Hello My Friends,
This is the last day of our Germany DrumAbout 2017. We will do one program in each of two cities. Both towns of Augsburg and Ingolstadt are in near proximity to Munich, the third largest city in Germany. But they are far away from the, now large, metropolis to retain their own identity.
We are definitely in Bavaria, a countryside of high plateaus and medium-sized mountains. The Alps are right next door. The mountain culture and architecture is very different down here than up north, more ornate and colorful.
It is the last day of our Germany DrumAbout and the inspiration given to Benjamin Flohr and myself from each community keeps us moving on to the next city and into the next program.
We are now in Augsburg at the Rudolph-Steiner-School.
Benjamin Mayr, pronounced "Ben ya mean” is our local organizer who has been effective in creating a well-attended "Universal Principles of Hand Drumming“ class. It was a Family-friendly class with some kids. Lots of people there have been studying with Benjamin, who does percussion and bilaphone classes. There were also people attending who had been doing his regular drum circles in the area. Most of them will be at the big drum circle tonight in the town of Ingolstadt.
Benjamin has also been doing drum circles in conferences such as a school principal conference, and a national Rudolph-Steiner conference.
After the drumming class, the community helped us pack up our GEWA Drum Van for our evening gig in Ingolstadt, not too far away.
Ingolstadt is our last town on this Germany DrumAbout and we are holding what was be our biggest event. Charly Böck - (or Boek - or Burk, not pronounceable in English without choking), is our local program organizer and he has been building a rhythm-community here for many years. He has a hand drumming school here that teaches an eclectic gathering of “Afro-Latin” styles and rhythms. Included in that is a Samba - Bachucata group that has been performing for many years throughout the area. Charlie also teaches percussion at the prestigious House of Percussion in Munich.
The venue for our community drum circle was at “Fort 79” a massive brick building once used as an armory as part of the old city defense fortifications. It is now a great concert venue and has a great acoustic sound for drum circles. Charly has used it for his drum circles for the last 5 years.
It was definitely a Family-Friendly Community Drum Circle, with a large range players from kids and beginning beginners all the way up to a hot djembe player, Louis Sanou from Burkina Faso West Africa (whom I showcased a lot in Drum Call because that was what he wanted).
We setup for a 3 concentric row circle setup, but by the time we were at full population it was a 4 row circle. We had also setup the usual drum-percussion-drum-percusion timber-pitch layout, but many of Charly’s students brought their own drums. As they sat down removing the percussion from the chair, putting it under the chair, it slowly turned into a very “DRUM” orientated circle. A “DRUM” different kind of animal than a timber mixed drum orchestra, but just as fun to facilitate. [But watch the volume!]
From time to time, I did showcase what bells, shakers and wood blocks that were left, in order to entice more players to join into the Percussion timber mix, but it still remained a dominantly Drummy drum circle most of the evening.
After the Drum Call, our co-facilitation team consisted of Charly Böck, Alexandra Ott, Benjamin Flohr and MySelfElf + two surprise jump-ins.
This was Charly’s well established community. He is a big guy with a big heart and soft “Mild Mannered Reporter” type of personality and he got a cheer from the group every time he walked into the circle. His facilitation technique reflects his humble personality and it never feels like a show or manipulation. His nicely facilitated themed sequences, (Rumbles-Accents-Call and Responses etc), were well placed in the context of the circles dynamic, (the “When” to do them).
One of our unsolicited jumpers was Sylvia Schafer, a charismatic woman who brought her own djembe troop/ensemble to the circle. She was obviously self-internet-trained and had good “What.” What she did as a facilitation sequence was congruent with the “When" as to where the drum circle participants were at in musicality at the time.
Later on in the event a wild child of a man came in, ("It looked so easy I thought I would try it”). He jumped up and down a lot with a shaker in his hand and would randomly semi-sculpt drum circle sections then stop - start for no apparent reason (but at least in time to the music).
I am now at an age where stuff like this is “Mostly” entertaining and fun to watch. When the wild child was finally moving towards facilitating his own "Crash-Burn & Die" rhythm crash, I politely came to the circle thanking him for his contribution, while escorting him out and re-adjusting the groove.
This particular drum circle was particularly satisfying to me. For over 10 years in the Germany Playshops I have watched Charly grow up and mature as a drum circle facilitator and as an “Elder in Training.” I received regular reports from Charly, as to the growth and maturity of his community, but it is so inspirational and heartening to come to his hometown and experience the fruits of his rhythmical evangelist passion.
Thank you Charly for your service to the mission, and confirming to all of us by your good works, that the fruit you bear is worth the work and perseverance.
As usual if you build community in your rhythm event, the community helps you Roady, and the GEWA Drum Van gets packed up quickly.
I will do a tour wrap up later. Right now we are driving to our Munich Airport hotel where I will fly to London early tomorrow.
I will spend a well-deserved week in James Asher’s brand-spanking-new studio. AHHHHHhhhhhhh!
Even though life is a dance… its nice to have a sit down and rest once in a while.
I will do a Germany DrumAbout tour wrap up once I’m settled at James.
Thank you REMO - GEWA and especially Benjamin Flohr for creating and facilitating this wonderful opportunity. Benjamin you are my TomTom in Germany, and that is the greatest compliment The Arthurian one can give.
Life IS a dance... Arthur