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Issue #18
November 25th 1999

The Rhythms of our Soul

Hand made hemp djembe

The Boundary Area, with this beautiful and peaceful valley is inspiration to many artists and musicians. The OpenMinder was introduced to Dave Brummet a long time drummer and now drum manufacturer. Dave had a lot more to tell us than we could fit in these pages, but we hope to have put together the essence of our conversation together.
OM: Was there anything that drew you into music?
Dave: I can't remember anything in particular, but I do remember wanting to play music from a very young age, I think I tried an old ice cream pail full of gravel as a snare drum, with some sticks I found in my dads trunk, he used to be a trombone player, and I guess he played a little bit on the drums, well I found these sticks and kind of banged around with those on my makeshift drum. I wanted to join the school band when I was young, and I think there were 10 drummers signed up, or something like that, so I went on to play the baratone horn. I skipped the drums until after graduation, when I bought a drum set. Basically I've always had it in me I guess. I can't really pick out a certain time that maybe made me want to be a drummer other than seeing one in a parade once.
OM: Did your father play professionally?
Dave: Not professionally, but he also played the guitar and would write his own songs and play them, just for fun, around the campfire and stuff like that. I can remember that at a very young age.
OM: When you mentioned your first set of drums, I assume you were talking about the kind you might see with a traditional rock band.
Dave: Yes, first off, it was rock and roll music, jamming in a garage with a guitar player and no formal lessons for the first 3 or four years, until with a friend of mine, I learned how to read and write music and built up from there. I was lucky enough to get into bands, with in the first two year I was playing in a band.
OM: How did the transition happen from the drum kit to hand drums?
Dave: I saw a band once called Toto, and they had a really good hand drummer, Lenny Castro, and he played congas, tumblales, and bongos, along side the drummer, and that just blew my mind on the possibilities of two drummers on stage. After that I bought a set of congas myself and it kind of went from there to the African thing. I met my African friend, David Thiaw. He taught me the simplicity of how African rhythms are the root of most of the things in Rock and Roll, Jazz, and Blues and other things. Even the Clave, which is the basic pulse of Latin Music, is an African rhythm. Even Reggae is a blend of different African beats and made into their own music after they arrived in Jamaica. Its roots right back to western Africa, the Mandinka people, around the Ivory Coast, they were the heavy drummers of Africa. It was favorable to having very tight well tuned drums. If it was a desert climate where it would be blazing hot during the day, then cool off at night, making the skins relax, so they would have to warm their drums by the fire to tighten them up so they could play them. The area makes a difference as to what kind of drumming takes place, South Africa is more coastal and wet like Vancouver, so it would not be favourable to have a drum that you would want to be quite tight.
OM: What one could say then is that the environment played a big part in the way drums develop in an area?
Dave: Yes, that is right. Because the West Africans had more drums and more options they became masters of drum music. They have a whole orchestra of rhythms and types of drums for each different purpose.
OM: Have you ever been to Africa to study drums?
Dave: No I've studied a lot, and learned a lot from David Thiaw, his drumming was just fantastic. He was a master story teller as well, and he would sit and tell me many things about Africa. I've read everything I could find about Africa because I believe that is where the roots of drumming are. In Africa there is a person called a "Griot". He would go around from village to village and tell stories with his drum, and sing and dance, and ask for hand outs afterwards like a travelling mistral. He could be well paid because he would be a very loved source of entertainment.
OM: From rock and roll drum kits, to hand drums and other percussion, to making drums. That seems to be quite the progression, how do you like it?

