AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY
MASTER OF PHILOSOPHY IN MUSIC THESIS INTERVIEWS
Inspired and encouraged By Tito Puente, Bobby Sanabria attended and graduated from the Berklee College of Music in 1979. He has since performed and recorded with a veritable who's who in the world of jazz and Latin music as well as his own critically acclaimed ensemble Ascension. His diverse experience includes work with artists such as Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, Paquito D'Rivera, Mongo Santamaria, Ray Barretto, Larry Harlow, Candido Camero, Chico O'Farrill and Mario Bauza.
The following interview with Bobby Sanabria was especially conducted for my Master of Philosophy in Music [By Research] thesis titled The Conga Drum: Development, Technique, Styles, Improvisations and the contribution of Master Drummer Ramon ‘Mongo’ Santamaria which I completed in 2008 at the ANU in Canberra. The thesis documents the conga drum’s historical development, investigates basic hand techniques and current technical hand developments, as well as the enormous contribution of master drummer Ramon 'Mongo' Santamaria, arguably the most influential player in the history of the instrument, exploring his percussive output as well as his ensemble, composition and arranging proficiency. I conducted this interview with Bobby Sanabria via email.
PERTOUT: Could you describe your professional experience as a member of Mongo Santamaria's band?
SANABRIA: I was with Mongo's band from 1982 to 1984. My responsibility in the ensemble was to play drumset and timbales. I was also featured playing shekere on Afro Blue were I would come out from behind the kit. That said let me explain that this was no easy task. First of all the responsibilities on both instruments were completely different. On the drumset one had to play funk and r&b oriented compositions and arrangements. Occasionally those pieces also had Afro-Cuban and or Brazilian elements in the arrangements so one had to know how to handle those aspects on the kit in an authentic manner. When I had to play timbales, it was strictly in an Afro-Cuban musical context and thus one had to know how to play the instrument in an authentic manner, whether it was a mambo, cha-cha-cha, guajira, danzon, son montuno, bolero, etc. At that time there only a handful of players that were versatile enough to do that and in reality there are only still a few today. You could/can literally count them on one hand. By that I mean knowing the traditions and techniques of both instruments and being able to authentically speak on both in regards to the genres they both represent. Most of the drummers that I see/hear play Afro-Cuban rhythms on the drumkit can't really deal with the nuances of the timbales because they haven't paid any dues on that axe. It's really a unique instrument. The reverse is also true. There are a lot of great timbaleros that don't know the intrinsic qualities of the drumset. After Steve Berrios left for good, Mongo had to literally use two players to cover the chair. One on drumset and one on timbales. Then he learned about me through the then musical director Doug Harris, who had heard about me from a bass player who was a student along with me at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Lenny Bradford around 1980. They had come through town and Lenny had told them about me. I had just graduated and was back in my hometown, the South Bronx in NYC. Doug called and I was just recently married and was living with my then wife Evita with her parents in the South Bronx till we could get settled. Jack Hook, Mongo's manager then called and asked if I was in the musicians union and had a passport. I didn't have either and they were leaving for Europe. Steve and Mongo reconciled and he did that tour. That gave me time to get those things together and eventually I joined the band later in 1982. I knew the history of the band as well as of Mongo and had always dreamed of doing the gig. Why? Because it would satisfy my need to play drumset in a jazz oriented context and still be close to Afro-Cuban music in the role of a timbalero. Till this day there doesn't exist a gig like that.
PERTOUT: How did Mongo Santamaria conduct rehearsals?
