and the Drum by Umi Vaughan, Carlos Aldama

By Umi Vaughan, Carlos Aldama

Batá identifies either the two-headed, hourglass-shaped drum of the Yoruba humans and the tradition and magnificence of drumming, making a song, and dancing linked to it. This ebook recounts the lifestyles tale of Carlos Aldama, one of many masters of the batá drum, and during that tale strains the historical past of batá tradition because it traveled from Africa to Cuba after which to the USA. For the enslaved Yoruba, batá rhythms helped maintain the non secular and cultural practices of a people who have been torn from its roots. Aldama, as dad or mum of Afro-Cuban tune and as a Santería priest, continues the hyperlink with this custom solid via his mentor Jesus Pérez (Oba Ilu), who was once himself the relationship to the preserved oral history of the older new release. via sharing his tales, Aldama and his scholar Umi Vaughan carry to gentle the options and ideas of batá in all its features and rfile the tensions of protecting a practice among generations and worlds, outdated and new. The e-book contains infrequent pictures and entry to downloadable audio tracks.

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Additional resources for Carlos Aldama's Life in Batá: Cuba, Diaspora, and the Drum

Example text

Orga n iz ation Since this book attempts to reconstruct the origins and trajectory of the batá and to articulate concepts that went without saying in the original context of our lessons, at the start of each chapter I provide short interludes before Carlos speaks. In them I offer possible interpretations of Carlos’s stories, draw connections between his life and larger sociopolitical events and trends, and pose questions. By including these contextualizing sections I hope to spark discussion and establish a common ground for the various audiences that this work seeks to reach – drummers, santeros, scholars, and others.

I’m not the type who thinks he’s God’s gift to this earth. Fuck it! If you love this music, if you are going to take care of it, then learn it, I’ll teach you. Because I know that you will care for it. Take Kota, for example. The Japanese guy. When he started he didn’t know much. But I would see him allí, allí working at it. And I had to give it to him. This kid is serious! ) He played clean and strong, so I said come on. Because I see him struggling, I can see he really wants to learn. Among Cubans I’ve had no students at all.

12 Añá, the godly energy that inhabits the drums, can be described as the Spirit of Sound that is able to invoke the deities and stir all the human emotions. 13 In Cuba, the transmission by family lineage did not survive slavery and was replaced by batteries or groups of drummers led by a master drummer patriarch. As in Yorubaland, the father/teacher transmits his knowledge to and confers some of his status upon the son/apprentice. Batá drums that possess Añá are said “to have fundamento” or “to be de fundamento,” meaning of or from the foundation.

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