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An Architect of Rhythm

This, this, THIS is Way Cool. Charles Hayward giving a mini-tour of his drumming-lair and his drum kit.

I love how all of his drums are old friends (he's still using his first snare drum, although it's a bit like when King Alfred's Axe Danced with the Prince of Wales, what with replacement parts etc). He even has a saucepan lid, picked up as a trophy after giving a drum class to a nursery school. This is greatly reassuring in a world where gear-obsessives are two-a-penny - you know, guitarists with 53 guitars and only one pair of hands, that kinda thing. Just as a bad workman blames his tools, a good musician can make music with anything. I bet that somewhere, right now, there is a child bashing a saucepan who will grow up to be a champion saucepan-basher in the Hayward mould!

But the best musicians can make music even with... nothing. Very interesting what Mr H says about the drum kit describing a negative space that makes the shape of himself. Anyone can press a button and have rhythm dispensed by machine, he says, but to play drums is PHYSICAL. The outline of the kit measures his reach. It's a bit like a spider's web. Every vibration tells.

And at the end of this short film, he plays, and he doesn't do that lame-oid I Am Zee Drummer routine of 'start with a pedestrian beat, then break it down a little, then show off a whole lot, then play everything as loud and as fast as humanly possible whilst making the Musician-Face... aaaand GONG STRIKE!' Instead, as he goes on, he leaves little negative spaces in the rhythm. I would say that this is how you demonstrate musicianly heft. If you can use silence just as well as you can use sound, and if you can involve your audience actively in following the grammar of the rhythm (rather than serving it up in predictable fashion), you are Doing Something. Perhaps what you are doing is using the fourth dimension to make a shape that implies the other three - rhythmic architecture. As opposed to those others who are still at the 'draw a rectangle' stage.

Plus, instead of the Musician-Face, he wears a Smile of Ultimate Contentment. To get lost in between the notes Is It.

Mr Hayward definitely makes my list of People I'd Happily Live Next Door To.

[Notice to Patrons: apologies for recent absence. I am still writing a biggish entry about my trip abroad - haven't felt very motivated to finish it, hence radio silence. But then today I saw this video and couldn't help but Say Things about it... ibble-glibble. ^_^ I'd better catch up with commenting I think, whilst I'm in a talkative mood... >.<]


( 1 confidence — Confide in me... )
Dec. 19th, 2012 12:06 pm (UTC)
Wow, getting lost in between the notes Is It indeed :D
( 1 confidence — Confide in me... )

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