Friday, February 10, 2017

The Art of Drumming

Henry Cow

Chris Cutler on the art of drumming:
As a drummer I was used to - in fact I was wholly dependent upon - the minute differences in sound that arise out of the subtle interactions between the tuning of an instrument, the acoustic space in which it resonates, the material with which it is exited (hit, scrape, bounce), the exact pressure, velocity and nature of the stroke and the precise location of that stroke (every drum or cymbal produces different overtones and resonances at every point on its surface). Any variation in any one of these parameters makes a difference, and all the skills of expressive playing depend on knowing (or feeling) exactly how hard, exactly where and exactly with what, to hit, agitate or caress some resonant material in order to make it sound the way you need it to sound. In addition, drums is a multiple instrument and a drummer is always playing several different things at the same time - all of them in close proximity - so inevitably they affect and modify one another: bass drum resonating through floor tom, overtones and frequencies blending.... and of course, such a setting-of-a-system-in-motion is an important part of the controlled gestalt of playing - and therefore of the vocabulary of an experienced player. (Chris Cutler, "The Electrified Kit")

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