Saturday, April 26, 2008

Drum Rehearsal

Our World Beat Concert is gonna be this Thursday and I'm a little weirded out by the whole last couple rehearsals deal. I'm used to fairly decisive leaders/directors who take control and make sure things are running smoothly. Our Drum professor is in a whole different category.... And we've only got one rehearsal left. Repeat: We've only got one rehearsal left.
We don't know exactly which pieces we're doing yet. We don't know exactly what instruments we'll each be playing for some of the pieces yet. He's got this whole 'laissez faire' approach to the concert that is kinda freaky to me. I'm not panicked or anything, but I would like to know what I'm supposed to play when lots of people are watching me. I've had to make things up on the fly, though, so I'm not just flipping out. One of the other people in the class expressed some angst to me today. I think she has the right to be frustrated with the process...
The best example of our director's approach to the concert happened today: We are working with the Fairbanks Capoeira group and they're going to do a demonstration during the concert. (Capoeira is a form of martial arts which developed during the mid-1600's among the slaves in Brazil. Music, drums and songs are an integral part of the Capoeira so that the slaves could tell their masters that they were dancing. It looks a lot like slow break-dancing, but is incredibly acrobatic.) We'll be doing 15-20 minutes of material with the group and they are choosing the songs and the order of their section. However, we don't know yet what songs they are doing, the order or what instruments we're each supposed to be playing. Our director said today, "We'll just play along and when you're ready tell someone you want to switch instruments." And he's serious! How would you feel about me telling the guitarist next Sunday that I was tired of playing my djembe and I'd like to play guitar! I admit we're all switching around & playing different instruments during most of the pieces, but I know the rhythms! I know what I do in different sections.
(This is a picture of a Capoeira music group playing berimbau and a pandeiro. The berimbau are the string instruments and the pandeiro looks like a tambourine. It's not a tambourine- the jingles are different but it does look like one. I pulled this pic off Wikipedia, but there are tons of sites out there if you're interested in finding out more about Capoeira.)

1 comment:

Valette said...

It was like that when I took that class. But something he's trying to teach you is that drumming, drum circles especially, are very organic. Very. Organic. So if you want to switch instruments, that's cool. If you want to repeat some stuff, that's cool. If you want to play all night, that's cool, too. We did a joint piece with two drum sets, and we had never even rehearsed with them before the performance. Just follow him and he'll tell you when to come in.