Hello Whale Spirit Drummers — Need some peaceful outdoor summer sunset drumming this week? Let’s gather tomorrow, Thursday, July 25 at 8:15pm at Gearhart Park. Be sure to bring a chair. Sunset is at 8:53pm. The days are getting shorter, but tomorrow looks to be a beautiful summer day and evening. See you there!
The Whale Spirit Drum Circle is meeting Saturday, July 20th at 8:15 at Gearheart Park. This park is on Pacific Way in Gearhart Oregon. Pacific Way is the main road in to Gearhart from highway 101. The park is where Pacific Way dead ends into the Pacific Ocean. This is a different experience from our monthly gathering at the Community Center in Seaside OR. It is outside with a view of the Ocean. We have this timed to take place when the Sun is setting. Extra drum available for those who want to see what a community drum circle is all about. All welcome.
A group of whale spirit drum circle drummers are gathering on the Seaside beach this summer solstice. If you want to join in, come to the Seaside Beach at 7th Ave. The fire pit will fire up around 8:00 on Friday, June 21st. Bring a drum and a chair if you have them. It will be fun!
The Whale Spirit Drum circle is a loosely facilitated community drum circle. Our facilitators use a light hand in giving direction to the circle. Don’t think of it like an orchestra conductor. Think of it as a coach gently making suggestions. The facilitator might signal for everyone to stop. Or everyone pick up the pace of the drum beat. Or everyone start. Or everyone play softer. But to be one of the cool kids, you should know the hand signals.
DON’T FRET THIS – Ok, I know, thoughts of performance anxiety from 7th grade. But it is not like that. First, once you are in the room you will figure this out. Just do what the person next to you is doing. Second, even if everything falls apart, it is no big deal. So you start a little late, or don’t stop exactly on time, it is not a problem. Starting and stopping a drum circle is kind of like starting and stopping an ocean liner. It is more of a process than an event.
The hand signals.
First comes a signal to pay attention. (The facilitator walks to the center of the circle and raises their hand.)
Next is a signal for what you are expected to do in a few moments from now. (For example a closed fist means that you will be asked to stop drumming in a few moments from now.)
Then then comes a countdown by the facilitator. (The facilitator will raise three fingers, then two fingers, then one finger. Then on the final signal you act.)
The last signal is the same as the first, only now is the time to act! (So after the 3,2,1 countdown, the facilitator will make two fists in a quick action to signal that now is the time to stop.)
It helps if you know the following hand signals.
Hand in the air – Pay attention. Something is about to happen that requires your attention.
Closed fist – dead stop.
Rolling motion of hands – time to start
Both hands in the air raised or lowered – go louder if rising, go softer if lowering.
The facilitator moving their arm to a faster of slower rhythm – speed up or slow down to the rhythm of the facilitator’s movements.
We have a small table in the center of our monthly drum circle. The idea is to place objects on the table that makes us think of the drum circle “mascot”, the Whale Spirit. Ironwood carvings of whales have shown up as well as paintings of whales. We have a new totem for our table! The Seaside Ace hardware store had few iron castings of whale flukes. How perfect. We picked one up then went to the beach to find a driftwood base for our new found whale friend. The creation will now take center stage of the table we gather around for the circle. All we need now is a suitable name for our Mascot, the Whale Spirit. But we can leave that for another day.
Many visitors to the Whale Spirit Drum Circle feel moved by the energy of the circle. This sparks the question “what drum should I buy”? Well, we have ideas about this. We just added a set of drum purchase recommendations to the site. We talk about our unique climate on the Oregon Coast that makes selecting a 12-inch synthetic Djembe the drum of choice for the North Coast. Go to the section called RECOMMENDED DRUMS in the menu page.
On April 6th 2019 the Whale spirit Drum Circle met for the second time. 25 drummers came to play togeter. Most were “locals”, but we did have a few out of towners join us. Many of the “whalers” were sporting new drums they purchased since the first meeting. We are thankful for all the support the North Coast Community is giving us on our new drum circle. Our next drum circle is on May 4th, 2019. We are not sure at this time if we will be in the Seaside Community Center or at the turnaround in “downtown” Seaside. The Bob Chisholm Center sounds wonderful with it’s arched ship like cealing and long house vibe. But if the weather is nice nothing beats the beach in Seaside Oregon for drumming.
Open drum circle. April 6, 2019. 7:00 pm at the Bob Chisholm Community Center in Seaside Oregon. 1225 Avenue ‘A’, Seaside. Kick in a $10.00 donation to cover renting the venue. The location is wonderful. The Community Center has undergone a remodel to look like a long house. The drums sound great in this space. The lighting is perfect. Our goal is to drum indoors when it is nasty outside, and when it is nice, take advantage of our location where the Pacific Ocean licks the face of Northern Oregon and head to the beach. In April 2019 we think the weather will still be a bit cold so are shooting for an indoor event.
If you are trying to find the Community Center it is on Avenue A behind Safeway.
Everyone at the first gathering of the Whale Spirit Drum Circle received a drum charm. The charm is meant to keep the spirit of the drum circle in the drum in between gatherings of the Whale Spirit Drum Circle. Though a few people attached the charm their key rings to remind themselves to come to the next drum circle. (The Whale Spirit Drum Circle meets on the first Saturday of every month at 7:00 am at the Bob Chisholm Community Center in Seaside Oregon or at “The turnaround” where Broadway hits the Pacific Ocean in Seaside OR.)
The first gathering of the Whale Spirit Drum Circle in Seaside Oregon was a success. 20 people from all over the region came to this community drum circle held in the Bob Chisholm Community Center in Seaside Oregon on March 2, 2019. We had traditional djembes from Africa, modern drum circle djembes, elk hide frame drums, modern frame drums, a congaand even a bucket drum. Experience levels ranged from experienced musicians to first-timers. Over half the group met to “debrief” at the Seaside Brewery afterward. All said they would return. The Whale Spirit Drum Circle meets the first Saturday of the month at either the Bob Chisholm Community Center in Seaside Oregon or “at the turnaround” where Broadway ends at the Pacific Ocean in Seaside OR. The weather picks our location for us.