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Giving the note Album cover: X Alfonso. / Design: Pepe Menéndez. Album cover: X Alfonso. / Design: Pepe Menéndez.

Synthesis of Ancestors

The eternal imagination of the peoples, the one that carves the most lasting dreams of humanity in the sacred wood of its essences and invites man to remain in their lands, substantiated realities that also constitute a stamp of national pride. Music, dances, religion, ethics, customs of ancient cultures were uprooted by force and transplanted not only to propitious latitudes, but also to receptive minds in which fantasy and wonder had sat Citizenship Charter. The union of bodies, the mixture, the symbiosis, the fusion of elements, brought together and preserved a sensitive legacy until very recent days, which unites mestizo America with an umbilical cord through the echo of hundreds of years of ritual drums. Perhaps if the African were given the choice of a unique and collective physical and spiritual voice, this would be that of music and especially that of the drum. Social life unfolds around him: he calls for war, warns about catastrophes, shortens the distance, calls for religious and secular festivities, announces birth and death. But also or above allhis great communicator with the unknown: through his rough sounds, the African speaks to his deities and his ancestors about his sorrows and his joys and asks for help to ease the daily struggle for survival.

In this collection album, Síntesis reappears from the bowels of this magical world with the hoarse and imploring cries of the sounds of nature, to merge with rhythmic moygbas into the mix inherited from their ancestors. Synthesis is the harmony of this union, it is the succession of time, it is the chain of this land, it is the sea in its fury crashing against the coast, it is the lament of its deep songs that implore the infinity of this wisdom. Musicians who have captured the secret African agreement, which becomes the Cuban essence, and exceptional voices that have respectfully penetrated and established themselves in the world of our ancestors, mixing the message of all the ethnic groups that one day fertilized these soils with their blood. In his music Síntesis he expresses both mournful and funeral laments, as well as virile and bellicose or happy and sensual explosions to magically awaken those who, surprised by the enchantment, listen to them. This cast of artistic talent, led through these years by the charms of Carlos and Ele, are messengers of divine clamor in contemporary instruments, who incorporate the sacred batá drums, tracing the arc of harmony between two worlds, divine alliance and sound echo of our existence; making their instruments the abode of the gods who, with tonal variations of the spiritual nature, are linked to the joy of the earth. Ancestros has deployed cyclical rhythms with African atabal to claim heavenly favors and invoke the protective powers of men, religious traditions and the riches of the earth, for this reason in the musical cosmogony of Síntesis the hidden seed forces of our culture, with the visionary light of an attainable future.

Ori ti oo dade owo. Alafia

Ancestors Trilogy / Synthesis Group 

Special Edition (Unicorn Seal, Abdala Productions, 2003) 

Design and illustrations: X Alfonso

Consultant: Santiago Pujol

 

Vol I 

  1. Asoyín
  2. Eyeleo 
  3. Oyá
  4. Slime
  5. Opatereo
  6. mereguo
  7. Oduddua
  8. Titilay

Interpreters: 

Carlos Alfonso: solo voice, bass and choirs

Ele Valdés: Solo voice in Oyá, synthesizers and choirs

Lucía Huergo: Keyboards, saxophones and choirs

Jose Bustillo: guitars and choirs

Frank Padilla: drums and percussion

Guest musicians: Lázaro Ross (lead voice in Titilaye), Joel Driggs (batá drums)

Arrangements: Carlos Alfonso (1, 3, 5, 7) and Lucía Huergo (2, 4, 6, 8)

Production: Carlos Alfonos, Lucia Huergo

Musical direction: Carlos Alfonso

Sound Engineer: Jerzy Belc

Recorded at Egrem studios, Havana, 1987

 

Vol II

  1. Ibara Ago (eluguá)
  2. Ogun Mariwo (ogun)
  3. Yaku Ma (ochosi)
  4. Loku Ayé (yewá)
  5. Asojano Mawe (babalú ayé)
  6. Eru Aye (obatalá)
  7. Ochanla (obatala)
  8. Asaramawa (Yemaya)
  9. Ayabba (hey)
  10. So sa so (eluguá)

Interpreters: 

Carlos Alfonso: Solo voice on 2, 3, 5, 7, 10 and 11; choirs

Ele Valdés: Solo voice on 1, 4, 5, 6 and 9; choirs

Fidel García: solo voice on 5, 8 and 11; choirs

Esteban Puebla: keyboards

Equis Alfonso: piano and keyboards

Victor Navarrete: guitars

Fidel Garcia: percussion

Raúl Pineda: drums and percussion

Guest musicians: 

Luis Conte: Djembé at 6, chekere at 3, congas and shaker at 5 (courtesy of Meinl Percussion)

Kevin Ricard: oodoo at 4, 10; batá in 6; toys percussion on 9 (courtesy LP Percussions, Sabian cymbals)

Michito Sánchez: batá in 1; toys percussion in 4, 9 and 10 (courtesy of Toca Percussion, Zildjian cymbals)

Cecilia Noel: choirs on 1, 5 and 11

Carlitos del Puerto: low in 5 (courtesy of ESP)

Charlie 2Ner: rapper in 6 (courtesy of Ozomatli)

 

Musical direction: Carlos Alfonso

Executive Producer: Bruce Horwitz

Recording and mixing: Shep Lonsdale

Recorded at Studio Castle Oaks; Calabasas, Calif. 

Mixed at Red Zone Studios, Burbank, California. June 1997

 

Vol III

  1. Ochiminí (eleguá echú)
  2. Aguanileo (ogun)
  3. Ochosi (ochosi)
  4. Oko Ñio (orisha oko)
  5. obatala (obatala)
  6. Goal to Changó (changó)
  7. Wemilere (chango)
  8. Iyaoromi (Yemaya)
  9. Omayo E (olokun)
  10. Oyadde (oya)
  11. Iyamilé (ochún)
  12. orula (orula)
  13. Asokere (eluguá)

 

Interpreters: 

Carlos Alfonso: Solo voice on 1, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10 and 13; choirs

Ele Valdés: Solo voice on 2, 8, 11 and 12; choirs

Diana J. Fuentes: lead voice in 3; choirs

Madonna Alfonso: solo voice in 4; choirs

Esteban Puebla: keyboards

Yoandy Hernández: guitars and choirs

Onei Cumbá: batá drums, congas, percussion and toys percussion

Sergio Cardoso: drums

Raúl Pineda: drums on 2, 3, 7, 8 and 11

Fidel García: percussions on 2, 3, 7, 8 and 11; choirs on 7, 8 and 11

William Martínez: guitars on 2, 3, 7, 8 and 11

 

Arrangements, orchestrations and programming

Carlos Alfonso: 3, 4, 5, 6, 10 and 12

Esteban Puebla: 2, 5, 7 and 13

X Alfonso: 1, 5, 8, 9, 10 and 11

 

Musical direction: Carlos Alfonso

Production: Carlos Alfonso and Ele Valdés

General production: Eduardo Ramos

Recording and mixing engineer: Jerzy Belc

Recorded and mastered at Estudios Abdala, May 2003

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