Whilst I was swanning around these Islands that we all call home, other folk were busy organising, promoting and finding venues and generally doing sterling work to host a leg of Drum Trek
On top of that they would feed and water me and provide a bed for my weary head and an internet connection and space to blog.
Post DrumTrek, I sent out an email asking for details of what they do, a photo and a few words about their DrumTrek experience because I wanted to honour them for what they did to support me.
These are, in no particular order, my DrumTrek Heroines and Heroes.
None of what happened could have happened without their incredible support. I have made new friends and deepened older friendships. I will forever be grateful to this wonderful group of human beings for allowing me to roll into their lives and stitch together a rich tapestry of rhythmical connection.
It was truly an Odyssey and I was Blessed by my contact with each and every soul on the journey.
Thank You from the very core of my being. Thank You.
Moffat overcomes drum aversion
Peter Dreghorn of Joice – Join in with voice, heard about the Drumtrek a month before Paul would be coming past Moffat. So he booked a slot in the Town Hall for the evening. The result was a lovely session with 35 people, ably assisted by Ian Lund, a fine drummer and singer from Bewcastle. People were phoned and dragged off the wet high street and their look of surprise and joy was a delight. It was so good that some went to Wiston the next day and a lot were sorry they had missed out.
Boyd Erlam@ Swansea
“Shiko is a community drumming group that runs weekly West African drumming workshops in Mumbles, Swansea. It’s a community in the true sense of the word- it’s open to all, is run by its members and over the last 15 years everyone has appreciated the support, love and friendship that flows from the group. Shiko love to get out and perform en masse whenever possible, and the group has a long track record of fundraising for different charities as well as a successful microloan scheme through which they have made dozens of loans to individuals and groups in West Africa. More info: shiko.org.uk
“We all loved hosting Paul on the Swansea leg of his quest. The drumming community here in Wales is very strong and centres around our annual get together, Drum Camp Wales, but this was something different…As well as members of many different African drumming groups, we also had the members of Samba Tawe and lots of people who we’d never met before, so the circle was a real melting pot and the energy and rhythms reflected that. Watching the people in the circle, I saw smiles, nods and connections between people who had never spoken a word to each other. At first I could pick out African rhythms, Brazilian rhythms and Cuban rhythms that different people were familiar and comfortable with, but after a short time I realised that the music was changing- the rhythms that were emerging were new and unique to that night, the result of a group of people listening, responding and creating together. And that, I’m sure you’ll agree, is what it’s all about 😉 “
Ray Watters@ Epsom
Community Circle : Last Sunday in the month at St Barnabas Church, Temple Road, Epsom.
Drumtrek. A mixture of emotions really, relief that some fabulous people turned up to my part in the jigsaw and to see them connect, play and have fun. To get to see Paul facilitate having known him for 7 years that was a first, to also travel and experience other circles, meet other communities and facilitators around the south was also a great experience from the rain of Pewsey to the crashing waves of Seaford. Just to be part of the whole thing was something very special.
Ray Watters. B.A (Hist.Ed), FdSc. ( Counselling ), MBACP.
Counsellor, Drum Circle, HealthRhythms and Life Music Facilitator.
HealthRhythms, Schools, Special Needs, Weddings, Family Celebrations, Corporate Events, Health and Wellness.
Tom Morley@ London
There are three ways to drum with Tom Morley in London.
Thirdly, in the Autumn Tom will be running a 2- day residential WILD TWIN weekend, which involves drumming, singing, feasting and all sorts of bad behaviour. Like the Facebook page and you’ll get the dates as soon as they are confirmed. Click here https://www.facebook.com/thewildtwin
AND you can always contact firstname.lastname@example.org
if you have any other requests for corporate or community events.
