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tiny glittering specks
singapore sunset
amw
My drum group is doing a performance in September and i'm really looking forward to it. It'll be my first time out in front of people since playing guitar at my aunt's wedding in 1996, a harrowing experience that left me red-faced and almost in tears from anxiety. I was slated to DJ at a party on New Year's Day 1999 but a whole bunch of shit went down the night before and i flaked, then later in 1999 when i got offered a live slot at a local café i refused. But this drum performance, i'm part of an ensemble and one of the better drummers in the group, so i'm actually feeling pretty good about it, confident even.

I spoke to my immigration lawyer today and she told me to just apply for school - the evening classes i'm doing won't affect my status. If i go ahead as planned, my drum performance will fall smack in the middle of my second week of a practical, graded class. I don't know if i want to skip a class so early, especially not if it means getting an F for the week. Plus, you know, it's only djembe and i am planning on focusing more on dumbek in fall. And it's only going to be in front of a captive audience and not the general public anyway. And i'll always have another chance in the future. All that thinking, thinking too much and it needs to shut the hell up. Performing is something really big for me, damnit, and for once i'm not afraid. I want to do it, that should trump everything.

It is a bit of an indicator, though. If i pick up school this term i'll have class Monday through Wednesday, then drum classes on Thursday. The other things on my potentials list are basketball (Friday) and self-defense (weekends, i guess). Everything's in the evening for the convenience of 9-to-5 workers, and that's perfect for my fucked up sleeping schedule right now, but not so good for spending time with J. Plus being so fully-booked will screw up one-offs like this performance. God knows what i'll do when i get my work permit and a job. I am probably planning to take on too much... is this where i should be hitting on the brakes before it kills me?

I have a daytime list too, but that's easier - getting my full driver's license and doing some volunteer work. And homework!

Drumming "homework" in the daytime is a lot of fun. I'm not worried i'll be annoying anyone in the neighborhood because they're at work. It centers me for the day too. It's so fucking healthy pushing myself physically. Which sounds kinda retarded because it's all in the fingers and wrists, but even though it's on a much smaller scale than something like basketball it's still enough to focus me. It's like micro-exercise! My ring fingers are getting a mighty powerful little flick to them.

I love that we live in the 21st century with Youtube and so many other learning resources available to us. It is wonderful to be able to see 10 different approaches to the same technique and find out which one works for you. I first did it to help me with Spanish classes last term and now i'm doing it for drumming too. I've learned finger rolls from Australia, coordination techniques from America, fill theory from England and most surprisingly how to do a slap from freakin "expert" village. Knowledge comes from the most unexpected places sometimes. Even the back of your head! When i first picked up my drum a beledi rhythm came out by accident which the last time i played or even heard was on finger cymbals. Of course what comes out even more naturally is Western rock rhythms. I guess that's how world fusion music gets made.

Just having these beats at my fingertips is getting me excited about making music again. That will come when it comes, though. I'm not going to push that any more than i push writing. Just like happened with my writing earlier this year, whenever the dam bursts there will be reams and reams of pathetic drivel stored up, dotted with a handful of inspired moments. Maybe someone will glimpse those moments between it all.
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