Drum Circle

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Last Sunday Julia (Frog’s ex-housemate and a friend) invited me to an event in London advertised on Facebook called ‘Birthday Drumming: Magic of Native Colombian Sounds with Anthar Kharana’

It was the birthday of Nihat, a Turkish man, who runs a drum circle in London. Click here to view their website.

Julia’s birthday was also close to that day.

Anthar Kharana is a Colombian musician who was leading the drumming session that day. Click here to view his website. I have included a few videos of Anthar below.


Khantara - The Font of Life, London - UK, 2009


Anthar Kharana's Improvisation with Alquimia

It was a new experience for me, as I had never played bongo drums or joined in with a drumming circle before. I was quite excited and was looking forward to doing it.

I travelled by train to London to meet Julia outside Angel Tube station, which is in Islington.

Julia brought along her boyfriend Joe, and her friends Harriet, Nina, Lainey, Rob, and a few others.

We walked towards St Marks Church to where the drumming circle was being held.

Inside the Church there were lots of people sat round in a circle with some musicians sat at one end.

We grabbed some bongos and sat down with the rest of the group.

Nihat got things started by clapping and getting everyone else clapping along in time with him.


Nihat standing in the centre clapping

We then stood up and stamped our feet.


Clapping and stamping feet. I can be seen on the far right standing next to Julia, Rob, and Lainey

Then we started playing our drums together.

Nihat was fun to watch, as he did a little dance and you could see he was feeling and enjoying the rhythm.

The Colombian musician Anthar then took over leading the drumming. Anthar was acting as a conductor, opposite ends of the group were playing different rhythms to each other. He also played various drums, two flutes, maracas, and he sang. The other musicians played along with him.


Anthar


Harriet in the yellow and blue top sitting next to Anthar


Anthar playing Maracas and Harriet on the bongo drum. I can be seen playing a drum on the far right.


Anthar playing some kind of tribal flute

We tried to keep in time with our drums.

The drumming got louder and faster, it was a great atmosphere.


Everyone drumming

There were a few people taking photos and someone recorded the below video. The back of me can be seen in the video. I’m wearing a grey jumper with a blue stripe.


See me in the grey jumper

After two hours the workshop ended. Nihat invited everybody to join him in a nearby pub called the Arc.

We left the Church and headed to the Arc for a few drinks.


The Arc

I sat with Julia, Joe, Harriet and Lainey and some of the drumming group in the Arc for a chat and drinks.

We sang Happy Birthday to Nihat.

When we finished our drinks Julia suggested we go and have a vegetarian buffet in a restaurant she knew. Me, Julia, Joe and Harriet walked to the vegetarian restaurant. We got a bit lost at first, but we eventually found it. The food there was very nice, Thai style, and very cheap at £3.95.

After we finished our meal, we walked back to Angel station, as Julia, Joe and Harriet were heading home.

I caught the Tube train with them and got off at London Bridge station, and then we said our goodbyes.

I had a great time with them, it was fun to do the drumming, and to be with a sociable interesting alternative crowd like that.

Then I called my friend Jeannie to arrange to meet up with her at Piccadilly Circus, as I was going to watch a film with her.


Piccadilly Circus

We were going to see a 3D film, but we had missed it, so we went to watch a film called Two Lovers instead.


Two Lovers

Inside the cinema I recognized a girl called Sarah. I met her at a Red Dwarf convention which I went to with Tristan a number of years ago. Its a small world!

It was a good film, I enjoyed it. I have included the trailer and a bit about the story below.


Two Lovers Trailer

"TWO LOVERS is an intriguing romantic drama, it tells the story of Leonard (JOAQUIN PHOENIX), an attractive but troubled young man living with his parents (ISABELLA ROSSELLINI and MONI MONOSHOV), in suburban Brooklyn. Leonard encounters two women in quick succession, theres Michelle (GWYNETH PALTROW), a mysterious and beautiful neighbor—exotic and out-of-place in Leonards staid Brighton Beach neighborhood. But he soon discovers that she too is deeply troubled.

Meanwhile, his parents try to set him up with Sandra (VINESSA SHAW), the lovely and caring daughter of the businessman whos buying out the family drycleaning business. At first resistant to her appeal (and to his familys pressure), Leonard gradually discovers hidden depths in Sandra, a potential romance with her is complicated, however, when Michelle, her life spiraling out of control, enlists Leonards help in dealing with the destructive affair she's having with a married man.

Ultimately Leonard is forced to make an impossible decision—between the impetuousness of desire and the comfort of love--or risk falling back into the darkness that nearly killed him."

After we watched the film together, I headed back home.

I enjoyed spending my day in London and socializing with different types of people. It was a very cultural experience.

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