Boneo Village Drum Class
The West-African Djembe and associated drum ensemble tradition first emerged from the Mandé people of the Malian empire. The Djembe drum is inseparable from the traditional bass drums, the Dunduns, as well as the bells and percussion instruments that constitute the ensemble. Together, the frequencies of sound and intricate design of the rhythms and their shapes around one another function to bring forward vibrational images with profound depth and meaning.
Djembe music is a language. By learning this language in the way it has been passed on by the masters of its tradition over time, we of Western communities can learn to listen more deeply and create music as a community that is rich with purpose and that resists the gradual erosion of ancient traditions that comes from ‘jamming’ without effort to preserve and learn from the original musical structures and techniques.
By giving our attention to the complex system of relationships within the drum ensemble, and also to the inner activity we experience directly when executing the rhythms ourselves, we can begin to appreciate something of the worldview that birthed the art - reliant on personal contact, social agreement and cohesion for its highest expression.
The workshop will be divided into two sessions:
SESSION 1 (2 hours) will explore the drum as a tuning instrument to the natural processes of movement and rhythm occurring both within and without the body, as well as introduce the focus rhythm for the day. Exercises will orient the player to the Djembe and Dunun instruments, as well as to a personal relationship with rhythm and how this can be developed and contribute to community music-making.
SESSION 2 (1 hour) will build on the focus rhythm introduced in Session 1. It will explore more advanced musical concepts relating to the development of solo technique and direct responsiveness to inflections within the music.
Both sessions are suitable for drummers of all levels of experience, including absolute beginners. Young ones from the age of twelve upwards are welcome. Drums will be provided, or you are welcome to bring your own.