Monday, 20 May 2013

Jorge Amorim and Hank Schroy • Orixás

Summoning the Orixás
Hank Schroy, co-producer with Jorge Amorim talks to Austin John Marshall, editor of Contents Under Pressure about their exploration of an ‘unfathomably ancient’ tradition…

How did the project begin?

“At the outset I could have told you something about Yemanja or Xango, but didn’t have the faintest about Nana, Ewa, Oba and many others. Jorge grew up in Umbanda; his grandmother raised him in and around the ceremonies and temples of these religious practices, and this is the foundation of his approach to the drums. But he was also vague on the story behind this or that Orixá.

“So this all began as a study of the chants and percussion patterns of various Yoruba sacred traditions; Candomblé, Umbanda, Santeria, and Ifa… The result is 16 songs, each an offering to a different Orixá. While learning more about Exú, the parallels with Elegba of Haitian Vodou became clear. Both symbolize an opening of the gates for all things to come.

“By offering up this collection for the general listener, we hope to further the cause of those musicians laying down the rhythms of a new loving universality.”

But aren’t global trance grooves derived from diverse traditions creating a new hazard; of rounding up the endangered musical treasures of the world into the land of the bland?

“The Orixás emerge from an unfathomably ancient tradition with ingredients so primal, we feel sure this collection will stir some zest & pungency into the mix!

“Artists know their best work is an offering; a stone tossed on the water, ripples spreading in unpredictable ways. The great players whom we lured into this pool became as caught up as Jorge and myself in the interplay, not just with each other but in the idea of music as an act of intercession, creating mantras whose energies are boundless.”

So are you trying to start a religious revival?

“Ancient shamanism has always been practised side by side with corporate religion; the old ways got dismissed as pagan, black magic, the devil’s work, etc… , and practitioners still get mercilessly persecuted. Countless devotees of Candomblé and Umbanda in Brasil have been strong-armed into renouncing the old ways as evil and pledging to Rome or the Carismaticos! Which is sad because at the same time we see countless awakenings worldwide to the wonder, elegance, and beauty in the panoply of Vodou and Candomblé.”

1. Exú 
is the divine trickster, the prince of the crossroads.
Exú opens the way for the others to follow.
Val-Inc • intro | Jorge Amorim • percussion | Jorjão Silva • voice | Magali • voice | Erol JosueElegba invocation | Carlinhos Almeida • cavaquinho | Gustavo Dantas • violão-sete-cordas | Jay Rodriguez • flute | Pedro Ramos • flute arrangement

2. Ibejis 
are twins, seen as children.
They are often invoked right after Exú.
Ibejis bring good fortune and prosperity.
Jorge Amorim • percussion | Magali • voice | dj Wiz • turntables    

3. Ossain 
is the master of herbs, of sacred plants and sacred medicine.
He is the son of Yemanja and Oxalá.
Reine Sophie Acadine • vocals | Hank Schroy • cavaquinho, violão, baixolão | Micah Gaugh • saxophone | Leon Gruenbaum • cz-101 | Jorge Amorim • percussion    

4. Yemanja 
is the queen of the ocean, the good, nurturing mother of all. She is fertility and abundance. Often seen as a mermaid or a woman dressed in pearls and blue.
Reine Sophie Acadine • vocals | Hank Schroy • cavaquinho, violão, baixolão | Micah Gaugh • saxophone | Leon Gruenbaum • cz-101 | Jorge Amorim • percussion

5. Iansã 
is the spirit of the wind, of change.
She was married to Ogun and later became Xango's wife.
From Xango she learned the secret of lightning.
She's always in love or falling in love. 
Mazz Swift • violin | Reine Sophie Acadine • vocals | Hank Schroy • bass, violão | Jorge Amorim • percussion, wurlitzer | Micah Gaugh • saxophone, vocals | Leon Gruenbaum • cz-101    