SANABRIA: Mongo didn't conduct the rehearsals. The musical director would do that. At the time it was Sam Furnace, Doug had left the band. When I joined the band many times we would rehearse at the Village Gate in New York City. Other times at rented rehearsal studios. I was lucky because as soon as I got in the band we recorded a new album called Mongo Magic. That's were Mongo found out that I played shekere as well as being versed on the other percussion instruments. On that recording I played drumset, timbales, shekere and güiro. It's also the first time anyone played songo on the drumset in the United States. It was on a tune called Pirana by Marty Sheller. It has an opening intro in 3/2 clave, an asymetric phrase to go into the two-side of the clave and then goes into a fast mambo over a twelve bar blues form. To get back to the outro there is another asymetric phrase. On the intro/outro I play songo and on Mongo's solo I also do that. Mongo didn't ever play the tumbao of songo on the intro. He played New York City style mozambique, but I played songo on top of that. Since the styles are related in certain ways, it worked. It's on Roulette records. Unfortunately it didn't get much publicity, but it's a great album and it brought me to the public’s attention as someone to be on the lookout for. Hilton Ruiz is featured as well on piano as well as Sal Cuevas on bass and the regular working band at the time which was Chris Rogers (Barry Rogers’ son) on trumpet, Sam Furnace who was musical director and played baritone, alto sax and flute, Tony Hinson on tenor, soprano and flute, Bob Quaranta on piano, Eddie Resto on bass and ‘Mongomery’ (Willie Bobo’s nickname for Mongo) on congas, bongo and he even plays cencerro on the last tune of the album which was a bembe where at the outro he does some riffs that are really fantastic. We did another album before a second European tour called Espiritu Libre.
PERTOUT: Was Mongo well versed in his explanations of the tunes, or the rhythms employed in particular tunes?
SANABRIA: As the tunes were always coming from Marty or someone in the band, Mongo just went with the flow and let whoever wrote the tune, explain what was happening with the structure, etc. In terms of myself and Mongo, we would always apply whatever rhythm best fitted the character of the piece in question. I eventually brought in some of my own arrangements and original tunes and the same process occurred. For example, Sam wrote a tune called Zimbabwe. It was in 6/8 time. But the tune is tricky because it starts with the bass line in 2/3 clave which is really rare in 6/8. I decided to play the drumset instead of the timbales so I could have a few more choices in terms of sounds and Mongo decided to just play the low tumbadora with the stick. At the time he never explained how to come in on the two-side of the clave in 6/8 but he led by example and I picked up on it from what he did which was to mimic the standard 6/8 bell pattern for bembe reversed which he played with the stick on the side of the drum. It was a revelation to me because I never knew you could do that in 6/8 because 99% percent of the tunes in 6/8 are in 3/2 clave. The key was his open tone on the downbeat of the three-side of the clave. It's on the Espiritu Libre album.
PERTOUT: Did you get to play many folkloric styles in your time with Mongo or was it more of an r&b, Latin jazz style ensemble?
SANABRIA: It was just everything, funk, r&b and Afro-Cuban jazz. Certain tunes were very tipico oriented, for lack of a better term. Examples of that were songs like Come Candela, Bonita, Amanecer, etc. Others were strictly jazz oriented mambos. On the tunes like Zimbabwe, Afro Blue, etc. we got into what one would call the ‘folkloric’ side of things. I was heavily involved in santeria at the time and Mongo's Ifa godmother, Rosa Leyva was my Iyubona, second godmother. He was really happy that I was familiar with a lot of the sacred liturgical songs and got a kick that I was a Nuyorican and not Cuban and had this type of knowledge. You have to realise the times period we're speaking of. Because of the Mariel boatlift, many knowledgeable Afro-Cubans folkloric musicians, percussionists, dancers and vocalists came to New York City in 1980. In particular, Puntilla, who was the former head of the Grupo Folklorico Nacional de Cuba. He had unique skills because he knew the Matanzas as well as Habana style bata systems. He is an excellent vocalist who taught us many Yoruba praise songs that had never been heard in New York City, or for that matter anywhere else outside of Cuba. Plus, he is a monstrous rumbero. Others were Lazaro Galaraga, Roberto Borell, Daniel Ponce and dancers like Eddie Alfonso, Xiomara Lee, to name just the most important ones. Puntilla had a great effect on the New York City Latin music scene because he opened up the whole bata culture to everyone. He was/is respected because of his all encompassing overall knowledge. I was one of his apprentices along with people like Felix Sanabria (no relation to me), Eddie Rodriguez (a former member of my group Ascension), Victor Jaroslov (A Jewish guy from Brooklyn), Abie Rodrigiuez and many others. When I told Mongo that there were Jewish guys playing bata, he was shocked. I remember him saying "no puede ser!!!” ("it can't be”).
PERTOUT: Did he ever discuss type of heads or drums he liked, was he a heavy hitter, loud on stage?
SANABRIA: We never discussed anything like that because when we got together in a casual setting we just talked about family, life, women, music, etc. and not necessarily in that order. The same things men speak of when they hang out. Mongo played on the bandstand and nowhere else. His quiet time was important to him and I respected that. Mongo was always a heavy hitter. He wanted his golpe seco (“time keeping slap”) to sound like a gunshot. Those were his words, not mine. You have to realize that he really was a bongo player first and the type of aggressive playing in son in Cuba demanded the instrument to be played in a macho style with a tremendous slap on the macho when called for. That's what eventually killed his hands. If you listen to him playing on the recording of Mazacote with Cal Tjader you'll hear what I mean. Imagine doing that tune every night in those days on tuneable drums. When tuning lugs started to be utilized on congas and bongo, well that's when people started to have problems with their hands. On a tack headed drum the skin ‘gives’, on a lug tuned drum, it doesn't. I occasionally would play his drums at soundchecks. The skins he used were thick on both the congas and bongo. The conga drums he had were old Vergara drums made in Cuba. The ones he originally had were stolen from Marty Sheller's car trunk way back in the 1960s. The ones Mongo had were some drums given to him by a Japanese gentleman by the name of Tommy from San Francisco. Tommy signed his name on the inside of the drums. They originally were covered with red fibreglass coating at a body shop which you see in some pictures from the 1970s. Eventually he had that taken off. Mongo was very hip on what was happening in Cuba at the time and he had the latest recordings. I heard Afro-Cuba (the band, not the folkloric group) group at his house with tunes such as Si Preguntas Por Mi before anyone else had access to them on the street. It was great because we were friends, colleagues and he was a mentor. Knowing his historical importance made it a great privilege to also be his friend. Occasionally he'd call me up and ask me to come over and we'd have lunch at La Rosita, a Cuban restaurant which is now between 109 and 110th st. It used to be on the corner of 109th st and it was a small hole in the wall that only could seat about ten people. I first took him there and no one knew who he was. I had to ask them "do you know who this gentleman is?" After that we were treated like family. I still go there. The new location has seating for about forty.
PERTOUT: Did you discuss traditional styles with him?
SANABRIA: We would discuss all styles when we talked music and would listen to things. He'd make me tapes of the latest things coming from Cuba. He was very proud of the musical advancements being made in his homeland and the impact groups like Irakere were having worldwide.
PERTOUT: What about Afro Blue did he guide you through in terms of the style required? Did he ever discuss the background of some of the patterns required for the tune?
SANABRIA: Not at all. You have to understand. If you were in the band in the chair I was in, it was because you had the knowledge required to be in that chair. It was like being in Art Blakey's band. To be there you had to know Mongo's history through his recordings just as you would have to know Art Blakey's history. I knew the history of that tune, as many of us do in New York City, because it's so famous. I adhered to what Willie Bobo played on brushes on the original version Mongo did with Emil Richards on marimba. But when we went to the solo section I switched to sticks and opened it up with some of my contemporary bembe orchestrations on the drumset. It was different live because of the horn section whereas the original version was a small combo and subdued. What Willie played comes from the itones in abacua. I'm sure Mongo taught him that. They were very close. The melody is based on a Yoruba praise song for obatala. I knew that because of my studies in Ifa. I even learned the prayer Julito Collazo does for chango on Mongo's live version from the Village Gate. I did it once when we performed there and he started smiling. He appreciated all that. One thing we did talk about was how John Coltrane recorded it and they mistakenly put on the recording that John had written it. He showed me the apology letter they sent him from Coltrane's record company which at the time I believe was Prestige.
PERTOUT: In regards to Afro Blue I had a conversation with Milton Cardona where he told me that the B section of the tune was in the wrong clave and he told Mongo about it.
SANABRIA: Milton was probably referring to the original recording Mongo did with Emil Richards playing marimba.
PERTOUT: On the Tito Puente Golden Latin Jazz All Stars live recording they do put the extra bar and so the B section is in 2-3 but then they also add a bar so that when the A tag comes back it goes back to 3-2, how did you play it?
