Ewe drumming, Kopeyia, Ghana.
This will be the first of several posts exploring the interplay between music, language and sound, particularly as it relates to African drumming. We’ll start by addressing the notion of “drum language.” In my view, drum language can be placed into two basic categories: 1) drum imitates sound of voice; 2) voice imitates sound of drum.
The first approach — drum imitating voice — can be found in the music of the Dagomba people of Northern Ghana. Through a variety of techniques — most notably READ MORE →
At workshops, a lot of people ask how I got into drumming. So here goes.
Despite the misleading photo of me from 3rd grade (above), I didn’t start studying music until the ripe age of 18. True story! Growing up my folks never put pressure on me to play an instrument and I didn’t feel the urge to go beyond being a devoted listener. After making a documentary on the Berkeley High School jazz program during my senior year there, I was inspired to take up jazz piano. READ MORE →