Circle Atsia for Drumset
"Atsia" was created by the Ewe-speaking people of Ghana. "Atsia" is a social dance. In the Ewe language atsia means "style" or "to display." "Atsia" as a piece is comprised of drumming, dance and songs collectively. In academic settings "Atsia" is often referred to as "Circle Atsia." Numerous pieces are named "Atsia" and/or have an "Atsia" section in them. This has led to seemingly endless confusion among non-Ewe's who learn this music and dance - myself included. To recreate Atsia on the drum set I have assigned the parts traditionally played by different members of an Ewe drumming ensemble to the different limbs of my body. The role of Gankogui (a double bell) which is the time keeper in this music is played by my left foot. The role of Kidi (a small supporting drum) is played by my left hand. The role of Sogo (a supporting drum like kidi but larger) is played by my right foot. In a dialogue (a conversation between the lead drum and the supporting drums) I play the open notes with my left hand and the closed notes with my right foot. The role of Atsimevu (a tall, narrow drum which the lead drummer uses to communicate with the rest of the ensemble) is played by my right hand. This is a bit dated now. It's been refined a bit and I have re-orchestrated some of the rhythms.
gankogui kaganu kidi sogo atsmevu
Traditional Rhythms Drum Set Recreations African Instrument Museum
Upcoming Events Performance Gallery Anlo-Ewe Culture
Kogiri Atsia For Drumset Biography
Send Me Email Dancedrummer's Links Home
┬ęKevin O'Sullivan, All Rights Reserved