The fact of the matter is that drum circles are not a random or anarchic ensemble. They have an underlying ‘pulse’. The pulse is the rhythmical corner stone of any drum circle, or song. In musical settings it is usually played by the low frequency instruments such as the bass drum and the electric bass. The pulse allows all players to play to an underlying guide post. It can be considered the heartbeat of the drum circle, which provides a common thread that all participants connect to, drummers and dancers.
As the pulse occurs in rhythmical intervals, drum circles promote brainwave ‘entrainment’. This is when our brainwave frequencies attune to external rhythms we hear, usually engendering relaxation, wellbeing, and also euphoria. Entrainment is a term that was first coined by physicist Christiaan Huygens. After placing pendulum clocks on a wall that were out of phase with one another, he noticed that a few hours later all pendulums would swing in perfect synchronisation. Entrainment is both a physical and organic phenomenon. Fireflies entrain at night as they shine their lights on and off together in rhythm, providing spectacular views.
A public drum circle is not just about meeting your future husband/wife or dancing with abandon. It is like a public library. You can check in or leave any time, and you don't have to do anything in particular once you're there. You can also enjoy it from a distance, no questions are asked. An interesting aspect of a drum circle is that it is both a social phenomenon and a place for inward reflection.
Once the pulse takes hold everyone's contribution is in harmony, and every instrument can be heard as a unique voice of expression. The connection between the rhythm players and the dancers is like a rhythmical and visual biofeedback loop. One gives more energy to the other, and it grows.
The PDC is free and open to all ages. The 6th anniversary party is on Sunday July 29th in Naiharn beach, in case of rain at Yoonique Stone Cafe, from 4:30 pm to sunset and beyond. For more information and to join the event on Facebook.
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