IN THE POCKET
The Collapsing Concept in 6/8
Crushing Stickings to Create Odd Afro-Cuban Ideas
by Steve Fidyk and David Garibaldi
I’ve been working on Steve Fidyk’s excellent article in the recent MD. It’s always amazing to me that many concepts we use have been around for such a long time—although named differently as they evolve—and we’re often developing these same ideas independently of each other. I stumbled upon this concept a number of years ago but had never given it a name or developed it. I had no idea that Jim Chapin taught this, although it doesn’t surprise me. He was way ahead of us in many areas—a brilliant man.
Here’s a lesson that’s based on this collapsing concept. When I had my percussion trio, I found many of these kinds of combinations while exploring ideas for our music. The attached lesson is inspired by both Steve’s lesson in MD and what I was learning about the Afro-Cuban rhythmic tradition.
My idea involves playing one time signature inside of another (in this case, 5/8 or 7/8 inside of 6/8). I took a sticking, orchestrated it, collapsed it, and then applied that material to 6/8 time using a dotted-quarter-note pulse, as is often found in Afro-Cuban music. The feet supply the pulse throughout this lesson as the hands apply the concept. Enjoy!