YLU BRAZIL - A PROJEKT WITH GREAT ATTENTION TO DETAIL
Afonsinho Menino is in his workshop inspecting the last harvest of shekeré gourds. The pumpkins are quite special plants and not everyone fulfils the requirements to become a musical instrument. The gourds need warm climate and rich soil to grow. Growing them is a lot of work, they need to be turned every single day so they grow into a nice an even shape and to prevent ugly pressure marks.
Afonsinho is the founder of Ylu Brasil. 30 years of experience in percussion music and instrument making are his brand - lovely and very creative instruments of good quality is the result. He plays in many different bands and genres, builds percussion instruments and teaches.
Shekeré - Xequeré - Agbe
About the artist:
Afonsinho teaches in many different ways, for example he gives classes in social and charity projects, trade unions and other organisations; he gives private lessons in his studio but also public workshops, compact courses in recreation centres, town halls, libraries, schools or even in parks. His lessons are as manifold as his instruments which he makes from traditional as well as from modern or even recycled materials. Because of playing such a wide range of different musical styles, he has a very broad knowledge to build good instruments himself: he makes instruments for all sorts of different musical styles like Samba, Ijexá, Olodum, Frevo, Forró, Baião, Xaxado, Maracatu, Coco, etc. and designs drum sets, shekerés / agbés, ganzas, maracas, güiros, cajons, ocean drums, rainmaker and many more.
We are very pleased to be able to offer you a small selection of Ylu Brasil's outstanding shekerés.
All his instruments are made in Brazil. They are unique pieces and no mass product. Beautiful sound colours, good quality crafting and the design and appearance of artisanally made instruments.
Good to know - some background about xequerés:
Only well grown and equal-sized, stable and optically beautiful gourds can be used to make a musical instrument. A net with braided beads is woven around a dried, cleaned and hollowed gourd. During their growth, the gourds are turned on the field as much as once a day to avoid pressure marks. You will see this instrument especially in Candomblé, but also in many other and often modern musical styles where it plays an imporant role. It can be timekeeper or show effect, a shekeré is a real eyecatcher on stage. The bigger the gourd is, the louder the sound as more beads have a larger surface and therewith produce a louder sound.
There are many different ways to play a shekeré. It's not only the beads that make sound, but for example you can produce a hollow tone by patting your hand from beneith on the gourd.
Here is a good example for what is possible on a shekeré: