a commission by  Kestle Barton, funded by Arts Council England

 "The only way to make sense out of change, is to plunge into it, move with it and join the dance." - Alan Watts


Into the drum explores rhythm as our collective essence and our way to navigate change. Using the primordial symbol of the drum to represent the potential of our collective heart space and sounding.


We are all carrying unique rhythms that vibrate with who we are, the land that we walk on, the cultures from which we have grown and the sky that we feel. Standing here as ‘Rhythm Carriers’ and ‘Rhythm Keepers’.  In the current times we are finding that the rhythms we know well are being influenced by rhythms that are new to us – rhythms that ask of us, a completely different way to tune ourselves, in order to meet in the diversity of harmonies.


We need actions of Rhythm Keeping – the core actions of holding and remembering, that express the wordless connection between us – so we can meet within the rhythm - a space that exists outside of the barriers of language. These actions of Rhythm Keeping have the power to create lineages to enable us to move through times of change.


This project brings together a series of collaborators including members of the Syrian community in Cornwall.


We will handcraft two egg shaped drums which will be used to symbolise the echoes between the cultures. The rhythms between the beats, creating moments of tension and harmony between the north and the south, the east and the west - uniting the polarities into the drum. These drums will be used as a core rhythm that calls in a series of ‘Rhythm Forecasts’ that will take place between June and September.


These Rhythm forecasts will bring together the voices and reflections of collaborators and Rhythm Keepers including, Tom Hirons, writer and storyteller, Jonathan Weekes from Heron Drums and the words, stories, recipes and dances of the Syrian families from Cornwall, alongside contributions of Cornish folklore from other Cornish locals.  We will work with each group to develop the collective forecasts through a series of workshops and exchanges.


Like the two drums – echoing between each other – each forecast will include two Rhythms presented as pairs at intervals over the 6 months. This pairing will create a deeper resonance between the contributions honouring their differences and uniting voices.


Each Rhythm forecast will be posted online and will be open to a wider audience. Throughout the series, there will be opportunities to join us through an online Circle group for a deeper sharing of emerging threads.


Into the Drum is an online curatorial project between June and October in collaboration with Kestle Barton and funded by Arts Council England.


At the end of the project the two drums will be placed together to form ‘the heart drum’ symbolically joining as the infinity symbol imbued with all the rhythms.

Biographies of collaborators

Tom Hirons is a writer and storyteller based on Dartmoor in England. He is co-founder of Hedgespoken travelling storytelling theatre and Hedgespoken Press.

Jonathan Weekes is a drum maker, a workshop facilitator and as the founder of Heron Drums has been sharing the art of drum making and shamanic drumming since 2012 all around the UK. He believes these powerful healing tools have an important role in this time in aiding us in reconnecting with ourselves, with each other and with the land, and shares this with groups arounds the country.

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