Different Drummers Drum Circle is an open, freestyle community drum circle hosted by Rick Cormier, author
of the book, "Freestyle Community Drum Circles". We recently moved from Yarmouth, Maine to Santa Fe, New Mexico. We meet at
781 Bishops Lodge Rd. every 1st Sunday of the month at 6:30PM and, beginning February 19 we will also drum at The Performance Space at La Tienda in Eldorado (7 Caliente
Rd., Santa Fe) each 3rd Wednesday of the month at 7:00PM.
"Ours is an open, freestyle community drum circle. We are a diverse group of people sharing a common experience. During
the process of creating music together we create community. Our emphasis is on intuitive, improvised, and emotive rhythms
rather than rehearsed or traditional ones. We welcome your 'voice' in our group song.
Drumming is fun. Drumming can
change your mood and connect you powerfully with others. Drumming can entrance and heal. Drumming can provide a vehicle for
expressing joy, frustration and peace. Drumming can raise energies and provide relaxation. Whether we participate for the
spiritual experience, the emotional experience, the musical experience or the social experience, drumming can bring a dozen
hearts and souls to a dozen destinations. Yet we journey together...as a community."
What To Expect (this applied to our Yarmouth, Maine drum circle)
Different Drummers is known for our positive energy and welcoming atmosphere. Most of our drum pieces end
in either laughter or silence. We encourage participation by novices. When you decide to check us out, it is very unlikely
that you'll be the only first-timer there that night. If you don't yet own a drum, I usually bring extras which I share for
free. There is also no charge for participation. Come when you can and leave when you must. We drum until the last of us goes
home. In Maine, more than 600 people considered themselves DDDC members. Some people drummed with us 3 times a month
while others may joined us 3 times a year. It's all good.
We averaged 30 to 40 drummers per evening. Our participants were commonly about 65% women. We had singles, couples
and families who drum with us... children under 10 and seniors well into and beyond their 80's. As DDDC Santa Fe is just getting
started, it's impossible to say what our numbers will look like in ten years.
Expect to see African djembes, Middle Eastern doumbeks, frame drums, ashikos, congas, bongos, cajons and all sorts of rhythm
instruments. We have created incredible percussive backdrops to flute, harp, cello, sax, mandolin, blues harmonica, didgeridoo
and vocals. We welcome dancers.
Anyone may start a beat. That person sets the tempo and the tone of the piece. That guideline keeps us from
slipping into the same rhythm patterns. It also keeps the "Testosterone Tangos" from dominating. It allows us to sound African,
Latin, Middle Eastern, Native American, jazzy and purely creative...all in one evening. It allows us to weave
delicate percussive tapestries in which every note is a significant event.
The DDDC has an email list with regular reminders and announcements about DDDC and other local area drum circles and percussion-related
events and resources. Email me your name and email address to be added to that list.
In March of 2003, I offered a drum circle workshop to members of the First Universalist church in Yarmouth. We had
only moved into town 2 months prior. Twenty-two people took the workshop. When it was over I announced that we would start
drumming once a month. About a dozen people showed up. You can read all about our history on our website.
later, we drum three times a month in an attempt to keep our circle intimate. We average 30 - 40 participants each circle
with a record high of 100. A total of more than 2000 people have drummed with us. More than 600 people consider themselves
DDDC 'members'. We have drummed with participants from more than 26 countries, that I know of. Grace still holds the record
of having been our youngest drummer. (Those who remember Gracie will recall she actually kept a beat at 13 months old! She
drummed with us until she moved to Philadelphia at 19 months old.) Our most senior drummer is Ann, who turned 94 last November.
When I've invited guest drumming teachers to lead a workshop, Ann hasn't missed an opportunity to learn some more drumming!
I want to mention Laura. Many of you who have drummed with us over the past year know Laura as a 'regular' on most
Friday nights. Laura was born with cerebral palsy and autism. We all see the trouble she has crossing the room and speaking,
but when the drumming starts, her 'handicap' disappears. Is anyone in the room having a better time than Laura? ...okay...
Maybe me. ;-) ...But if there is ever a time I wonder if hosting this drum circle for free makes any difference to anyone,
I'll consider what it has meant to Laura.
We're a musically-creative bunch. We have drummed wonderful backgrounds to
flute, blues harmonica, dulcimer, saxophone, keyboards, oboe, clarinet, guitar, electric bass, upright bass, mouth organ,
didgeridoo, berimbau, marimba, harp, cello, steel drums, mandolin, kirtan, singing voices and poetry. We have had percussion
instruments as diverse as a folding chair, a saw, a washboard, a post-hole digger, a Ronco Garden Weasel and even an
ocarina app on an iPhone!
For ten years I've sat at my computer each week and tried to convey drumming-related
information in an entertaining way (via the weekly DDDC news blurbs) after having done this in Massachusetts since the 90's.
Do the math. Even I'm impressed! ;-)
For ten years, a roomful of virtual strangers with very little in common
with one another have shared evenings making music together. Sometimes raucous, sometimes introspective, sometimes incredibly
beautiful, and sometimes ridiculously funny!
Were you there the night the crowd started singing "The Sound of Music"
in the middle of a drum piece? Or the Wizard of Oz medley?
I get to be there three times a month...
(and a fourth time in Waterville!)
P.S. ...and now I get to do it again in Santa Fe!! :-)