SANABRIA: I haven't heard that Tito Puente Golden Men of Latin Jazz recording other than the version of Milestones I heard on the radio, but if they did it the way you describe it is the correct way to play the tune. The B section is in 2/3 clave obviously in 6/8 meter. The A section returns/falls rhythmically on the 3 side. Obviously there has to be an asymmetric (uneven number of bars) phrase going in and out of the section to maintain clave integrity. This is the way we played it and it was arranged by Marty. The horn back rounds just before Mongo's solo also fall on the 2 side of the clave. The version of Milestones which they do in a mambo style in 2/3 they play the bridge in 6/8 but in 3/2. They should've played the 6/8 pattern in 2/3 to maintain clave integrity. I guess nobody's perfect, but I really can't stand listening to it. As I stated to you in my answers to your initial questions, most players don't realize that 6/8 meter adheres to the general rules of clave and one must learn to be comfortable in playing/starting in 2/3 clave in the bembe style. It's a very common mistake. I really became comfortable with this from singing Yoruba praise songs while playing the guataca and singing songs that start on the 2 side in 6/8. Some good examples of this done correctly are the Larry Harlow’s Latin Jazz Encounter cd on the version of La Cartera during the bridge. Another good example is my arrangement of Manteca during the bridge on my big band Live & In Clave cd.
PERTOUT: In the early recordings with Mongo and Cal the whole thing is 3-2, did you play the brushes as Willie? [ x x x . x x | x . x x x . ] or did you play the other abacua itones part starting before the beat an eighth note earlier [ x x . x x x | . x x x . x ]?
SANABRIA: Another approach is actually | x . xxx . ] xxx . xx | ‘Little’ Ray Romero showed me that all these rhythms, were to a certain extent, neutral clave wise in regards to the abacua rhythmic cycles. The first pattern you wrote actually fits perfectly in 2/3 with the bombo note of the clave lining up perfectly with the second x in the second bar. He always told me that the third pattern I wrote for you (which is the reverse of the first) was the correct pattern to play in 3/2. Most people play the first pattern because a lot, and I mean a lot, of the abacua praise songs actually lie in 2/3 clave. I sometimes alternated depending on how I felt but later I started to just play the intro beginning with the third pattern, which lies perfectly in 3/2. Remember, the opening of Afro Blue is just congas, the brushes and then the bass, which plays a neutral tumbao. If I started playing ala Willie Bobo, I would always nod to Sam Furnace to cue the horns in on the three-side of that pattern according to ‘Little’ Ray's philosophy. When we did that for the first time on the gig, Mongo started smiling like if it was an inside joke that no one was in on. After the set, he tapped me on the shoulder and just nodded to me smiling. You have to understand that he was old school regarding abacua folklore. No one was really supposed to talk about it in public, reveal anything about it, etc. I learned about it because of guys like ‘Little’ Ray and Virgilio Marti who was a good friend, abacua and taught me a thing or two about that system because we worked a lot and he dug me. Louis Bauzo also taught me a lot about it from, I would say, more of a musical, scientific and analytical perspective. Cal's recording and the version Mongo did with Emil Richards playing the melody on marimba are cruzao when it comes to the bridge of the tune, but they both phrased slightly differently on the bridge. Mongo was not that talkative during rehearsals which was a drag at times because you would figure the leader would give some insight or input into the what, how and why of certain tunes. Maybe he was just tired of the leader responsibility and trusted us and the musical director which is good and bad depending on who was in that position. He was a senior citizen when I got into the band and took a variety of medications just to keep going so I would say he didn't want to hassle with too many pendejadas. There was one thing that was certain. Have you ever heard of the ‘Ray?’ This was the name given to the evil stare that Benny Goodman would give his sidemen if he was pissed off about something when they performed. Well, unfortunately Mongo inherited that!
PERTOUT: Bobby in regards to Afro-Cuban 6/8 rhythms, how do you see the clave? Do you call 6/8 clave the pattern that the bell often plays? | x . x . x x | . x . x . x |
SANABRIA: It doesn't have a set name. It is the basic ride pattern for the bell or guataca in 6/8 for bembe. If you are dealing with knowledgeable players in the world of folklore and you tell them the rhythm is guiro (the name given to the way a bembe with shekeres is played today) or bembe, or if you even say seis por ocho or guataca, they will automatically know that they are supposed to play this pattern or its older archetype which is rarely played today except by older players.
