Monday, February 07, 2011

Gamelan D'Drum

Due to weather issues, only one performance of the heralded, Stewart Copeland-penned "Gamelan D'Drum" was this past weekend. And I was lucky enough to see it.

Darryl wrote a pretty thorough write-up of the performance, but I wanted to add some of things I noticed. As a drummer who is usually cautious about a 35-minute drum-fueled piece, I had some slight hesitation this would be a repetitive novelty after a few minutes. Thanks to the Dallas Symphony performing behind the five percussionists of D'Drum, I was pretty taken the entire time. Plus, conductor Jaap van Zweden was absolutely the real deal: he clearly cared about the music and conducted in a (dare I say) artful and precise way.

Given that my knowledge of composers is limited compared to my knowledge of say, death metal or emo punk, I thought of composers like Bernard Herrmann, Igor Stravinsky, and John Williams while the piece was performed. Meaning, the many various sounds of percussion were at the lead while there was a bit of free time mixed with grand sweeps of melody. Quite a great thing to experience live.

Before the performance, Stewart Copeland spoke to a relatively large room of curious attendees. Wonderfully well-spoken and friendly, he even politely took a question about the Police. I didn't get a chance to speak with him, but I sure would have loved to ask him about his father. Nevermind the fact that Copeland was the one of first rock drummers I have a memory of ever seeing (due to my regular viewing of Friday Night Videos on Saturday mornings) or how much I still love his drumming in the Police. No, I wanted to know if his father ever spoke of my grandfather, Roy Grubbs Jr.

You see, all through the twenty years I got to be around my grandfather, he'd tell jokes and stories over and over again. One thing he frequently mentioned was how he was fraternity brothers with Miles Copeland Jr. He'd mention how one of Miles' sons was in a rock band. I, of course, would get very excited and tell him how I knew who Stewart was. A nice little connection between generations, I thought. Especially since those generation gaps tend to be incredibly wide.

I didn't get to ask my question on Saturday night, but it's OK with me. I appreciate Stewart as a performer and a writer in so many ways that I couldn't simply ask him one question. I'd ask twenty more if I had the opportunity. Instead, I got the satisfaction of hearing and seeing someone who has never been forever locked in the world of punk rock's parameters.

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