On the final day of his Arnolfini residency Dan Johnson offers an in-depth workshop sharing key aspects of his creative practice as a percussionist and performance artist.
Ecstatic Drum Beats (EDB) is both a live performance collective and creative education project with the aim of bringing people together to explore and celebrate who we are whilst expanding what music, dance, and performance art can be.
EDB draws influence from the Judson Dance Theater, Pauline Oliveros’ Deep Listening practice, the Abramovic Method, and La Pocha Nostra along with the work of percussionists Milford Graves, Midori Takada, Greg Fox, and Susie Ibarra.
This workshop will explore new and traditional approaches to composition, improvisation, and performance. Dan will share a series of exercises designed to develop new skills and ways of thinking in each of these areas. Participants will also have the opportunity to create brand new collaborative music and performance pieces during the session.
All instruments will be provided, though participants are welcome to bring their own if they wish, no prior experience is necessary, and earplugs are recommended.
Activities promise both fun and challenge for professional, intermediate or beginning musicians and for drummers and non-drummers alike.
Dan has been a professional educator for 8 years and percussionist for over twenty. He holds qualifications in music and education from Bath Spa University and the University of Sussex, as well as being a certified Deep Listening Facilitator with the Centre for Deep Listening at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, NY. He has been part of research and development groups at Stanford University and the Marina Abramovic Institute, and is co-writer and facilitator of the ‘Musical Responses & Collaborative Experiments’ creative development program with Annie Gardiner.
“Don’t be nervous about signing up for this workshop if you’ve never played percussion previously. A warm and generous facilitator, Dan created an active and stimulating space in which to safely experiment with sound and movement, as an individual and as a group participant. Being able to beat a bass drum (something I’ve always wanted to do but never had the opportunity) and feel its vibrations in my body is something I’ll remember for a long time” (previous participant).