Rehearsal: September 09, 2009
Back with the dancers, fresh off a nice performance at last weekend’s gig, the drummers were very excited to pick up where we left off.
All of the drummers are riding a nice wave of confidence right now, and our playing is showing no hesitation or timidity at all. We are hitting the beats nice and hard, playing with some joy and verve. It is hard not to find a good groove when you have that attitude going into it.
All of the drummers were there, and what we were working on was transitions from one rhythm to the next. Not only for our sake, in terms of communication and so on, but also for the dancers, so that they can be familiar and confident in their dancing when the rhythm has changed from a slow 8/4 to a lively 2/4.
Last but not least we worked on the ending.
The ending is surprisingly tough when the dancers are improvising everything they are doing on stage. On the one hand we want the dancers to have plenty of time and space to explore and create. On the other hand we don’t want the dancers collapsing from exhaustion.
So far our cue has been to stop after all of them are “front stage” together, or when all of them are “back stage” together in their chorus line. That worked fine last night, but we could be smoother. Of course, that is why we practice.
In actual drumming news I was able to play my 14” Tar during the rehearsal, and that helped to provide a really nice bass sound. It seemed to be a tone above C’s big Djimbe, and I could hear it riding on top of the sound we were making. The Tar was distinct, but blended very nicely as a part of the overall wall of rhythm. I was quite pleased with our overall sound, as were the dancers.
Looking forward to next week, when we rehearse with the dancers again, in preparation for gigs in a couple of weekends.