What a few months it has been at Rhythmbridge. In late September we welcomed back Arthur Hull to our Drum Circle Home at Wiston Lodge in South Lanarkshire, for another 6 day intensive training in Drum Circle Facilitation at the UK Playshop.
In the lead up to the training I took a trip North with Arthur to facilitate a drum circle at Findhorn with the help of our local DCF, Carol Scorer. It was a very successful evening. On our return to Wiston we took in a tour of the Aberlour and The Glenlivet Distilleries and also a visit to see the Speyside Cooperage. The Aberlour tour includes a generous 6 dram tasting…all very fine too. Glenlivet was a little too corporate for my taste, although it is a very fine whiskey. The tour of the cooperage was fascinating and it was good to see a large number of apprentices (6) at work in one of the best paid trades in Scotland.
We arrived back in time for me to cast a vote in the Independence referendum. I awoke to my birthday Sept 19th and the news that the fear tactics of the Westminster elite had held sway. Scotland remains in the Union but a whopping 45% vote for Independence is a huge mandate for change. Interesting times ahead. On the subject of YES voters, check this wonderful photo blog out and guess which shot is yours truly?
The UK Playshop was attended by 30 people from 8 countries and as always, a strong sense of community was created as we drummed and facilitated our way through 6 magical days. I continue to watch with quiet awe as this Master facilitator takes folk on a journey that is quite often life changing. I am always learning something new from him. Always. This year I got to step back a little (Thank You to Jane Bentley and Steve Hill for stepping up) and observe how he works. How he trains. How he pulls together all the strands into a wonderfully clear and concise program. It gives people a very solid foundation and some experience to boot. It creates a platform for me to then go and do what I do. Mentor and Seed.
Arthur’s German program was cancelled this year and so we got to hang out a little post training and sample some of the Aberlour and The Glen Livet, as well as a fine Talisker, a Bowmore and Jura’s delightful Origin. Spoilt we were.
We also got to play in the park.
Arthur headed for Norway and I began preparations for my Malaysian trip to deliver an ERS (Expressive Rhythm Stories) Training in Kuala Lumpur.
I had a wonderful trip and delivered a very well received program to a group of 20 people. It was a learning journey for all concerned, me included. This was the first ERS training and you never know how something is going to work until you do it. I will always be grateful to this group for helping to birth this program. Their enthusiasm, courage, risk taking ability and infectious laughter will stay with me a long time. I look forward to returning to KL in 2015 to delver another round of ERS.
A huge thank you also must go to Christina Jeremiah who saw something in my work that she wanted to develop. Her vision and persistence paid off enormously and with her representing ERS in Asia I am sure we have more adventures ahead.
A big thank you to her team at PIPI too who threw themselves into all the challenges presented and found their own gifts in the process. You are all amazing.
After the ERS program I got to hang out with my friend and colleague John H Hagedorn and sample some more fine single malts including a hand pulled cask strength 18 yr old bottle of Aberlour, a gift from Arthur and myself 😉 John and his lovely wife Terri and their delightful children are always a pleasure to see. It is a developing friendship. Lots of good chat and some fine whiskey.
I returned from Kuala Lumpur to facilitate a community drum circle as part of The Biggar Little Arts Festival. We had a good turnout of family participants with a nice sprinkling of free range children. It was a great circle and hopefully our Biggar community circles will become a regular thing. Watch this space.
Rhythms of the World, my hand drumming class at Kinning Park, Glasgow has had a few missed sessions due to my travels but we will be back for a block of classes from Nov 6th.
Also I will be running a residential Rhythms of the World at Wiston Lodge weekend of Dec 12/13/14 2014. I am limiting the spaces to 25 to make the class workable. Expect a selection of rhythms from around the globe and some singing to.
Looking forward I have classes to teach at Kinning Park running into 2015 and hopefully a regular drum circle at the Corn Exchange in Biggar. I will be offering a taster version of ROTW at Arcadia Music in Biggar in November (Dates tbc) and I am awaiting funding for two rhythm based projects in the local community. Fingers crossed.
Outside of Rhythmbridge I continue to wear my hat as Creative Arts Development bloke at Wiston Lodge. We are putting bids together for a variety of projects and are looking to manage a number of programs for other organisations in 2015. Check out our blog at Tinto Music and Arts CIC
Hope to see some of you here in Scotland for the ROTW Residential or at a drum circle somewhere soon.
Luv n Peas.