Compositions by Bill Alves

Information about California Mabommay

Click here for a 20-second excerpt of this piece in AIFF format.

Click here for the same excerpt in Microsoft Wave (.WAV) format.

Instrumentation: 8 or more cellos.

Duration: c. 3:30

The mabommay is a dance of exhilaration of the Akan people of Ghana, Africa. During the fall of 1992, I was able to study the drumming of Ghana with master drummer Kobla Ludzekpo in Los Angeles. One of the aspects of this music that impressed me the most is the casual complexities that emerge from the lively polyrhythms of this style. While the rhythms in this piece don't even approach such complications, they should retain the same relaxed style that has become associated as much with California as West Africa. This piece was originally commissioned by Rick Mooney of the National Cello Institute and is dedicated to laid-back cellists everywhere.

Score published by National Cello Institute Publications (
956 Sentinel Dr.
La Verne, CA 91750 USA.

Major Performances:

  • June 1996, National Cello Institute

    Here is an excerpt from the score. All parts are pizzicato at this point except when tapping the body of the cello.

    Back to my list of compositions

    Updated on January 3, 1996, by Bill Alves (