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Finding the All Mighty “ONE”

Posted by: Michael Demoura | January 18, 2012 | No Comment |
By Michael de Moura
For a morning on the 21st of January and an afternoon the next day, Eddie Wood — percussionist, storyteller, actor and dancer — is teaching a weekend workshop at the Homer Council on the Arts building.  The two part workshop will focus on hand percussion, incorporating rhythms from the United States, Cuba, and Brazil or the “crazy triangle” of the western hemisphere, as Eddie calls it.

The workshop is open to anybody 15 or older, until the 18 person limit is filled.  According to Eddie Wood, his lessons are “applicable in any field.. exposure to something like this will help with timing and patterning” along with the experiential applications of music from many different ethnic origins.

Cuban Clave rhythms, Brazilian Samba and a bit more straight forward American rhythms constitute the workshop’s repertoire.  Eddie’s experience with Native Alaskan and Latin dance forms, such as the Rumba, Salsa, and Mambo, are advantageous when teaching percussion.  Alternate approaches to rhythm make his lessons all the more comprehensible.

Wood “would love the group to be able to play as one creature with many parts… all in sync”  Listening is key for any ensemble, especially when looking for “the all important ONE” otherwise known as the downbeat or the pulse.

In ancient times “you had to listen to stay alive”; by learning how to use the same senses, in a musical setting, partakers obtain a new perspective through storytelling as well as improvisational and structured percussion exercises.

To work past pre-existing qualms, associated with singing and instrumental music, those who take part in the workshop are given ample time in the first day of the workshop to “get comfortable”.  Eddie Wood approaches the workshop “gently and with lots of humor” to rid participants of their insecurities, fears and uncertainties.

Once participants have attained a sense of belonging, Eddie leads the group into more complex instruments; eventually moving into mallet instruments and finally Latin hand and finger percussion, the Conga and Bongos for example.  Although drums are provided for use in the workshop, anybody who owns a drum is encouraged to bring it along.

“My life is about sound, story, and movement”

To get a taste of Eddie’s life as a drum craftsmen and performance artist, visit homerart.org for more information about admission fees and the schedule.  Call 907-235-4288, register online, or just stop into the council building to reserve a spot in the workshop.

under: Arts & Entertainment

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