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“Belén: Un canto sagrado a mis ancestros” (Belén: A sacred chanto to my ancestors) is a piece that honors and recognize the beautiful legacy and inheritance of our ancestors. Skin, philosophy, religion, culture, and music will be exalted through the work. Belén, in the afro-puerto rican context, is considered a sacred chant. It is a toque (a rhythm) that is perform with the barriles (bomba drums), maracas, cua (two wood sticks playing in the barril), singers and, dancers that it is perform to honor the life of a person that is no longer with us. This tradition, of Africans origins, has remain from generation to generation in our culture, and it is the inspiration for the idea of the piece. The main aspect of this piece is to explore a variety of sonorities of the “bomba” such as: melody, polyrhythm, instrumentation, and dance, and incorporate them as crucial sound elements for the composition. Through out the piece it will be expose and develop various elements as African melodies and toques de boba (bomba rhythms)like: yubá, holandé, seis corrido, and belén. “ Belén: Un canto sagrado a mis ancestros” main purpose is to remember and honor my ancestors, the Puerto Rican bomba, and all my black heritage.


Commission Massachusetts  International Festival of the Arts

Duration 12′ 

Premiere September 29, 2021. Broadcast internationally on New England Public Media on September 29, 2021.

Instrumentation Pierrot ensemble

View Score

1 Comment

  • Jan Krzywicki
    Posted June 7, 2022 2:49 pm 0Likes

    I would like to see a perusal score of BELEN so that I might consider it for performance
    with my Temple University New Music Ensemble.
    Thank you.
    Jan Krzywicki

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