A day in the life of Psyammy

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A day in the life of Psyammy

Postby Psyammy » Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:39 am

hey guys and girls i know i dont post often (well hardly ever, even though i am here almost every day) but i thought i would share this with you. just the other day i had the pleasure of a Djembe player telling me how african drums and rhythems go hand in hand with the wiccan religion. (i am not a wiccan, but a question was asked by a person who is a wiccan that was looking to get a drum for her religious rituals)
so i thought that turning her on to medieval drums from europe would be a good place to start. My bad, as Mr. Djembe guy quickly informed me about how he has played at some wiccan ...um..events (?) and how everybody loved it (he played the Djembe and african rhythems with some other guys) i thought "thats nice...but.. i realy dont think thats "traditional wiccan"" but what do i know, after all im not a wiccan.anyways he then goes on to inform me that i am wrong in my thinking that the congas are a cuban drum and in fact they are a west african drum. (and all this time i thought they were cuban) i have a feeling that if something like this happened to one of you then you might just think you having a "strange day" and i wish i could say the same thing but in fact this stuff happens to me all the time and when it does not happen i know its gonna be a "strang day" for me. i would love to hear your thoughts on this.

Psyammy

P.S. this is why i hardly ever post anything.
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Re: A day in the life of Psyammy

Postby Thomas Altmann » Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:56 pm

Psyammy,

it seems you have just met some type of disturbing spirit who enjoys stirring confusion in other people to augment his own ego. Keep cool. The conga drum is a Cuban drum, period. You can probably find one-headed, open longitudinal hand drums around the globe, especially in Africa; but the stave-built type, later equipped with hook-screw tuning hardware, called tumbadora or conga drum, originates in Cuba. It was in Cuba where this particular type of hand drum was developed, after the image of Congolese hand drums (Yuka drums, Makuta drums, Ngoma or Palo drums), but designed for the use outside Congolese cults, namely portable for the comparsas - playing the "Conga" rhythm. From Cuba, this instrument started to conquer the music scene in the Americas and eventually the whole world, replacing, and becoming a model for re-desingning, drums of a similar phemomenology. This being said, of course no one can testify whether this idea of drum construction was realized in other parts of the planet, too, or not.

Wicca is a European (English) Neo-Pagan religion, while the djembe is a West African (Malinke) drum. In the course of the New Age movement, Wicca was re-discovered and deliberately mixed with religious and ritual elements from other cultures that show a comparably close connection to "nature religion" in some of their aspects. (The term "nature religion" has proven to be questionable among anthropologists.) Foreign instruments such as conga or djembe drums may well find use in Wicca ceremonies. By the same token, Afro-Cuban Santería, too, has been (ab-?)used and partly merged with Wicca, especially by "Western", European or Euro-American spiritual seekers. So the fact that "Mr. Djembe" has found work in Wicca circles, is no big wonder on the one hand, and historically insignificant on the other.

So lean back and take a cup of tea, or smoke a good pipe ...

Thomas
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Re: A day in the life of Psyammy

Postby Psyammy » Tue Feb 21, 2012 6:32 am

Hey Thomas

Thank you for the reply, just for the record i knew that the conga was cuban, but it is very hard to write dry sarcasm (well maybe i should have said that it is hard for me to write dry sarcasm) but you did give me some info on the conga that i did not know. (thanks for that :)) as far as the wiccan stuff, i did not know any of that. so i guess i will just tell the girl that asked the question about what drum to get that she can pretty much get any drum she wants. then i will trun her on to the conga. (cuz we have enuff djembe players already. you can throw a rock in melbourne and hit a djembe player and if you do, then do me a favor, throw it hard.;)) i will respond to Mr. Djembe by just posting a link about the history of the Conga, as i think that would be the best way to deal with someone like that. he does come across as a Mr. know it all....(hmm maybe i should have just called him that)...even when he is talking about something that he knows very little to nothing at all about. but i have to say, my favorite part of his post to me, was how he stated as a "fact" that the conga was from west africa. with no links to back it up. (when he wrote that, i thought, oh man..now i am going to have to go to the hospital, i mean i was laughing so hard that i almost burnt the inside of my nose from the coffee that was trying to come out, i stumbled into a wall still laughing my sides hurt and i could not breathe, yep..still laughing).
i took your advice when you said " So lean back and take a cup of tea, or smoke a good pipe ..." but i may have overindulged..I did both.

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Re: A day in the life of Psyammy

Postby pavloconga » Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:41 am

Psyammy wrote:Hey Thomas
(cuz we have enuff djembe players already. you can throw a rock in melbourne and hit a djembe player and if you do, then do me a favor, throw it hard.;))

Psyammy


Haha that made me laugh

Thomas has summed it up very well.
There are drums in Africa that are similar in shape to the conga drum (e.g. the kpanlogo drum of Ghana – but they are not congas. Congas are a Cuban drum.

Like you, I’ve come across the ‘know it all’ djembe player types, especially in melbourne :-) (but they’re in every capital city in Australia and probably the entire western world)

Many of the ones I have met in my travels have been playing for a couple of years or so (most often playing as loud and fast as possible, often without feel or technique and mostly just making noise) which they believe qualifies them to talk with authority about a subject most of these guys know little about.

