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Performance: Nathaniel Donnett and The Fana Drummers Present "The Universe Revolves Around Rhythm; So Give the Drummer Some"

Saturday, November 1 | 6:30PM

Artist Nathaniel Donnett and The Fana Drummers will lead a participatory drum ceremony and performance, held in conjunction with his exhibition Nothing to See Hear. The public is encouraged to bring their own drums, buckets, and percussion. Admission is free and open to the public.

From the artist:

The Universe Revolves Around Rhythm; So Give the Drummer Some

The title of this performance references two partial quotes; one is from master drummer Babatunde Olatunji and the other is singer/entertainer James Brown. These quotes both refer to the drum, which is one of the most important instruments in America’s music and culture today. Historically black people have had direct relationship with West Africa and its drumming interpretations. Djembe drumming and later other types of drumming in general has not only been used for music and entertainment but also as language devices, sounds as protest against oppression, rhythm signifiers, memorials, celebrations, access into nonlinear time patterns, and spatial portals that are both real and imagined.

Donnett retrieves this culture memory along with the assistance of the Fana Drumming Group to initiate a participatory happening rooted in sociopolitical awareness, sound, ritual, and self-determination in conjunction with his solo exhibition Nothing To See Hear. This happening, is inspired by Abbot Hoffman’s effort to levitate the pentagon as a gesture to protest the Vietnam War and the militarized police complex and the mission of S.H.A.P.E. community center located in Houston’s third ward, to oppose injustice and to better the lives of those in the community.

Our current sociopolitical environment is in an alternate parallel of the past; therefore, this community participatory performance will seek the foresight of optimism with an attempt to levitate the museum and viewer’s consciousness, change the color of the museum to blue; while bridging art, community, and social activism as it relates to our current sociopolitical and psychological conversations. Nathaniel asks for the community to come out and participate by bringing their own drums, buckets, drumsticks, sticks, spoons, forks, and other percussive sound makers that you can think of to rhythmically join in on this part performance, part protest, part memorial, and part celebratory event that resists single description and invites possibilities through collective symbolic gesture.

The Fana Drummers are a multi-African drum ensemble that utilizes various African drums and percussion instruments to create a vibrant energizing sound to touch your mind, body, and spirit. The Fana Drummers have performed at street festivals in Galveston and Houston, the Miller Outdoor Theater, Discovery Green, Our Park Pan African Festival, and is the "House Band' for the City-Wide Kwanzaa Activities held every year in Houston. The founder and director of The Fana Drummers is Runyararo Fana who can be seen performing weekly at The Breakfast Klub (Tuesday's12-3pm), The Reggae Hut (Thursday's 1-3pm), and monthly at Phil and Derek's Wine Bar and Restaurant (4th Friday of the Month 8-12am).


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