Today I was in my congolese drum class and watched a woman who is fairly new complain about how she was not getting something our master teacher was demonstrating. This is a woman who brings a small digital recorder and her husband to class each time. I’ve seen him bring a video camera and painstakingly film the master teacher’s hands.
Another drumming student who actually practices at home and has spent only 6 months to our 4 years getting to our level also records on a digital recorder. And there are all kinds of fancy tech things that musicians and DJ’s use: drum machines, for one, digital metronomes for another. I have a very accurate digital metronome that I spent years plotting to get and then getting, but I don’t use it. I think people using tech is not only fine, but great as long as it works.
The thing is, I drum for many reasons, the main one being that it is a way to connect with life, people and vitality right here and now. I have a cell phone and computer I use daily. Keeping track of it, using it, paying for it, etc, etc and ETC, takes a great deal of my life energy. What I find sadly comic is people thinking that just because they have tech and the wherewithal to use a recorder or camera, that they are actually going to take the time to review what they’ve recorded and use it to practice.
In my experience, with the one exception of the ONE woman drumming student who ACTUALLY PRACTICES, most will never look at, keep track of, edit, alter or even view/listen to it EVER as in NEVER again. And even if they were to, what is the sense of recording over and over again stuff that is not useful which needs more energy to keep track of and edit?
Folks, we are human beings. We need actual contact with other human beings. We drum and dance to have that contact one way or another. Tech quickly switches from being a swift and beneficial advantage to a burden we can’t keep up with. To my mind, our reach has exceeded our grasp with all this tech.We have more than we can use and I think it keeps us from life by separating us more. And that is not good.