DrumTrek: At the start Paul and I introduced each other to the circle. In our affectionate banter and in our steadfast honouring of each other I realised something special was going on. We, a couple of Elders from different corners of the land, had gathered together an unsuspecting tribe of twenty five people. In exchange for their various journeys we laid before them songs, rhythms and all the magic we’d collected on our solo adventures. Does this sound grand? Was it just two mates messing around with a bunch of friends on a Saturday night? Yes, it was that as well.However, the quality of the harmonies, the dedication to the groove, and the sensitivity that went into the final piece can only be described as transformational. What do I mean by that? There is no possible way back to “we’re not very good at this” for anyone. Will it be repeated? Maybe not in this form, but for twenty seven souls something new was set in motion that night.
María Elisa from Argentina @ The Isle of Skye.
In my previous life in Argentina I was a primary school teacher and I loved it. I also taught music at a nursery school and studied percussion with Andrea Alvarez. In Skye I had to reinvent myself. I am a tourist guide and a translator (working into Spanish) and I did a 7 days Drum Circle Facilitator course with Arthur Hull. My first circle will be tomorrow, at the Viewfield Gardens in Portree, totally inspired by Paul and his trek. I still have a long way to go, but I would love to work with kids… let’s see how it goes tomorrow!
Tim Kindred@ Birmingham
I was only thinking today how wonderful all the hosts must have been and how you have felt turning up and meeting new and old friends, I have tried to visualise you lived experience over the last month by following your blogs and obviously meeting you again and hosting the Brum leg, so I will add my thoughts which will be hopefully short enough for you to use…..
” Meeting Paul again and playing a small part in his Drum Trek experience was the highlight of my year, I felt it was a privilege for me to be involved and I wanted to do as much as I could to empower and support him whilst he was here ….so much so I wanted groundhog day to arrive….but it sadly didn’t and I strangely felt and still feel sadness and not spending more time with this man.”
Tim is Founder of DrumDaBoom who offer Innovative and fun sensory music, African drumming, Rock band and Sound therapy workshops for mainstream & SEN schools, educational and community care settings, helping to engage and enhance learning opportunities whilst having lots of fun!
A qualified sound therapist, Independent persons advocate and family support worker with over 16 years experience working with families,children and young adults with Special educational needs and challenging behaviour we strive to make our workshops enjoyable and interactive and work closely with our clients to ensure objectives are met with National curriculum and P level standards.
With enhanced DBS Checks and full public liability insurance.
DrumDaBoom also offer drumming for corporate and conference openings, teacher training, icebreakers or team building and motivational drumming events.
Our workshops help make participants feel uplifted, empowered, energized, motivated and inspired.
Please Contact Tim on 0751 8084547
I was honoured to be asked to host the Drumtrek event in Sheffield. While I’ve known Paul for a long time, I have never actually seen him run a drumcircle with a completely uninitiated group of people. It was wonderful seeing the way everyone connected through the 1-6 game. Paul presented the session brilliantly.
On a personal note I was thrilled to try out a new Boomwhacker musical arrangement with the group.
I run African Drumming classes in Sheffield on Thursday evenings. I try to keep the session’s fun and entertaining while still providing something for everyone – easy accessible things for the beginners, more challenging material for the ambitious. I have recently been inspired by a master drummer called Babara Bangoura who taught at the New Generations Event in May who combines crazy ‘drumming mime’ techniques with funky djembe and dundun rhythms. We are currently exploring these rhythms in class. Expect also – sweets, African songs and Boomwhackers – and some silliness!
Details are follows:
African Drumming Class
AT: ‘Ship Shape’ (FKA The Stables), Sharrow Lane, Sheffield S11 8AE
Thursday nights 19:30-21:00
£7 per session; paid on the door – No advance fee required but text, email or FB message to confirm attendance.
Dates over July and August:
13th + 27th August
3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th September (further dates in October).
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/UnbeatableEnergy/
Carol Scorer@ Findhorn
What a wild and wonderful thing to do ~ Drum Trek. Something heartening and liberating about it and a pleasure to be a part of this quest so personal and so public. All of us are richer for it. Its effect rippled in to the Community in many ways.
My drum classes start again in Forres on MONDAY 31st August details on my website soon.
