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By rachelnguyen
Hi all,

This is a little different than the usual Djembefola forum event listing, but it is pretty cool.

My friend Amery Kessler is an artist who has created an installation piece called a drum casket. Basically, it is a drum big enough that someone can lie down inside of it.

This year, he is going to build a version of the drum casket in Bamako when we are there this January. We will be unveiling it at some point towards the end of the month. I will try and post details of event here when we get them. In the mean time, though, if you happen to be in New England next week, he is going to demonstrate the Drum Casket at the Bell Street Chapel drum circle on December 16th. Amery has also registered with kickstarter to raise backers for the Bamako project, so if you have a few bucks to spare, visit his kickstarter page here.

Drum Casket Providence Edition
December 16th
7pm to 12am
5 Bell Street
Providence, RI

Donation is $5 at the door. This is a drum circle, so bring a drum!

User avatar
By rachelnguyen
HI Brian,

I haven't seen the thing in action yet. I am quite claustrophobic, so I am not sure if I would want to be inside.... but the idea of experiencing a drum from the inside is just whacky enough that I might be willing to give it a try.
User avatar
By e2c
Not sure I could do it, either - sounds a bit too much like being inside an MRI magnet! but I would love to hear and feel the sound and vibrations from inside... maybe he could make a larger version eventually?
User avatar
By rachelnguyen
I think part of the deal is that when you are ready to come out, you put your hand through the hole. There is a whole trust piece that has to happen. I feel game to try, especially after seeing others do it.

Will keep you posted on how it goes!

User avatar
By rachelnguyen
Hey all,

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 It is an awesome project.