"The Drummer's Diary" - share w. us what happens to you drumming

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Postby windhorse » Mon May 23, 2005 1:51 am

Conga Tick I feel for ya man!!
4 hours? conga every song!?!? Jeeze!
We play for four hours every Sunday,,, but we move around and play different parts. No mics, just play right beside a creek and in front of a foot path and library lawn.
Just played today, and the singing is really coming along!!!
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Postby ABAKUA » Mon May 23, 2005 3:33 am

One of my bands has adopted a nazi type rehearsal the last few weeks hehehehe..

For the last few weeks, we rehearse from 10am-6.30pm with a 1 hr lunch break around 3pm.
We do this every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, then gig through the weekend (fri-sat-sun), and do 10am-6.30pm on Tuesday again.

I have never seen original material come together as quickly and as tightly as this in my life!
Band is sounding amazing though!

I will have some video/audio files up online in the next few weeks or so when my mate comes over to do it for me, will let you guys have a listen. :)




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Postby CongaTick » Mon May 23, 2005 11:21 am

Yoni,

Yep, think I will work in more perc toys to give the hands a rest midset. Fast recovery though. By next day, ready to kick ass again.

Abakua,

Wow-- Nazi-rehearsals, indeed!. Geez, man, that's intense, but the type of schedule I could really get into, if my mates had the time for it.

Windhorse,

The creek, the woods ...very nice, and a lot more comfortable than the smoke filled hubbub of a singles bar on a Saturday night.

Thank you all for your replies. How driven we are to endure the sweet pain of expressing what's in our hearts and dances in our souls.
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Postby ABAKUA » Wed May 25, 2005 4:51 am

Well, last night we were supposed to rehearse with our other Timba band, we got to our trumpet players house (where we rehearse with this band) around 6pm and he was just pulling up to the driveway..

We got in the house and soon discovered there was no power! :angry: He has been having some interior renovations done and it seems the builders had knocked out the power and not said anything/left no note or nothing, so without electricity and house full of musicians who couldnt rehearse we proceeded to go into the living room, lit a few candles and in the dark had an open rumba for a few hours with 3 congas, Iya, timbal, chekere, clave, bells and vocals distributed amongst the 9 band members.
All improvised, but some of the call n response, chorus etc and arrangements that came out of it, seemed as though it had been rehearsed! I wish I wouldve recorded it!
It was beautiful. :)

Now I have a day or 2 to chill, work out some new arrangements for my other band and have Thursday and Fri rehearsal with my other band from 10am till 6.30pm both days, and since we dont have a gig on Fri night, we are then rehearsing with the timba band from 7pm-11pm on Fri after the first rehearsal! :cool:




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Postby yoni » Wed May 25, 2005 4:30 pm

Abakua, that's a neat story... it's great how the best music can come with unexpected situations.

"I wish I would have recorded it."

How many times have I also said this? Why is it that the best jams often go unrecorded? Well, maybe they're somehow indelibly imprinted on the universe anyway... and in our hearts.

Til now, the only "promoting" I've ever done has been just here on the forum, where I'm occasionally given to braggadacio. But today I actually pushed my "career", not only my hands on the drums... I'm just a "jam guy", never was a pusher and don't want to be, but maybe sometimes one has to "toot their own horn"... an interesting question pondered by Raymond here and by Hindemith elsewhere (Hindemith wrote that anyone going into music for the purpose of profession has no business being a musician!).

After a full power exhausting gig last night, lead singing & set drumming simultaneously 1950's hyper-rock (the strong stuff I like), I ran to Tel Aviv this morning with a 5 minute DVD of clips of the last ethnic fest I played (darbuka/bongos) with Amin, the violinist who's just out of control (plays so wild he's like unhuman - never heard anyone like him).

I took the DVD to the office of the Red Sea Jazz Fest, slated for August in Eilat. Today was the last possible day to submit music to apply. I did apply once some years back with a CD with my father, but the fest manager is traditionalist and said that stuff was too far out for him. This DVD may be also, and it's not even jazz, but Amin can play with any kind of music he wants to... The DVD is a rush job, but 20 seconds is enough to get an idea of the power of these performances.

It would be fun to get in that fest, but now that we have this DVD, we'll send it to all kinds of festivals. Any ideas of specific ones off-hand, anyone? Not familiar with the big European and US ethnic fests.

Oh, between all the running, I had to clean the museum after an exhibit opening. Oy. I'm leaving that job soon, I promise.

Thanks and all the best,
Yoni
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Postby GuruPimpi » Wed May 25, 2005 10:50 pm

Dear diary and guys!

