A Zen master's life is one continuous mistake.
- Dogen

There are no mistakes. - Miles Davis

21 December 2010

Little Beach Rain

Hopes were high as the full moon swelled, but rain clouds had moved in and hung close over the site of the weekly drum/dance jam at Little Beach, Maui. I arrived just a little late, and it had already started to rain.  A few of the diehards were there, appearing uncertain whether to pack it in or gamely keep drumming in the drizzle.  I opened my umbrella instead of my drum bag, but after a few minutes the rain slacked off some, so I pulled out my djembe and played awhile.  Soon the sangban sat free so I sat cross-legged in the sand and briefly played one of the rhythms I'd practiced beforehand, Kuku.  The drums with synthetic heads held sway now in the mist; and next with a strong new lead from one of the doumbeks, I matched an impromptu pattern on the sangban:

O - x - O O - x O - x - x - x -

This groove went on for the standard twenty minutes or so, with some enthusiastic dancers keeping the energy high; and a few other beats followed, but when finally the rain fell harder and the dark descended, I called it a day and headed home.  Along the way that sangban pattern kept returning, and I heard it now extended, from a sixteen-beat bar in 4/4, to a two-bar pattern in 12/8:

O - x - O O - x O - O - >
O - x - O O - x M - x -

There was a funky djembe pattern still with me too from the beginning of the jam, a variant of Fula Fare:

P - g T P - P d g T G -

Putting this together with the new sangban rhythm, I realized, might make a good combination.  So I plugged these into my digital drum rhythm software, Percussion Studio, and the rest of the parts fell into place.  I call the resulting mix "Little Beach Rain."  Enjoy!