After recently rejoining a drum circle at a friend’s home in Port Jefferson, an idea struck Erin Narumi Prince.
Not seeing an established group on the North Fork, the Baiting Hollow resident decided it was up to her to form one farther east.
“I thought to myself, maybe it’s your job to take this up and see if anybody would bite,” Ms. Narumi Prince said.
And they did. The North Fork Drum Circle will have its first gathering at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, May 20, at Fifth Street Beach in Greenport.
At a drum circle, participants use hand drums and other percussion, not to perform but to create sounds together.
Ms. Narumi Prince said if all goes well she hopes to host one weekly or biweekly at North Fork beaches.
“You go in with no expectations and come out with something much more,” she said. “When you hear everybody drumming, playing their own song that all joins in to one harmony, it’s the most amazing and magical thing. It’s therapeutic. It just lifts your spirit.”
She felt compelled to pursue her plan after returning to an informal drumming group following a trip this past winter to California, where she saw a drum circle on the beach. From there, the idea to form one on the North Fork stuck with her.
Being in a drum circle comes from a desire to connect with others, with different drums beating together in sync, Ms. Narumi Prince noted on the North Fork Drum Circle’s Facebook page. She made it clear the drum circle is meant to be a healing, communal place, and is not for politics, hate or pitting one religion above another.
The group is starting out small for now, she said. She learned she’ll have to obtain a permit from the Village of Greenport should the number exceed 25 people.
Drum circles need no skill, she said. The circle will begin with greetings and “smudging” with sage or palo santo wood as a form of cleansing.
Then, one person will lay down the first beat for others to join in.
Participants are encouraged to bring their own instruments, which could be any percussion instrument such as tambourines, rattles or hoop drums.
“We’ve had people click rocks together, just to make noise and clap along,” Ms. Narumi Prince said.
Photo caption: Erin Narumi Prince will host the first North Fork Drum Circle on May 20 in Greenport. (Courtesy photo)