PERTOUT: What about the following pattern which is heard on abacua, also in rumba columbia, do you call this 6/8 clave? | x . x . . x | . x . x . . |
SANABRIA: In the world of folklore and religious based music, the actual bell pattern(s) is many times referred to as the clave by the players and devotees. It is because it is the actual ‘key rhythm’ that hold the ensemble together and the actual clave pattern is inside the bell pattern(s). Obviously the root of where the clave patterns (both son and rumba) we use in the secular music world come from these ancient bell patterns in 6/8. Remember context is everything. An abacua initiate, or someone who is knowledgeable of the abacua system of drumming, will automatically know that when given the ekon in a ceremony or when using the rhythmic system in say a secular context, they must play what a secular drummer would call the rumba clave on the ekon. Language is a funny thing. What you call something or someone is a flexible world of variables according to context. My legal name is Robert, but I was known as Roberto by my parents and Bobby by my childhood friends or sometimes just, B. Others have called me Rob or Bob. They are all names I answer to because they represent me, but in different contexts. Bobby is the most familiar name that everyone knows me by and the one that is my favorite. The swing ride rhythm in jazz is also known by old schoolers as ‘spang-a-lang’, ‘shut da door’ or as Wynton Marsalis calls it, ‘the American rhythm’.
PERTOUT: Did Mongo ever discuss any clave direction issues with you?
SANABRIA: Never. I did, with Sam and the others, who really were just getting their feet wet with writing in that style. When Marty would rehearse us, going over his tunes, he would. He is very good at that and well versed in arranging properly in clave. Mongo's clave sense was very good and he learned new tunes quickly.
PERTOUT: Did he ever discuss any of his early recordings with you? For example did he ever discuss the placement of the clave in his early recordings of guaguanco?
SANABRIA: Only if I asked. We talked about that because I brought it up. As I said, Mongo was very versed on what was happening in Cuba before and after Fidel Castro. He heard when Los Muñequitos began putting the segunda drum melody against the two-side of the clave and he started doing it way back when. The Tjader recordings are testimony to that. He probably was the first player to do that in a band oriented context in terms of playing congas.
PERTOUT: In many of his ensemble recordings he incorporated songs arranged in other Latin American styles such as samba, how much did he know about styles outside the Afro Cuban tradition?
SANABRIA: Nothing really. He didn't play pandeiro, repinique, none of those Brazilian percussion instruments. What he would do is adapt the conga or bongo to whatever style we would be doing. He was very good at that and it's one of his greatest contributions as a player. His ability to adapt those instruments to styles outside of the Afro-Cuban musical world. Those types of tunes came from whomever was in the band at the time. For example he did some Venezuelen joropo tunes. The roots of that goes back to Frank ‘El Pavo’ Hernandez who is from Venezuela and played drums and timbales with Mongo in the 1960s. He was in the band so he brought his cultural heritage into the group. I'm sure Frank taught him some things and by exposing him to the style. Mongo was able to adapt the conga in a complimentary way. That's the root of those tunes like El Toro. The tune Do You Know that I recorded with my group Ascension on the NYC Ache record was from the period I was with Mongo. Sam wrote it as a joropo because he dug that groove and we recorded it for the Mongo Magic record. Unfortunately it never made it to the disc. I always liked it and I promised Sam that I would record it someday and we did on NYC Ache. The Brazilian things happened the same way. Brazilian Joao Donato was the pianist with him in the 1960s, hence the Brazilian things, cumbia tipica came from when Hector Veneros and Justo Almario, who are both Colombians were in the band. The funk, r&b flavoured things came from the African American musicians in the band as well as Marty who loves those styles.
PERTOUT: Was he well versed in some of the Puerto Rican folkloric traditions?
SANABRIA: Not at all, but he liked them and loved Cortijo's recordings.
PERTOUT: In your opinion what were his strengths?
SANABRIA: His tumbao, his sound. It was powerful and very authoritative. In his prime he could really drive a band. Plus his knowledge of the son and rumba traditions as well as Yoruba based music. Just listen to the recordings he did with Tito Puente's band in the 1950s and later with Cal Tjader. On the Tjader dates, because it was a small combo, you can really focus in and analyse how unique it was. Since he was a featured soloist in that group you can hear his distinctive solo vocabulary which was grounded in his bongo playing in son and his quinto playing in rumba. Mongo also applied a lot of the vocabulary of the bongo to the conga in terms of keeping time and doing repiques within the structure of the tumbao. He also was one of the few players that would open and close the hole of the drum to change its pitch. An example of this can be heard on Mongo's tune Tumbao from the Cal Tjader Concerts By The Sea recording when he takes his extended solo. Finally, his open mindedness. He really let the players dictate the musical direction of the band and provided a vehicle for them to express their writing as well as improvisational talents.
