Five years ago, the editor of the Japanese magazine Rhythm & Drum asked me to contribute a monthly column. We called it “Profound Roots,” and within it I had free reign to explore anything that moved me: from books and movies I found inspiring to the personal experiences, musical and otherwise, that have helped shape my outlook.
Over time, I began to see these columns as a journey into the processes, concepts, successes, and failures I’d been through and learned from – as a teacher, as a musician, as a human being. These essays are all about being a drummer, but I feel the ideas and challenges they discuss can be relevant across the creative spectrum. I’m not only talking to other musicians, but to anyone who tries to approach the world with wonder, curiosity, and care.
Looking back at this selection of columns now, I see a sketched-out roadmap to some of the most fulfilling places my journey has taken me. It’s a roadmap I’d like to share, in hopes that it will lead you into illuminating corners of yourself that you might not have found on your own.
Thank you to all of my Kickstarter backers – you made this dream a reality and I am deeply grateful.
Special thanks to Editor Julia Jarcho (a playwright and director from New York City – also Assistant Professor of English and Drama at New York University) & Designer Heung Heung Chin (chief designer for John Zorn’s Tzadik imprint) – I could not have done this without you.
A benefit record produced by Billy Martin for Howe Records
THE ROAD TO JAJOUKA is a musical tribute to the Master Musicians of Jajouka led by Bachir Attar. The album features new performances and remixes by western ‘master’ musicians in support and celebration of Jajouka’s rich musical and cultural traditions.
I have been producing a remix record for The Master Musicians of Jajouka which will feature Ornette Coleman, Flea, Lee Renaldo, Medeski Martin & Wood, Mickey Hart, DJ Logic and Marc Ribot. This record should be out in 2013. Stay tuned.