Ogoun Badagris

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Christopher Rouse

General Info

Year: 1976
Duration: c. 5:00
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Helicon
Cost: Score and Parts - $0.00   |   Score Only - $0.00


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Player II:
Player III:
Player IV:
Player V:

Program Notes

Ogoun Badagris derives its inspiration from Haitian drumming patters, particularly those of the Juba Dance. Hence, it seemed logical to tie in the work with various aspects of Voodoo ritual. Ogoun Badagris is one of the most terrible and violent of all Voodoo loas (deities) and he can be appeased only by human blood sacrifice. This work may thus be interpreted as a dance of appeasement.

The four conga drums often act as the focal point in the work and can be compared with the role of the four most basic drums in the Voodoo religion - the Be-be, the Seconde, the Maman, and the Asator. The metal plates and the sleighbells are to a certain extent parallels of the Haitian Ogan.

The work begins with a brief action de grace, a ceremonial call-to-action in which the high priest shakes the giant rattle known as the Asson, here replaced by the Cabasa. Then the principal dance begins, a grouillére: this is a highly erotic and even brutally sexual ceremonial dance which in turn is succeeded by the Danse Vaudou at the point at which demonic possession occurs. The word “reler”, which the performers must shriek at the conclusion of the work, is the Voodoo equivalent of the Judaeo-Christian Amen.




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Works for Percussion by this Composer

Bonham - Percussion Octet
Falcones Luminis - Percussion Quartet
Der gerettete Alberich - Multiple Percussion; Orchestra
Ku-Ka-Ilimoku - Percussion Quartet
Mime - Snare Drum
Ogoun Badagris - Percussion Quintet

Additional Resources