I left Satch and Susan to head South towards my next destination, Swansea.
After stopping for fuel I followed an instinct to move West instead and headed for Machynlleth and then Aberystwyth.
I had spent a very happy and formative four years of my life in the early 1980’s living in this part of West Wales and the drive was full of echoes. It was here that I had met my partner Nessa, bought my first set of Congas and had my earliest explorations into meditation and consciousness expansion.
It was a beautiful day for driving but I have become aware of a growing sense of tiredness in my body. The Trek is starting to bite.
Top of the mountain.
Eventually I turned Southwards along the coast and began to head for Cardigan. I stopped for a walk on the beach to breathe in sea air and stretch my body out some.
Cardigan became Carmarthen became Swansea and after some Sat Nav issues ( all to do with me typing in 5 instead of a 3) I found my host Boyd at his beautiful space near Bishopston on the Gower peninsula. We were joined by Duffy and Kate. Duffy I knew from way back, Kate I just met. (Happy 50th Birthday today)
Boyd is heavily involved in the drumming community that finds itself spread out around all parts of South West Wales. Everyone knows Boyd. Everyone loves Boyd. He is one of the beautiful people. (My phrase for people who step lightly and with full awareness on the Earth)
I’ve know Boyd a long time and we have the kind of friendship that allows us to easily pick up where we were before. It was good to see him again.He’s taken Arthur’s training in the past and has for many years taught a group here called Shiko.
We were going to have the circle in Swansea centre at the rehearsal space for Samba Tawe and this was arranged for us by Matt, another old friend from the Playshop Training and the days of the Small Nations Festival.
We arrived at 6.30 and decided on the larger, pillar free upstairs room.
Pro: Great room. Con: 3 flights of stairs.
There was by then a team and so Matt did chair set up ( after also loading in some kit) and the rest of us brought in the remainder and we were ready to go.
We set up 48 chairs, 4 quarter circles, 20 chairs inside, 28 outer.
Pretty soon they were all full. We must have added 25 more. This was a big circle. It was also full of drummers. 5 local djembe groups were represented along with the Sambistas.
There were many familiar faces in the circle from my time at Small Nations Festival and from my work with Jason years back to set up a Swansea CDC.
Within minutes we were rocking. This was going to be fun.
I did some simple facilitation to introduce body language and talked a little about dynamics. From then on in I intervened to deepen connection, set up dialogues and platforms for improvisation. Everyone got it and we locked into tight and funky grooves.
The circle bounced along happily and the energy was incredible.
One hour passed in the blink of an eye.
I introduced some percussion, set up a 6/8 groove and layered back in the drums by choice. We grooved out till the close, drank tea, chatted and ate cake. Lots of cake.
Check the video. I have the full 90 minutes recorded and will post it up after the Trek is done.
Post Drum Circle we ( Duffy, Kate and myself) went back to Boyd’s place with me picking up a traffic violation en-route for skipping a light. In my defense Your Honour………
We ate some lovely grub and chatted away till the early hours.
Pewsey in mind, I left them to it at 2.00am to get some well earned sleep.
Fantastic night and a very strong re-connection to this part of the world.
Thank You Swansea.
It’s been emotional 😉
Mileage Today: 137