Rancho Jubilee (2009) – Andrew Beall
- 3 Cajons
Rancho Jubilee is the name of a Dominican restaurant on my corner in Washington Heights. It’s fun décor and lively atmosphere mixed with Latin and Caribbean influences provided a nice setting for this–what is most likely the first of its kind–trio for Cajons. Cajon is a Spanish word, meaning Box. The instrument originated in Peru and later became popular in Spanish Flamenco music. Because of the wire strings extending across the Cajon, it has a fantastic sound, much like a drumset, with “snare” and “bass”. In the piece itself, I’ve taken several key rhythmic motives and spread them over a variety of contexts as well as used basic rudiments (such as the paradidle, double-paradiddle, and paradiddle-diddle) and juxtaposed them into syncopated rhythms throughout. Besides standard techniques, the different timbre ideas include knocking on the Cajon’s side with knuckles, knocking on the side with the heel of the foot, brushing the surface of the Cajon with fingers and nails, brushing the performer’s leg, and a fist pound directly in the center of the Cajon. My last day writing was spent at Rancho Jubilee, and I am pleased to pay tribute to this restaurant, which continues to be a consistent sanctuary for composing and orchestrating. The trio was commissioned by Drew W. Johnson and premiered at the University of South Carolina.
– Andrew Beall
Annotated by John Stapleton