Meet & Beat

What do drummers of a symphonic orchestra do when they get bored? They arrange a drums only concert where they can play something more difficult. Usually ridiculously difficult. Like the concert we went to yesterday organised by the local solo timpanist and some colleagues. After teething troubles (more people and less places available than we thought) we managed to get some of the last tickets and distributed ourselves to the last single seats that were not already occupied. Xylophones, Marimbaphones, Vibraphones, Percussion lorrywise were already set up. Soon the concert started.

Simply said: It was breathtaking. Technically challenging, perfectly played. A Swiss clockwork would have become green with envy. As drummers always tend to make fun of a lot of things (e.g. themselves ...) of course it was funny as well. Drumming with cooking spoons on tables, wearing self-made cooking heads, lamentations who forgot to clean the pots while playing included ...
Apart from the enthusiasm evolving when watching the colleagues play the comments in the breaks from the other visitors around were very interesting as well. "How can they play so perfectly?!" Ok that I do not know. Practice I would guess. Some years ... After all they are full time musicians. "Did you notice that they always wear a poker-face while playing?!" Yeah, I have been told that I do this as well. Most drummers do. :D Why? Well the answer to that is the next comment: "I would be hopelessly overstrained ..." The reason for drummer poker-faces (at least in this genre - in rock music "drummer face" is a well known term) is simple: It requires concentration. A lot of concentration. Just take a look at the two following clips. ;) (Both were in the concert, only different players of course.)

The first one is some minimal music by Steve Reich and shows how different rhythms work together (and one reason why you have to concentrate ...) - admittedly a little boring if you do not see it live but the first two or three minutes give already a fairly good insight. The second one is a Toccata for Vibra- and Marimbaphone. The catchy part starts at 3:13 ;)

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