Findhorn Drum Circle in September possibly on culture day 26th September
Also monthly drumjams at Eden Court Theatre, Inverness Sunday 4th Oct and Sunday 8th Nov 14.00-1600
The Nomad Drummers are small community group based in Wakefield at Wakefield Cathedral who have always been very supportive of the group and our efforts to bring our love of African drumming to the community. Our address is: – Cathedral Centre, Westmorland Street, Wakefield WF1 1PJ. Our facilitator is Luke Howell who runs classes on Tuesdays from 7-8pm for beginners and 8 – 9pm for improvers. We welcome new members and Luke can be contacted on 07595048559, email:- email@example.com
. We have a public webpage www.facebook.com/nomaddrummers
where you can find information about the group. We regularly perform and run workshops at events in the local community where we share our love of African Drumming with people from all walks of life and ages.
We were very happy to support Paul on his Drum Trek and found the experience both hugely enjoyable and enlightening. It was great fun trying some of the more unfamiliar instruments like boomwhackers and Paul’s facilitating brought joy and plenty of laughs to the whole event. It’s a mammoth journey which you have undertaken Paul with great spirit and determination to achieve your goal or raising lots of money for two very deserving charities and I wish you well in all your endeavours.
Robert Goux@ Liverpool
West African and Drum Circle Workshop. Every fortnight starting the 30th July at Constellations. Free on the 30th and £7 thereafter.
I loved the fact I could host Paul on his Drum Trek Journey across the UK. I went to the training this year and through his teachings and wisdom he has helped me a lot on my own journey of facilitation. Seeing Paul in action working the crowd was amazing to watch and I am just so impressed by what he has achieved.
Although I’ve been a volunteer at Stainsby festival for 40 something years I hadn’t had the pleasure of taking part in one of Paul’s drum circles until Drumtrek came to Hull. What a really uplifting experience, wonderful rhythms, great atmosphere and best of all lovely people. This is an amazing thing that Paul has done and will be long remembered.
Thanks for everything
Brian Toberman@Hebden Bridge
Hi Paul got absolutely no pictures of myself but feel free to use my FB profile photo of me and Bella!
(I did just that Brian. x)
Let people know that Hebden Bridge Folk Roots Festival
will happen again next year weekend of May 13th with super special drum circle
You’ve done s brilliant job you must be knackered
Keep me up to speed on Wiston events would be great to come up and play some time xx
Satch Norton@ Newtown
Newtown drum classes – Tuesday nights – Wesley Newtown Church, Back Lane, Newtown, SY16 2NH – Beginners 7.30pm to 8.30pm, Improvers 8.30pm to 10pm.
Bishops Castle drum classes, fortnightly on Sunday mornings, venue varies seasonally, 10.45am to 12 noon.
Contact me on 01686 689031 or via firstname.lastname@example.org, or login to facebook and search for “Satch Norton” (I seem to be the only one).
My DrumTrek experience:
I saw people who were not “drummers” shining with the light of pleasure at being an integral and integrated part of a rhythm and a group, I saw regular drummers shining with the light of joy at being part of a new rhythmic experience. I saw Paul lead us all into this shared space with amazingly effortless ease and consummate skill. And I felt all the worries of “would there be enough people” and “would my friends enjoy it” and “would it all be worthwhile” slip away into a most marvelous magical evening of superb community and drumming and joy! And most importantly, through DrumTrek I made a new friend in Paul John Dear. My thanks to Paul and to all who joined the Newtown leg of DrumTrek! ONE LOVE!