 drums


Dave: It's great, it's taught me a lot! How to take better care of my instruments for one, if there was a problem with mine I can obviously fix them. It kind of mostly happened because I couldn't find a "Talking Drum", or "Djembé". I'm making them out of plastics and fiberglass now. Well you could find them but they were very expensive, you might pay $1,000 for a good Djembé. Now-a-days that price is down to about $300 or $400. In the last 10 years it's come full circle and everybody seems to be making hand drums. It's a big industry. I find it's great for me because I get to help a lot of people out with these kinds of drums with their intricate lacing, there is a lot to the skinning of them. On the Djembé there is really a lot of tension, there has got to be up to 3,000 pounds pressure on those skins. So you can't do it loosely, it has to be tight to sound like a Djembé.
OM: These Djembés have an interesting shape as well.
Dave: They call it a goblet shape, like a big wine glass.
OM: The Talking Drum looks different, like a hour glass.
Dave: That' s right, there is a skin on each end of the hour glass and the strings connecting them, and that shape allows you to squeeze the strings and get a different tone, bending the note. They are also called a variable pitch drum.
OM: I like the name Talking Drum, it sounds better.
Dave: Yes, I agree, a little more connected to its roots. With the drum languages they had the variable pitches of the drum to add complexities. They used them to relay messages from village to village, some times over many miles.
OM: Interesting drum!
Dave: I actually built that Talking Drum with a microphone in it. When I played in a rock band it was barely heard over the other drum kit player, so I put the microphone in it so I could hear it myself as well.
OM: With making drums out of fiberglass and plastics instead of the traditional wood, do you find a difference in the sound?
Dave: I feel that the sound is a lot brighter, especially with the Djembé you get a higher pitch, it really cuts through. For the Talking Drum it has more sustain, that note will hold on for a long 3 seconds instead of a short one second.
OM: Of all the drums it seems the Djembé is your favorite.
Dave: It is. It's just so versatile. You can get anything from a rumbling bass note to a very high note to a blistering slap! It can sound like a drum set, it can have these different sounds at the same time. It can sound like there are three players playing at the same time. There are just not to many limits to what you can play on a Djembé. I bring many styles from other drums like the congas and even the drum kit. It's actually hard to not play like a drum kit. The cymbal hand is the busy one and when I play the hand drum it's hard not to favour that hand. I was taught the African way which is to use both hands evenly. That way you don't wear out one hand after 3 hours of drumming. One hand could get pretty tired if you favoured it.
OM: I could imagine if you were playing for a couple of hours with both hands you would get tired.
Dave: I played for a dance class once and we went for 2 hours on one rhythm, it was a heart beat and after a while you don't know whether you are slowing down or speeding up.
In a drum circle the combination of 3 or 4 different people playing different things makes this giant manageable rhythm. It's quite impressive, if you haven't been to a drum circle it would be hard to imagine the power of the rhythms.
OM: Of all the instruments, drums seem to be involved in mysticism more than any other.
Dave: Drums were associated with the devil during early Christianity. They were instruments the of ritual in the Mother Earth type cultures they assimilated, and so drums all but disappeared. It was saved in West Africa, in one area where they didn't get wiped out. Drums came back again and were brought to the New World with the slaves, and they influenced the birth of Latin, Reggae, Calypso, American Jazz and the birth of the drumset. The drumset does what would traditionally have been played by a group of people.
OM: Is there more difficult drums to play?
Dave: It has to be the East Indian Tabla, a finger drum. When they are learning to play these drums they have to learn to sing the rhythms first, then they learn to play them on the drums. You can play many notes on the two drums depending on how you might even change the tension of the skin with the heal of the hand while hitting the drum with the fingers. Instead of a 4 note phrase like there is in most popular western music, they could have a 23 note phrase. So that's one bar of their music. 23 notes, that he would have to learn before going on to the next one, all this on top of the different timing of the sitar player. Very intricate music. They are the masters of polyrhythms.
OM: Is there anything you would like to say before we finish?
Dave: Just that to remember that anyone can drum. If you are interested, try to join a drum circle or a workshop. There are different styles and levels of workshops, so be sure and pick one that is your level. Talk to people in music stores and any place that sells hand drums. They will usually point you in the right direction. You don't always have to own a drum to go to a workshop, but be sure to phone ahead to confirm they will have one for you.
In Fact you don't even need a drum at all. There was a scene in a movie, I can't recall the name of it now, but a guy was playing these amazing rolls and polyrhythms on this 5-gallon pail. In fact, I even had a couple of them bolted together for floor toms when I was young. I saw this group called Stomp on TV, which uses anything from their own bodies to sticks and boxes to make rhythms. One of my favorite bands is Vinx, which is entirely percussion and vocals. Mickey Hart, the drummer for the Grateful Dead, went on this lifetime quest to learn about world drums and he has some great music too. His latest CD is called "Superlingua", which merges musicians from around the world. I totally recommend his two books "Planet Drum" and "Drumming at the Edge of Magic" to anyone who is interested in drums from around the world. "Rusted Root" is a great group that incorporates reggae and world beats in a funky style. "Drum Prayer" is a good group, too. But if you want to hear true Senegalese drum music try "Dou Dou Rose."

from the editor
Safe Community part two?
a matter of opinion...

