The drummers played several songs. They also sang songs and they told stories. One of the songs that was sung was a tribute to the water, “praising and honoring the supreme creator who is responsible for everything that we get.” Another song was a tribute to one of the founders of Daughters of Creative Sound Nia Mary Alice Boyd, who passed away in 2005.
The drummers invited us to be part of the music by dancing. They also talked about the drums and what the drumbeat meant. The drumbeat, said Karima, is “the first sound you hear before you’re born.” The baby hears the mother’s heartbeat and is soothed by that. Sandra said, “We went to a women’s drumming camp.” Several hundred women were at the camp. One of the unique things about the camp was that four women drummed a mother drum. They were playing a heartbeat. “It never stopped,” said Sandra. “Everyone had the chance to play the heartbeat.”
“No matter where you were,” Karima said, “You could hear the heartbeat.”
Yvonne said, “The eyes of babies in strollers brightened when they heard the drums.” She said that one of the instructors encouraged the students to listen to every day sounds and pick up their rhythm. As an example of listening to and reproducing an every day sound, the instructor repeated the rhythm of the washing machine.
The drum, Karima said, is a “living thing.” Her drum is made of part of a tree and goat skin.” Sharon’s instrument is a shakeray. It is a hollowed out gourd with beads on the outside. Here in Western New York, gourds are very small. In warmer climates, the gourds grow larger because the growing season is longer. Gourds are used as instruments, and they are also used as vessels to hold water, grains, or rice.
The rhythm of the heartbeat connects all humans. It is a comforting sound. “Drumming gives me comfort,” Karima said.
The sound of the drumbeat brings us together because it comforts us and reminds us of the beating of our own hearts.
“We’re all interrelated and interconnected,” Karima said.