PLANET DRUM WEEK
In December of 1991, we dedicated a week of Echoes features to the sound of the drum, in particular, the music of Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart. He's become the leading proponent of drums as a unifying and transformative aspect of culture, from earliest man banging sticks together to the latest hi-tech digital circuitry. This week we take an intimate look at Mickey Hart, and his many teachers, including Africa drummer Babatunde Olatunji, Brazilian percussionists and vocalists Airto Moreira and Flora Purim, and Indian tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain.
A sound portrait of Mickey Hart from his early years as a rudimentary drummer to his entry into the Grateful Dead and his induction into the myths, rituals and transformative power of the drums.
Mickey Hart: Drums of Transformation
For Mickey Hart, drumming is a spiritual quest, a means of altering consciousness and life. He talks about his passion, along with some of his percussion gurus, Babatunde Olatunji, Flora Purim, Airto Moreira and Zakir Hussain.
Mickey Hart's Planet Drum
Hart's second book is called Planet Drum and it completes his duet with "Drumming at the Edge of Magic," in defining the role of drumming throughout time, cultures and Mickey Hart's own life. He talks about his book and the album that accompanies it, "Planet Drum."
Inside Planet Drum
Planet Drum is a book, an album and a concert tour with four virtuosos of percussion from four continents. We go inside rehearsals for the Planet Drum tour as 8 musicians learn each other's percussive language.
Percussionists have a different relationship with their instruments than most, veering towards the spiritual. We'll hear some percussive comments from Zakir Hussain, Airto Moreira, Babatunde Olatunji and others.
And for a more recent look at what Mickey Hart has been up to, we have two features from the past year.
HART'S 21ST CENTURY GAMELAN
Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart casts the alloy of his drum orchestra. Best known for providing the rhythm for the legendary San Francisco rock group, Mickey Hart has also been pursuing a vision for a global orchestra. He's recently produced an album with Japanese Taiko drum troupe, KODO, and has released a best-of collection, TO THE EDGE AND BACK. On Mickey Hart's northern California estate, we walk his Zen gardens and talk about his percussion utopia.
KODO'S KONCUSSIVE KONCLAVE
Kodo is the world renowned Japanese Taiko drum ensemble that took the
sacred drums out of the temples and onto the concert stage in wildy acrobatic
performances. On a new album called MONDO HEAD (Red Ink), Kodo teams up
with Grateful Dead/Planet Drum percussionist Mickey Hart to create a global
percussion orchestra. Hart taps into the impressionistic side of Kodo,
aligning them with master drummers like Zakir Hussain and Giovanni Hidalgo.
Ryutaro Kaneko of Kodo, and Mickey Hart talk about their percussion garden.
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