Monday, June 22, 2009

marching to the beat of his own drum

Back in 1984, in a Mother Earth News article (photo at left is from article), Assunta Martin wrote that she and her husband were making handcrafted drums, "appealing to both the artist and the musician in us." She gives step-by-step instructions for making your own unique drums and I swear this reads like a really pleasurable hobby (not only a hobby for them, as their drums sold for up to $50 at craft and music shops and $100 for special orders -- 25 years ago).

I found this article because I was thinking about, and then Googled, the phrase March to the Beat of Your Own Drum.

I was thinking about that particular phrase because it was what came to mind when I looked at multi-track videos by a guy who calls himself Trudbol at youtube. My husband came upon Trudbol's videos because he happens to like barbershop quartets and was viewing some when this guy's multi-track work came into the menu.

Barbershop quartet music ranks low in the genres of music for me. It has just always seemed very corny to me. But Mike has a true appreciation for it so every once in awhile it plays in the background when he's on the computer and I'm busy elsewhere, usually when I'm preparing dinner. So one evening when something on the computer sounded not only passable, but good to me I walked over to see who Mike was listening to.....

It was Trudbol ... one who definitely marches to the beat of his own drum and who delights me because he does. You may or may not see in him what I do, but for something different you might want to give a listen to his work. Each of these videos is short. And I think quite brilliant.

The final one doesn't have anything to do with singing, drums, or marching but the phrase March to the Beat of Your Own Drum is alive and well in the 25 second clip.

(The artist asks that we please listen to this with earphones. I thought it was fine without them.)



Don't Feed The Pixies said...

Actually - i nearly responded to an advert for Barbershop quartets a while ago and never did (a regret? yes and no).

And who doesn't have time for cheese in their lives?

Top marks to him for co-ordinating it all - i have an 8-track recorder and have done a couple of acapella songs in the past: its very hard - you have to have an absolute mental picture of where you are going with each vocal and stick to it (whilst rapidly running out of breath)

Thanks for posting this one - very entertaining

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

Additionally: when i finally win the lottery one of my plans is to hire a Barbershop quartet to come in and sing a specially written quitting song to my boss

YogaforCynics said...

Marching to the beat of your own drum...definitely seems pretty straightforward when you first read Thoreau in high school...but, then, more often than not involves taking part in some sub-culture with its own strictly enforced's incredibly difficult to actually find a beat that's one's own rather than simply the popular form of rebellions of the day...

Cool videos...

Darlene said...

Trudbol certainly gives new meaning to a barbershop quartet. Who needs the other 3 guys when you have such a mellow voice? Pretty neat.

earthtoholly said...

What a fantastic find, Lydia. So talented is this guy! Aside from his excellent voice(s), I was also taken by his also seems to march to its own drum. :o)

Looking to the Stars said...

Lydia, this is so cool. You are such a neat person, I love all things you share. Thank you!

Owen said...

Hi Lydia, what a trip this Trudbol dude is, love the way he musses up his hair differently in the four frames. Wow, what a labor of love though. I wonder how many takes of each track he has to do to get it all timed so perfectly ??? Wonderful, thanks for sharing that !

Robin said...

Not only entertaining but impressive.....
Trudbol has quite a range vocally.
Thanks so much for sharing this.

Now off to learn how to make a drum.....

Elizabeth said...

wow, that is very neat. I imagine very tricky to pull it off too.

Lydia said...

@Pixies- Well I'm impressed that you have the talent to even consider joining a barbershop quartet, as there's little cover for error.
I appreciated your description of a process such as this, and it makes me appreciate Trudbol all the more.
My husband and I both got a great laugh out of your second comment!

@YogaforCynics- Point well taken, Dr. Jay. Somehow I can't imagine this Trudbol guy taking part in anything "with its own strictly-enforced norms"... :)

@Darlene- I loved your description of his voice as being "mellow."

@earthtoholly- Yup, that hair is original! I noticed in comments there at youtube his hair is considered praiseworthy. :)

@Looking to the Stars- Gives me a nice warm feeling knowing you enjoyed these. I'm glad that my husband has this bent for barbershop, otherwise I'd never have found Trudbol on my own.

@Owen- Yes, the way he works with his hair I almost imagine at times that I'm watching four performers. You said it: labor of love.

@Robin- Yea! You appreciated Trudbol and you are maybe going to make a drum! I really think it looks like a great project. And some primal drumming would be such a release at times...

@Elizabeth- I agree. He seems like a fun-loving guy, but it appears that he has a real meditative focus in his singing.

Julien said...

