With my djembe needing a new goatskin, I dropped it off yesterday at Motherland Music in Culver City. Drum Heaven! The place has a retail showroom, a drum repair workshop, and space for classes and performances.
After parking on the street, I followed the sound of drums through the front door of the shop. Turns out I’d shown up in the middle a drum circle in full swing. A good 15-20 people of all ages, genders, and colors were becoming one with the universe.
Yelling over the sounds of the instruments, I met Dan and one of his workers, filled out some paperwork, and asked a few questions about what the occasion was. Dan invited to hang out for the rest of the day, as they were having a party out in the back, with food, drink, and another drum circle.
I spent some time looking around the shop. Any lover of drums could lose herself for days! The place is packed with authentic djembes, doumbeks, congas, ashikos, talking drums, shakers/rattlers, and more world percussion instruments than you can pronounce. The store also sells sheet music, cds, all kinds of accessories, and miscellaneous imported drum-related knick-knacks. (I bought much-needed djembe bag, which fits my drum perfectly. I can wear it like a backpack.)
Here are some shots I snapped in no particular order.
“In most musical instruments the resonator is made of wood while the actual sound generator is of animal origin. In cultures where music is still used as a magical force, the making of an instrument always involves the sacrifice of a living being. That being’s soul then becomes part of the instrument and in the tones that come forth, the ‘singing dead,’ who are ever present with us, make themselves heard.”
— Joscelyn Godwin, 1987