For a blogger whose motto is to “March to Your Own Beat”, I could not be any happier than to have had the honor to watch Drum Tao’s gala showing for free!
It all started when I saw a Facebook contest from Travelife Magazine, official sponsors of Drum Tao for the very first “and last” time in Manila. They were giving 50 lucky people 2 free tickets for a total value of P2,000 (about $50). I was one of the 50 and although I knew that the free tickets were last row upper balcony, I figured I could always buy better seats and see them a second time if I felt the show was worth it.
Somewhere along the way, my boyfriend acquired free tickets through a media connection and it wasn’t until the day of the show when we were running around trying to find our tickets that I noticed his connection had given us 2 free FOURTH ROW tickets in the “left premiere” section. Our vantage point was at the far left stage but I was so excited to have hacked my way from upper balcony to front seats worth a total of P6,000 ($140). A deep thanks to director Chino De La Torre for the nice seats.
The show was amazing! I have always loved Japanese culture and would love to travel to Japan someday. In the meantime, it was an absolute delight to experience a bit of Japanese traditional and contemporary fusion in the art of drumming right here in Manila. Visceral beats pumped the audience’s hearts as we witnessed the live drums in perfect precision. The group was clearly and truly a master of their craft. You could see it emanating from their bodies. Not just from the arms, but from the belly taut and firm… From the legs as they jumped up and down… Completely engaged. Fully clothed or half clothed in some of the best costume I have ever seen, like samurai warrior meets rockstar meets Tekken Anime game characters as they transformed traditional instruments into modern day prowess. My favorite was the energetic woman dawning cymbals and various fanfare with the hairdo of Scary Spice bouncing freely with her movement. I loved the hair!
Movement is one of the deepest forms of meditation. Through moving and doing, we become balanced with our earthly form and spiritual selves. We tap into our creativity. Our best ideas magically come into thin air, as though we are vessels of a higher consciousness. The feeling of synchronicity, of experiencing the moment, is heightened when we work together as part of a greater whole. It is in this artistry that peace arises, as we become one. I’ve experienced it during my highschool orchestra days. The magic of being in your element. The magic of being. It is pure happiness.
If only we could all be so lucky as to be purely happy and in our element in work and play. Performing and touring are out of my experience now, and I only caught a small glimpse of it in highschool. But professional performers have some of the best “jobs” around. One that is of utmost inspiration for so many of us who have forgotten how to march to the beat of our own drum. They serve as cultural reminders that we are here to experience fun and play and be happy. That it is possible to dedicate your life towards your passion. Their infectious energy and lively spirit spreads throughout the crowd.
The multi-sensory experience of live drumming and live shows in general is what lead me to believe that this was my connection to Spirit back in my punk-rock teen days. The body is your temple. Even more so when you tap into the dance and connect with the sounds. Experience heightened, but not necessary, when drugs are in the mix. Whether in a modern day club experiencing hip-hop, or the techno-induced beats at a rave, it all hearkens back to ancient Shamanistic tribal dance; the spiritual pathway to our unconscious, where guided vision quests with psychedelics were not uncommon.
There is something about the drum–primal and traditional and massive in its own right–that connects with this heightened sense so quickly. It is the multicultural staple of many traditions from Native American drums, African djembe, Middle-Eastern doumbek, Indian tabla, Japanese taiko, Indonesian gamelan and many more. All these art forms tap into our inner rhythm, guiding us and calling us towards our subconscious intuition. Waking us up just a little bit more… It is our inner compass. Bringing us closer to our selves. Reminding us who we are.
It is the arts, the performance, the creativity that shows us the way. Through deep connection with our hearts, and the feelings that a good show brings, we are brought back to our inner child. The tribal beats flow as one in the womb of consciousness. We glimpse remembrance… and for a few seconds, we might feel the connection so deeply that we feel awakened.
It is in this moment. Drum Tao reminds us all to be present.
I love the word Tao. In Chinese culture, it means The Way, the path… The metaphysical origins of life and nature of the Universe.
I also love the Tagalog word for music. Tug-tug. With the deep ‘U’ sound like Universe. It is the rhythm of life. Tug-tug. The sound of a drummer’s beat in itself!
Drum Tao performs internationally. Don’t miss a chance to see them if they’re coming to a city near you.
Tickets for the Manila showings at Resorts World Manila can be bought through Ticketworld at ticketworld.com.ph and enjoy a 20% discount with the coupon code “TRAVELIFE”. 10 shows only. July 12-22, 2012.
For more about Drum Tao and the amazing individuals who perform at such high calibre, you can go to their official website at www.drum-tao.com