Left Field

By David Wilson

A memoir from the co-founder of the charity War Child

Sunday, 17 January 2016

drumming - the horse that takes you to the Gods

Here is a clip from one of Eugene Skeef's drumming workshops at the Pavarotti Music Centre. When I left there in 2000 I wrote this, "On Sunday afternoons, you could find children and young people taking part with djembes, maracas, handbells, marimbas and wood blocks. These workshops were developed, both at the Centre and as part of the outreach work at orphanages and hospitals. After thirty minutes of drumming, I have seen very young children express rhythmic talent as if it were latent in their essence and being. The Centre has surpassed all expectations. As well as the percussion workshops we have a schools’ music programme working in more than 20 schools, kindergartens and special schools, the first music therapy department in Bosnia-Hercegovina, a hospital outreach programme, a music school, a recording studio, a rock school, guitar classes, a youth choir, drama workshops, dance and ballet, concerts and exhibitions, even acupuncture and meditation. Above all else, a place where children and young people can find themselves and their friends. In the middle of this damaged country, this wounded town, and working from within that town’s ghetto, we have done what no politician would dream of doing – produced solutions to political problems by ignoring politics altogether. We have let the music play." Read more in 'Left Field'. After the London launch of the book why not join me in Mostar for the Bosnian launch? You may find yourself drumming with Eugene. Check details here 

Prof Nigel Osborne and Brian Eno lead a percussion workshop at the Pavarotti Centre

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