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EBPP Music Programme Receives New Percussion Instruments from Drum Factory & Toca Percussion

By Elia Simantov

David introduces Gusti at the EBPP Bamboo Learning Center in Daya, and proceeds to conduct an important motivational talk with our top students from all six EBPP schools.

8th February, 2011: After the initial visit to Ban of Ed Balma, Gusti and Bawa of the Drum Factory we were all very enthusiastic and full of anticipation towards their next visit. Soon after this first visit we were extremely happy to hear from Ed and Toca Percussion that they will gladly donate all the percussion instruments that we need for our programme!

We returned from the holidays poised and ready for the new year, and proceeded to plan the next visit of our Drum Factory friends at our village. Ed informed us that he will be in America on business, and when we contacted Gusti he said he will be happy to come up with Agung (another Drum Factory employee who is also a percussionist) to Ban, with the donated instruments, and that he is more than willing to conduct another drum workshop for our kids.

On Friday, 28th January, after David conducted an important motivational talk with our leading students from all of the six EBPP schools, Gusti explained to them about the different types of percussion instruments, before we proceeded to drive down to our main office in Ban. The Drum Factory’s truck, which was full of Toca Percussion music instruments for our schools, was certainly not used to mountain roads like the ones leading to our village headquarters, but made the trip just fine. Of course, considering the dirt tracks leading to some of our remote schools, these partly paved roads are a piece of cake…

From our office we went on to Dusun Manikaji (right after a quick replacement of a flat tire on our 4wd vehicle – not a rare occurrence in Ban) where we were welcomed heartily by the students and quite a few adults from the village. Soon after Gusti and Agung started the workshop the dark clouds that were hovering above us as we were driving up the steep pathway to the school decided to let it all out, and the loud sound of the heavy rain proved challenging for Gusti’s voice. But that did not deter the seasoned percussionist who soon enough took hold of the nearest Djembe drum and defeated the sounds of nature at hand. Our students seemed truly amazed at what was happening, also since many of them never saw a modern percussion instrument, let alone a professional percussionist. Soon they too were playing joyfully at Gusti and Agung’s behest, letting the rhythmic sounds of percussion carry them to unknown territories…

Back at our village headquarters we were all very contented and sat to eat our Nasi Campur (Indonesian Mixed Rice dish) around the newly organized music room. It was certainly no surprise that very soon after we finished our lunch a spontaneous jam session was in progress. Bang, our good friend and brilliant musician who has become a regular contributor to our music programme, joined Gusti, Agung and our music team for some amazing moments of jamming. As I was watching the proceedings I was thinking to myself that this is really what it’s all about! After a rather long day of working in three different locations, our group of guests and staff were just enjoying making music, not caring for a moment about the long drive home that still awaits those of us who don’t live in the village. “Well, I have to play a gig tonight in Ubud!” said Gusti after quite a bit of jamming, sounding like he wishes he didn’t and that he could stay longer in Ban. As we said our “hati hati di jalan” blessings (“be careful on the road”), we all looked at each other and it was clear to us all that we will do our very best to bring Gusti and Agung back to Ban as soon as possible, as they are an incredible source of joy and inspiration to all of our village’s kids and staff!

At Manikaji School Gusti excites our kids beautifully with his contagious drive and positive energy, together with Agung and Bang.

Three of our leading Manikaji School students trying the new Toca brand Djembe drums that were donated to us by the Drum Factory.

The Manikaji School students seem to be spellbound, and watch Gusti and Agung in wonder and admiration as the workshop continues.

Some of our younger students just can't wait for their turn to join the band!

One of our students tries to play the Djembe for the first time.

Gusti and our students are having a great time as Gusti devotedly teaches them another useful percussion technique.

Back in our Ban Office this junior high school student checks out our new Drum Factory-made Cajon (a percussion instrument of Latin origin) in an "up close and personal" manner.

The most seasoned percussionist in EBPP concentrates and shows us what he can do with a Djembe drum.

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David J Booth, Founder

East Bali Poverty Project
PO BOX 3850 Denpasar
Bali - Indonesia
Tel: +62 - 361- 410071; Fax: 62 - 0361 430785

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