Asalato is a traditional instrument that originated in West Africa and was originally a toy for local children. It consists of two African Oncoba spinosa tree fruits connected by a rope. By swinging the hands forward and backward and striking the balls with each other, you can play this small portable instrument anywhere.
Asalato consists of three parts: two balls, a short rope, and grains inside the balls. Since the ball is a natural fruit, its size is not fixed, and there are different styles to choose from depending on the size of your palm. As Asalato has spread to differ- ent countries, different materials have been used to create it, such as plastic, bamboo, wood, and metal.
Asalato is believed to have been used in African music and dance for hundreds of years and has become a part of many West African community cultural heritages. Asalato is used in various musical contexts, from accompanying songs and dances to being played as a solo instrument.
In recent years, Asalato has gained wide- spread recognition outside of Africa and has been used in various music genres, including world music, reggae, hip-hop, and even jazz. Today, Asalato is appreciated by musicians and music lovers around the world for its unique sound and diverse playing styles.
World Asalato gathering 2021 by Asalatribe
The development of physiology and psychology
Improves hand and finger dexterity:
Playing the asalato requires quick and precise movements of the hands and fingers, which can help improve hand and finger dexterity.
Enhances hand-eye coordination:
Asalato playing requires good hand-eye coordination as you need to strike the resonators accurately and in time with the rhythm.
Provides physical exercise:
Playing the asalato can be physically demanding, and can provide a good workout for the arms, wrists, and fingers.
Boosts mental health:
Playing the asalato can be a meditative and relaxing experience, which can help to reduce stress and anxiety, and promote a sense of well-being.
Enhances cognitive function:
Learning to play the asalato and keeping up with the rhythms can help to improve cognitive function, including memory and concen- tration.
Asalato Professional Tutor
Dave Wan is a musician who specializes in rhythm music. He has been playing in bands since high school and is now the Handpan player for two Macau-based bands, Asura and Náv, as well as the Vice President of the Macau Rhythmical Ethnic Music Association.
Asalato is a traditional African percussion instrument that Dave loves to play. He has over 10 years of experience and has performed at the World Asalato Players Gathering organized by Japan, representing Macau.
Asalato is a small and lightweight instrument that is perfect for playing on the go, and it can create a rich variety of rhythms and musical effects.
Dave hopes to promote Asalato as a fun and portable instrument. He has hosted multiple Asalato workshops, including the HUSH workshop organized by the ICM and the World Music Workshop at Escola Secundária Luso-Chinesa de Luís Gonzaga Gomes etc.
Recently, he has applied Tai Chi techniques into Asalato rhythms. Tai Chi emphasizes body flexibility and fluidity, which is similar to the hand techniques and rhythm required for playing Asalato. This approach can create unique musical effects and help promote the charm of Asalato.
In addition to producing and making Asalato on his own, Dave also hosts workshops and performances to showcase the instrument's charm to more people. Furthermore, he shares his playing tutorials and tech- niques online to attract more people to learn and understand Asalato.