With today concert i have accomplished 7 gigs in 10 days with 2 bands and 1 percussion project as a guest (between the breaks of the compositions i was making ambiental 'feel' of songs (even with a water bubbles as a sound effect-GREAT STUFF) that followed and had a roll as a solist in Samba Olando) with having only 1 day brake on the job - geeez, i overslept two times :D

On todays concert even one of the youngsters that i work with (as a mentor(social work, youth work...)) and he's a tough youngster to deal with, came and i feel that that will help me (a lot of good energy) in future to work with him better in a way that we will appreciate each other more. Great!

Abakua! Geeez, RESPECT to YA, MAN!!! I'll look you up, when i fly to Sydney, you must be one #### of a player!!!

Yoni, i like your appreciation , understanding and words of music!

That's it, oh, I hardly wait o get the saturdays newspaper, cause one of the journalist got an ear and eyes to the concert my band had last week and he wrote a review... The concert was a huge success! :D

GrooveMania All The Way! Yihaaa! :D

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Postby CongaTick » Fri May 27, 2005 10:47 am

Just got my Remo 16" djembe yesterday. Wow. Seems like dozens of sounds are available to me from this sacred shape. Of course immediately started working it into my 3 conga + bongo setup. Its Fiberskyn head and fiberglass shell will punch through the noisiest of venues. The touch response is very sensitive and requires an adjustment of stroke/slap/opens/taps as I work this heart-thumping mama into my tumbaos and fills. Does anybody detune FIberskyn? And are there any suggestions on tuning or is it a personal taste thing? Also cheapo djembe stand substitutes for a sit down conguero? I've got some ideas but looking for others.
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Postby windhorse » Mon May 30, 2005 1:20 am

Playing in the cold,,

We had a recent cold front moving through here, and it has been a longer than usual one, and carrying a bit of moisture as well. Yesterday, our study group included Marissa of Fat Congas, and a guy who used to play with our teacher quite a lot - had moved to San Diego and just arrived back in Boulder.. They both sang like birds and our whole group was stretching our singing voices to keep up.. I played bell and shekere most of the time.
Dave was playing Tumba and quinto leads of exceptional inspiration.. We were in Dave's House in Rawlinsville, and is, as of late, rennovating his house. He's adding a studio/stage to the top of a concrete schoolhouse fortress on the hill..
And we rocked the house!!!

Today, we played at the Boulder Creek Fest for the Labyrinth. It's a foot-path they create each year of painted stripes on a grass lawn. It rained some of the time, so we played under an overhanging Library extension. We were right next to the creek and at a low point in the terrain where the cooling air coming out of the mountains channels right through the fair. My hands were frozen at one point guiding the hand to the right spot, and it sounded fine!! ??? Go figure!

The overhanging building sort of amplified the sound in a slightly greater than 180 degree spread. The people on the path were certainly dancing around, and we had a bit of a crowd standing and watching and dancing as well.. :D Then, friends of some of our group knew Mike T from String Cheese Incident and their new percussionist.. I was playing the tres dos.. Then they hopped in on a dualing quinto during our last Guaguanco... Pretty fricken cool..

Also,, I'm really excited right now about singing something over the bell a minute ago..

Ago Ile Ago
Ago Ile Ago
Ago Ile Agoya..
Ago Ile Agoya...


Buenos Dias todos..




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Postby windhorse » Sat Jun 18, 2005 12:26 am

Tomorrow there's a Rumba in the Library Park, and a bunch of buddies are showing, then my band (BushTic)
Image
headlines for the first time at Herman's Hideaway in Denver.
We had a practice last night, so I'm getting amped about it!
Here's the setup for tomorrow night.

Image Image

Image

I'm playing 6 different times throughout the evening. 3 on didjeridu (D and E Shockley Agave Dreampipes), 3 on the Sols - One fast Mambo/Songo, one slow Mambo, and one 6/8 clave based song that I'll play the Bembe lead and other filler parts to Bembe.
I feel like this is my first gig ???




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Postby ABAKUA » Sat Jun 18, 2005 4:47 am

Good stuff. :)

All the best, hope everything goes well. ImageImage

Image




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Postby windhorse » Sun Jun 19, 2005 2:45 pm

The gig was great! We pretty much exploded with positive energy from the set-up, sound check, and to the show's end. All the songs worked, the monitor mix was spot on, and the sound man was fabulous. With all the excitement of people coming up with questions, meeting others, and packing up to go at 2:00A in the morning I left my stands at the venue. :(

Also, at yesterday's Rumba, I left my beloved clave!! :p

Now, I've got to rely on my friends to have picked up after me, or kiss my nice equipment goodbye..
???

Never a dull moment..
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Postby yoni » Tue Jun 21, 2005 12:17 am

Hi all,

Hoping all of you are fine and drumming happily!

