Monday, November 5, 2007

Making a joyful noise

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. (Psalm 98:4)

And boy, did we.

Yesterday after the service at Grace Church, we assembled a bunch of drums in the chancel (in front of the altar) and invited people to play in an informal drumming circle. It was fantastic!

The acoustics in Grace are truly remarkable. The sound reverberates off the ceiling and fills the whole, huge, space. So while the parishioners were drinking their coffee and eating snacks, a group of adults and children were improvising on African drums. I started the first rhythm using one Sidiyasa pieces. Gradually, other drums began to fill in. Some of us were playing in unison and others were playing counter beats or other variations. The children picked up very quickly, and were completely enthralled. When their mom tried to pry them away because of another commitment, they begged her to stay longer.

We had 6 djembes and a couple of congas. As we settled into a rhythm, I could see people starting to dance in the back of the church.

Vera started the next rhythm. She, too, chose one from her African drumming class. It was a bit simpler, which made it perfect for a drumming circle. We all had a chance to "solo". The sound was so powerful!

Then we had to swap drums because everyone wanted a chance to play my new djembe. So Lucia took a turn and started a rhythm. Then Vera got to try it. I think they are all in serious drum lust now that they have played it. I can't get over what a beautiful sound it has.

Yesterday, we made a joyful noise, indeed.

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