Our experience of music is often non-interactive. We plug in our earphones and listen to musicians perform. We attend concerts of our favourite artists and sing along. Music moves us, but how often can we become artists ourselves?
At Release the Rhythm, ArtStarts’ July workshop, we got to play with percussion instruments and create our own musical experience!
Daniel Duggan from Rhythm Resource introduced us to different sounds using instruments from different parts of the world. Using simple beats, he got the audience clapping, tapping, and drumming. Claves from Cuba, Cajons from Peru, and Agogo Bells, Tambourims, and Ganzas from Brazil, the audience got to try it all.
Community Square was filled with the lively, synchronous clamour of parents and children performing together. Daniel introduced the different sounds produced by different parts of the drum, and as more parents walked in, he invited them to join in and play.
“Process-based workshops are always more exciting than performances,” says Leslie Shieh, Project Planner at River Market. “The audience is able to tangibly interact with the experience of making music, and the kids have so much fun.”
Divvying up the instruments between the audience, Daniel invited the kids to conduct a ‘rumble,’ when everyone would play their instrument in a different beat as loudly as they could to create a fun, rhythmic symphony. He also used the drums to narrate the story of The Three Little Pigs. He got the audience (parents and children alike) to roar like a wolf and squeal like a pig. Most importantly, he got children excited about art.
Taking us back in time, Daniel shared the histories of the different instruments and how they transformed as they went from one culture to another. Before they were drums, Cajons were just empty fruit boxes, and Claves were sticks used to build ships.
Talking to us after the workshop, Daniel said, “The vision behind Rhythm Resource is to build community by showcasing diversity in our workshops. When people and cultures from different parts of the world can come together and unite, there is synergy.”
The workshop was part of a series of monthly events hosted by ArtStarts, which features creative arts workshops and process-based explorations for young people with some of BC’s best children’s artists.
Thank you to Westminster Savings for supporting ArtStarts at River Market. Westminster Savings is committed to increasing access to active living and the arts in our communities through their Project Better Balance.
Join us next month for Gord’s Guitars with Gord Grdina.