The early hours of June 22nd saw my brother and I make our way to LAX on course to catch a flight to
Our central reason for journeying to
The other sponsor, Mountain Rythyms, is one of the premier makers of high quality hand percussion. They innovated the “simple twist” tuning system. For anyone who has tried tuning or retightening an old style Djembe this system is a godsend. Mountain Rythyms very own resident percussionist and teacher Ray Dillard, along with Russ, created a two-day introduction to “rhythmic teachings from around the world.” Entitled “Rhythms of the World”.
As the lattice of coincidence would have it, Ray is originally from
Outside of Ray, the organizers brought in two other superb instructors. Along with being an instructor at Humber College of Music, Rick Lazar is the creator and artistic director behind Samba Squad, one of
The following day Andy Morris connected the diasporic dots from
The serious mental work came when Ray broke down the some of the most common Tals in Indian music. As Ray states, “Tabla repertoire is traditionally taught orally, so no standardized notation exists.” This lack of a written musical nomenclature presents many difficulties for most western-trained musicians. Indian classical music’s eschewing of 4/4 time in favor of 7,10, or 16 beat measures, to name just a few possibilities, also had many of the participant’s looped. Asian massive cut-and-paste tabla this was not.
More could be said about all of the nuances present in the various percussive forms we experienced over the weekend. Suffice it to say, throughout the two days I was trying to work out basslines in my head that might fit over top some of the rhythms presented. With the unfolding and always synchronistic flows of the roots and wires I have no doubt that new rhythmic and musical discoveries will unfold in a home studio or two somewhere in the city of San Francisco…They will no doubt be partially influenced by my experiences over this weekend in the rolling hills northeast of Toronto…stay tuned
...But before I go let me give one last shout out to all the crew of the Tanglefoot Lodge and Mountain Rythym not to mention all of the great warm and welcoming Canadians that we met at the seminar and while wandering the streets of Toronto. Big up to the Canadian crew...