The importance of the right space

This is just a small post acknowledging the importance of the right space when performing with voice and drum. I often find that most spaces are not acoustically geared towards the performances of voice and drum. Usually the voices get lost and the drums become inaudible and without clarity. Using microphones is a necessary evil in large spaces and theatres and getting the right balance is imperative. every venue is different. The London Lucumi Choir performed on Thursday in a gallery in London’s Brixton. The acoustics were fantastic. Much had to do with the irregularity of the space. A perfect square is not good for acoustic live music, and I learned whilst recording our first CD that strange shapes and irregularites make for better sound. In addition the wooden beams and certain structures ensured that the sound did not get lost. The fantastic thing about this was that we did not have to use microphones and could produce our voices with ease without aiming to reach above the drums. We could hear the clarity of the drums which were important and the connection to the dancers was easy because of the sound and the set up. The acoustic sounds of drums and voices were not made for large spaces. They are not really made for performance. They are made for interaction with everyone for everyone to join in and take part. When I looked at the audience, they were concentrating and so serious. It was great to be able to motivate them to at least clap their hands a long to the rhythm and at the end get everyone up off their feet to dance. My path of Oshun is Oshun Ibu Aña. I have always found solace in the drum.

Short clip of the London Lucumi Choir with me  singing Akpwon and Yolanda Perez formally Conjunto Folklorico De Cuba dancing. Omo Aña David Pattman and Jim Le Messurier with Bill Bland Playing Iya.

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