Last issue I wrote an opinion piece on the style of writing of the Informer, (a Grand Forks opinion paper). An editorial that many of the people and businesses that have felt the pain of the tabloid style writing of his, congratulated me on. "Thanks for taking the heat" one person said. There was even an ad that the "Concerned Citizens and Positive Energy Coalition" placed in the Gazette for supporting the positive attitude of the Boundary. I can understand your view point, for this publication has felt the economic pinch due to negative tabloid reporting as well. Trouble is that of all the,now, 18 issues that I have produced, this last one was the least deserving of community minded praise. This kind of negative reporting does no good. No matter what the justification, it doesn't help. It only serves to polarize the community. This subject has been around for longer than the 3 1/2 years I've lived here. Why even some coward, without telling me, takes copies of the OpenMinder, attaches a letter to them and passes it out to his advertisers without showing their face. I don't know exactly what the letter said, but it was pressure to not advertise with the Informer.
In the editorial in question I never told anyone to do anything and only wrote "my opinion", as the Informer does.
About 3 months before starting the OpenMinder I wrote a letter to the Informer with much the same content, only surrounding different events. About 1 month before starting, I was delivering an advertisement to the Informer, that I designed for a customer of mine, that was advertising with them. During that visit we calmly discussed this same opinion, and in the end only telling him that I would go about it differently. When it comes down to it we all are living here together.
The first thing that I consider when I shop is "Is is local?". Second thing I consider is "Do they have what I want?". Third thing is "How do they treat me as a customer?" If they do business with me it can tip the scales in their favour, I'll admit. They call that networking. Lastly, where they advertise affects things only if its in something I read.
When I first moved here I found out about how the Doukhobor peoples suffered persecution for refusing to pick up weapons against anyone. It was the living out of a philosophy of pacifism that most cultures and religions only talk about.
In journalism, words can be picked up as weapons. It has been that same basic idealism that has been the foundation of this, and another publication of mine, that of putting down the weapons. Negative opinion articles attacking people in the community, no matter what reason, has no good coming from it. When I talked to Tom personally about my opinion, there was no negative effect that could be seen. When the same thing gets into print, it's a different story. The only people who profit from weapons, is the dealers in them. Everyone else is a casualty. Tom came up to me the next week and smilingly congratulates me on taking a strong stance.
This is what my strong stance is: The weapons are put down and it's back to good news as usual.

Election Results:
Due to a tie vote count between the candidates the election of the sixth position for council cannot be declared. In accordance with Section 136 (3) of the Municipal Act, I have declared that the election will be referred to a judicial recount. and in accordance with Section 138 (4) I will be making this application immediately. The following is a recapture of the Preliminary Results of the ballot count for the City of Grand Forks following the 1999 Municipal Elections held on Saturday, November 20th, 1999
Mayor: Chiveldave - 100, Clermont - 123, Kanigan - 129,
Lum - 718 - Elected - Taylor - 372, Van Boeyen - 78
Councillor: Ashe - 408, Burt - 526, Chadwick - 657, Chahley - 430- Chursinoff - 888, Dubeault - 135, Ehler - 441, Grieve - 507, Hecht - 222, Holmes - 293, Krog - 732, MacDonald - 132, O'Doherty - 507, Raven - 522, Westgate - 301

 

How The Media Would Handle the End of the World
+ National Enquirer:
O.J. and Nicole, Together Again.
+ Inc. Magazine: 10 Ways You Can Profit From the Apocalypse.
+ Rolling Stone: The Grateful Dead Reunion Tour.
+ Sports Illustrated: Game Over.
+ Playboy: Girls of the Apocalypse.
+ Ladies' Home Journal: Lose 10 Pounds by Judgment Day with Our New "Armageddon" Diet!
+ TV Guide: "Death and Damnation": Nielsen Ratings Soar!
+ Discover Magazine: How will the extinction of all life as we know it affect the way we view the cosmos?
+ Microsoft Systems Journal: Netscape Loses Market Share.
+ Microsoft's Web Site: If you don't experience the rapture, DOWNLOAD software patch RAPT777.EXE.
+ America Online: System temporarily down. Try calling back in 15 minutes.

