Saturday, September 15, 2007

Drums ... and the nectar of light

Today I went to the Arouca drum class (transferred because it is closer than Grande). When I went 2 weeks ago the teacher was sick and there was no class. Last week I couldn't go because I had to go to Joanne's book launch. Today when I went, only the tassa teacher was there. I tried it out for a while and wasn't really getting it, so he told me to play the same rhythm on Dandelion. I was doing that when a large woman (wearing green and blue hiking boots, a blouse with small green and white checks, a short denim skirt with locks piled up on her head and wrapped in a red, gold and green scarf) came up to me, pointed to Dandelion and said: "Dat's your drum?"


"Come," she told me - and I followed her outside. There on a bench were two other women, one with a small drum (which belonged to the large woman) and one with a large bass drum.

"Show us what you learned in Deso's class," one of them said.

So I showed them what I remembered: Avalo, Bele, etc. and they showed me the Black African and Indian beats. We sat there jamming and it not only sounded great, but felt great, sitting outdoors on the bench with these women. Prior to this I was the only 'girl'. The large woman was sitting next to me, jiving away on her little djembe, head and shoulders jerking back and forth in time with the rhythm. At one point we were playing the Jig and she got up and started to do the Tobago jig (dance): "Heel and toe! Heel and toe!"

"Attitude!" one of them called out. "Yuh need attitude!"

So she cocked out her bottom and stared at it with a sultry expression on her face while still doing heel and toe, with us drumming, chanting and laughing in the background: "Heel and toe! Heel and toe!"

At one point the large woman asked me: "Wha's yuh name?" When I told her she almost fainted ... and had to pronounce it about ten times before getting it. Her name is Susan (and the other two I can't recall right now). We were joined somewhat later by two young men, Junior and Israel.

The teacher never turned up and, when Susan called on her cell phone, she found out that he was in hospital (casualty). We continued drumming - and everyone who tried out Dandelion literally said "I am in love with this drum." Her tone is really special. They wanted one just like it.

When we were all leaving, I went to my car and saw this Tiger butterfly ... which appeared to be sucking nectar from my car light. Junior, the woman from the Centre and I stood watching it as it went through the sucking motions, never even flinching as I went close to it to get some macro shots. It only flew off when I drove away.

That was a great 'class'. A pity I won't be able to go next Saturday (I'll be at a film workshop and then at the festival) and I won't be able to go the weekend after either (the last class) because of the Greenlight concert. But the others say we should continue even after the classes are done ...

Labels: ,


Anonymous Kikipotamus the Hobo said...

Aw, what a great encounter with these other drumming women!

7:56 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home