Monday, 13 July 2009

One hand clapping

What is the sound of one hand clapping? goes the Zen riddle. Of course there is no answer to a Zen riddle, just the pursuit of enlightenment. Somehow, I didn't know for sure, but I suspected, Buddha wouldn't be at the National Indoor Arena today.

'Stick it to MS' reached it's climax and Simon and me headed north to Birmingham at the crack of dawn. Six hundred drummers, twelve hundred hands holding twelve hundred sticks...what's the sound? An effing row to be honest. What's the sound of 600 hundred drummers playing quietly? Now that is a real Zen riddle cos they can't. It doesn't function in brain. Drum? Quiet? Bang, bang, bang...We will, we will rock you, rock you. What's the sound of 600 drummers being asked to take a 5 minute break? Bang, bang, thwack, thump, thump, snaaaareee roll, cymbbbal CRASHHHHHH, runaroundthetoms, runaroundthetoms, double snare hit, splash.

After four hours of a deafening cacophony that would have had John Bonham coming back from the dead to complain that him and Mooney couldn't hear themselves think I became convinced that Multiple Sclerosis wasn't such a bad disease. Surely no illness was worse than this hell.

And then we came to the defining moment. The world record attempt. 600 drummers sticking it to MS. Simon was poised, double bass drum pedal at the ready....My ear plugs were buried deep - a sense of impending doom weighing heavily on me. Bang, bang, crash, smash, bang, bang, crash, smash...Then, imperceptibly it began to happen, out of the mists of hell appeared a rhythm, in time, in tempo, a unison sound, 600 drummers together, playing their hearts out. It's like Riverdance meets the Edinburgh tattoo with the Kodo drummers of Japan joining in. Christ, I'm tapping my feet along and bloody hell, Buddha just appeared. What's the sound of one hand clapping? I don't know but the sound of 600 drummers raising money for MS is really good...and it's most enlightening.

1 comment:

  1. I'm not sure I could have taken the shear volume, but I imagine that it was inspiring. I do hope that you will post some photos from the event.