This music comes from bucket drumming workshops I led during a tour of ten shelters for homeless people and battered women in five cities in Indiana in November, 2005.
Coordinated by the Indiana Coalition on Housing and Homeless Issues, the workshops consisted of a dozen to 50 participants, sitting in a circle with 5 gallon plastic buckets, sticks, and a few other bells and shakers. The participants were mostly adults. One session was with kids, another was with older teens and young adults, and one was with families. Each session lasted about two hours. I don’t remember a time when after two hours the participants were ready to stop—it was a lot of fun.
Using exercises and techniques developed during 1,000+ previous workshops, I did a little bit of instruction and then facilitated jam sessions that were pretty free to go in whatever musical direction the participants wanted to go.
On the surface our interaction was informal and casual, but on the musical level it was completely serious. I was, as always, aiming to give people access to what I consider an ancient and powerful tradition of drumming, improvisation, and excellent being that has been my central pursuit since about age 13. And as always (well almost always), once people hear the depth and seriousness of the groove, they respond in that way.
We didn’t envision any end products or “outcomes.” This was mainly an opportunity for people in these communities to experience something out of the ordinary, and to come together as creative human beings with aesthetic taste and agency, rather than being pathologized.
Drumming with groups is a powerful experience. I’m always awed, and humbled, to witness the effect it has on people, to see people relax as they exit the mundane and the routine, and enter into a groove, to see people’s faces during the workshops. It’s loud, it’s energizing, it’s physical, it raises spirits. It transforms individuals from any background and makes them heroic, it gives people a sustained moment of transcendent beauty.
--Andrew Drury, 2018
released November 10, 2018
Recorded, mixed, mastered, & produced by Andrew Drury
Design by Luke Lorbiecki
Special thanks: Michael Reinke, Peg McLeish, ICHHI staff, and all the participants and staff from all the shelters who welcomed this project into their communities
Lighthouse Ministries, Indianapolis
Vincent House, Fort Wayne
Whitington House, Fort Wayne
The Center for the Homeless, South Bend
Dismas House, South Bend
Lafayette Transitional Housing Center, Lafayette
YWCA of Greater Lafayette Reflections Group
Shalom Community Center, Bloomington
Amethyst House, Bloomington
Holy Family Shelter, Indianapolis
The tour was made possible by generous support from the Indiana Coalition for Housing and Homelessness Issues and the Puffin Foundation.