Sebene – Homage to Franco Luambo Makiadi (2011/2017)

for guitar quartet (2011/2017).

Duration: 6 mins.

This work is unrecorded. A MIDI version is provided for perusal purposes.

Premiered by the Slovenian Guitar Quartet, Logatec, Slovenia, Oct 19th 2019.

Programme Note

A Sebene is a term used in Congolese Rumba music to describe the instrumental section of a rumba song where the singing finishes and the band creates an ecstatic instrumental section to energise the audience into dancing. The late great guitarist, songwriter, bandleader and singer Franco Luambo Makiadi was the master of the Rumba-Sebene and the music he created with his band ‘TPOK Jazz’ has been very inspirational to me in recent years.

I wrote this piece in his honour and together with Chimurenga and Kora it makes up a triptych of African-themed pieces for Guitar Quartet.

The piece opens in a mid-paced Rumba rhythm of 3+3+2, the guitars gradually build in intensity and the rumba builds to the middle of the piece when the Sebene begins with ecstatic interlocking guitar parts.