Bringing the world together
Some time ago whilst living in North London, I noticed a narrative coming from some politicians and sections of the media which troubled me. It was: that people of differing cultures couldn't or weren't supposed to live together or side by side.
One day as I walked along the main shopping street a realisation came over me, and I stopped, stood still on the pavement, and looked around.
There was a Kosher supermarket and bakery a few doors away from a Persian book and musical instrument shop.
To my left was a grocers run by a man from Pakistan, next to a Chinese restaurant.
A few hundred yards away stood a Catholic church which had a large West African congregation and behind it, a Jewish cemetery.
A little farther down the road was the town centre which was home to a large Japanese community, and a Buddhist temple
Then there was myself, a Scotsman brought up in England, living at the time with my Nigerian girlfriend, and it came to me...
we already are living together!
I had to find a way of saying it, of expressing what I could see, but I was a musician not a politician, so I decided to find a way to say it with music.
That is when the Gathering Of Drums was born.
There are instruments representing the seven continents and the major religions.
Rhythms usually associated with one part of the world are played on instruments associated with another part of the world.
There is conflict involved.
They sit side by side, at times on top of one another, but rather than fighting or competing for space, they come together.
They find a way to use the space available, and they harmonize with one other.
There is conflict as the human being at the centre of the set up strives to play not just each instrument, but the creation as a whole.
It asks the question, "With conflict a part of life, can we choose its form?"
It plays Mythical Beats and it is called, The Gathering of Drums