Drumming in the Air

It's July, which means it should be time for the annual Walthamstow Garden Party festival. As the Garden Party is funded and run by the Barbican and Guild Hall groups, who are also heavily connected to Drum Works (the music charity that Ali and I drum with), there's a longstanding collaboration which sees all of the drum clubs that play under the Drum Works banner come together for one huge set each year. Of course, in 2020 a park festival isn't about to happen, which is a double shame because it's not just a great, fun weekend with a lot of incredible music; it's also the final gig in our drumming season.

But fear not! The amazing team behind Drum Works devised a plan back when lockdown first kicked in. Not only have our weekly practice sessions continued – via Zoom with pots and wooden spoons instead of actual surdos – but we also kept working on the Garden Party setlist. Then, everyone was asked to record themselves playing along to a guide track; all of those videos were sent over to a couple of editors, who pieced them together into mosaic performances (a little like all the "quarantine gigs" famous bands have been doing). And it wasn't just the adult groups that were roped in! Each drum club produced two videos, one of their individual set and one which involved everyone that plays for Drum Works. These were made into a gigantic mosaic for the "final set", which was launched today, the day that the Garden Party was meant to take place.

The idea of syncing this many audio tracks gives me cold sweats, but the final video is utterly fantastic – plus Ali gets a brief full-screen cameo 🤩 (I'm not jealous at all...). You can actually see both of our performances in the same "big set" video, but I've grabbed the shorter clip which is just the group that we play with as well.

Drum Works "Big" Set 🥁

Our Drum Club Set 😎

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