●Drumming is an individual experience through body movement and percussive sound, singing and listening to our own inner rhythm ● Drumming implies an awareness of the body movement in the production of physic organization of beat patterns in a time span flow ●Drumming is by nature a multidimensional metric matrix¹ which involve our cognitive, limbic and kinesthetic systems in the building of a planetary pattern language.
¹ Dave Locke "The Metric Matrix: Simultaneous Multidimensionality in African Music"
What I refer to Drumming Music Practice is a system that works through improvisation and compositional process in a multidimensional form of instrumental practice, where all the percussive and rhythmic elements integrate in a singular source of "percussive intelligence". This means, the practice is designed for actively consciously building an autonomous percussive language and knowledge, free from the constrains of the paradigmatic drumming syntax.
Through all history, the drummer has been considered for the spiritual-shamanic-ceremonial natural power he/she possess. The drummers who we like the must, are those who possess that same high level of natural power and expresses it in an autonomous way.
Drumming Music Practice is a qualified and mindful way of inventive percussive workout, where one enters into deeper territories of our own being to connect us within various layers of body states, in a strong web of mental projections raised upon World Culture Percussive Music Expression, for refining-redefining ways of doing and expressing creatively ourselves.
Drumming Music Practice uses well the tools that opens meaningful conversations between you and the drums.
TEACHING DRUMMING STYLES
Studying history, practicing the instrument, researching the performative instrumental technical capabilities, knowing of the multicultural traditions, improvisation languages and forms, all together is what I practice and teach, beyond any border, classification or gender.
Styles of music concerns to entering a culture idiosyncrasy, could be religious manners and spiritual communion communication, or sociopolitical and economical system beliefs. What we understand as drumming styles belongs to a specific time-place era in our culture and its music.
The rudimental technical practice and the stylistic practice of it, represents a small corner of the whole drumming universe and is completely subject to the musical establishment governed by Industry; it has built as many ways of playing and technics in drumming as there are individuals on the planet. But all of that is just 120 years of if. The Drumming Music Practice I am talking about brings in an exploration - research of a History of about 4000 year evolution under its wings!
All is imprinted in our DNA.
My teaching practice is based in all of this concepts and ideas, thus is fundamentally structured on the historic evolution of drum set, percussion music, and the transplantation of root-origin principles into the future we live in now.
DECONSTRUCTING DRUMMING HISTORY
All goes back to the Root-Origin
◈Swing is the name of the GAME. But,
When was that that Jazz Drumming went so mannered and “yuppie-stylized”, so drummers began to heard things like “uhhh that`s too loud!”… but the “problem” isn´t the volume, it has to do with the “feel of the sound” perceived-produced in the STATEMENT. All the greatest SPEECH-STATEMENTS in human history has been told out loud. Mean it, really OUT LOUD. It´s about vibration, empathy, presence, vitality, passion, openness, acceptance and personality. ◈ Listen to any of this great drumming solos. What are you hearing? What are you watching? Do you perceive the form? (of course listening “live” would be the “real” experience, but lets play within the illusion that this is really REAL! Because it was and still is. Perception is reality, what YOU HEAR that´s your heard reality. ◈ I know that for many people its all about the rudiments and the referential stylized vocabulary elements similar to that that may be recognizable to them in other drummers playing; typical things we hear like «he sounds like Max” “that was Philly» and so on, is just the outer line of what is going on. For some, it may go a little further into “concepts” like the melodic-rhythmic speech he is using or a little deeper into the development of the theme phrasing over the chord changes the drummer is working on, and things like that. But very rarely is about the sense meaning of the drummers percussive thinking, which is a result key factor reflected on the feel of the sound coming out from his/her drumming.◈For most EARS and BRAINS when listening to a drummer, they already know what to hear based on their expectations. And even if what they hear is not happening, they assume it is. Drummers alike simply feel good (even when limiting themselves) by copying other drummers sound and emulating his/her feel, by the simple fact that they want to be well accepted, so they prefer to please other´s expectations. ◈To the odds of music experiencing, we have turned our appreciation and sensitivity of music into a race of mental feats and snobby social behaviors, changing our natural hearing capacities into an analytical app mode (must times completely overloaded by so much useless data and information), instead of knowing in our body what the mind is deeply thinking off from what it´s been informing by our hearing. ◈ Drumming is a highly sensitive art. It´s about how percussive sound feels and moves in our bodies. It´s the prime form experienced of harmony. It ´s not about what you think mechanically of it but more about how it feels in you and how that feeling moves to others as a form of percussive intelligence. Feel has to do with how you sense, perceive, intuit, through your entire physicality. The brain may command and compute many things, and understand many other things based on its relationship with verbal syntax, but the brain does't drum, is the body. The brain may imagine anything possible but if the body does't knows it, the brain is helpless and useless. ◈ Drumming sound is based on the physicality of the drummer, not in the “technique” nor anything else already stored in the brain memory as such. Physicality builds “technique” as a balanced inner-outer team work of the cognitive, limbic and kinesthetic systems of the body. Must drummers don´t even know such things exists at all, much less got that what they play and how they do it, is a response from these powerful and perfect system sources as a whole. ◈ What I really love in drumming since my early years in this world, is the physicality of its sonic language, I used to dance to it before I began playing any drums; so early on I knew intuitively that drumming was an extension-expansion of my body. It really started happening there. I just felt it as I still do. ◈What I hear, is that physicality transported within the language embodied in the drumming body; likewise, the more we work in building our physic, the more the physic informs the mind, creating the percussive thinking thus reaching the level of composing, building pattern language and expressing any image coming to us and going out from us, as a percussive tangible, watchable and listenable emotion.
