The drum casket was amazing. Amery is going to post some videos of it on his blog soon.
The casket is actually huge, at least 7 feet long and about 4 feet wide at the widest point, so it is pretty comfortable to be inside.
I am seriously claustrophobic, but decided to give it a try anyway. There were about 8 people 'playing' the drum, including my teacher, Sidy, and Amery... both of whom I love and trust. Amery said that as they were lowering the lid, he could see a momentary look of panic in my eyes. But after the lid was in place and the drumming started, I was utterly mesmerized by the experience and lost all fear. The hole is about 4 inches in diameter and was right in front of my face, so I could see out a little bit. It actually felt quite bright inside, even though the ambient lighting was pretty dim.
When you are inside, you can feel the vibrations through your whole body. The entire drum was shaking and moving and the air was puffing through the hole, so it felt like the entire thing was a living, breathing organism.
The truth is, I didn't want to come out. But eventually I decided to rejoin the outside world and put my hand through the hole. Immediately the group of drummers lifted the lid and out I came.
Amery is going to be building one of these in Mali and we are going to try and make it out of skin instead of wood. It will have to be a bit smaller, of course. (Unless we can find an ox skin, LOL.) but I think the idea of being inside a skinned drum would be amazing.
Please check out Amery's blog at www.drumcasket.blogspot.com
. It is an awesome project.