Music. Art. Culture. Writing.
I tilt the conga forward with my thigh to help release the tone. One hand rests flat on the head, the other holds a stick an inch above the rim. Sound booth, door closed, we are all connected by wires. Headphones snug, the kit player warms up the snare. Cable against my back, tucked into my belt. Let’s hear the congas. I play an intro, bright and fast, calling up the image of dancers in long skirts, red and gold and white and blue. Bodies in rhythmic motion. Got it, everyone ready? Thoughts rise and fade: my daughter climbs the slide, the position of my hand for the conga slap, the poem I began an hour ago, is the song in six or four. Let it all clear. Make the breath quiet. Let life fade like a shadow into nightfall. We’re rolling. Faint electrical buzz from left to right. Waiting, rolling, clearing the mind in the final eternal hollow silent moments before the count starts and the music begins on the one.