Friday, January 9, 2015

A shamanic frame drum for an Oracle

This new drum from the Journey Oracle has a story of unexpected shifts and changes of direction.  When it was first drying I noticed the frame had a slight “lift” on two sides which is a technical disappointment to me because it means that I put too much tension along the backbone when I was making the drum.  This does not affect the sound of the drum, it is rather like a small chip in an otherwise beautiful carving.  But when the drum was fully dried, the lift, which usually gets worse instead of better, was almost entirely gone.

The cedar ring holding the back of the drum started out round, 

but as the drum dried it became more egg shaped, which caused the 9 pointed Star of the Muse interlacement pattern to “move” as if flowing to the right, instead of stay stationary in the center of the circle.

The original name of this drum was Smoke and Hope, because just as I was beginning the painting Master and Commander was on TV in the background, and I heard Russell Crowe tell his First Mate to “run like smoke and hope” to escape the pursuing French ship.  I was looking at the drum and suddenly saw the lighter areas as smoke. 

And then I saw the figure.  

And her hand appeared.

And I knew this was an Oracle.  Her expression is too mysterious for me to decipher.  Just as in the making of this drum, the understanding of who is speaking shifts and flows like the fire.

You can listen to this drum being played with a felt covered drumstick by clicking on this link: