Monday, June 8, 2009

Drum Circle of Friends





This year the Griffin Dyeworks Fiber Retreat experienced an explosion of the drum circle! Word spread quickly from the previous year that dyeing and doumbeks do mix. It just seemed natural that in the setting of Camp Verdugo, among the native oaks, and in the presence of the immortal, creative spirit, ancient textile arts and primitive drumming come together. We tapped into the essence of our human instincts to bring forth and express our rhythmic souls.

With percussion, a fine line separates noise from music, and that is synchronicity, the beat with which the group becomes one. Without a steady beat, two sticks banging together are just two sticks banging together. In a group, the sticks become claves, creating a distinctive, staccato, wooden tone. We had an assortment of percussive instruments: djembes, doumbeks, bohdrans, a cymbal, shakers, a kalimba, tambourine, claves, and jaw harp! We even created some homemade percussion found on site: an empty dye bucket turned upside down, gourds with dried seeds inside, two sticks, and a thick metal bracket that sounded like a cow's bell when srtuck.
Drummers and non-drummers, belly-dancers, friends from all walks of life, our camp ranger playing his jaw harp, and a retreat attendee honoring her deceased drummer friend by bringing his cymbal, we came together, united in the spirit of friendship, the primal urge for rhythm, and the simple joy of banging a drum!

10 comments:

Jane said...

Just wanted to let you know I stopped by and am enjoying your blog!

gardenmama said...

We are a doumbek, djembe, conga, bongo playing family! : )
I could feel the energy of the beat through your writing! There really is such a connection of community through a drum circle. How wonderful you were able to take part in one, thank you for sharing this energy through your post!

MamaRose said...

That retreat sounds so awesome! I hope to go join someday soon as my little one's get a little older :D

Joy said...

Our monthly gallery hop downtown has a community drumming circle, and we love to stop by and drum for a bit. Elizabeth has been taking African drumming at school since kindergarten and is starting to get pretty good. It's always so much fun. :)

Jen said...

That looks like such a blast! I hope we can join the drum circle with you guys next year :) Love the mulit-ages involved, too!

Ellen Shipley said...

I loved the drum circle! I borrowed my son's bodhran for the occasion (I was invisible behind Eowyn down on the ground level).
8-] That was a lot of fun!

Michelle said...

We love hosting our own drum circles...in our living room! Every bowl, pot, pan, and, well drum comes out. It messy, noisy & wonderful!!

With a house full of boys, I find this to be one of the best ways to channel some of their energy:-)

Mona said...

Would have loved to be drumming with you! - and joining the Fiber Retreat. So much fun, learning and creativity in one place :)

mamaroots said...

drumming and a dye retreat- mmm looks like so much fun! I love the indigo- and there is something so powerful about drumming- like that primal heartbeat!

Tan Family said...

Hi Mamaroots! We agree that drumming is very primal. Kids and adults alike love drumming. And, if you don't have drums at home, you can make them with coffee cans, pans and other household items! :)