6. Ogun 
is the divinity of the fight, of war, of armies, of weaponry.
The oldest warrior Orixá. He is associated with iron, with metallurgy, with the path of technology.
Luis Bonilla • trombone | Reine Sophie Acadine • vocals | DK Dyson • vocals | Jorge Amorim • percussion | Hank Schroy • bass | Jay Rodriguez • sax | Micah Gaugh • horns, sax solo    

7. Omolu
a.k.a. "Obaluaé", or "King of the Earth" in Yoruba.
He is perceived as being an old man, and is an extremely important Orixá, because he is connected with health, with the absence of disease.
Chief Dayo • vocals | Jorge Amorim • percussion    

8. Xango 
is a warrior.
He is justice, severe or benevolent, depending on the situation. Depicted wielding an axe in each hand, he is responsible for thunder and lightning.
Hank Schroy • cavaquinho, bass, voice | Jorge Amorim • percussion, voice | Gustavo Dantas • guitar | Micah Gaugh • sax | Jay Rodriguez • flutes, wurlitzer | Leon Gruenbaum • cz-101 | Reine Sophie Acadine • voice | DK Dyson • voice

9. Oxossi 
is the Hunter.
Often seen with a bow and arrow, he presides over Art, over freedom of expression.
He is the one that hunts for Axé (sacred energy).
Reine Sophie • vocals | Vernon Reid • guitar | Gustavo Dantas • violão | Leon Gruenbaum • CZ-101 | Micah Gaugh • sax | Hank Schroy • bass | Jorge Amorim • percussion    

10. Ewa 
is a divinity of song, of happy and alive things.
Possessing a rare enchantment and beauty, she is the queen of metamorphasis, 
of organic and inorganic mutation and transformation.
Magali • vocals | Hank Schroy • cavaquinho, violão, bass | Jorge Amorim • percussion    

11. Oba 
is very strong and energetic.
Her children seek success with great determination and care, in order not to lose anything.
She rules over rivers, over floods, over stones at the water's edge.
Nego Gato • voice | Balla Kouyaté • balafon | Hank Schroy, Jorge Amorim, Sophie, Edith, Katty, Jorjão • choir | Hank Schroy • bass, cavaquinho, Jorge Amorim • percussion | Gustavo Dantas • guitar | Leon Gruenbaum • cz-101
12. Oxalá 
is the Supreme Father. 
He is the Orixá of peace, of balance, of fraternity, of union. 
Symbolized by white, by purity. The positive equilibrium of the Universe. 
Magali • voice

13. Nana 
is the oldest Orixá. She was the first wife of Oxalá.
Those who are ledby Nana are calm and benevolent,
always acting with dignity and gentility. 
Ileana Santamaria • vocals | Hank Schroy • vocals | 
Jorge Amorim • vocals, percussion | Suphala • tablas    

14. Oxum 
is a divinity of sweet water, of the famous river with the same name in Nigeria. The goddess of beauty, of gold, of love, of candidness, of the fresh breeze, of abundance and wealth.  
Nego Gato • voice | DK Dyson, Reine Sophie Acadine • voice | Vernon Reid • guitar | Gustavo Dantas • guitar | Micah Gaugh • sax | Hank Schroy • bass | Jorge Amorim • percussion    

15. Maria Conga
Umbanda assimilates many archetypes from Brazil's diverse history. One of these is the "pretos-velhos", which means "old blacks". They are the spirits of the old slaves, brought from Africa.
They represent sage wisdom, strength, love, and charity.
Magali • voice | Jorge Amorim • percussion    

16. Oxum-Maré 
in Yoruba, means "rainbow" He is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow,
represented by the sacred Serpent and the Rainbow.
Dambala Wedo is Oxum-maré's counterpart among the Fon based Lwa of the Vodoun religion of Haiti.
Erol Josue • voice | Hank Schroy • bass | Jorge Amorim • percussion

Produced by Jorge Amorim and Hank Schroy

Purchase here

Format: 320
Country: Brazil
Released: 2004
Genre: Latin, Folk, Electronic
Style: Afro-Brazilian