The hippie drum evokes a sunny ring of musicians and dancers in ecstatic release. For DL, his guardian angel Nita, and the other inhabitants of one ramshackle farm, it’s also the beat promising Peace, Love, and Equality, an urgent call that leads to a summer of mountain lakes and partying before winter unmasks core differences that threaten to splinter the household. Nevertheless, out of the discord a few come to an intensified rhythm of delight, purpose, and wisdom flowering the next summer. Followed by a lifetime of questioning and bittersweet memories.
Returning to the apartment, he was summoned to Rolf’s room. “Come here, I want to show you something.” DL thought it sounded ominous, even before Rolf opened the closet door. What he noticed first was the absence of clothes. Instead of shoes on the floor, there were drums. Not just two or three, either. They came in a range of sizes, from ones that would fit in a lap to one that could accommodate four or five players. He started pointing. “That’s a djembe, and the one next to it’s a okonkolo,” he said, moving on to a doubek. Most were made of wood, even rare wood, as Rolf insisted, but there was one with a bronze body and another of clay. The closet wall displayed straps he could use when needed. “You play most of these with your palms and fingers,” Rolf explained, “but some you play with drumsticks or even bones. Human bones, by some Tibetans.”
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