◈ I know for a huge majority, listening to a drumming solo, the thing heard is the drums and the techniques used, “beating drums & bashing cymbals”, but missing what is really happening, which is an incredible complex web of bio-geno-feno rhythmic mechanisms operating all together in-the-moment innerly - outerly the body. ◈What I´ve coming to conclude during the last 10+ years of deep study and research has to do with deconstructing drumming pattern language, which allows me to have a precise understanding of the historical implicit and explicit knowledge in the drumming experience, which is a whole thing of its own. ◈I think we aren´t in the stage of studying drumming from the perspective of style but instead, using stylized perspective to forge a different way of understanding from something already built as unique revolutionary form of expression that happened to turn into a quite rigid fixed form of percussive understanding. That rigid phase is level A to me, Basic Level, and it is where most people decide to be. Is somehow easy to acquire since you can buy that in an exchange for a diploma. But I´m talking to drummers who already have that knowledge. ◈ What I´m talking about you can only discover it within you by learning to hear and watch what is actually living and happening in you. ◈ How do you really hear and watch? Are you feeling what you feel or are you feeling something already imprinted in you by social environment, which has already a stupid name on it, as a brand of feeling? ◈ Please test yourself by listen to some moments of my work TOBEATORNOTTOBEAT in my YouTube channel, and if you can´t follow the language and the construction, is simply because you don´t know (can´t hear it) the historically subtle details of diverse forms of the drumming language I´m using nor where it comes from nor consequently where I´m going to. ◈ How can we come to this sort of understanding? Delving to know on what it is already built in history. Evolution knows it all already. There are encrypted codes in our DNA, but is through intuition, practice and thinking that new forms of understanding may reveal to us. ◈ Language transformations along human evolution, from its pure ideophonic expression to the onomatopoeic state to the melismatic sense to the dialect forming and finally to the “actual” language syntax we know, has to do with its granular deconstruction within its meaning; which has been the keenest complexity of human brain evolution, together with number abstractions. Similarly, this have been the path of music language. ◈Drumming deconstruction uses the same procedure than language deconstruction, and in Drumming Music Practice, is about knowing how the pattern language is working on the mental and physical elements that play in us when we play and think the drums through pattern languages. It concerns to how our body re informs our brain and builds our thinking through drumming activation in the body. ◈Deconstruction of language isn´t about reinventing anything nor deviating what is already in use, much less to destroy it; but is about digging in within what is constantly evolving demarcated by Culture and projecting it towards a future way of thinking and understanding.◈ Thus in Drumming Music Practice is not focusing on (re) learning to play this or that form of music; but is about learning to play YOU. The way you feel and think within this feeding continuous loop we call LIFE. ◈ The way your physics behaves and how the natural percussive state of your body and vital energy works in you, has so much to do with the clear understanding of your cultural appropriation and social behavior you were born in, and continue to grow in. Everything in us, what and who we are, has been partially conditioned by the mix in your genetics, neurobiology, astrology, and most important, your Cultural Referent. For the most part we are fucked up. ◈ My personal perspective about Drumming Music Practice is that we should use History to have a better picture of the construction of our time moving forward into Future. So we need to deconstruct what has been already constructed to evolve into a higher understanding and experience of ourselves within that time-place we call NOW.