Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!

"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One

For old quotes, look here.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Natives Are...Partying

One of the first things I noticed at my first PSG was the drumming. It was constant - day or night, someone (usually several someones) was drumming. Djembes, dumbeks, ashikos, djun-djuns, tablas, bodhrans, and drums I don't have names for, all pounding away together and weaving intricate rhythms through the event.

In the past few years, the drummers haven't kept it up 'round the clock, but they do their best. This year, there was a camp behind us in the woods where a large group of young folks were settled in, and they would start in the evening and drum until the wee hours.

It's not always drums. Sometimes there's a flute, a whistle, a handful of percussion instruments, or even a voice. To be honest, I'm usually the voice when I sit in on the drumming, because my drum skills are...erm...only slightly better than non-existent. Sometimes I bring flute or whistle, but usually it's me and some shakers and my drum.

My drum is not huge, but it's heavy. I laughingly say that I bought the world's heaviest drum, that it feels like it weighs four-hundred pounds. She is solid, with a good head on her, and I named her Azuli. I have plans to dye her head blue one of these days. She has a deep voice (hmm, like a certain vocalist I know) and can be quite loud, if loud is wanted (again, like a certain vocalist I know).

There is a fire around which people are supposed to drum, giving the community a place to meet in rhythm and also offering the opposite end of the camp a hope of quieter sleeping if that's what they want. Sometimes the drums are frenzied, wild, on the brink of losing control; sometimes they are slow, sultry, inviting dancers to come take a few turns around the fire. Always, the sound carries through the woods, over hill and dale, reaching to the far edges of the vast camp.

There are a few folks at the event who don't like the constant drumming - but I'm not one of them. There's something deliciously primal about falling to sleep to the pounding of the skins, having that sound braided into one's dreams.

Heard while sleeping, they become a heartbeat.

1 comment:

Kit said...

We missed you at Saturday's drumming! It was fun. I plan to be at the next one. :)