Hello My Friends,
It’s Arthur in Spain, No that was last week. Arthur in Ireland?... No! that was Yesterday… England? YES - OKAY, now I am in England! Yea!
I have 10 whole luxurious days to spend in the small seaside resort town of Eastbourne England.
The green rolling hills of the Sussex Downs wraps it’s arms around this small resort town. Snuggled in the southeast corner of England, Eastbourne receives the most sunlight per year than anywhere else on this wet foggy island.
Eastbourne is the boyhood town of my good friend, James Asher. After a number of years of living in the heart of London, James sold his big fancy city home for a hefty price and bought a house in Eastbourne. After a few years he moved to a new location on the outskirts of Eastbourne where the open fields and rolling hills of the Sussex Downs are only a few step away.
James’s famous “Starfield Studio” is now in a large log cabin that he built in the backyard behind his house. That is where we now do our rhythmical and musical alchemy together.
On my annual European Playshop tours, I always stop off to spend some time with James.
The magic of the Rhythmical/Music Alchemy that we create together is the goal. But some of the music does end up in CDs once in awhile. We have made 10 albums so far…
For you beginning Drummers and Facilitators, the above URL is also where you can access the Universal Grooves Play Along that goes with the educational rhythm history breakdown that is on my website and in the VMC Playshop Workbook:
This is the 14th year in a row that I have had the privilege of visiting and hanging out with this musical genius and yet, I’m still not sure if he is a drumming musician or a musical drummer.
This annual ‘Pit Stop’ is always a welcomed respite in the middle of my fall European Playshop training tour and is usually one of the highlight experiences of my year.
Adelle Brownlee Brewer is an International Trainer and Somatic Teacher of Nia, which combines nine movement forms in the martial arts, dance and healing arts...
She selected a few cuts from James’ massive album collection, and licensed them from him to use in a routine she created for Nia International. While I was with James last year, she asked us to create specific rhythm/music pieces for future routines.
For her Celebrate video, Adelle chose four tracks from James Asher`s Drum Travel album - Breaking Good, Bring on Brasil, Hey Wanaina and Los Cuentos. They can be found here:
Adelle made a Nia movement video just for us. As she danced in front of the camera, she talked to us about that particular movement, its intention, purpose and place in the routine. After reviewing the video, Adelle, James and I had a Skype discussion about the rhythmic and musical feel she sought to support a particular movement.
That sent James and me off on a great studio alchemy adventure last year! Using Adelle’s dance music perimeters, we created a mass of material, some of which worked well for Adelle, and all of which worked for James and I. Anything we submitted to Adelle that she did not want to use, went back to us to “Starfieldize.” That was a Win-Win all the way around.
James went to an Adelle-led Nia FreeDance training in Wales last April, and played percussion during the training and public classes, along with the dance studio’s PA music.
They got along great, and gave James a chance to experience first hand the spirit in which the Nia Freedance workshops take place. James received insight in to how that community searches and finds music and the various stages of the dance`s evolutionary cycles. James greatly admired the stunningly vibrant quality of the teaching by Adelle and Joanie Brooks, and how they bring everybody really alive through their infectious enthusiasm!
Now I’m back in the arms of Starfield Studio once again, and Adelle has more work/play for us to do.
In preparation for this years collaboration, James has sent Adelle a smorgasbord of short rhythm and musical sketches, for her perusal. She sent him back a number of CDs of different rhythm-dance routines and a list of choreography tempos from a choreographer’s perspective.
Upon my arrival, we spent the first evening listening to Adelle’s CDs, taking notes as to tempo feel and color. We came up with a brilliant plan of approach and went to work/play the next morning.
Following all of Adelle’s perimeters and protocols, we created an amazingly beautiful and emotional musical piece that might have nothing to do with her dance/movement needs. We got caught in our own trap of studio Alchemy habits.
We had a laugh at the result, fine-tuned it and mixed it down as a James Asher-Arthur Hull collaboration for future Starfield album use. We are now being a little more disciplined, and providing what rhythm-musical-movement alchemy that our client, and now friend Adelle requires.
We are still having all the usual creative fun that we have generated together for years!
Now on Day 3 of this years Starfield Studios visit, James and I have locked in six more musical rhythmical danceable pieces, had a Skype with Adelle and went off to the local pub for their Open Mike night, with Djembe and electric piano in hand, and jammed the rest of the day away.
Watch this space...
Arthur in England, then it’s on to Norway - Germany - Italy - Scotland and HOME.
Life is a dance... Arthur