Where The Idea Came From
I didn’t even know what a drum circle was when I moved to Austin 20 years ago. (In case you aren’t sure what it is, it’s people playing hand drums in a park. There’s no set rhythm or pattern. It’s all improvised and evolves as people change their pattern or come and go from the circle. They are usually open for anyone to show up and join in. They can last any length of time, sometimes up to many many hours. For example, at Austin’s annual Eeyore’s Birthday celebration.)
While drum circles have undoubtedly been around for as long as human beings realized they could bang on stuff, to me it seems a very classic Austin thing.
So the event is a drum circle. But I wanted this one to be a special kind (the kind that gets attention and has a dubious connection to selling calendars).
At first I thought, what if we changed the shape. A square? No, too obvious. Associate more than one degree…
So what if it was just one drum? …meh.
What if it was NO drums? Hmm. There we go. A drumless drum circle. Maybe people could bring something else. What can they bring in place of drums yet still be able to form a circle?
Anything. They could bring anything. Anything but a drum.
Now I had the idea. (Note: the above is a highly abbreviated summary of my brainstorming session).
It didn’t take long until I started feeling guilty about stealing the drum circlers’ hobby and then – insult to injury – singling them out for exclusion. “Thanks for the great idea! I’m going to do one now and ANYONE can come. Except you who I stole the idea from.”
That seemed a little cold.
I realize that technically I am excluding “drums” not “drum circlers” and that if they wanted to bring something not a drum to bang on, then they were welcome to. But come on, it’s clearly implied that they aren’t welcome.
But everyone should feel welcome at my events even as I hope no one attends.
So the event name was changed to “ANYTHING-BUT-DRUMS CIRCLE. DRUMS OK, TOO.”
I admit that maybe it displays just a luke-warm interest in having drums. But they were still invited. What’s important was that my nagging conscience had quieted.
Below are the details and promotional video for the “Anything-But-Drums Circle. Drums, OK, Too.” event as posted to the public. See more detail here on the Big Weekend Calendars website.
Anything-But-Drums Circle. Drums, OK, Too.
Let’s have a drum circle but with stuff that isn’t drums. Bring down your favorite acoustic instrument, frying pan, cardboard box, pencil sharpener, bottle of water, potato chips, balloon, or whatever you think will be good for the circle. If all you have is a drum, I guess that’s cool, too.
See? I even called them “cool”.
I created short video ads for all the 2020 events. The one for this event was by far the strangest and most incomprehesible. I did make one exclusion to the event as you’ll see in the video, but my notes don’t show the reasoning behind it and I’ve since forgotten. I’m sure it was sound though. (Pun intended). Check it out:
Alas, this event has been postponed due to the reasons of overscheduling and pandemic. Stay tuned.
For the record: I play drums and like drums. Please no crazy drummers start emailing me.