‘Zambalogy’ utilizes the rhythmic constructs of the Zamba, a Creolle courtship dance (where the dancing couple each hold a handkerchief) that together with the Cueca (also known as Chilena in Chile and Marinera in Peru) originate from the Zamacueca (or Zambacueca). The Zamba was introduced to central and north-east Argentina during the first half of the nineteenth-century via Chile and Peru, and is rhythmically set around six pulses in 6/8 meter, with a clear emphasis on beats three, four and five. The usual performance setting is an ensemble consisting of voices, acoustic six-string guitars and the Argentine bombo – an Andean cylindrical-shaped double-headed drum popular in musical genres from Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru.
The construction of this drum utilizes a hollow tree and animal skins with fur – the wooden rims and head struck with a stick and a mallet. The work was originally composed for Australian harpists Marshall McGuire, and premiered in Sydney, Australia in 2005.