Benjamin Flohr (Germany DrumAbout Organizer, Community Connecter, Driver, Head Roady, Scheduler in Chief) and I are still in pretty good shape considering that we visited 9 cities in 10 days while traveling 2,200 miles.We zig-zagged across the country, from the North in Hamburg to the South in Munich.
Like TomTom and I said at the end of our spring Japan DrumAbout, at the end of this Germany DrumAbout Ben and I said to each other in celebration “Were Not Dead!"
Ben had been working with GEWA on a number of projects over the years. GEWA is our REMO distributer in Germany.
This DrumAbout in Germany has been a year in the making. Ben has since joined the GEWA organization during that time and has become the “John Fitzgerald” of Germany. His title is "REMO Drum Circle/ Health Care and Recreation”.
Ben did a Most-Excellent job of putting this tour together. He modeled the three Japan DrumAbouts that Tom Tom organized for me over the last few years and then he compacted the tour into the 10-day Germany window in this years Fall Euro Playshop Tour that I could give him.
This was very much like a band tour: Travel in the evening; Sleeping in at the next scheduled presentation city; All programs scheduled in the late afternoon and/or early evening; then driving on to the next town after the program.
We traveled in our GEWA Drum Van, with a well-balanced pitch - tone & timber REMO drum kit that Ben and I fine tuned as we used it throughout the tour.
When Benjamin sent a message out to the Germany DCFacilitator network that I was planning to do a DrumAbout this year instead of a 3-day training, he was swamped with volunteers and requests. If we could have said YES to everyone, I would have spent a month and a half in Germany and visited 30 to 40 well-established drumming communities.
After Ben, I owe a big thank you to all of the local organizers who produced, promoted and hosted the successful VMC programs in their area. All the programs were successfully populated which was a result through the local organizers continuing efforts to develop a recreational drumming community in their area.
In the order of appearance on the Germany DrumAbout tour I would like to humbly thank: Helga Reihl, Peter Kaiser, Mathias Reuter, Professor Bernd Nentwig, Dirk Erchinger, Ricarda Raabe, Christiane Meier, Jürgen Engel, Benjamin Mayr and Charly Bock for creating so many wonderful events in such a short time.
Where ever we went we had lots of Village Music Circle trained facilitators to throw into the community drum circles. We adapted the various Rhythmical Alchemy Playshops to the people who showed up and it was a blessing to me to be able to do some Universal Principles of Hand Drumming classes, which came from my Village Music classes at the University of California Santa Cruz.
This REMO-/GEWA-supported DrumAbout takes me back to the early days of the REMO “Planting Seeds” tours in Europe and Asia.
The difference is that in the “Planting Seeds” tours of old, 3 primary objectives were in those tours:
#1- Rhythmical evangelism
#2- Educating the Music Industry about the potentials
#3- Finding, inspiring, encouraging and entering “the Needle in the haystack”
Had turned into...
#1- Rhythmical evangelism
#2 - Mentoring & Working with the community builders
#3- Connecting the dots. Creating an inter-active community of Organizers and Rhythmical evangelists throughout Germany.
Thank you REMO & Remo Belli for supporting my Rhythmical evangelism in so many ways for so many years!
Finally, I would like to thank Jeni Swerdlow for pioneering the concept of DrumAbouts into our Rhythmaculture community and to Kerry Shakerman and Mary Tolena for continuing the tradition.
Benjamin Flohr will be at the Mentor program in Scotland in a few weeks, but for now he gets a well deserved rest.
Life is a dance... Arthur