Meet David Buchbut

by on December 7, 2011 » Add the first comment.
David Buchbut playing the riq.  Photo courtesy of Layali El Andalus.

David Buchbut playing the riq. Photo courtesy of Layali El Andalus.

David is the third member of this year’s guest musical ensemble, Layali El Andalus (along with Rachid Halihal and Daphna Mor).  He is the group’s “beat keeper,” playing the riq, dumbek and frame drum. I would describe David as a “gentle giant” — bean-pole tall and thin with a warm smile and a quiet countenance.  But, when he picks up one of his percussion instruments, all of that changes.  In this year’s show you will hear David’s percussion beat strongly supporting the full company (of about 80 singers and instrumentalists) in pieces like “Seven Ways to Cook an Eggplant” and delicately bouncing along with the children’s chorus as they sing and play on stage.

In looking around for some basic facts about David, I found a wonderful article entitled “Mr. Tambourine Man,” by Dan Friedman.  Below is a terrific description of the instruments that David plays…

The tambourine, or “riq” as it’s called in Arabic, is actually, despite its Western connotations of preschool classrooms, a staple of classical Arabic music. Unlike kids or folk dancers who shake or clap it, classical musicians hold it vertically and still, at knee level.  Like the larger bongolike dumbek, there are three major categories of sound: the “dum” the “tak” and the “kat.” But on the riq,each note can be varied not only by the tension and pace of the hand or the number of fingers applied, but also by the amount of accompanying jingle, the tautness of the drum skin and the amount of resonance the player allows any given beat or sequence.

It has been an amazing lesson for me to watch and hear the many sounds that a skilled player can draw from this instrument.  David has also been warm and welcoming to chorus percussionists like Guen Spilsbury (who is playing his frame drum on a couple of pieces) and our “staff percussionist” and sound effect’s man, Don Spinelli.  And with five more performances remaining to this year’s Christmas Revels, you have many opportunities to come and hear him too!

Read more from this article at: http://www.forward.com/articles/110998/#ixzz1foldNbiU
Learn more about Layali El Andalus at: http://www.layalielandalus.com/

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