And don’t get me started when they go on about Wicca, ‘healing rhythms’ and djembe drums!
Makes me wanna dry retch! :roll:
Last edited by pavloconga on Sun Sep 23, 2012 3:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A day in the life of Psyammy

Postby Psyammy » Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:42 pm

Hey pavloconga,

pavloconga wrote:
And don’t get me started when they go on about Wicca, ‘healing rhythms’ and djembe drums!
Makes me wanna dry retch!

i think we met the same guy lol

pavloconga wrote:

Most of the ones I have met in my travels have been playing for a couple of years or so (most often playing as loud and fast as possible, often without feel or technique and mostly just making noise) which they believe qualifies them to talk with authority about a subject most of these guys know little about.

you said it brother, that aint no lie. i could not have said it better myself.

the quote you liked is from the movie barton fink, it is when barton (who is new to L.A.) asked his agent "where can i met a writer" (in the movie barton is a writer) to help him with his project and his agent says "what in this town? you can throw a rock in L.A. and hit a writer and if you do, then do me a favor, throw it hard" i just changed writer to djembe player cuz it fits oh so well. (i have been using this line for years)

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Re: A day in the life of Psyammy

Postby Joseph » Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:07 pm

A good article on the History of the Conga Drum by Nolan Warden
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Re: A day in the life of Psyammy

Postby Psyammy » Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:51 pm

Hey joseph
lol i found that same article earlier and thats the one i used, then i came back here to see if anything was going on. looks like great minds think alike ;)
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Re: A day in the life of Psyammy

Postby Thomas Altmann » Tue Feb 21, 2012 3:11 pm

Let me add one word about the djembe player: I hope we all agree that the djembe is a powerful drum from a powerful African tradition, which is also quite demanding to play, physically. Potentially, you can move the spirits with the djembe as well as with any other drum.

The only problem that I see with the djembe - beside the fact I never seriously attempted to play it - is that it somehow got in the wrong hands. I don't know about Melbourne, but in my town Hamburg, Germany, the djembe was inflatiously embraced from the 1980's by self-emancipating young women and their devout male followers. Needless to say that their motivation was and is (mostly!) anything other than musical; consequently their drumming skills turned out to be not only technically unsatisfactory, but also non-directional and un-intentional. In an unsuspecting listener, that kind of drumming tends to cause physical reactions like nausea, impotence and several types of nervous disorder.

That is neither the fault of the djembe nor the Malinke tradition.

Thomas
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Re: A day in the life of Psyammy

Postby Psyammy » Tue Feb 21, 2012 3:44 pm

Hey Thomas

I am with you 100% and i love the sound of the Djembe when played right.
when you said "is that it somehow got in the wrong hands. I don't know about Melbourne, but in my town Hamburg, Germany, the djembe was inflatiously embraced from the 1980's by self-emancipating young women and their devout male followers. Needless to say that their motivation was and is (mostly!) anything other than musical; consequently their drumming skills turned out to be not only technically unsatisfactory, but also non-directional and un-intentional. In an unsuspecting listener, that kind of drumming tends to cause physical reactions like nausea, impotence and several types of nervous disorder."

that sounds just like melbourne, yep, same kind of people.

i want to share his (Mr. Djembe) last comments with you all, this is after i just posted the history of the conga as well as some clips of mongo santamaria and giovanni hidalgo

Mr. Djembe said:

"most people do not start with conga's, because they are so difficult to play, and requires true dedication, to become even a reasonable player, and if thats you Psyammy then I take my hat off to you"

when he said that i was like "wow, difficult to play and requires true dedication, glad to see just how serious you take your playing ;)" the funny thing is i dont think he knows that he has already met me, as my online name is not the same as my real name, and my face book page as well as here, i use my online name....next time we met i am not going to say anything and just wait to see if he starts bitching about "this guy from the internet"...sometimes i do things just to make myself laugh ;)


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Re: A day in the life of Psyammy

Postby pavloconga » Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:10 pm

Thomas Altmann wrote:Let me add one word about the djembe player: I hope we all agree that the djembe is a powerful drum from a powerful African tradition, which is also quite demanding to play, physically.

Thomas



I definitely agree on that. I've seen and heard master players in Africa and to play at that level, the djembe takes as much dedication, knowledge and skill to play as any other instrument in the world, including the conga.

p.s. psyammy, out of interest, what site was 'the djembe guy' posting on?
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Re: A day in the life of Psyammy

Postby Psyammy » Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:51 am

Hey pavloconga

this is all going on- on facebook.

dont get me wrong though, i am not in any way stressed or "worked up" about this at all, and i do find his comments to me, to be very funny as i have not once responded directly to him and everything i have said (on the facebook page) has been to the girl that asked the question. i even started my post "Hey Eden" and he is not "Eden" so why he feels the need to jump in and respond to me and still not give any info about drums, boggles the mind , so his post are a complete waist of time for the girl looking for info about drums.

Now i dont know if there is a God / Gods but if there is then i do think he /she or they, are messing with me, cuz this stuff happens to me all the time, and not just about drums but about almost anything. and i seem to be the only one that gets the jokes.
so i just sit back and watch, then when i hear a Mr. Know it all, i always think "yep, binkys doing it to me again". (just to let the God / Gods know "I get it" i nicknamed him / her or they "binky" ). this "running, in-joke" between binky and myself has been running for 35 years, it started around the time i was 8 years old, and there seems to be no end, in sight for it.

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Re: A day in the life of Psyammy

Postby pcastag » Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:07 pm

Tell her to get a tomborine and be done with it.
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