PERCUSSION IS MY PASSION
~ STORIES of JOY ~
Percussion Is My Passion
- Joy Krauthammer
At the end of Shabbat services, where I serve spiritual communities as world-beat hand percussionist, people ask me questions: How long have I been drumming? What kind of drum is the big one? Did I go to music school? How did I become a drummer? How do I do it? The last is my favorite.
I love these telling questions because I love it that people are interested, and appreciate my music with its subtleties and expansiveness. I love to share my story, one of visions, Hashgachah Pratit / Divine Providence, and of a joyous, passionate Jewish woman drummer.
I share with people that I play with joy for them--because I receive their joyous soulful energy that circulates; I feel that and it excites me. Accompanying cantors, singers, dancers and rabbis brings out the rhythmic best in my music. More of that truth is that I connect with the Source of All BlesSings, and to Miriyahm HaNeviah, biblical timbrel player. I have gratitude, and become a vessel for Hashem’s music. I am ‘played’ by the Holy One. I am inspired to “Serve G*d in Joy”. (Psalm 100:2) My kavanah / intention is knowing that my ‘Sounds of Joy’-- the gift that G*d gave to me, can assist neshamahs / souls to lift their tehilim / prayers to the Divine One; as a dance going up, and for a shefa / abunDance of conscious connection with healing and wholeness, to come down through the Kabbalistic Four Worlds of Spirit, Mind, Heart and Body.
To be ethereal was my yearning when I asked the Creator to give me a drum—naively thinking that music would not take the great physical space that my own ceramics work had occupied. (That's an oxymoron for a percussionist. I'm learning to be ethereal.)
Many vessels of sound I play were designed (some customized to my desire) by my renowned international teachers (Paolo Mattioli, obm), were purchased during world travels, or were inherited from my mother, z"l (especially gongs and bells). My instruments that I lovingly play, stroke and caress (not 'beat' or 'bang') with my hands or mallets include large wood and natural skin African djembe, Middle-Eastern dumbeks (metal, vegetarian synthetic, or ceramic), frame drums, and (Remo) timbrels (aka riqs) with heavy metal brass (or other alloys) jingles, seed jingles, cymbals, ting shas (small hand cymbals), chimes (72 double row, and energy chimes), triangle, and such ‘small’ hand-made, ethnic traditional percussion as bells, rattles (chajchas, kpoko-kpoko, seeds, Buffalo rawhide), shakers (natural woven caxixi, gourd gita, maracas, shekeres, and axatse), scrapers (guiros), clave, and mu yu (slit drum). Additional ethnic percussion from many nations I have learned include: tambourine, tar, tamborim, bohdran, djun-djun, ashiko, talking drum, klong yaw, cuica, timbau, surdo repinique, agogo, bongo, congas, cowbell, tubano, pandeiro, kanjira, sakara, fruit and vegetable shakers (of plastic, wood or metal), as well as sound shapes.
For meditative and healing moments, I play organic rain sticks, ocean drums, gongs, Asian bells, and crystal and Tibetan singing bowls tuned to lev / heart chakra.
For the last decade, I mamash / truly have loved playing percussion for Lev Eisha / Heart of Woman women and men at our gevaldt / awesome Shabbat services where Shechinah dwells. I have been drumming since 1986, through both challenges and simchas. The secret? This eisha / woman plays with her lev.
BlesSings for Sounds of Joy,
This story is published in Lev Eisha site:
For a more fully illustrated magical musical story with my responses, please read: