Professional drummer Noel Brennan’s latest EAC offering—a World Drum Circle on August 20— was a delight for the thirteen attendees, engaging them with drumming inspiration and techniques from around the world.

“I attended Noel’s class two years ago and enjoyed it so much I did it again,” enthused Joan Lowden. “I love how he explains that drumming is a language; each drum stroke (with hand or stick) corresponds to a vocal sound, and each pattern is like a sentence.  Playing the drum while repeating the vocal sounds really helps things gel.  So interesting and fun; we are lucky he offers this time with us when he is in town.”

Noel Brennan engaged a large group of students at his World Drum Circle on August 20 at EAC. All photos by Nicole Perkins, EAC Education & Outreach Coordinator.

“I loved this session,” wrote attendee Sussan Coley (pictured below). “It was calming, nurturing, grounding and a meditation of sort. I brought a drum in Africa in 2009, during a two year assignment in South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria. On one of my weekend safaris, the tour leader stopped by a village store, where a man was building drums from very primitive items. He was trying to convince me to buy one, but I didn’t know how to take it back to the U.S., so I declined.  He did NOT leave me alone and kept reducing the price, then told me he really needed the money and would sell it to me for whatever I decided to pay.  I told him the reason I was not buying it, and he said, ‘things have a way of working out at the end.’ His words touched my soul and I gave him full price. On my way back to the U.S., I had to hand carry the drum because I did not want it to be damaged. I never knew how to play it and was looking for someone to show me, ’til I saw the notice for the African drumming session—in EASTPORT!!! I feel that it all worked out at the end, with my drum!”

Sussan Coley (holding stick aloft) was thrilled to have a chance to learn with Noel to play a drum she bought in Africa.

Noel’s Eastport visit was part of a Maine tour with MOCH, a Brooklyn-based electroacoustic collaboration between Patricia Brennan, mallet percussionist, and Noel (AKA Arktureye) as percussionist, drummer and turntablist (seen last summer as part of EAC’s Concert Series!) The couple’s tour included musical performances in Kittery, Freeport, Deer Isle, Bangor and Calais. A full album release by the duo is planned for 2024; the tune Maquishti Prismatic may be heard here.

Noel demonstrates for the class, while student Shailoh DuBois looks on.