Mistranslations
+ In a Yugoslavian Hotel
- "The flattening of underwear with pleasure is the job of the chambermaid".
+ In a Japanese Hotel - "You are invited to take advantage of the chambermaid".
+ On the Menu of a Polish Hotel - "Salad a firm's own make; limpid red beet soup" with cheesy dumplings in the form of a finger; roasted duck let loose; beef rashers beaten up in the country people's fashion".
+ In a Bangkok dry cleaner's - "Drop your trousers here for best results.
+ In an East African newspaper - "A new swimming pool is rapidly taking shape since the contractors have thrown in the bulk of their workers".
+ In a Zurich hotel "Because of the impropriety of entertaining guests of the opposite sex in the bedroom, it is suggested that the lobby be used for this purpose".
+ Advertisement for donkey rides in Thailand "Would you like to ride on your own ass?"
+ Detour sign in Kyushi, Japan "Stop: Drive Sideways."
+ In a Swiss mountain Inn "Special today---no ice cream."
+ In the Lobby of a Moscow Hotel Across from a Russian Orthodox Monastary - "You are welcome to visit the cemetery where famous Russian and Soviet composers, artists, and writers are buried daily except Thursday".
+ In a Belgrade Hotel Elevator "To move the cabin, push button for wishing floor. If the cabin should enter more persons, each one should press a number of wishing floor. Driving is then going alphabetically by national order".

Annual Greenwood and Area Residential Chrismas Light display Contest

Let' s All Get 'Lit for 2000!!!

1st Prize $25 2nd Prize $20 3rd Prize $15
Contest Runs December 1st
to December 12th, 1999
Winners to be announced
on Channel 10 & published
in the following OpenMinder
issue on the 16th of December

Last year's winners were:
First prize
Mr. & Mrs. Paul Schembri
Second Prize
Mr. & Mrs. Herb Winchester
Third Prize
Mr. & Mrs. Cam Dutz

 

Positively Greenwood

Snow on Cedars logo

Snow Falling on Cedars
Visit Greenwood and see where parts of the movie were filmed.

Release Date: December 22nd, 1999 (limited release); January 7th, 2000 (wide release) World Premiere: September 12th, 1999 at the Toronto International Film Festival. MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for disturbing images, sensuality and brief strong language)
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Youki Kudoh, Max Von Sydow, James Cromwell, Rick Yune, Sam Shepard, James Rebhorn, Ako, Anthony Harrison, Richard Jenkins, Saemi Nakamura
Director: Scott Hicks (Shine)
Screenwriter: Ron Bass (What Dreams May Come, Black Widow, Rain Man, My Best Friend's Wedding), Scott Hicks (cowriter of Shine)
Based upon: The best-selling novel by David Guterson.
Premise: In the 1950's, a reporter (Hawke) covering a murder trial in a small islanding community in the American Northwest discovers that the wife (Koudoh) of the accused (Yune) is his childhood sweetheart. James Cromwell plays the judge presiding over this case that invokes flashbacks of the concentration camps that Japanese-Americans were forced into during World War II.
Review...
...the movie has the ingredients for a moving drama, as it is the first post-Shine Hollywood production for Scott Hicks who showed that he has quite an eye for conveying emotion and unease through imagery. So far, the small bits of images (see the site below or the print ads) all evoke a misty Northwestern (Twin Peaks comes to mind) frame of mind, all with a sad tone that certainly seems to fit this story.

