Ubaka Hill at Women’s Drum Center – Interview

Ubaka Hill

Ubaka Hill is appearing in Minnesota this week, sponsored by the W0men’s Drum Center.

CONCERT: Rhythms for the Trees: A Concert of Percussion, Poetry, Song and Vision

Featuring Ubaka Hill and with Drumheart. Open to the general public Saturday, August 25, 2012

Doors open at 6:00 p.m. for the Marketplace , Performance begins at 7:00 p.m.

Jeanne d’Arc Auditorium, Whitby Hall, St. Catherine University 2004 Randolph Ave., St.Paul, MN

Ubaka’s 2-day Workshop: Drumsong: the Art and Spirit of Drumming

(for women and girls)

Friday, August 24, 2012, 6:30-9:00 p.m. & Saturday, August 25, 9:30-1:30p.m.

At Carondolet Center, 1890 Randolph Ave., St.Paul

Register for workshop ($60) at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/258804

Ubaka arrived Monday to prepare for a week of appearances around Minnesota, we talked by phone.

What brings you to Minnesota?
The Women’s Drum Center ( WDC ) is responsible for brings me out and setting up the workshops and concert, and setting up the Million Women Drummers Gathering 2013 , what we call, “Meet and Greets”. One of those will include a workshop but these are primarily to speak about the Million Women Drummers Gathering 2013 initiative/movement and how local and global communities and individuals can be a part of it.

What is the Million Women Drummers Gathering 2013?
It is a two tiered, tow levels, and two phased program. There is a gathering planned for October 11-13th, 2013. Between now and that date it is about raising our consciousness, and becoming more awake and aware that our wooden musical instruments are trees. As simple as that is, it is quite profound to become aware that we are participating in the deforestation of our old growth forests, our third world local woods, and of our wooded areas within the US and around the world. I have been drumming on the wooden drum for over thirty years. There was a point where I was not as awake and aware, and mindful of my participation indirectly, by being a consumer of drums, in the deforestation and the senseless cutting and disrespect of the trees, and the woods. In the sustainability of our future. Around 2007, something awakened inside of me. That awakening had to do with our unconscious consumption of wooden instruments. I am including all wooden instruments, from acoustic guitars, to upright bass’s; pianos, marimba, clarinets, flutes, violins, cellos harps, all the instruments. If we do not sustain the trees that our wooden instruments are made from, we do not have a future for those instruments that we love to play, and listen to, that we enjoy dancing to. We won’t be able to sustain the music of those trees and so won’t be able to sustain the folkloric traditions of our various cultures. Generations that will follow us, will also not have the trees or the wooden instruments for those trees to play.

The Million Women Drummers Gathering 2013 initiative is essentially about creating a new mindful model as musicians and listeners, and players of wooden instruments. This call is coming from the leadership of women who love drums and who love trees. The Gathering in 2013 is a celebration of our new awake and aware selves, and our effort to create a new mindful model through planting trees, through having conversations about trees and creating a sustainable future, and to celebrate this by creating local rhythm circles including all players of wooden instruments while we plant trees and while we begin to create new technologies, ideas, and new approaches to a sustainable green policy for manufacturers, new traditions and new ways to approach the trees and the forest with gratitude and appreciation and the their replenishment.

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