Kjara Brecknell came to the Enderby Drill Hall with a small fleet of Djembe drums and a whole lot of rhythm in September and she’s coming back for another bright burst of life and energy the first Sunday of November.
In fact, Enderby and surrounding area enjoyed the community and warmth of drumming together so much, that Kjara has been invited to come back for the first Sunday of the month for the foreseeable future!
What makes a drum circle special?
I have attended two of Kjara’s workshops now and I’m going to paraphrase from her last workshop to answer this question.
Cultures the world over have known the importance of primal rhythm, of connecting for the importance of healing since we were sitting in caves. We are just re-discovering this power of community in the art of drumming. When we combine drumming with dancing and singing, we have a triumverate that is astounding for how it uplifts and heals.
All of art is about reaching inside of ourselves and connecting with the less rational parts of our brains; what some people refer to as the ‘right side of the brain’ and other might call our, ‘inner child’. Whatever you call the place we reach for when we connect with art, drumming is certainly at its most primal.
To quote again, the first beat we hear is our mother’s heartbeat, the second is our own heartbeat, the third is the beat of the earth itself.
While this might sound like it borders onto the realm of the mystic, it is a scientific fact that the earth emits a frequency. This frequency is named after the man who discovered it and is referred to as the Schuman frequency. It is a long, slow vibration but it does, on occasion change. While our conscious minds may not ‘hear’ the frequency, our subconscious minds do and world events such as riots and uprisings often mirror changes in the Schuman frequency.
Just like we may not realise how the sound of a drumbeat changes our mood, that change is real. This change is something that you can affect while drumming by yourself, but there is nothing like drumming with a circle of people.
You look around the circle, someone catches your eye, and then you’re both smiling at each other, you’ve formed a connection with each other and then, you’re laughing. You see someone laughing at your laughter out of the corner of your eye… and then you make eye contact with another person and you’ve formed another connection… suddenly, you are part of the circle. No one is left out, not even if you can’t keep the beat! Because that’s funny too, and then, you can always go back to the rhythm of your mother’s heartbeat, whenever you’re in doubt. If you get lost, if you get confused, if you can’t keep up… go back to that first rhythm and you’ll find you’re still part of the circle.
We can’t touch each other these days.
We can’t hug each other.
So much has been taken away from us. This is a wonderful time to go way back to a time long ago and find out that every last one of us is connected and that we all make each other laugh and smile, with our eyes alone… and a little bit of a drumbeat!
A few final words about the technical aspects. There are a limited number of Djembe drums to rent. Rental is $10 a workshop.
Attending a workshop is $20. This fee goes to pay the rental space, and to cover the instructor’s expenses and compensate her for her time and for sharing her expertise. Workshops last for about two hours, sometimes a bit longer.
If you have a flat hand drum, you can bring one of these or your own djembe or similar type of drum. The picture below is a pile of djembe drums. They are usually made of mahogany and goatskin, but I have seen some made out of fabric and man-made materials. Some people have brought handmade flat drums to workshops, whatever you are comfortable with and like best you are welcome to use. Social distancing, PPE and limits on the number of people attending are fully adhered to.
Come out and have fun!