An unusual event took place in the Ogden House auditorium on May 5th, 2016. For those members sitting in the lounge at the time, they heard and felt a rumbling never before experienced at the club. What could it be?
A drum circle, of course.
As we arrived, each of us looked around the auditorium, skeptically, and wondered what had we gotten ourselves into? The chairs were arranged in a large circle with a drum sitting in front of each spot. Jamie Gore, a Drum Circle Facilitator with Circles of Rhythms, greeted us and invited us to select a seat and a drum. There were colourful Cuban Tubanos, shapely Djembes, and graceful Frame drums, all waiting to release their voices with just a touch from a drummer.
Each drum style, is unique in the way it looks, the sound it makes and in the way it is played.
The Djembe, a goblet shaped drum from West Africa, is held between the legs, and is tilted slightly forward to allow the voice of the drum to escape through the bottom of its hollow body. The drummer beats the drum skin with their open hands or the drum rim with their fingers.
The community drum and the frame drums are used to keep the beat and set the pace for all the other drums. Historically, the frame drum is believed to have been styled after the original drum, which was developed from the grain sieves used by ancient agricultural communities.
As the short hour flew by, everyone had an opportunity to try out each style of drum, and to play one of the percussion instruments which had been laid out on the floor in the centre of the circle.
We drummed for ourselves, we drummed for each other, and we drummed for those fleeing the fires in the north. We energized our bodies, our minds, we played with our hearts and our spirits. The room vibrated and bounced to the sounds we made. Our faces broke out in smiles, our feet tapped in rhythm while our arms beat in time to each other.
I had a drumming good time and look forward to the next drum circle, but from the looks on the faces of the members sitting in the lounge as we left, the next circle will need more chairs and more drums.
Cheryle – May 2016
Originally published in the Ogden House 50+ Seniors Activity Club – June Newsletter