Vanessa Dear@ Brighouse
It was a pleasure for me to join in with 6 drum trek circles. Not sure how I managed this in and amongst life ……all of them were vastly different , the settings the group dynamics ..however the one constant was the smiles ,the laughter, the joy of discovery as many people found themselves doing something new, experienced drummers and percussion players finding a groove , the knowing nod or shared smile …yep that’s it we’re in a groove , a creating of something new ever changing together and the unity of experience…no right and wrong ,well I did miss several stop cuts ooops got tranced out … but overall people coming together and having fun …its so simple, but so powerful and nourishing and all crafted together seamlessly by Paul …a man always ready and willing to jump in the circle and into life…. seeds sown….. from September i am going to start a weekly circle at school ..here goes love and blessings and thank you for the initiation to join in x
Vanessa scoops the ‘most DrumTrek Circles attended award’
Alex Miles@ Pewsey
Paul arrived after a looong drive in the pouring rain, clearly frazzled after many a day ‘Drumtrekking’. A quick shower, cuppa and a shave and then he was ready to go. We got to the venue, set-up, greeted the 40 plus people as they arrived and got started. Paul was bright, funny, vivacious, charming and just the right side of eccentric. The drum circle was great, with a real mix of folk – some wonderful moments and a lot of laughter and joy. And some ‘new’ drummers who found their groove for the first time. 🙂
Thanks Paul, by sharing your spirit in this way you do wonderful things xx – See you soon 🙂
Alex Miles runs a company called Kaya Rhythm & Arts (www.kayadrums.com) – As well as running drum circles, Kaya provide arts-based education, entertainment, therapy and team building activities. Our workshops, projects and events are enjoyed by schools, charities, community groups, businesses and private clients across the UK and Europe. Call Alex on 07729 638144 or email email@example.com
Alex was abley supported by Di and Geoff, his parents, who run a Charity of their own in Africa. Please visit their site and support this amazing project.
Dr Jane Bentley@Glasgow
Website – www.art-beat.info
Open public drum circle once a month in Paisley – last Wednesday of the month, 6-7.30pm , the Charleston Centre. Weekly mental health community drumming group, Thursday mornings – contact Jane for info. Visitors/placements/mentoring/observers always welcome by appointment!
Drum Trek was a great way to connect in to something bigger – both in bringing together people from diverse drumming backgrounds in Glasgow, and in Paul’s connecting thread linking other communities around the UK, many of whom are firm friends and fellow travelers. We are all a little bit bigger as a result. Drum on!
Thanks for the offer for publicity but as yet still don’t have a website or and class for that matter. ( might change if I finally set up the afro folk night!) I do have some video of the Manchester DT event I will forward to you.But needless to say. The Manchester event was a pleasure to put on. Lovely to gather a group that clicked and have heard great feed back from Lyn and Thom- and Clidna and Melissa, who said she was interested in doing the AH training.
Mate, great to see you on good form and creating, doing what you do best- creating a vibe for people to express themselves in a free and creative environment. Which couldn’t be illustrated better than Rosemary… What a legend. Hard work, provocative, attention seeking, but the smile on her face when she danced her way off absolutely priceless.
Big Thanks to Craig Winterburn for sorting out our venue in Manchester. Check out his website for drum classes at Treedrum
Donna is the founder and full time drum circle facilitator of the Hull Community Drum circle which meets on a Wednesday night from 7pm-9pm at Springbank Community Centre in Hull and will start up again on September 23rd 2015.
She is an active community musician and voracious student of music in it’s myriad forms ( Blues Harp, many styles of guitar, mandolin, Celtic Harp, Singer, Drummer, Gamelan…..the list goes on)
She is also recording and filming and helping to create a fantastic top quality Drum Circle resource.
Drum Trek: great to have my mentor visit Hull, work his magic. Everyone loved the circle. Paul has been a great support to me throughout my first DC project
Meg Beresford and Pollaidh@ Wiston
Meg was secretary for CND
for many years working alongside Bruce Kent and was a member of the Iona Community
for s number of years before moving to Wiston.
She is the director of Tinto Music and Arts
one of the organisations for which DrumTrek was put together. Here are her thoughts on DrumTrek Wiston.
Two magical circles were held outside in a marquee at Wiston Lodge on July 7th. In the first, all the members of Tinto Summer School (62 of them) had a brand new experience led by Paul: a complete change from their traditional fiddle, guitar, box and song.
