The title “Lakay” is a Haitian Creole title and translates to “Home” in English. Being a native Haitian who has spent a lot of years away from my home country, this piece is a way to express some thoughts and feelings of longing for your home sweet home. Lakay isn’t a sad piece, on the contrary, it is pretty exciting and full of energy, which is a representation of the Haitian culture, always strong, always looking at the bright side, and Happily moving forward in life while honoring and remembering our past.
This composition is based on a Haitian Rhythm called “Yanvalou”. Yanvalou is a Rhythm and Dance of Haiti, named after its associated movements. Yanvalou is one of the most important rhythms in Haitian folklore, it is sometimes linked to “Knowledge”, “Patience”, “Strength” and “Healing”. Usually played on Three different congas named “Manman (mother)”, “Segon (second)” and “Kata” the latter being always played with sticks on the body of a conga. I used one conga to play a combination of the “manman” and “segon” rhythm and two bongos with sticks for a variation of the “Kata”. The beat of the rhythm of Yanvalou is a combination of Triple-Duple time (1-2-3 |1 2) in this composition with 3 eighth-notes forming the triple and 2 dotted eighth-notes (or eighth-notes Duplet) for the duple. [Program note by the composer]
Instrumentation – two versions are available:
String orchestra, with percussion: Violin I, Violin II, Viola, Cello, Bass, Congas, Bongos and Maracas
Chamber orchestra: Flute, Oboe, Two Clarinets, Bassoon, Violin I, Violin II, Viola, Cello, Bass, Two Congas and Maracas.
Score Preview: https://www.christopherducasse.com/compositions/Lakay-(Wind—String—Percussion)