um só (2015) – for solo berimbau - (3:00)




Watch the video here.



Program Notes:


Within the tradition of capoeira, the berimbau is always performed with a caxixi. Similar to other instruments of African origin, the constant rattling sound of the caxixi is not only used as an additional rhythmic implement, but it is also a sign of the ancestral spirits. However, in all of the other pieces written for the MeiaMeia song cycle, we opted to not use the caxixi.


I wanted to bring the caxixi back into my solo, um só (or “only one”), to pay respects to the berimbau’s traditions, while continuing to use the innovative tuning schemes and extended techniques that Dr. Greg Beyer and I have written for the rest of the compositions. I utilize the caxixi both as an independent instrument and as an accompaniment to the berimbau. When these two ideas intertwine at the end of the piece, their coexistence is reflective of the title and they become one.


um só is released on the album MeiaMeia: New Music for Berimbau from Innova Recordings. Score and album are both available for purchase at

um só