The Troupe
This drummer's journey with other drummers.

Rehearsal: November 4, 2009

We are rehearsing with the dancers for the next two weeks as we prepare for our performance on stage for a belly dance extravaganza show.

The show itself will feature our dancers and troupe, as well as six other headline solo dancers.   We will be the only Tribal Stylists there, with the other dancers being cabaret style.  There will also be a professional trio of Turkish musicians, including an oud player, violinist, and percussionist.   I truly admire their drummer, who has a very unique style, sings as well, and has a very playful, yet respectful, interaction with the cabaret dancers during their solos.  They have been playing together for almost twenty years and are really great to watch.

Which is honestly a bit intimidating.    You know, the doubts…   What if we screw up?  What if we forget our place?  What if we freeze?  What if, what if, what if?!?

Luckily we are really good.   We have had a ton of gigs, and a metric ton of practices and rehearsals, in the last few months, so our confidence levels are very high.   We KNOW that we sound good.

For the most part tonight’s rehearsal was simply going over our performance routine.   We have a slight change, in that the dancers are adding an additional solo.  We have also decided to focus on the Kahleegi as our rhythm of choice for the faster paced solos, so we will be working on that as well.

Our viola player joined us again, and sounded even better.  You can tell that he has been practicing with us in mind, and he sounds more confident.

Practice and rehearsals are the place to experiment and “let it all hang out” and he is begining to do that, trusting his own sense of musicality, and adding melody, harmony, or depth to our rhythm as he feels it in the moment.

Improvising with a melodic instrument (Read: Anything that isn’t a drum) is tough.  Fraught with peril, especially when you are not being featured in the part of the music written as, “Insert violin solo in D-minor here for twelve measures”.

Suffice to say that I am impressed, and excited.   I think he really adds to our sound, and once we work out the volume differentials we will wow crowds.

The other great thing about rehearsals lately is that the two hours simply flies by.   The drummers are not getting tired.   We simply play the warm ups, hit our marks in the run throughs, and keep in the groove the whole time, even with the various stops and starts.

Step by step, bit by bit by bit by bit.

This is a LOT of fun.

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