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August 23, 2005

Classical Music

Last night, after dinner at the Taj Hotel, I sat in the air conditioned lobby reading a book. Just after I sat down, a man came in with a couple of drums and started playing them. I put my book down and watched. After a while, I moved to sit in front of him and I just watched and listened to him play for about half an hour.

He had two drums, one made of wood and the other made of metal. Both had animal skin tops with various different layers and regions on them. He could make a tapping sound with his thumb on the end of the wooden drum and various deep booming sounds on the middle of both drums.

On the larger metal drum, he would bang the edge and then push his hand forward over a black circular region, causing a rising pitch, boooiiing. He was using many different techniques and rhythms. At one point he was plucking one of the side chords on the metal drum.

Every so often he would go into a mad fit of tip-taps with all fingers while turning his head rapidly from left to right. Then every so often he would stop thrashing his head and grin at me. It was very entertaining.

For a long time, I've wanted to learn to drum properly and this was very inspiring. This showed me that there is a really high level of skill that can be accomplished.


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