As for me, never been busier. Marathon gigs and recordings with Amin, the wild violinist-oud player I mentioned several times earlier. One gig in a cafe in South Tel Aviv, a very poor section where one can still buy groceries and used items from horse-drawn carts. Next night at a posh wedding reception on the top floor of the Azrielli towers - the "twin towers" of Tel Aviv...

Then straight onto a plane for the Czech Republic, where I write from now, where I am flown to play a benefit concert for Gypsy children, with some incredible Gypsy musicians.

Normally I can't sleep on anything that moves, but after two sleepless days of near-non-stop playing with Amin I conk-out on the long taxi of the plane. I wake in terror as it roars into takeoff, then calm down as it levels off, but still don't like being in these tin cans at thirty thousand feet. It's my first trip out of Israel since 2001.

No pay for the concert, but the flight and all expenses are paid lavishly. I met and performed a month earlier in Israel with some of these Gypsy players and we hit it off great. I'm offered to spend the entire time in Prague, but prefer to spend the first few days in Brno with Roman Horvath, an amazing Gypsy accordionist-pianist-multi-instrumental musician. The concert organizers know I usually prefer little or no rehearsal, and they warn me of Roman´s squalid living conditions, but staying with him enables me to practice with him and the band... these boys are baaad and I want to be on top of things musically.

First visit to Czech, but seems I've been here before, in a dreamscape or former life...

A large dilapidated courtyard, enclosed on three sides by an ancient, crumbling apartment bloc. The courtyard is of bare earth, packed hard by generations of barefoot Gypsy children. Long, sagging wooden balconies access flats at each level. A brass skeleton key accesses a communal toilet. No hot water. The balconies shudder under the footsteps of running children. Adults yell after them, sporting tattoos, some gold teeth...

Rehearsals are in a tiny, dark room. Roman and some of the other players look as if they came straight from India, the original homeland of the Gypsies.
This Gypsy ghetto of Brno looks rough, and Roman is nervous about me walking the streets alone, but I am given no notice at all... they may think I'm one of them...

On a trolley ride from practice Roman reminds me how Gypsies and Jews shared a similar fate here around World War 2 - most of both were sent to the ovens. Suddenly there's a strange burning smell. The trolley screeches to a halt, the doors fly open. A huge hippie Czech driver dashes to the back and chases off two small Gypsy boys for smoking crack cocaine...

The Gypsy musicians are having me solo all over the place. They are as in awe of my playing as I am of theirs. I am treated like a king and feel like one...

The music is some traditional Gypsy stuff, some Gypsy renditions of traditional Jewish stuff, and amazingly, much of the instrumental stuff is totally Latin-jazz in flavor! And these guys are great at it. Eddie Palmieri, Michel Camilo and others are their heroes and mine.

In a car packed like a circus act with players and equipment, we take a two hour ride to Prague. The drive normally takes three hours, but the bassman at the wheel drives as wild as he plays.
The concert is in the Saint Prokop church in Prague, a huge, ancient beautiful cathedral. We are joined by a 120 person choir!

The lead singer, Ida Kelarova, is a gigantic, wonderful woman with a huge voice that shakes the whole church. Never have I heard so much emotion and power in a voice. She insists I wear a traditional Mid Eastern headscarf she saw me perform in in Israel. I forget mine, so she gives me a beautiful scarf of her own. She has me show her how it is tied and is amazed at the simple trick... needless to say, I stick out in the crowd!

The rehearsals and concert are recorded for an upcoming CD for their benefit organization for Gypsy children. The church is packed, the concert goes beautifully, I am given big solos and ham it up, and at the close I'm given honorary introduction and a huge bouqet of flowers. I am overcome and cannot stop the tears.

I now have a day to walk in Prague, by far the most picturesque town I've seen, with gorgeous and varied architecture. They plan to bring me back for a festival of Gypsy music later in the summmer. All this came about very suddenly and I am still in shock. I feel truly blessed.

All the best to you all,
Yonatan




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Postby CongaTick » Tue Jun 21, 2005 11:54 am

Yoni,

Wow! Bro, you are blessed. What an incredible odyssey of travel/music/cultures. To say I envy you, would be an understatement. People like me, unfortunately, are left with much more prosaic accomplishments but so appreciate reading your adventures.
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Postby yoni » Wed Jun 22, 2005 3:46 pm

CongaTick, I so appreciate your appreciation! Just returned to Israel today, wish I had time to catch my breath, but am on the move again with more gigs. Yes, I'm pretty darned lucky. Man, I'm sure your accomplishments are more prosaic than you admit. Being in your 60s and able to play like you probably do is an accomplishment in itself, and I'm sure you can appreciate the simple pleasures in life as much as whirlwind adventures.
All the best to ya,
Yoni
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Postby CongaTick » Thu Jun 23, 2005 11:37 am

With much respect and admiration, I thank you, Yoni.
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