So today, I decided to take a step back from writing about Young Living oils to give you more of a taste of who I am.
This past weekend, I spent essentially 2 days in beautiful Fernie, BC for a percussion retreat as a part of Global drums (a University of Lethbridge Ensemble/club). We left at 4pm on Friday and got in around 7 pm. We unpacked the van, got settled in and played some samba with our guest artist, Jimmy Biala.
I had no idea what to expect for samba, and I personally felt pushed to my musical limits.
After the hour of steel pan, we were sent off for a 30 minute dinner where we decided to go to A&W. Chicken strips and sweet potato fries were what fuelled me the rest of the night.
We played 2 hours of samba that night. I was playing the surdo. It's big, bulky, and strapped around my right shoulder. It hangs off a single rod on the drum and leans against my left knee. The drum itself weighs 5-10 pounds depending on the size (I was asked to play the big one, which was a bit heavier). Primera surdo plays 1 and 3 (on the beat) 90% of the time. This meant that the muscles in my wrist were being used far more than I'm used to, and there was little variation to mix it up and give my wrist and arm a stretch.
Then sleep, glorious sleep, at 11 pm. We were staying in time share hotel rooms that were gorgeous! But really, all that mattered at the point was a bed, a roof over my head, and knowing I wouldn't have to be up until 8 the next morning.
The next morning was 1 hour of advanced steel band (I came in 30 minutes early to practice Samba el gato, which was the piece I had learned the night before), and then back into samba before beginners got there at 1 pm. that brings us to noon and over the past 24 hours I've played 2 hours of steel pan (not including practice time), and 4 hours of samba.
Lunch was subway and relaxing back in the hotel room and then back for 1 in our basement of the hotel (no windows, and a large fan running). Another 2 hours of samba with beginners. Me banging my drum as hard as I could as per Jimmy's requests.
Thankfully, advanced steel got an hour or so to relax between 3-4 so my boyfriend and I went for a walk around historical down town Fernie.
Sunday morning was cleaning up the room (since it was a time share room, we had to take out the garbage and wash the dishes) and we were back practising samba at 930am. At 10:30 we ran through advanced steel piece, and then beginners practised while we took over from them packing up samba and loading it onto the moving truck. then small combo and we struck down even more. By 1 pm we were unloaded at our venue (Mountain Community Church in Fernie), and everyone ran quickly across the street to Tim Horton's for lunch.
GIG TIME. 2 pm rolled along and we played! Advanced steel opened up with Sunday Morning Funk (not our recording. But in case you were wondering, I play lead pan which is the melody) and then outside for samba (yes, outside in fresh 15 degree mountain air). The crowd loved out 20-30 minute samba trip to Rio and even clapped and danced with us. Well worth it. then back inside for Samba el gato (video link is global drums from 7 years ago playing it. And yes, it is called Samba the cat). Beginning steel then took over and played Seven Nation army on steel pan (yes it was THAT epic) and the small ensemble did Pan Can Jam (this is one of Tracy Thornton's pieces that he wrote and this recording is from his recent 'pan rocks' event!) and Carpe Diem (this video is from when Global drums went to the Netherlands last year and the girl in the white who has AMAZING energy is one of our lead players who stepped in to help this band play Tracy Thornton's piece). The whole church was up and dancing!!
After we loaded up, everyone carpooled back, quick load back into the University and thus concluded one of the most musically crazy weekends of my life and music career.