By Kristi Kates
Our workshop is designed to give people the chance to engage totally in the drum process, artist and Ayurvedic practitioner Rolinda LeMay explains.
The workshop LeMay is speaking of, the Drum Your Art Out event, will be taking place at Boyne Mountain in Boyne Falls this month, offering ample opportunity for those interested - musician or non alike - to learn about, craft, and how to play hand drums. And according to independent artist LeMay and co-presenter David Gierke of the Toledo School of the Arts, drumming is about far more than simply crafting rhythms.
BODY MIND BEAT
I think that drumming contributes to the overall body/mind/spirit picture, LeMay says, when you create the drum, you are engaging as an artist. When you engage in community drumming, in particular, youre in a circle, and theres an energy flow you can feel in that circle that has beneficial effects.
LeMays more esoteric, poetic role at the Drum Your Art Out workshop project complements Gierkes more technical skills.
My role will be to discuss and describe symbology and to guide the art end of things, she says, you dont want to just slap anything on your drum; you want it to reflect a deeper meaning to you as the drum owner/maker.
Gierke, by contrast, will work with the hardwood frames, the drum skins, the soaking, stretching, and actual making of the drums themselves. Its a careful process that avoids tedium by fully involving the participants and drawing them into LeMay and Gierkes own respective zeals for the project.
Gierke, a lifelong percussionist, spent years owning Toledos Daves Drum Depot before joining the Toledo School for the Arts as a percussion teacher; he also presents frequent drum workshops in Ohio.
He is just so knowledgeable and engaging, LeMay says, his enthusiasm for his art is totally contagious, and he plays everything - if you can make a rhythm on it, he plays it!
LeMay, who first collaborated with Gierke in that aforementioned school setting (she spent a year there as an Arts Integration Specialist), has been an artist as long as she can remember, as well.
I have a studio in my home where I work frequently - pen and ink illustration, acrylic painting, and mixed media - and my work has been shown locally and in Michigan, LeMay explains, art is woven into almost everything I do.
These focused approaches to their respective lives make Gierke and LeMay the perfect hosts for Drum Your Art Out; in addition to the roles mentioned earlier, LeMay will mastermind the actual drum decoration, and Gierke will lead the evening drum circles.
Two versions of the workshop are being offered at Boyne through the Solace Spa, the most immersive being the two-day package, which includes crafting of your own frame drum, all of the Friday and Saturday workshops, and both drum circles.
A one-day version of the event is also being offered, where participants will receive a pre-made frame drum that they can decorate, and they will be able to sit in on one of the drum circle evenings.
Either selection is fine with LeMay; she just wants people to be part of this unique event.
Theres a feeling of empowerment one gets from creating your own drum with your own hands; from the give and take of a drum circle to the Zen-like state of being so focused in drumming that you move into the zone, a very meditative-like state thats joyous and peaceful, she says, In a drum circle, you drum until you are the drumming.
The Drum Your Art Out workshop weekend with Rolinda LeMay and David Gierke will take place July 16-17 at Boyne Mountain via Solace Spa; space is limited, so register today by calling the spa at 231-549-7946.