What is open drumming? What should participants expect? What is it not?
Open drumming is a term that I use to describe a collective drumming activity where participants are free to play what ever they like, so long as it adheres in some way to a central pulse. That pulse can be expressed as a single recurring beat, much like a heartbeat, or as a more complex rhythmic pattern.
One of the beauties of open drumming is that the pulse can change in response to the collective energy created by the drummers that are present.
As the facilitator, I’ll do my best to guide the music, and at the same time be sensitive to the energy of the drummers, because in this kind of context, it’s only natural that the rhythms and tempo change of the course of the event. My goal will be to provide some sense of continuity within the overall musical space.
It will also be responsibility to foster a safe environment, where participants can feel comfortable. It’s not a venue for drummers to come and show off their amazing speed or to play louder than anyone else. Collective drumming should be a medium for musical interaction and mutual respect.