I went up tonight to work on my drum rhythm and song for Wolf. One thing I’m finding that’s already characteristic of my drumming is that it tells a story. Granted, I am far, far away from being unique in this regard. However, my main exposure to drumming has been A) core shamanism with the 180-220 bpm rhythm, and B) neopagan festival drumming, which is less about telling a specific story, and more about a group of people getting together and getting a good rhythm on all night. There are, of course, exceptions to the latter, such as the Dragon Ritual Drummers (whose work I absolutely love and recommend to anyone who thinks percussion can’t be music on its own). I am pretty sure there are other people in various cultures who use specific drumbeats to signify/evoke certain beings or phenomena, though I couldn’t give you specifics; drumming isn’t yet an area I’ve done a ton of research into. (Research leads are appreciated, as always!)
I sort of had it easy tonight, since way back last Autumn I actually wrote a repeating verse for Wolf, partly inspired by reading Primitive Song by C.M. Bowra. So the words and basic rhythm were already there; I just had to match them to Wolf’s energy and refine them further. Next, though, I need to come up with one for my wolf skin spirit.
Now, I’m not a gifted poet by any stretch of the means. My talent lies more with prose, and not particularly poetic prose. So dipping into the well of inspiration may prove to be a challenge. Fortunately these songs will be for personal use–don’t expect Therioshamanism: The CD! any time soon. On the other hand, I may take advantage of modern technology and record the songs and drumming for my own benefit, since it’s been almost two decades since I last actually used sheet music, and my sheet music skills are, well, rusty to say the very least. And while I’ll be doing my best to improve my memory by remembering as many of the songs as possible, sadly between modern technology (didn’t I just say something good about it earlier in this paragraph?) and long-term sleep deprivation, my memory isn’t quite what it could be. On the other hand, this could prove to be a healthy exercise for that, among many other reasons!