I’m writing to you, that free spirit who can’t stop dancing to the beat of a drum. You must have come out of the womb this way. Am I right? As far back as you can remember, your proclivities failed to match those of your peers. Your parents shook their heads, maybe even feared for your future. You felt yourself as spiritual, but you found it really, really hard to believe in hellfire and damnation. In your heart of hearts, the spirit was meant to be free.
When you ventured out into the grander world, you met kindred souls, eccentrics like yourself who would rather groove all day on music than climb the corporate ladder. You found strength in numbers, and you bit by daring bit discovered the grand world’s wild niches. You became a functional regular in the realm of free spirits.
I’m writing to you because you have company here. Welcome to one of those wild niches. Relax, and revel in the boundless soul of the Vodou drum.
Video: “Blue Djouba Alaso,” shot in September 2008 at Hunter College. Featuring Master Drummer Frisner Augustin jamming on djouba and kontredans, traditional Haitian drumming styles associated with the earth and the countryside.
Featured photo: Detail of Frisner Augustin playing in Battery Park, Manhattan, for Liberty Weekend, July 5, 1986. Photo by Chantal Regnault