In the Spring of 2013, I began studying traditional drumming. Initiated through the support of the Canada Council for the Arts Grants to Professional Musicians program, I investigated this form of drumming for six months through mentorship, cultural exchange, self-driven research and practice. My interest in drumming began long before 2013, but the financial support and the time for dedicated study and practice represented a turning point in my depth of commitment.
I learned how to build a traditional frame drum as well as about how to journey, heal and communicate with the drum, and investigated the following through this project: how the drum reflects the environment it was made in and, how it, when played, creates altered states of mind, how the drum represents the journey, and can be used as a tool to indicate the passage of time and the movement through space, how the drum changes over time, physically becoming how it was played, by who, and where, how the drum can facilitate connection to place, and the relationship between the drum, dreaming and storytelling.
Now that the official six month research phase is complete, I have decided to continue investigating these questions and translating the information found into art. I am also using the drum as a tool for personal investigation, as it facilitates access to an instinctual place that is connected to deep memory. This process is inspiring new artistic directions, and a desire to more deeply explore and create my own personal mythology. I foresee this relationship I have with the drum as a lifelong one. It is also likely that my drum will outlive me.