Sunday, August 2, 2009

Rhythm is a language. Drum circles.

I went to drum circle again today, the second time recently after a year away from it. I should have gone back sooner as all afternoon I've been floating on a lovely wave of euphoria. There's something about the physical bit of it, the movement, rhythm and vibrations that can set something off and put things right. I can see how music and dance therapy are so powerful.

Drumming is brilliant for lifting stress, anger, grief, worries and sadness. I've seen it work wonders for shyness too.

The drum circle I go to feels a lot like RR - unpressured and welcoming. We have a facilitator, like a lot of drum circles, but there's no pressure about "right or wrong" ways of doing things. No hidden agenda either. Just fun and happiness.

There are drum circles all over the world :

Drums On the Web - hitchhikers guide to drum circles

Here's a little film I found on YouTube that gives you a good idea of what it's like and how it feels. Like they say in the film, rhythm is a language. Lovely :

Time stops and we all evaporate

The people in the photo up there are in Vermont

Thanks Toffee for helping me with the hyperlinks.


glasshalfempty said...

I can't play any instrument for toffee, except that I had an evening with a gang called Drum Crazy, and I almost persuaded myself I was being musically creative. It was great fun, and as you say, leaves you feeling de-stressed and elated. I hadn't heard of drum circles, but I'll look out for one around my way.

goneforeign said...

I've never participated but I've always enjoyed 'em, there was one in Berkeley years ago that was quite large, maybe 20-30 drummers, what I enjoyed with that one was that there were several who beat on cast iron brake drums or brake discs with a hammer or re-bar, it added a whole new element.
If you're not familiar with Japanese Taiko check out these links.

Dangerpuss said...

haha. Toffee may be a bit miffed that you won't be playing anything for him. I happen to think anyone can play something and loads of things can be played. Just look at Stomp - bin lids etc.

Yes drumming is quite a thrill when you suddenly feel creative with it. I know what you mean. If you find a good drum circle, let us know about it!

Today I met a woman who was doing it to ease her osteoarthritis. And there's usually lots of other percussiony things to play with that get shaken rather than pummeled.

The drums we use are lovely to look at too. Beautifully hand-crafted.

Cheers, Caitlin

Japanther said...

great clips GF.

I often come across these groups in Tokyo practicing on a Saturday or Sunday in a park or a dis-used car park or something like that. I always stay a while and listen, but have never been to a full-on performance.

I have however played the enormously popular Taiko arcade game in the "game centre" on numerous occasions. You have real sticks and have to hit the (real-looking) drum in time to the computer, it's not so easy!

I know it's completely different kind of drumming, but if anyone hasn't seen the "Boadrums - 77 Drummers" film, put together by Eye Yamataka out of the Boredoms, it's well worth a watch, an incredible sound.

I tried and tried to find a link to the original film of the event which is better than all the Youtube clips, but to no avail...sorry!

TatankaYotanka said...

Echo City don't come together quite as often as they used to but when they do, catch them if you can ...

TatankaYotanka said...

Echo City

Ohhh .... now I get it :)