Saturday, October 27, 2007

An arranged marriage

I get to meet my new drum on Monday, and although I have probably met it before, maybe even played it, I feel a little like it is an arranged marriage. I don't know yet which drum my teacher will choose for me. Will it be the black and white goatskin with the big edge of fur? Or the finely trimmed white one with a big black spot in the middle? Or maybe the grey skin with the shaved edge? I am so excited about it I am having a hard time sleeping!

As I understand it, djembes are traditionally thought of as having female energy. I am sure their goblet shape has something to do with it. Along with the fact that you play into it rather than pull sound out of it like with a more phallic shaped conga, for example. The shape is feminine, and so, apparently, is the skin, which is almost always taken from a female goat. I joked with Nguyen that this is because the males stink too much and no one would want a billy goat smelling drum! (Have you ever smelled a male goat? Not good.)

So I am getting a sister, really, not a spouse. And she is going to be a stranger to me for awhile. But I will learn to chat with her, sing with her, laugh with her and find joy in her. I know she will teach me things about drumming. Maybe someday I can teach her some things too.

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