Saturday, February 1, 2014

Enthusiastic Emergence @ NAMM 2014

Permit me if you will to express great enthusiasm following my attendance at the 2014 NAMM tradeshow (Jan. 23-26) where the response to the debut of the SYSTRUM exceeded expectations ~ i.e., despite its having been "buried" by the sands of time, I was delighted by the number of people who knew what it was without the slightest solicitation on my part. Hooray!

The SYSTRUM and I arrive ready to play at the Drum Circle!
Photo credit:  Diana Fengler Shores

 Arthur Hull
Photo credit:  Diana Fengler Shores
Among my personal highlights was bringing the SYSTRUM to the Friday night REMO Drum Circle* which draws men, women and children of all ages to the Palm Garden outside the Anaheim Convention Center for a group music-making experience led by REMO facilitator extraordinaire and rhythm ambassador, the one and only Arthur Hull. 

(Click here to see a video collage of the drum circle!)

WOW - WOW - WOW!  What a fabulous, amzing, mystical, magical, wonder-filled experience robust with delightful surprises ALL associated with the debut of the SYSTRUM at this spectacular event hosting over 9,000 merchants and attended by 90,000+ at the Anaheim Convention Center.
Arrival at Convention Center w/ Diana Fengler Shores
I flew from PA to CA on Thursday, January 23 with purrrr-fect and on-time connecting flights.  Upon landing @ LAX my syster in the systrahood Diana Fengler Shores was awaiting my arrival in her gold chariot and off we flew to her abode.  Not having seen each other in person for several years we stayed up 'til the wee hours of the morning talking about various and sundry things as well as strategizing the SYSTRUM's first-ever appearance at this event.

The next morning we played a recording of beautiful ragas as we prepared ourselves in a relaxed manner to be Her representatives at this big event.  We were blessed to navigate the freeways with ease between Santa Monica and Anaheim.  Upon arrival, we made our way to the Mid-East Mfg. booth to deliver a couple items I thought might enhance Her debut amidst the array of beautiful instruments on display therein.
Tahya & Diana at Mid-East Booth, NAMM 2014

Tahya & Kim at Mid-East Booth, NAMM 2014
Photo credit:  Diana Fengler Shores
On our way to check in with our friends at REMO I met guitarist and author Robb Lawrence after which we headed over to REMO 'hub' where I enjoyed meeting the super talented yet unassuming Pete Lockett who is renowned as one of the most versatile multi-percussionists in the world:   
Pete Lockett
Photo credit:  Diana Fengler Shores
Many friends were made and photos were taken, even amidst our hotel shuttle mates both that night and the next morning:

Miranda Rondeau, Tahya, Sean Lee, Diana, Junko Lewis and Miwa Rocker
Sebastian Nylund, in the green jacket,
Diana, moi and John Williams, Philly-based saxophonist

BTW, John took a keen interest in the SYSTRUM
and upon taking it in hand, 
he expressed a knowing that this instrument was used for 'clearing'
things that make you go
Chris Declercq
with two Chicago sweethearts

Photo credit:  Diana Fengler Shores
I look forward to returning to NAMM next year and in the meantime fostering all these new relationships and burgeoning SYSTRUM circulation!  May its re-emergence 
     a) empower hand-drumming enthusiasts who previously may have found themselves challenged to learn techniques associated with various hand drums by discovering the joy of playing percussion ala this wonderful & historic instrument associated with rich millennia-old traditions,
     b) shed light on Egyptian (ancient and contemporary) culture and Goddess cults of Hathor & Isis, etc.,  and
     c) re-inspire meaningful intentional ritual and creative authentic living in our daily lives...
Diana & Tahya on the final day of NAMM

Photo credit:  Diana Fengler Shores
*FINAL NOTE: Over the years Paulo Mattioli facilitated numerous Remo Drum Circles at NAMM and we shared many a smile in his recounting those experiences.  Your spirit lives on brightly in the Remo Drum Circle my dearly departed friend. We miss you muchly and remember you always with great fondness.

The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) is the not-for-profit association that promotes the pleasures and benefits of making music and serves as a hub for people seeking the newest innovations in musical products, recording technology, sound and lighting. NAMM activities & programs are designed to promote music making to people of all ages.

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