In the afternoon fifty or so members of the local community ranging in age from 3 months to late 70’s and all in between had an exciting circle session with a high point being a boy of eleven singing Fanga solo after we had all sung it together.
Wendy Johnstone@ Wiston
Wendy is a key member of staff at Wiston and did sterling work promoting the DrumTrek event.
Chris Ellis@Stainsby Festival
My part of the DrumTrek with Paul ended up being on the main stage at Stainsby Festival …I don’t think that either of us had expected to meet there, of all places!
We were called upon to play an impromptu set with Ben Daglish and Dave Sturt when a band had to cancel. What a joy to play an entire set with this bighearted man of the drums.
I have seen Paul countless times holding the drum circle at Stainsby and infusing it with energy right to the very back row – and beyond. I had probably started to take what he does for granted, but mid-way through our set I looked to my left and realised that this was the first time I had actually had a chance to play music with him. For me, it was a real highlight & I am very grateful for the opportunity.
Holding the Beat – the inner Beat and the outer Beat – is no small thing … a skill rightly held in reverence by many peoples. I think that rightly done, it is a a story all in itself…
You have that gift Paul. Thanks for the chance to walk a little way with you on your Trek.
Jamie Morgan@ Seaford
www.rhythmsynergy.co.uk and http://rabbitfootmusic.com/
Thank you for choosing me as part of your Odyssey, my good friend, I felt honoured and privileged to see you at last unfolding so many of your dreams within this work that you have invested so much heart and soul and time into.. More than raise money for charity and more than the causes you are so wonderfully supporting is YOU radiating purpose and focus and connection, that will bear ever more fruit, as yet unseen and so richly deserved… I feel proud to know you, love you loads.. Big northern git 🙂
Re the circle – we drummed, there was smiling, I enjoyed it, Finn enjoyed the walk you took, I’m sorry there was not more folk to witness and support and join in here in Seaford but I’m grateful for the grace that allows us to accept and love what is 🙂
Jo and Steve@ St Just
Check out the beautiful space Jo and Steve have created where you can visit and enjoy Cornwall in the Nanquidno
It was an absolute joy to sit in the evening sunshine in the beautiful space of the Plen-an-Gwarry
with so many friends and your family, whilst you wove your rhythmical magic to create a wonderful sound of togetherness. How heart warming it was to see you with your Mum and Dad drumming together with beaming smiles. So great to watch your young nephew encouraging folk passing by to join our circle and your niece leading the rhythm, playing a drum nearly as big as herself.
Big thanks Paul for your lovely energy, this magical memory is one we will enjoy to remember for many years to come.
Mark William Barfoot@ Newcastle
Drummed Up meet at Broadacre House, Market St East, Newcastle City Centre NE1 6HQ.
Next Course begins Thursday 17th Sept 6.30-8.30 11 weeks £55 or for drop in information and further details see our website http://www.drummedup.org
Also Beginners West African Drumming at Byker Community Centre, Headlam St. Byker Newcastle NE6 2DX. Begins Monday 14th September 7-9pm 11 weeks £55.
Both courses run through WEA and some concessions available.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Many thanks for coming to Newcastle as part of your epic Drum Trek. In addition to members of Drummed Up who I teach West African rhythms, there were some newbies and quite a few people who had not experienced a facilitated drum circle before. I think everyone enjoyed it and for some it was an eye-opener about a more improvisational approach to group drumming. Personally I really enjoyed the boomwhacker section and am investigating getting some for work with my special needs groups. You held the space really well with good humour and confidence and your vast experience shone through. Thanks again and congratulations on an epic Drum Trek.
Wendy Doig@ Bristol
A special mention for this lovely lady who opened her home up to me on the last leg and allowed me to break journey between Seaford and St Just. She also fed and watered me and sent me on my way with a packed lunch, custard slices ( yummy) a flask of coffee and water. She then drove 20 miles down the motorway to bring my jacket and wallet which I had left behind. You are a star Wendy xxx
Wild Heart Beat Drum Circle is a community group created by Chris Cartwright and Nicola Didsbury.
