6th Anniversary Celebration 2009!
On 2/28/09 we celebrated the 6th Anniversary of Different Drummers. Before the end of the evening, more
than 40 people joined us for what turned out to be a memorable evening.
|Early in the evening...
|The group vocalizes with the didgeridoo
|He Junping playing the Erhu
The next picture requires some explanation for those of you who weren't with us that evening.
I'll let Daryne Rockett tell the story in her own words...
"Last year, an old friend from high school found me through the internet. It had been over fifteen years since we last
spoke, and both of us had changed names. It was a joyful surprise to be reconnected with my friend Beth.
Beth is working
in Afghanistan as a contractor - helping to support the prison system in a way consistent with values for humane treatment
of all people, including detainees. I talked her into sharing her mailing address so that I could send random boxes of treats
from the US. Having spent three years working in Korea, I knew how cool it was to get mail stuffed with the familiar flavor
of home. She wanted to respond in kind with something unique from Afghanistan (and she wasn't taking no for an answer). I
told Beth that I have been collecting rhythm instruments from around the world, and I imagined that she might find me a rattle
or small bell.
Several weeks went by, but Beth did not find any instruments in the markets that she had access to.
Traditional instruments are difficult to find in Afghanistan as they are slowly recovering from a time when the Taliban banned
music and dance for all citizens. I thanked her for looking and said that I also really enjoyed hats.
on some Halloween candy, Beth's translator Wazir asked about the source of the treats. She told him they had come from her
friend in the US with the interest in percussion. Several days later, he brought Beth a drum. This was a precious gift indeed!
night, while celebrating the sixth anniversary of Different Drummers community drum circle in Yarmouth, the drum had it's
debut making music with others. I shared the story of the drum with the nearly forty people gathered for the celebration and
asked them to join me in playing a song for Afghanistan. The reply from the drum community was enthusiastic to say the least.
Jellis played her cello, I played my harp and I asked our drum guru and organizer, Rick Cormier, to play the drum. We improvised
a song for Afghanistan. We played a blessing for the drum and from the drum. We wove intentions for music, dance and joy to
return to the people of Afghanistan. And the music was as beautiful and peaceful as the shared inentions of the circle. Other
drummers joined us softly, and the music continued to rise.
After the song was over, a drummer suggested that we send
the drum around to each person in turn, giving them the opportunity to bless it and play it. Through the next three or four
pieces, the drum traveled around the circle, each person taking it carefully in their hands and giving it their own unique
voice as part of the group's song. Several of us danced for joy in the center of the circle, as it continued on its rounds.
song has been recorded, and will be posted as soon as the digital recording has been prepared for download. There are photographs
of the drum's tour of the circle in my album "Drumming for Afghanistan". Please enjoy the pictures and, if you are so moved,
play or dance a bit for the people of Afghanistan today. Do it alone, or better yet, share the experience with some friends."
|"Song for Afghanistan" improvisation (heard here)