Archive for November, 2013

Collage Break-Beat Drumming

Posted in Arts (Design & Performance), Organic Development, POB Audio with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 18, 2013 by Drogo

CBB Drumming:  Modern Progressive Break-beat Fragment Collages, Jazz Wobbles, and Tempo Shifting

Conventional drummers, and even standard break-beat artists, will often use only one tempo for the main percussion sections in a song. Break-beat tends to ‘take breaks’ from the beat, for ambient sections, but it usually keeps to ‘breaks’ (broken fragments) within a zig-zag 4/4 rhythm. However a progressive break-beat drummer can progress through various rhythms by using wobbles, bridges, blasts, fills, fades, and dead breaks.

Traditionally only the best or most arrogant drummers could ever claim to ‘perfectly’ keep a steady tempo or beat rhythm all the time. Even today most human drummers will have subtle variations or wobbles in their rhythms, as compared to a more constant metronome or digital beat machine (such as a computer). Variations in beat happen even when humans use mechanical devices to aid their timing. This is due to deviations in mental evaluation, audio perception, and physical dexterity.

Once we understand that even the best human drummers are not going to be ‘on beat’ perfectly all the time; we can begin to have patience for an emerging musical movement that embraces our ability to change, and even accepts our fallibility. Traditional and conventional drummers and people conditioned to hear their repetitious rules, call tempo shifting or playing off beats “bad drumming” or “annoying”; since progressive break-beat is not limited by tempo dogma.

Progressive Break-beat is like an audio Jeet-Kun-Do. As Bruce Lee said “Do not concentrate on the finger… be like water, be formless… do not believe in styles, styles separate man, it is a process of continuing growth.” Just as we should practice martial arts that fit our own bodies and minds, we should practice music that best fits our own bodies and minds.

There are different types of personalities, that will practice in different ways; to be able to play together we must first understand this. Once we understand our differences, we can adapt our forms and patterns, to have a conversation or relationship with the others that are at first impossible or annoying. Any type of music may be annoying to anyone at any time, although certainly the most annoying sounds are ones that seem to have aggressive conflict or discordant tones or beats. To a mind wanting to experience those issues, the music is not annoying, but rather used for venting self-expression as cathartic therapy.

So the premise of CBB (Collage Break-beat Theory), is that a progressive break-beat drummer can progress through various rhythms by using wobbles, bridges, blasts, fills, fades, and dead breaks. This is possible to achieve even while playing with conventional drummers, if they are patient enough to keep playing their own style, or adapt to the breaks. There are many tool techniques to make a CBB song, which pastes together audio and forms how the collage pieces fit together.

A wobble can be a beat bounced (shaken or wiggled) around like a ball, as well as a bass tone stretched and shifting pitch (oscillating bass). In drum circles this wobble sound can be made with a drum or didgeridoo, horn, or voice. Even a whistle or drum blast can be used as a transition signal.

A musical bridge is a piece of transition music played to patch together sections of a song. The bridge can be an interlude solo, or it can be a combination of the sounds before and after it. Fills, noodles, and grace-notes can be used to make use of discord or mistakes.

Fades and dead-breaks are the easiest ways to cut into a new beat.

If someone cannot play with you, they can chill until they find a way into the jam. Jam sessions (like free-form drum circles) are all about taking turns, trying to harmonize, and negotiating differences in styles to be able to play together. A generous expert player will play to the least level, to invite others to play at least for bit.  Ok, play on!

Walton Drum



Frederick Artist Laura Higgins

Posted in Arts (Design & Performance), Crafts, Services, Sales or Trade with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 10, 2013 by Drogo

laura 2

Frederick independent artisan website for Laura Higgins who is owner, maker, designer, curator:

Market Street Broads

“Making Bad Ass Jewelry for Bad Ass Broads – I have been making jewelry for about 15 years now. Along with various types of creative outlets, I enjoy making jewelry as both a stress relief and a fun pass time.” – from her Etsy site.

Laura makes modern gothic-rock jewelry, dynamic psychedelic graphic art,  and expresses herself publicly with tattoos, her own fashion style, even occasionally costume and dramatic make-up art!!

“I never really think about that stuff. All the things the buyer wants to know I have trouble even explaining haha My style can change day to day depending on how I’m feeling and I make such a wide variety of stuff it’s hard to narrow down any of the influences, subjects etc… My medium changes all the time as well. I could be making jewelry one minute then get the urge to paint and I just kinda go at it and paint what I’m feeling whether it be a picture or just abstract emotional stuff.. I’m all over the place lol.”  – Laura Higgins


Maryland Indian Tribes

Posted in Cooperatives / Communities / Networks / Travels, Critical Commentary of Civilization, History, Pagan, Sustainability with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 4, 2013 by Drogo

Native American Indian Tribes in Maryland

The main existing Indian Tribe in Maryland seems to be the Piscataway. They are MD State recognized (finally), but as is often the case with bigoted bureaucracy not Federally recognized.

The Piscataway are a sub-tribe of the Conoy Tribe, one of the most prominent historic tribes of the Chesapeake Bay area. Their Algonquin dialect evolved from Nanticoke, having established roots here over 10,000 years ago as hunters and gatherers. They lived very much like the Potowomac Tribe, along the Potomac River; by 800 AD they grew maize, beans, squash, and pumpkins. Today there are 2 main Piscataway groups in Southern MD: The Nation (Chief Tayak), and The Tribe (Confederacy and Cedarville Band). They have no reservation land.

 2010: Frederick County had 800+ Residents that considered themselves Native American; Maryland Indians total: 25,000+ of which 8,000+ are Piscataway. Together with dramatic decreases in population due to disease, when American Indian reservations were dissolved by the Maryland Colony in the eighteenth century, and when the Piscataway were reclassified as “free people of color”, “Free Negro” or “mulatto” on state and federal census records in the nineteenth century, a process of detribalization was happening. While the Piscataway were enumerated as “mulattos” in state and federal census records, by contrast Catholic parish records and ethnographic reports continued to identify Piscataway individuals and families as Indians.

 Historically many tribes came together on the Rivers to barter:  Potowomac, Senedoes, Catawba, Iroquois, Tutelo, Saponi, Conoy, Piscataway, Delaware, Lenape, Powhatan, Shawnee, Susquehannok, Nanticoke… and they had populations of hundreds of thousands.

The old Maryland village of Piscataway where the Potomac meets the Chesapeake, must have been named as an homage to the tribe.

We do not have many records detailing how the all the tribes in Maryland looked; however we can generalize dress and appearance based on the many drawings and descriptions of Powhatans just south of Maryland in Virginia.


It is unclear why this map does not have the Conoy tribes on here; perhaps the Powhatan claimed Conoy land at some point during the records.

maryland tribes





Haunted Faery Drum Circle

Posted in Cooperatives / Communities / Networks / Travels, Events / Celebrations, Music Reviews, Pagan, POB Audio with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 2, 2013 by Drogo

Haunted Faery Drum Circle 2013

Halloween Musical Party in Harpers Ferry, WV

fourways temple

Held at the Temple of the Four Winds (or Ways), a total of 14 people came together to share good vibes in various styles. Neighbors and friends from the surrounding area met from 8pm-12 Midnight the Friday before Halloween. 3 friends from Frederick Drum Circle stayed up all night around the stone camp-fire ring. telling stories and tending the sacred flame with mighty elm, nutty walnut, and wounded willow wood.

From Frederick Drum Circle came 3 powerful magi; Bran-Don Barn-Yard, Drumwise Ousse, and Drogo Empedocles; with drums, beaters, didges, and flutes. Linda Rago attended because she was a magical neighbor, and author of ‘Blackberry Cove Herbal’. Warren Eng appeared briefly to play Chinese medicine ball chimes. 2 other neighbors across the way showed up for a bit. Princess Puchala of the dark magic band Full Blush brought 2 mighty friends. The famous guitarist Ben Harrison showed up with 2 friends as well. Lastly, the legendary John Brown Kodiak arrived in time to rap some lyrics to a bluegrass-new-age epic jam session. A type of ‘New-Grass’ sound emerged, and resonated through the week to the Holy All Souls Night.

Linda Rago held a ‘Rune Reading’ session in the Temple for half of the gathering. However the half of the gathering remained centered around the Fire Ring, despite that it remained 40 degrees all night. The primal elemental energy around the Fire Pit created a magical energy, which fed all night, resonated and flowed the following week.

Several audio recordings were made featuring various musicians during the night; uploaded to Soundcloud and Youtube. They are simply meant as memory meditation guides, because Night Magick is impossible to capture. Yet somehow we recharge our spirit energy at the Well of Mimir, and the Flame of the Four Ways! Harpers Ferry has remained a favorite haunt of faeries, and to this day you can still hear their music, if you listen for it and follow it in your dreams.