Something more than percussion
By Wina Acosta, Photos :Rafael Valiente
The music of Eduardo Ramos and Mas con Menos is unique and stands out from hundreds of other bands, mainly because of two factors: its original sound and the music’s soul
Cuban traditional popular music is very well-received by today’s youth, showing a healthy sign of widespread acceptance of musical diversity among younger generations.
During recent years, more and more musicians have turned to traditional and folkloric genres for inspiration, but with a a twist, a new approach to Cuban music tradition, bringing new technologies up on stage, incorporating electronic elements as well as other media platforms.
Más con Menos is a perfect example of this. Led by Eduardo Ramos Hernández, Más con Menos suggests an appealing approach to traditional cuban music. Their synthesizers are always ready to come up with real time beats. They’ve got swing, as musicians would say. Eduardo claims his style is authentically Cuban, made up of strong and passionate riffs as well as African sound influences. He has not only developed his own style but in doing so he manages to pay tribute to the best of Cuba and the world’s percussion tradition.
How do you define your music style? Our music style is defined as a blending of Cuban music. It has a variety of rhythms but keeps the clave as its fundamental element. It’s neither rumba nor salsa, but rather the fusion of new and traditional music with a modern approach to it, while keeping the dancers in mind. To be able to reach a bigger audience we like to mix our music with Cuban country music, jazz, and others, whilst maintaining the polyrhythms I’ve created and which define our music.
We’d like to know more about the band’s origins. Despite the fact that the band is still young, we’ve had the opportunity to participate in various art centers and festivals, such as Fiesta del Tambor, Festival Primera Línea; or venues like Habana Café, Fábrica de Arte Cubano, as well as many others.
Why “Más con Menos” (More with Less)? Our project displays both the versatility and virtuosity of its members, thus we are able to work with this atypical ensemble. The name doesn’t imply more music and fewer musicians. However, we are only a few musicians with the peculiarity of playing more than one instrument at a time. It’s More with Less.
How do you manage to play so many instruments at the same time? I think percussionists develop independence within their instrument more than any other musician. I’ve taken that notion to other instruments, melodic instruments, to show a different way of feeling, while avoiding saturating the music with only percussion sounds.
Any future plans? We recorded our first album, Contratiempo with Unicorn Productions from Estudios Abdala. With it I would like to reach more people, get national and international exposure; break musical frontiers, because I conceive our musical arrangements from a percussionist’s point of view. I’d like to create a new musical movement that favors the dancing and spectacle side of a musical performance.