Grupo Liu Ana

Sacred Rhythms

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The music of Santeria comes from Africa, from the Yoruba people of Nigeria, and while it's known by many as voudou, Shango, or Candomble, the roots are the same, although the rituals vary. This album explores the Afro-Cuban system of bata drum playing and the bodies of music known as the Oru del Igbodu and the Oru Cantado. In many ways, this is definitely an ethnomusicological release, since it's not exactly going to have mass appeal, saluting the orishas of Santeria in rhythm and song, mostly Chango, the orishas who owns the bata drums. As a piece for listening, this isn't easy, since it's really music of participation, as with any religious ritual. The only piece aimed at a casual listener is the secular "Rumba Tonada" that closes the disc, offering the members of Grupo Ilu Ana an opportunity to explore another side of their musicality. It's worth noting that these Cuban musicians, who were recorded in Canada, were all trained in the rhythmic and vocal rituals of Santeria -- in other words, this album is strictly authentic. As an educational piece, it's hard to beat, even if it's not for everyone.

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