From the desert of Bahia to the desert of Almería, an exchange of Luteria in the construction of musical instruments made from Agave wood (Pita or Sisal) between the group Som do Sisal (Bahia, Brazil) and the Agave School (Almería, Spain) from June 5 to 11 in 2019.
This video clip has been filmed by the Agave School to celebrate our exchange. A moment that can undoubtedly be described as the beginning of a creative collaboration for the development of musical instruments, the sustainability and appreciation of Agave wood!! PRODUCTION: Timbe Bernhardt (Pita Escuela), MUSIC by: Som do Sisal, Sorbas (Spain).
THIS PROJECT was financally supported by the State Government, through the 2019 Cultural and Artistic Mobility Notice of the Culture Fund, the Ministry of Finance and the Secretariat of Culture of Bahia.
It is hard to find the proper words for the magic and the knowledge that Don Miguel Trejo González brought to the Pita Escuela in May 2011. The traditional doctor from the indigenous tribe of the Otomí has dedicated his whole life to the holy agave plant. It has been an epic meeting in the history of the Pita Escuela.
Don Miguel came all the way from Mexico to share ancient Mexican techniques and knowledge on how to apply the agave and the chumbera into practical usage and impressively demonstrated how these plants ensured the viability of many Mexican generations in the past thousand years.
The cultural Association of African dance & percussion, BATOTO YETU from Lisbon (Portugal), came to visit the Pita-Escuela in October of 2010. With them, they brought the great master sculpturist, Frank Ntaloma from Mozambique, to experiment with the desert wood and accomplish the first workshop for the creation of African masks. Two amazing days of creativity, rhythms & African food.
Txalaparta is more a way of playing than just the name of a musical instrument. The Txalaparta is the coming together of two people; it is movement and the creation of something new. Two passionate Txalaparta players, Harkaitz Martinez & Mikel Ugarte from the band ‘Oreka Tx’, travelled the world with this traditional Basque music device. They also made their way to the Pita-Escuela – hooray! The mission of these two musicians is to play their instrument made out of any possible material, even ice in the Antarctica! In July 2012, they came down to Almería to experiment with the wood from the desert and now the Txala-pita is part of their equipment.
In February 2008, Timbe visited the projects of the NGO Edget Baandnet which was founded by his parents in 2006 to help disadvantaged children in the southern region of Ethiopia.
During this visit, Timbe implemented various agave wood workshops for over 50 children from a primary school and the ‘One Love Theater’ in Awassa; thus, he was able to teach them the making of musical instruments and handicrafts made out agave wood, a sustainable resource that is cultivated in many places around that area.