The drum circle is a welcoming, caring and supportive environment for people of all ages to come together to explore rhythm with various kinds of drums and percussion instruments to create “in the moment” music.
The drum circle meets on the 2nd Friday of every month at Denton Holme Community Centre, Carlisle (except August).
“The aim is to…
• Create a safe, nurturing, friendly space for people to come and make music together, using drums, percussion instruments, songs and chants.
• Promote the feeling of community, equality and unity.”
Additionally we are running a workshop on October 4th, at Morton Manor Community Centre, facilitated by Paul John Dear! and Winter Solstice Drumming at Mabie Forest Round House in Dumfriesshire. Everyone welcome, please contact Chris or Nicola via our website www.wildheartbeat.co.uk
The DrumTrek evening was super fun, as all your workshops are. It was great to have everyone enlivened again, as our numbers had been dropping. But my lasting feeling about Drum Trek, is more about your journey, the epic-ness of what you did, how you took an idea and made it happen. How you brought joy to so many people as you made your way across the country. The threads of connection as you weaved your way along, joining circle to circle. Pushing through exhaustion at times. It was really truly inspiring. Amazing man. Well done you!
James is the creative force behind Nonstuff Industries. He is a musician, permaculture teacher and social artist. Check his Festival website
Drummer and all round top man. Here’s how he was made.
Kaz and Aid@ Lancaster
Check out their Drum Machine
website for information about regular classes.
Thanks to James Barrow for having me stop over on the trip between England and Wales.
Barry started the Therapeutic Drumming Foundation but I cannot find a link to it just now. Here’s Bazza’a Facebook
Adele Gillibrand@ Stainsby Festival
Stainsby festival is my family … And I am not referring simply to my relations, even though my husband, two sons, dad, father- mother- sister- and brother-in-law are all involved. My Stainsby family have seen me grow up. I first stepped onto that field at the age of 17- a shy, innocent thing, lacking in confidence and desperate to fit in. 24 years later and the field has taught me many things – amongst them that we all fit in, no matter what.
I don’t recall Paul’s first drumming session on the field – which is a testament to how well he fitted in from the start. However, I do remember thinking how his style was very much in tune with the festival with everyone included in a community spirit.
Time moves on as it does and so does our relationships with the festival. Since 1999 Paul has been a fixture of the festival (one year he got very intimate with the hedgerows!) And I have found my role develop from box office, to Information Office, to social media and the festival programme too. That’s what happens when you let the field get under your skin.
So when I heard Paul was undertaking such a mammoth journey not only for our precious Stainsby Festival but for Tinto Music and Arts – I felt it only natural to support his adventure in the way I could do best – via social media.
Those that don’t know – my other persona is Facebook’s Stainsby Festival group and Stainsby Fest profile. There were days following Paul’s trek that I wasn’t quite sure who I really was. Each day i’d look forward to Paul’s blogs of each of his treks and looked forward to it entering our patch of the world.
My only dilemma was which of the northern events would I attend? Liverpool- no, son has a concert. Lancaster- no, too early. Manchester- no, I’m got a festival to be at So, I managed to squeeze the Hebden Bridge session in on my way to the penultimate committee meeting the weekend before the festival. And I was so glad I did. Paul’s energy and enthusiasm was infectious. Such a shame we had to leave early to get to the meeting.
It was such a joy to see Paul and Ness on the field on Friday before the Sheffield leg. And before we knew it it was noon on Saturday with Paul in his rightful place in the centre of the circle. I had the delight of sharing the session with newcomers in my God-children and their family. It was so lovely to be able to share the festival with them – after a while of being at the grindstone of the event it’s great to take a step back and see it through new eyes and realise that yes, we have yet again created this magical place.
As the festival drew to a close and Paul’s trek moved on there seemed to be a hole left in everyone – one that the hope of another festival next year can fill.
Let’s hope that the Field of Dream appeal manages to raise the funds that we require to be able to purchase the fields – for us to be able to keep this beautiful family together for a long while to come.