Could this be Darbuka heaven!?
Imagine staying in some of the most beautiful and inspiring surroundings with music and dance everywhere you look! Welcome to the Bamedam retreat in South East Queensland.
I have just returned from spending my second year there as a Darbuka teacher and am more inspired than ever. Mountains on both sides of the camp, waterfalls within easy walking distance, perfect Queensland weather and amazing people everywhere! What more could you want!?
Students have the opportunity to learn from some of the most experienced teachers in the country and become totally immersed in music and dance for four inspirational days. Featured instruments this year were Darbuka, Ney, Zurna, Gaida, Oud, Arabic Violin, Daf, Didgeridoo, Tapan and singing workshops.
Bellydancers were treated to workshops in many different styles from Trisnasari, Amira, Belladonna, Ayelet Ashkar, Margaret Cunningham and Tamara Taylor. Instruction for circle dancing was from the one and only Gary Dawson with special guest Sydney based dancer Yorgo Kaporis.
One thing i have to mention is the impact that the circle dancing has had on me this year! I am hooked!!
As a Darbuka player i have found myself playing at many weddings over the years and always wanted to jump in to the circle. It was a classic case of ‘why didnt i get into this earlier!?’ Oh well, better late than never is all i can say. If you play Darbuka or any other Arabic or Balkan drum: go and dance!!!
It really will make a huge difference to how you hear the rhythms and why the accents are placed where they are. I have only just opened the door and let myself have a little taste, next year however….
Each night has a slightly different theme which gives everyone a chance to showcase their talents (students included). Opening night featured some of the teachers performing in duo’s or trio’s, inluding myself playing some improvised frame drum and Darbuka with Pin Rada performing Ney and Lira. The Turkish and Egyptian ensembles performed on the second night with drummers slightly taking over the stage by the end…sorry my fault but the dance floor was shaking!
The highlight really had to go to the saturday night which was a traditional style Macedonian wedding. That was awesome, hilarious and educational all at the same time. Of course we men of men had to prove our strength by dancing the ‘Teskoto.’ Not so easy for an Australian born Darbuka player!
This camp is well worth the plane trip if you are living outside of Australia and for those in the country, it’s just to easy. You will leave Bamedam camp a very different person than when you arrived and with a wonderful sense of community.
Matt Stonehouse Fingers of Fury Darbuka School