You read that right! This week was dynamite in the studio!
We had visits from three world class percussionists, all of whom were ready to share their stories with our crew.
The Pocket Queen
To start the week off, Taylor Gordon graced us with her presence at the studio. Taylor is the pocket queen. She is all groove, and super smooth. She hails from from low country Louisiana – New Orleans, specifically. After a few years in Boston, MA where Taylor completed her Bachelor of Professional Music at the one and only Berklee College, she now calls LA home.
Taylor is an amazing presence, and a pleasure to spend time with, providing easy to digest answers about technical questions. Her passion and her skill were at the forefront of our first session of the week.
We welcomed Boris to our studio, and to Canada, all the way from Martinique. Boris kills it. In Martinique the Bèlè Drum & Dance tradition is the backbone of music. He brought a whole wack-load of unique drums to the studio to demonstrate. The entire crew was super interested in the very specific interactions between song, percussion, and dance.
Boris spoke about the way tradition African rhythms made their way to the “new world” and how prominent they are in Caribbean rhythms. Boris also studied the Ka, a drum from Guadeloupe. In our conversations about Guadeloupe we were fortunate to touch on Bouladjèl, an early form of vocal percussion.
We talked about how vocal percussion, in all of its forms, was created as a means to solve a problem. Make rhythms when instruments were not available. Though the circumstances of modern beatboxing, and that of the people who endured the horrors of enslavement are incomparable, Boris was able to draw a connection with a need for solution as the root of this art form.
Hailing from a small village in Ghana, Paa Kow (Pah-ko) had a thirst for music as a form of communication from a young age. He would fashion instruments from what he could find as a means of connecting with his elders. Paa Kow showed a level of talent that was unsurpassed in his area, and began touring with his families band at the age of 7.
The drum set Paa Kow plays is the only of its kind in the world, which creates an incredible experience for his listeners. His ability to weave jazz, and other western sounds creates the perfect balance for Afro-Fusion music.
We are thrilled with all of our recent connections and are looking forward to heading back to India next week!