“For me the djembe is a powerful entity for humans to channel great energy and to transmit this energy in a joyous and spiritual way. Key aspects of the djembe and its culture for me are; The joy it transmits, The meditative aspect of drumming, The community and union that is created through playing the djembe which incompasses any gathering of people for any reason where listeners dancers and players all come toghether to share the vibration.
The healing benefits of playing, The death of ego that must occur to go deeper into the music, The connection to the natural world, The fact that it makes me feel great. I feel the djembe has 3 and in most cases 4 spirits.
1) the spirit of the animal that lived in the skin
2) the spirit of the tree that the drum is made from,
3)the spirit of the person that made it
4) the spirit of the peron who repairs the skin/drum when needed.
I am a woodworker/artisan and beleive the carving is important but most of all its the intention that goes behind the making and carving and reskinning. Why not try blessing and thanking the skin and when soaking it in water why not with energy crystals such as amber or amethyst, quartz etc.
Rather than boring you with my own story and history of drumming i would like to encourage you to go deeper with your drumming. Meditate with your drum, talk to it give it a name, realise that the music isn´t all you its the djembe and the others playing and the energy you are channeling and transmiting. Be conscious of breath and posture, push through pain with joy, give good energy when drumming , drum from your soul not your head. Play with as many people and in as many situations as possible, learn by your drumming experiences and allow drumming to vitalize your life. Try to drum where there is dance or all in a circle or with fire present or with singing so the energy builds.
I currently live in Tasman near Nelson( South Island, New Zealand) and shall be making and repairing drums and running some workshops soon around expressing and healing yourself with drumming and also workshops on the meditative side of drumming, connecting to power animals and the natural world namely, the 5 elements.
I am blessed to be around other great drummers and dancers here in nelson and would like to promote them and their work too, they are Kimberley Anderson , Rob De Leeuw Miro Klima and Annika Wagenhoff. Happy drumming, Ross