Drum Circle Part III = Fulfillment
“A ‘Drum Circle’ in by my definition is any group of people assembled in any configuration that is willing to participate in laying down a basic beat by number and to work together to fill the spaces in between to form a voice of rhythm all together for all to enjoy.”
This past weekend, the Cleveland County Arts Council celebrated its 10th annual Art of Sound Music Festival and something special happened Saturday afternoon. On the Court Square, in front of the Arts Council, Shelby welcomed its first drum circle. John Martin, facilitated the drum circle by bringing a variety of percussion instruments like congas, bongos, cowbells, and jam blocks. John is the drummer for The Traffic Jam Band, recently nominated for the Charlotte Music Awards. He began drumming at 11 years old, and has played shows with Joe Walsh and a member of The Outlaws.
About 50 people attended Saturday, with roughly 25 participants making a ‘joyful sound,’ including several children. Instruments ranged from a paint can struck with a stick to a steady drone of a talented jug blower. More intricate instruments included handmade drums from all over the world. Many participants brought an assortment of percussion instruments to share with people of all ages.
So how do you start a drum circle?
This Saturday, you could hear a heartbeat emanating from the heart of Shelby. “Bump, bump,” two, three, four. “Bump, bump,” two, three, four, was the glue that held the group together. Simple, steady rhythms and counting are the heart and soul of the drum circle beat. On beats two, three, and four, drummers allowed space for improvisation and musical filigree. This Saturday’s drum circle would not have been possible without the help of Shearra Miller and the support of the Cleveland County Arts Council.
Calling all students songwriters, musicians and singers! We are looking for submissions to be showcased in our Cleveland County Artists feature: