Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Senegalese Drumming

Much of the afternoon was spent over in Great Casterton where Diene and Mohamed were leading the first of their drumming workshops with a group of year 10 students.

For the most part the action of the show is determined, in terms of length, by Nick's score, which similtaneously tells the story of the flooding of the Gwash valley in the seventies to create Rutland water and the annual flight of the ospery as it journeys from it its breeding grounds here south via Spain to West Africa.

However, there is one scene, set in Senegal, where the ospery encounters four tropical birds which Nick hasn't written for enabling us to shape a different soundtrack using the drums. The work we did yesterday has already offered some suggestions of the way in which these puppets might move and today was a chance for Diene and Mohamed to lay down some basic techniques and sequences with the Casterton gang that might accompany the dance we'll put together next week.

Already there is a nervous sense that we don't really have enough time with each of these groups. Tomorrow Chris will come out here to consolidate the work done today and I'll return to Uppingham to run the second and final workshop with the operators. Then we'll all meet up for the tech next Wednesday at the event site. The big concern I have is that working in a drama studio is quite different from being thrown into a huge event and thrilling as it's sure to be do we have enough time to get our performers comfortably adjusted to the outdoor site?

However, the workshop today was excellent and the students really focused and commited. By the end of the two hours they'd eight or nine different rythm patterns under their belts which can be improvised and jazzed around with.


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