|About AMI Minor Percussion|
CLAVES: Pronounced ‘klaa-vehs’ in Spanish, meaning ‘keys’, as the rhythm they play is the key to all Latin American music. Claves consist of two turned rods of tempered Sneezewood, which are played by striking one against the other to produce a click that can be heard over any other sound.
BASS CLAVES: A lower sounding clave made from hollow turned Kiaat wood, with a Meranti wood beater. The instrument requires a small degree of skill to produce a very satisfying, warm ‘thock’. Interestingly referred to as "African Clave" in Cuba.
TONE BLOCKS: with a sound like traditional temple blocks, these instruments have a tempered Sneezewood sounding board on an accurately tuned Kiaat wood sound box. They are easy to play and are supplied with a turned Sneezewood beater.
SHAKERS: based on instruments made in Cameroon and Brazil, these shakers are woven for us by people in the Grahamstown community. They are made from cane, and incorporate a hardboard disk. This is essential to produce two distinct and contrasting sounds, opening up a wealth of rhythmic possibilities to the creative player.
LEG RATTLES: In many African traditions percussion instruments are attached to the feet of musicians or dancers to provide accompaniment while performing. In a Zulu tradition insect cocoons filled with small stones are sewn onto a braided strap which is wrapped around the performers ankles. Up north, braided palm leaves make up the rattle boxes. We have taken this idea and produce tough leg rattles using braided recycled plastic strapping to make rattles which are great to tie onto ankles to emphasize foot tapping or stamping while playing an instrument or for dancing.
“ In a Zulu tradition insect cocoons filled with small stones are sewn onto a braided strap which is wrapped around the performers ankles. Up north, braided palm leaves make up the rattle boxes...”