There I was, last Sunday morning around 10am, nursing a chest infection after a particularly nasty bout of flu and feeling rather sorry for myself. Snuggled deep into my duvet and determined to stay there until I either died of misery or got better, I suddenly heard my neighbour calling my name. And the word ‘coffee’. In the same sentence. Startled at the unexpected yet welcome interruption, and enticed at the prospect of a strong, mid morning brew served with good conversation, I soon found myself seated outside on the porch, swathed in a blanket with my fingers curled around a steaming mug. Peering sleepily at the autumn sun and sea view, while chatting to a wonderful earth angel in the form of my neighbour Jeff, things seemed to be looking up.
Especially after Jeff decided, on a sudden impulse, to fetch and play his beloved “Hang Drum” – a metal masterpiece in the shape of a ‘flying saucer” that emits the most enchanting music. It was surreal watching Jeff, with the Hang drum wedged securely in his lap, lightly and lovingly drumming……bringing alive the tinkling notes, earthy timbre and sweet melody, which took on an almost ethereal sound. Pure magic. Picture a xylophone on steroids. Add the scene from Steven Spielberg’s 1973 classic movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”, during which a flying saucer makes contact with scientists via a musical piano duel, and you get the picture. Goose-bumps, glee and awe.
Our impromptu session scaled yet another rung when Jeff suggested I give it a try. It is only fair to mention that I am musically challenged at best, and my lack of aptitude made me feel ill at ease at taking up his offer. But it does say a lot about the calm, grounded energy of the musically charged atmosphere, that I felt unable to refuse in face of the patience and encouragement offered to me. Who was I to say no to this calm and endearing, modern-day Indian sage, (he of a certain resolute fervour, perfectly suited to the 2 feathers nestling in his hair and seemingly on loan from the ET’s), in his enthusiasm?
As I progressed from gingerly tapping the drum to getting a little more into the swing of it , I was unprepared for the sense of wonder and awe that I felt. Hearing the enchanting music was amazing enough, but playing it took me somewhere way out there. It was relaxing and uplifting in equal turns. Energising and calming too. Exhilarated, I saw Jeff smile in acknowledgement and satisfaction. There was a quality about the sounds, notes and melody that I can only describe as filling me with moments of pure joy.
The energy stayed with me for the rest of the day. In fact, I secretly wondered if the aliens or angels might not have channeled some healing power into the drum. My chest improved, and I felt wonderfully ‘spaced-out’, as if I was walking on air. Even after Jeff left an hour or so later, I continued to feed off this wonderful energy for the rest of the day and evening. My time listening to the “Hang”, as well as playing it a little, seemed to filter through to the events of the rest of the day. In fact, it has remained even after week.
It will be one of those spontaneous moments that you will always remember, having an impact not to be taken lightly, and in some indescribable way, forever changing a part of you. There was definitely something special and humbling about that moment. I feel grateful to have been part of such musical magic. Truly an awe-inspiring moment for me to share.
For more information on the Hang Drum see this link: http://www.oddmusic.com/gallery/om16250.html
For link to my blog on Niume, follow this link: https://niume.com/pages/post/?postID=61880