 Snow on Cedars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

giraffe project logo  Dangerous Toy Story:
The Safe Toys Kids

Carl Dortch - email: lkitto@direct.ca
Even though we may not want to think about it, the time for shopping for Christmas gifts is quickly decending upon us. Adults must remember that not all toys are safe for all children. Children are sometimes more aware than adults of the dangers of some toys.
It can be a scary thing to speak up to adults about something you think is important. They can disagree with you or ignore you. It's not an easy thing to do.
Five sixth-graders in Virginia led their class in speaking up about dangerous toys that can injure or even kill kids who play with them. The students just wanted to be sure little kids didn't get hurt. They ended up getting a new state law and talking to the leaders of their country about making a national law. To do this, they had to speak out, and keep asking adults to make changes.
It started when Carissa Frasca, Kyle Massey, Zachary Bradley, Leslie Gregory and Emily Letts studied toy safety in class. They read a report that said 40 children in the U.S. had been killed in a year and a half by dangerous toys. Another 165,000 had been injured.
The kids tested toys themselves. They found a doll that broke into dangerous pieces after just playing with it a short time. They learned that balloons can easily choke small children, but since balloons are not legally called "toys", they don't have to be labeled as unsafe. They recorded the results of their tests.
They wrote skits about toy safety. They performed them for preschool children and their teachers. They interviewed the manager of a toy store. They toured a day care center and told the adults at the center that they had found several unsafe toys, but they were ignored. They wrote a booklet for parents and day care centers that told them to avoid toys smaller than children's fists and toys with sharp edges or with strings and cords that can strangle children. They told adults to read the age labels on toys.
When they learned about a good toy safety law in Washington State, they decided to get the same law passed in Virginia! Some of their parents did not think they could do such a thing. One even called their crusade "their little project". But, their teacher, Carolyn Stamm, believed in them and encouraged them to keep going.
The law they wanted for Virginia said that hospital emergency rooms had to report any injuries or deaths caused by toys. Records had to be kept of which toys were hurting children. The state government could put out public warnings about dangerous toys.
To get this law in Virginia, they had to learn how to speak to leaders and present facts. They got their local lawmaker to agree to sponsor their bill. Then they began even harder work.
They wrote letters to each of the committee members who would vote on the bill. They went to the State capitol and talked to the lawmakers. All the kids spoke before groups of adults, presenting their findings and answering questions. They wrote letters to the editors of newspapers, so people would know about their cause.
They went to their City Hall and got the mayor to declare a Toy Safety Day and to supprt their bill's passage at the state level. The kids got support from a hospital group. They made a presentation to the Child Day Care Council and were told that they did a better job than most of the adults who spoke.
People learned about the toy safety law because the kids were in newspapers and on TV. Some of their teachers were unhappy that they missed some school to go to meeting and make their reports. Some kids were jealous about the attention they got.
But they kept working, and they succeeded! All of them were watching when the lawmakers voted on their bill and passed it. They went to the governor's office when he signed the new law. Kyle Massey, who was 12, spoke as an expert before a U.S. Congressional committee looking into toy safety.
Kyle says, "Looking back, when we started our parents were like, 'Just don't get your hopes up.' Now they're like, "Wow! I can't believe you did this".

 

Warning!
Editors note: I received this warning from a reliable source!

This was forwarded to me and I confirmed with Telus that it is in fact true. I received a telephone call last evening from an individual identifying himself as an AT&T Service Technician who was conducting a test on telephone lines. He stated that to complete the test I should touch nine (9), zero (0), the pound sign (#) ....and then hang up.
I was suspicious and refused. Upon contacting the telephone company, I was informed that by pushing 9, 0, #. You give the requesting individual full access to your telephone line, which enables them to place long distance calls billed to your home phone number.
I was further informed that this scam has been originating from many local jails/prisons. I have also verified this information with UCB telecom, Pacific Bell, MCI, Bell Atlantic and GTE. Please be aware. DO NOT press 90# for ANYONE.
The GTE Security Department requested that I share this information with EVERYONE I KNOW, PLEASE pass this on to everyone YOU know. If you have mailing lists and or newsletters from organizations you are connected with, encourage you to pass on this information to them, too.
Please let your friends know.

 

