Wed, 11 Oct|
Sacred Rhythm - Drumming Workshop
with Master Djembe Player Koroleko Moussa Dembele
Time & Location
11 Oct 2023, 19:00 – 21:00
London, Arch 298, 299 Cambridge Heath Rd, Cambridge Heath, London E2 9HA, UK
About the event
From the earliest times, drums and their rhythms have been at the centre of social and cultural activities worldwide. The drum is said to be man's oldest musical percussion instrument. However, drums have not always been used for creating music or entertainment. In African tribal cultures, drums bore an essential role during rituals and religious ceremonies for both self-expression and communication purposes.
Anthropological evidence makes it apparent that rhythm, drumming and percussion are closely and abundantly intertwined with human culture and also seem to produce quite a profound effect upon consciousness when used in ceremony and with intention. Drumming and percussion are elements of human culture that reach back over many epochs into the depths of antiquity and prehistory.
From a shamanic and aboriginal perspective, the drum maintains a position on the pantheon of what is viewed as sacred. Many native cultures across the globe that developed completely independently from each other’s spheres of influence, from North America to the Arctic Circle to Africa, share common social themes, one of which is the ceremonial use of the drum. Drumming can have profound and holistic uses to enhance physical, mental and emotional health, as demonstrated in a series of studies and research papers:
Drumming reduces stress, tension, and anxiety. Blood samples from participants of an hour-long drumming session revealed a reversal of the hormonal stress response and an increase in natural killer cell activity. (Bittman, Berk, Felten, Westengard, Simonton, Pappas, Ninehouser, 2001, Alternative Therapies, vol. 7, no. 1).
Drumming provides for natural pain control. Drumming promoted the production of endorphins and endogenous opiates, the bodies own morphine-like painkillers, allowing for alleviation from pain and grief. (Winkelman, Michael, Shamanism: the Neural Ecology of Consciousness and Healing).
Drumming fights depression. Stanford University School of Medicine conducted a study with 30 depressed people over 80 years of age and found that participants in a weekly music therapy group were less anxious, less distressed and had higher self-esteem (Friedman, Healing Power of the Drum, 1994).
Drumming for transcendental experiences. A 2014 study conducted by the Department of Cognitive Biology at the University of Austria in Vienna states: “Exposure to repetitive drumming combined with instructions for shamanic journeying has been associated with physiological and therapeutic effects.” As well as “a significant decrease” in levels of the stress hormone cortisol, volunteers who were exposed to repetitive drumming combined with shamanic instructions reported experiencing “heaviness, decreased heart rate and dreamlike experiences.”
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