Percussionists’ Mock Maiming Back In Vogue

As the cave paintings at Lascaux clearly delineate, the concept of the “maiming of the drummers”, due to the incessant racket they produced in quieter times, goes back to the prehistorical era. This notion can also be traced to modernity as well, albeit in a less violent fashion, as families with percussion-minded children in tow flee the cities for more space and a basement in an attempt to alienate said drummer and contain the aural pollution they produce. As seen below, modern percussion ensembles, in an act of respect and deference to their roots as well as to the oft ear-plugged audience, ceremonially “offer their heads” in remembrance.

Drumming is often called “hocking” in Jewish families.

Cranial Percussion

That’s my head in the photo (bottom right) just before it was percussed on stage.

I had the distinct musical honor to volunteer with the renowned ensemble Sö Percussion at a performance in Brooklyn. Given the mostly hairless nature of my head, it represented a relatively pure percussive surface to the ever-inventive ensemble. It was slightly uncomfortable, truth-be-told, but the crowd erupted in applause as soon as the mallets made contact so I just tolerated it for the sake of the show. Lo and behold, my head is a C sharp.

IMG_3102A big drum