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Layne Redmond's  
"Rhythmic Wisdom"

 a review by Kent Multer 

This video is a very good introduction to frame drumming, and also to the history and spirituality of drumming. I'd recommend it to anyone
interested in any of these topics, especially women, since Redmond has made empowerment of women a major theme in her work.

The 70-minute video includes instructional segments as well as three duets by Redmond and Tommy Brunjes. The duets are well photographed, so theywill be useful to students, as well as just plain fun to listen to. They are also a good demonstration of the great variety of sounds that can come from a couple of "simple" little drums. The video also has some short "lecture" segments on background topics such as ancient history of frame drums, the effect of drumming on brain waves, and the special relationship that women have with rhythmic communication.

The instructional segments start with hand/body position, basic strokes, and 3- and 4-step rhythm patterns. Next you learn some more complex 8-step rhythms, followed by a segment with Redmond and Brunjes playing together, to show how pairs of rhythms can interlock. Additional segments cover advanced techniques: finger rolls, snaps, and "ki-ti-ta-ka" rapid strokes using a technique borrowed from the Indian kanjira. All this material is presented very well. Every stroke and pattern is repeated enough times, at
different speeds, to make it easy to pick up without the endless rewinding-and-replaying that some other videos force you to do. 

In this video, Layne teaches techniques for a tar-type drum: fairly large, with no jingles or other "accessories." She uses a seated playing position, with the drum resting on one knee. This is good news! I have seen many beginners struggle with the various hand-held playing styles that she, and other notables such as Glen Velez, usually teach. Hand-held
playing seems to be especially tough for people with small hands, e.g. women. Some beginers find that they can only play for a few minutes before their fingers start to hurt, which can be pretty discouraging. The seated playing style, with the drum supported by the leg, should be much easier to learn. 

In the duet segments, she and Tommy do use some hand-held playing styles, and they play tambourines in one piece. There is also a segment where they demonstrate several other types of drums: Middle Eastern-type tambourine, bendir, pandeiro, and kanjira.

"Rhythmic Wisdom" has useful lessons, interesting performance segments, some valuable history and background, and a real dedication to the Spirit of Rhythm. The picture quality is excellent, and the sound quality is OK (which, in my book, is better than average: have you noticed how many of these drumming videos have HORRIBLE sound? They often sound like they were recorded in someone's garage using a home stereo and a Mr. Microphone.
This one is at least decent). 

I give it "two drums up." -- Kent Multer, kent@dallas.net

Contents:

01:00 intro. lecture
05:00 tambourine duet
08:30 lecture -- symbols on drums, ancient art, brain waves, altered states, shamanic traditions
17:00 frame drum duet
20:00 basic strokes & simple 3- & 4-beat rhythms
36:45 8-beat rhythms
43:00 interlocking rhythms
48:00 "ki-ti-ta-ka" (kanjira style)
55:45 finger rolls & snaps
62:45 demo of other types of frame drums
65:45 closing remarks
67:00 frame drum duet

This review copyright (C) 2000 by Kent A. Multer. All rights reserved.

Kent Multer
701895, Dallas TX 75370
Magic Metal Productions 
(214) 824 8937
KOBUSHI taiko drummers 
Rhythm Tribe
 

Layne Redmond has kindly sent us an excercise in odd time cycles, from her tape series. 

Remember to Visit Layne's website 

Also, if you are interested in rhythm and the spirit, please read Hazrat Inayat Khan on the Law of rhythm

Remember to check out the new 
Hands
On'Semble page

for more frame drumming fun...

 

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