I’ve been playing Djembe for about 4 years now. I was completely mesmerised by it when I first started. I couldn’t get enough of it. Its really energising.
I did a healing course in New Zealand about 12 years ago and one of the things we did was African drumming. It stayed in the back of my head. Stayed there a long time. A friend of a friend told me about a drum jam that was free so we arranged to go. I ended up going on my own and found a big bunch of people, about 50 people playing Jumbe and other bits of percussion. People dancing and singing. Like a big party atmosphere. It was amazing.
I was really rather shy about it but it was meant to be.
The power of African drumming its not a solo sport. You can practice on your own. You can learn all sorts of long pieces but actually its no fun, It’s a community instrument. It belongs in a family of instruments so you can keep a rhythm.
I’ve met a whole new family of friends. Interesting for me I’ve come across new friends and discover they drum too.
The drum I’m playing now I got through my teacher, Alex Dayo a master drummer, his family actually make drums. I think his brother made this drum. They are hand carved and very heavy.
Walthamstow – performed in the summer fair. Classes on Thursday evenings in the Church Hall.
They are few locations for drumming in Walthamstow. Huge space at the top of the market with nothing happening. I’m new to Walthamstow, it seems to need a focal point.
Cultural background – Irish get together after a drink for a sing song. We’d have a dance in the living room, till all hours.
Irish folk influences. My mum was into Jim Reaves. My dad was a good singer. I was in a group playing guitar. There’s always been bits of music in the background.
I’ve lost track of how long I’ve been in the drumming community, I played this about 10 years. I started playing Jumba .
From that I moved to Tumtums the drums are traditionally played with sticks and a bell and they carry the rhythms – the base line. There is 3 of them
I broke my are so I couldn’t play Chimbe for a period so I changed my instrument.
I’m a musician I had played piano and bass guitar before but not drums. I was going to do something after work with a friend. We started water colours then my friend suggested we go drumming and forget the water colours. We loved the drumming it was like a drug. We found a place in Camden where people just met to play. We just got into it. Once a week. Two times a week, three. I became addicted.
We perform, that was part of the attraction. With drumming its all about playing for / with people. For people to join in to dance and clap. Its for people – you can’t do it by yourself. The point of it is communication. The different rhythms, how they interlock with one another. Especially west African music, its very complex in the way the different instruments relate to one another.
My musical background, I played the piano when I was little.
My music collection is quite broad, no pop. A bit of jazz, world music mostly. I love Indian classical music, African music, Latin American, Classical music and weird things that people do. Where people are being creative, I like to be educated by the sound. You hear things that you never hear before. Yes I like new things but then I can play a record 20, 40n times until I am sick of it.
My connections to Walthamstow I have a workshop. No venues here. The drumming group is new. I just moved here from West London. I am keen to play here. A migration from West London. A group I play with are coming here. There is a group in Lewisham. I like to play with different people. You can play in a park and someone will just join you. If you play the same music you can communicate even though you have only just met. I have a new shop opening in Walthamstow. Instruments. ??? (34:16). Shakers, I have some already, African musicians. That’s what they do, I can help them by selling their instruments. They inspire me.