PERTOUT: I read that he studied violin as a youngster, was he a schooled musician?
SANABRIA: No. He did try the violin as a youngster but abandoned it for the rumba and son in the streets. He wasn't a schooled musician in the traditional sense at all. But he was a great musician and very progressive in his thinking.
PERTOUT: How did he compose, singing possible melodies to the piano player? Was he able to write charts or throughout his career relied on others to do the musical director tasks?
SANABRIA: Not necessarily to a pianist, just someone who could notate what he sang. Mongo couldn’t read a whole note, but he was a great musician, great composer. So the answer to your question is that yes, he had to rely on a musical director. The person who understood him best, in that respect was Marty Sheller. Marty really could realise Mongo's ideas and vision better than anyone who ever worked with him.
PERTOUT: In which period of his life did you work with him and for how long?
SANABRIA: I worked with Mongo from 1982 to 1984. When I joined the band Mongo was already sixty-eight years old. It was amazing that he could still play the way his hands were. There was simply no callous left and he went through boxes of band-aids. I always joked with him that he should get an endorsement deal from Johnson & Johnson. He told me that his manager Jack Hook at one time tried, but nothing came of it.
PERTOUT: Did you tour with him a lot? What were those experiences like?
SANABRIA: Yes. 99% of our work was on the road. We worked a lot in the USA especially on the West Coast. Also in numerous jazz festivals and clubs and in Europe all of the major festivals. In New York City the first gig I did when I got in the band was a weeklong engagement at the now defunct Fat Tuesday's which was owned by Steve Getz, Stan Getz's son. We also played Mikell's (defunct also), The Village Gate and others in New York City. I had a lot of great experiences during that period. When we were in Europe we were playing at the New Morning club in Paris I heard this black gentleman who had a voice like the cartoon character Popeye the sailor man. Mongo calls me over and says, "I want you to meet my cousin, Pello ‘El AfroKan’.”
PERTOUT: Did you ever discuss which players inspired him?
SANABRIA: Marcello El Blanco, who is still alive in Miami. He said that the guy was the whitest Cuban you could meet but was the blackest son of a bitch on bongo. Armando Peraza says the same.
PERTOUT: Did he have good rapports with his contemporaries, Patato, Candido, Peraza, Aguabella, Collazo, Puente, Bobo?
SANABRIA: Yes. But with Tito it came later because he and Willie left on bad terms with the Puente Orchestra in the late 1950s. When I was in the band and Tito's name would come up he'd get pissed. But because of that they both went with Cal Tjader and the rest is history. Mongo eventually reconciled enough to work together with Tito in the Golden Men of Latin Jazz group. The last concert appearance Willie ever did was at the Hollywood Bowl in 1984 where he sat in with us. That was a big thrill because I played bongo while Willie (who was big influence on me) played timbales and Mongo played congas. He died shortly thereafter from the cancer that was ravaging his body. His voice at the time, because of the cancer, sounded like Miles Davis. Mongo, Willie and Hubert Laws had a nice reminiscing session backstage and Mongo called me to come over and he introduced me to him. Candido, Patato and Peraza specially were all boyhood friends. As far as Francisco and Julito I believe they met in the US. Francisco is from Matanzas and is not a Habanero like Candido, ‘Mongomery’, Patato and Julito.
PERTOUT: Any other aspects you would like to convey in regards to Mongo Santamaria and his legacy?
SANABRIA: I'm very honoured and privileged to have performed and recorded with him and say that we were friends. His legacy is that he made the conga drum a force to be reckoned with in popular culture. Like Arsenio Rodriguez, was when he was alive, Mongo was our living connection to West Africa.
Email Interview. 20 May 2005.
© Alex Pertout. All rights reserved. No part of this article
may be reproduced without prior written permission from the author. This article forms part of the thesis ‘The Conga Drum: Development, Technique, Styles, Improvisations and the contribution of Master Drummer Ramon ‘Mongo’ Santamaria’ which was submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Philosophy in Music [by Research] Faculty of Arts, Australian National University.