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

There are no mistakes. - Miles Davis

21 November 2011

Bali and South India drum groups

Here's a followup to my recent blog entries on travels in Bali and India: links to two YouTube videos with footage I shot of local traditional drumming groups.

The Bali group, part of a ceremony on a tiny island offshore from Candidasa, reminded me of Masala, with gamelan-style sounds on the move, from brass gongs and dunun-type bass drums.

The India group put out big sounds like a full band, from just two or three drummers, playing with sticks on a bass drum and a high-end frame drum. From a distance it sounded like a dozen dununs and snares or sabars; up close we were treated also to dancers keeping rhythm with sticks. For West African drum buffs, note the driving 6/8 rhythms punctuated by sangban-style breaks across the time. Later some bystanders came up and explained that this was traditional music and dance of the Dalit people, considered "Untouchables" in the past in South India, but now celebrating a revival of proud identity.