The Heartbeat Drummers CD
Wow, who would have ever thought that we would be actually making a CD of our own! How exciting. As a collective group, we have been drumming and singing for many, many months.
We never count years in the circle, only months. We had a new member and we gave her our treasured “song book.” When we started, we had no songs nor sources for many Native American-type songs. So sharing our songs was indeed a big deal. The next day after drumming, a call came in from the newest group member. She said, “The book is good but I can’t recall how the song is sung. Can you sing it for me?"
That is how the CD came into being - a request from a new member in the group. So, Lightwoman and Loki went about finding an affordable recording studio.
We told the young men what we intended to produce and they said “sure” we can accommodate you all. It was $75 an hour for the recording studio. This information was shared with the drummers and singers and everyone agreed it was a great deal and they were in.
We did not feel any need to practice. After all we’ve been together for so many months. We knew our songs and the selections were made by Loki, Lightwoman, Cheryl Davidow and Smiling Bear.
We had a recording date and time. We had the monies needed for the session and we were so excited. Everyone told their family about the event. We gathered in Scaggsville in the shopping center where the studio was located. That night all members showed up; there were 18 of us. You would have thought we were making a video instead of a CD. Everyone dressed to the max! We have photos of us all getting smudged outside in the busy shopping center. Folks just stood and watched our ritual.
Our time had arrived. We piled into the tiny studio. There were a few microphones and it seemed warm but it was winter so we were grateful for the heat. Within no time, we were actually singing our hearts out and it was indeed being recorded. We just ran thru our list of songs and were having so much fun and we were so proud of our accomplishment.
When our time was up and we were satisfied with our work, each of us had shed several layers of our “stage clothing” and were hot as hell. The men were sweating and the women were trying not to show how hot they really were.
We applauded ourselves as we progressed thru the list of preferred songs. When you listen to the CD, you will smile as you hear our enthusiasm for our success.
Within two days of the recording session, eleven of the drummers and singers all had flu-like illness. We feel it was from the close proximity of one another in the small, hot kind of incubator room we were all in. Regardless, we could hardly wait until it was “release night”.
Smiling Bear fronted the money for 100 copies of the CD. We sold them to the Heartbeat Drummers for $5. The cost was $3 each but we agreed we were not about making money. All we really intended was to have fun and generate a CD to share with friends and family.
Our timing was perfect. We released the CD just prior to Christmas. We sold out within one month. Everyone had several copies of the CD and shared with their families and friends.
Our own family loved it. We have 9 wonderful grandchildren and we are always trying to educate them about what we do in ceremony here at Sanctuary. So for Christmas that year all the grandkids got a CD signed by their grandparents. We encouraged them to keep the CD in the car/vans that their parents transported them around town in.
So, we were really educating the parents and the kids at the same time. Now when we have family gatherings and the kids go into the basket of “instruments” and gather around the Mother Drum named “Nissa,” everyone knows the music.
We got a little crazy after our initial success and ordered another 100 CD's. Presently, we have plenty to share should the need suddenly arise.
We now sell the CD’s for $10. Orders are always welcome and we will gladly ship anywhere in the world.
The artwork for the CD was done “in house”. Leslye Boyce did the artwork and the graphics. The photos were taken by Jimmy James Potts and Cheryl Davidow. The photos are of the Medicine Wheel and the Tingan Tree here at Sanctuary.
We are still very proud of our first CD. Maybe in the future we will do another but for now we just “enjoy what we created.”