Trash Talk
Ever wonder how your grandmother was able to make such fantastic soups? I would like to share with you how we learned to convert kitchen waste into a nutrient rich broth just like our grandmothers had. The process is very simple, really. Save any clean, disease free fruit debris, (except banana peels and citrus rinds), and vegetable debris, (including onionskins), as well as any herb branches and reserved cooking water. Clean eggshells are an excellent source of calcium when added to your stock. We add a splash of vinegar to our brew, which will leach more calcium out of the eggshells.
Keep a recycled margarine-type container to store all the vegetable debris for a few days until there is enough to warrant running a pot on the stove. When there is enough to brew simply dump the containers' contents into an appropriately sized pot and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, cover & turn off the heat. By the time the pot has cooled, most of the nutrients and flavors will have been cooked into the liquid. We use a large bowl, preferably one with a pouring spout, to place our sieve over and strain the broth. I usually allow it to drip as much as possible, before I send the mush to the compost, worm bin, or dig into the garden. Pour the cooled broth into a clean, recycled juice or milk jug for storage. If you plan on freezing these jugs, be sure to leave a few inches to allow for expansion.
We have so many uses for stock in our house besides just soups and stews. We use it in place of oil in our stir-fry dishes, to cook beans and grains in, and we even use it in some of our breads. I think you might be surprised at the difference in flavor homemade stock brings to your meals. By doing this one step, we not only reduced the volume of our waste and eliminated the need to buy packaged broth products; we also reused recycled containers and improved our nutrition.
Ideas & comments can be sent to email: drumit@bc.sympatico.ca

Dear Editor
The Trans Canada Trail Relay 2000 is looking for Water Carriers in the Boundary region.
To celebrate the Millennium and the opening of the Trans Canada Trail, a water relay is being staged on the Trans Canada Trail. More than 5000 water carriers across Canada will be walking, cycling, horseback riding, snowmobiling, and cross country skiing across the country to bring water from the Pacific, Arctic and Atlantic oceans to arrive in Ottawa on September 9, 2000. That day, the water will be ceremoniously poured into the Trans Canada Trail fountain, and the Trans Canada Trail will be declared officially open.
The Trans Canada Trail Relay 2000 will be coming through Beaverdell on April 25, Rhone, Rock Creek and Midway on April 26, and Greenwood, Grand Forks and Christina Lake on April 27, 2000. Each of those communities is hard at work planning special celebrations!
The Trans Canada Trail Foundation is inviting all Canadians to apply to be a water carrier. Water carrier applications are available at all Canada Post outlets. Deadline to send in the application is December 3, 1999.
Come on Boundary residents. Get your application in now and be part of this historic journey and Canada,s largest millennium project "The Trans Canada Trail Relay 2000"!
Marilyn Strong
Community Animator
ParticipACTION and
The Trans Canada Trail Relay 2000
Castlegar, BC 250-365-2662
http://www.BC2000.gov.bc.ca

On the Lighter Side
+ He who laughs last thinks slowest.
+ Did you hear the news? A suicidal twin killed her sister by mistake.

Money isn't Everything!
+ Money can buy a house, but not a home.
+ Money can buy a bed, but not sleep.
+ Money can buy a clock, but not time.
+ Money can buy a book, but not knowledge.
+ Money can buy food, but not an appetite.
+ Money can buy position, but not respect.
+ Money can buy blood, but not life.
+ Money can buy medicine, but not health.
+ Money can buy sex, but not love.
+ Money can buy insurance, but not safety.
+ You see, money is not everything. Therefore, if you have too much, please, send it to me, immediately.

a little fun
Canada VS USA

American: "You Canada folk eat the whole bread??"
Canadian (in a bad mood): "Of course."
American: (after blowing a huge bubble) "We don't. In the States, we only eat what's inside. The crusts we collect in a container, recycle it, transform them into croissants and sell them to Canada." The American has a smirk on his face.
The Canadian listens in silence.
The American persists: "D'ya eat jelly with the bread??"
Canadian: "Of Course."
American: (cracking his gum between his teeth and chuckling). "We don't. In the States we eat fresh fruit for breakfast, then we put all the peels, seeds, and left overs in containers, recycle them, transform them into jam and sell the jam to Canada."
The Canadian then asks: "Do you have sex in America?"
American: "Why of course we do", the American says with a big smirk.
Canadian: And what do you do with the condoms once you've used them?"
American: "We throw them away, of course."
Canadian: "We don't. In Canada, we put them in a container, recycle them, melt them down into chewing gum and sell them to the USA.

 

Trivia
* The only known English word that you cannot rhyme is orange.
* The tongue of a blue whale weighs more than most elephants.
* The world's termites outweigh the world's humans 10 to 1.
* Pound for pound (kilo for kilo), hamburgers cost more than new cars.
* When you sneeze, the air shoots out of your nose at about 100 miles per hour.
* There is enough energy in one bolt of lightning to power a home for two weeks.

 

 
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