Singer and actor Vasundhara Das and percussionist and drummer Roberto Narain who started Drumjam in 2006 find that the magic they weave with their music is drawing people from far and wide.
When Narain started Drumjam, it was often mistaken for a jam making company, a far cry from the exhilarating drum circles that Narain facilitates. He says, “With 300 drums then to 20,000 drums now, it’s been a gratifying journey. We have performed across India, from Ladakh to Kerala. We hold events for corporates helping them in icebreaking, celebrating, communicating, unifying, healing or just having fun over drumbeats.”
|Narain facilitates a DrumJam session|
“Vasundhara is objective about things and has an analytical mind. She works on backend monitoring, coordinating the logistics at office and revamping our website. Though there is no fixed or defined role for either of us, we both know that one will fill in for the other whenever required. It’s a relief to know if I fall sick or want to take a break, the show will go on,” avers the Italian-born, Bangalore boy about his partner.
Narain adds, “She gives a different perspective on how I look at things by bringing valuable inputs to the table. In terms of visibility, Vasundhara is more of a people’s person. I’m the frontrunner when it comes to drumming, and she helps in coordinating with the marketing and administration, but each of us is involved at every step.”
Das shares, “I partnered with Roberto to share my love for music with more people, no matter what age, language, religion, demographics they are from. Drumming together is a way to share our gift of music.
Five years back when he started the company we took some equipment on hire. The event turned out beautiful and we decided to make it bigger. A common refrain post every Drumjam session is the jaw-breaking smile on everyone’s face.”
“This was a path that no one had trodden before, so there wasn’t something that we could learn from. People have done it overseas, but not here. Roberto was initially confident of acquiring a lot of drums and I wanted to give it more time. I wanted to maximise and build on what we already had. But he had visions of growth,” said Das.
“At any concert I spend two hours on sound check and ironing out the technical issues. I look at logistics and handle paper work, making sure the right equipment goes to the right place, handle event coordination, check if all the teams are in place and talk to them at all levels. We do everything it takes to make a Drumjam event successful,” says Das who has acted in movies like ‘Hey Ram’ and ‘Monsoon Wedding’.
|Narain and Das at a DrumJam event|
Back after a facilitation training in Hawaii, with the godfather of drumming, Arthur Hill, a first for Das and the second for Narain, the drumming duo are elated and energised from their stress-free sessions. “I went to Hawaii for my facilitation in August this year and it was a very deep experience. We learnt about ourselves through a lot of drumming and singing. We also took out time for snorkelling and surfing,” gushes Das in her soft and fluid voice.
It is not an easy job, so what keeps them going? Das explains, “At the end of the day when we see hundreds of smiling faces after every event, we know everything was worth it. The most common feeling is instant gratification. And that’s why we plan to take Drumjam to as many people as possible,” says Das.
Agrees Narain, “We are now expanding to form community drumming which is therapeutic. We will soon take drumming to schools and colleges.”
By Namita Gupta/ Raintree Media Features/ www.raintreemedia.com
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