Hi Lydia,

This is Julien, AKA "trudbol" from the Youtube videos. Thanks so much for your kind words and for sharing my videos with others, much appreciated! Thanks to all the others for visiting! Hope to hear from you soon.

Cheers from France,

Lydia said...

Happy to hear from you. I didn't think that interesting alley looked like the U.S.
Notice that I left your videos here for two days, because people had such positive comments I thought this should remain a bit longer for others to enjoy.
Really appreciate you stopping by.
(Reminder to self: be sure to subscribe to Julien's youtube site...)

Rhiannon said...


I'm sorry I'm not able to listen to these videos..from what you wrote it sounds pretty interesting. I'm still using my ancient old pc. Hope to have my laptop repaired when I can afford to send it to my friend in Washington.

Not into the barbershop deal but I know some people that just love doing this. It does take a lot of work and a true talent to be able to do this.

I love drums and wonder if you have ever heard of native American storyteller, musicisian, singer, dancer, "Drummer", Robert Mirabal. Robert also makes all his own flutes of all shapes and sizes and plays them heavenly. On his cd "Music from a Painted Cave" with Robert Mirabal and "The rare tribal mob" and the PBS live concert version of this cd Robert does a "Drum Battle" with the other drummer in the group and Robert has this big hand made drumm he is holding with his knees (he is kneeling on the floor) and Robert is leaning almost to the back of the floor with his head back and man I have never seen any "Drum Battle" like that before! It's just amazing with his long black hair flying and his big strong body able to do that and also to beat the drums with his large hands that!. You can get the PBS live version concert on video or dvd online and something tells me that you would love the whole concert..I'm betting on it. There is also a flute instrumental he does while a Native American woman dancing a Native dance combined with ballet and modern dance all together around him, while he plays this song called "Courtship dance" the end when he leans down while she is on the floor to hold her head up..well words cannot express how beautiful and romantic the "courtship dance is"..wonderful beautiful.

Thank you for your thoughtful comment on my recent post about my father. I did go to the post you mentioned of yours about your father and I wrote a "long" reply (you know me Lydia..:o))but when I was done with my comment it stated comments were not allowed or something so I thought to myself "Probably better you didn't have to read that whole thing" anyway..:o)

The situation with my parents continues because they are alive and somehow they manage to find out where I am or contact someone else via mail to send a "mean" letter to pass on to me (which I do not liek) and so they harass me from time to time and it only brings back "the crap" I hope healing will happen down the road..I've done a lot of work on in through years of therapy.

My former therapist (who I saw for many years) commented to me about how with some families the healing really can only begin big time until the parents have passed on..because of what "continues" no matter how hard you try to stay away and not become involved with..only bad "reminders" over and over..with the on and off contact they try to do with me. I hate it. And their timing always sucks and brings me down.."again"..just when I'm trying to get my life back.

Oh well, enough of that thank you again for being such a kind lady soul friend and understanding. I have a really hard time on mothers day also..she was and still is a tyrant monster.

Love and Blessings,


Lydia said...

@Rhi- I had not heard of Robert Mirabal, so went to his website and..well, really, a two-time Grammy winner is someone I should know about! He is a beautiful man and from your description of some on his work I imagine he's great.

I'm clueless as to why you had that prompt on an early post of mine. Maybe Blogger does this? Sorry about that.

What a distressing situation with your parents. I'm so sorry it's this way for you. I absolutely think that a psychic release occurs with the death of the parent, even the death of a beloved parent like my mother. She and her mother also had an extremely tight relationship, but she said many times that she didn't bloom until her mom died. In sharing that so honestly with me she gave me permission to acknowledge the same kinds of feelings (after the sorrow) following her death. It's supposed to be that way...that's why you always hear that "parents aren't supposed to bury their child."

So, for you, I pray the release will come so that you don't have to endure many more mother's or father's days.

Jennifer said...

Wow -- trudbol aka Julien is amazing. It's a bit of a cognitive disconnect to see a very non-barbershop quartet-looking guy singing these songs. Thanks for sharing his work.

Lydia said...

@Jennifer- You're amazing, too. You described perfectly what makes his work such a joy.

cathwrynn said...


he looks EXACTLY like my cousin, who would never be found singing barber shop music.

what a strange but exciting experience to see my cousin's face singing like that!! I have posted it on my facebook page and sent all my family members links... they are gonna love it!

if my cousin ever sang he make the same facial movements...its really bizarre!

Lydia said...

@cathwrynn- Hah! You sound totally delighted and it really made me smile. Did you read the comment from trudbol (Julien) above? I hope he returns to read later comments so he will be aware that you've widened the circle of interest! Sounds like your family will have a lot of fun with it. :)



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