ONCE UPON A TIME...
The REQUE-REQUE from the “Minho” province is one of the most exuberant instruments of its kind in Portugal. Often, these instruments depict human figures with jointed arms and are made of wooden boards, sometimes more than a meter high. In other areas, a very thick cane is used. If each region has a different Reque-Reque, then why shouldn’t you invent one of your own? Here’s a simple suggestion.
A five-liter plastic water bottle, a cane, plastic pens that don’t write anymore and a cork or the actual bottler-top itself
TOOLS AND ACCESSORIES
A small saw, a penknife and some contact adhesive.
HOW TO MAKE THE INSTRUMENT
Cut the ends off the pens and take out the tip with the ink soaked in it (if you get your hands dirty doing this, you can clean them with a piece of cotton wool soaked in bleach). With the contact adhesive (if you don’t know how to use this kind of glue, don’t forget to read the manufacturer’s instructions) stick the pens into the grooves on the side of the bottle. If you run the cane rhythmically over the pens (don’t forget that the glue needs to have dried properly before you play), you’ll immediately hear the sound produced by your REQUE-REQUE. However, if you split the cane slightly at one end, the sound is even clearer and louder. If you stick the cane to the cork or the bottle-top, you’ll find it easier to tidy the cane away when you’re not playing your REQUE-REQUE.
It’s a fact that other people don’t always like what you like, so I suggest you decorate your instrument according to your own taste. If the others don’t like it, that’s their problem... let them go off and make one of their own and decorate it with the ideas that they’ve been trying to force on you.
HOW TO PLAY THE INSTRUMENT
Have you ever been bitten by a flea? 1 have, and inevitably I did exactly what I shouldn’t have done... I began to scratch (up and down or backwards and forwards). If you make the same movements with the cane up and down the pens to the rhythm of your favourite music, you’ll be a fantastic REQUE-REQUE player.