Sound, Drumming and the Creative Process

by Jane Elworthy

I’ve always found that the creative process means finding that balance between shaping the sounds and being shaped by the spirit of the sound that already exists in another realm.  It’s like when a sculptor says that the ’shape’ is already in the block of stone – it’s just being chiselled so that that shape can be birthed out into new form.  I learned long ago, through being an artisan drum maker and a sculptor, that I have to get out of the way to let the inherent intelligence of the materials emerge, while also being totally present so that I can logistically midwife them into form.  So with developing and recording music that’s spontaneous, as was Paul’s and mine, it’s about being present enough to be a clear channel for the music, while also being very aware of the ’stepping forward and stepping back’ that’s required when working with another.  When to take the lead?  When to follow?  When this dance is done with love and respect, something can be created that’s bigger than the sum of its parts. A third entity emerges, the spirit of music – and it has a gift, a lesson, an offering, for those who can hear.

Much love and many blessings to you,

Paul says this about his creative process:
When Jane Elworthy and her partner Jacqui arrived at CI with her partner Jacqui, Laura and I knew immediately that here were kindred souls. And then to find out that Jane made drums, played them beautifully, and sang! Jane and Jacqui wrote a special song we all sang during the  workshop, and as they stayed a few days afterwards to enjoy Santa Fe’s many cultural sites, we had time to go into the Kiva the afternoon the workshop ended, to compose music together. It was the most delightful spontaneous duet. I brought my laptop with garage band open to record, and gave us each plug in mic. We sat on the floor, and I started with a phrase with one of my favorite flutes, and she sang to that, with a back and forth.
Later, when she visited us in Friday Harbor, we went to Rikki Swin’s first class recording studio. There we recorded duets with Jane on the drum, and I played either Rikki’s grand piano, or my flute.
It was a joy to collaborate with Jane in this way,