Monday, November 04, 2013

Primordial Sound: Reflections on the Life and Death of Drummer Layne Redmond

I spent the first year of a three-year healing hegira in New York State, in an altered state. It was a homecoming at a higher level along life's spiral: although I'd grown up just over the border in northern New Jersey, being in New York in 1994 was time out of mind, sacred space in the deepest sense, even as I was remembering what that was, even as my severely ill body brought me to places where my soul rejoiced at finally being unleashed to embrace my purpose this lifetime. Stripped raw, connected only to Spirit, I followed a divine thread to my healing destiny. 

During an extended stay at one country home, I heard about a performance that was to take place soon at The Widow Jane Mine, an underground chamber where the audience would sit on hay bales. It sounded intriguing, inviting, essential. I had to go.

I did not yet know who Layne Redmond was. When the Drummers Were Women, her definitive book about the ancient art of frame drumming, was three years in the future.

At the event, I purchased her first CD, Since the Beginning, entranced by her rapturous visage on the cover. Then I entered the mine, and opened to the unimagined.

I can still hear the invocation as their voices reverberated, reaching us before the candlelit raft bearing the drummers floated into view. "Ah, ah-ah-ah, Ah, ah-ah-ah, Ah, ah, ah ah, ah ah ah, ah ah AH!" This was primordial sound; the drum is the sound of our Mother's blood, the first sound we hear in the womb, and the sound of Gaia's heartbeat as well. It entered me.

I found myself at night for weeks, months afterward, singing this incantation as I remembered the stars, felt the Moon inside my being, began to heal/whole into the truth of Oneness. I was never so joy-filled as during this awakening time.

I was stunned last week to learn that Layne made her transition just before Hallowe'en/Samhain, on October 28th, a time when the veils between worlds are thin. I was more shocked to realize she was just five years older than me. In 3D she clearly had much left to do; she was in the midst of continuing to expand her global work. But her soul knew a different timetable. Her soul felt her work here was complete.

I am blessed to have witnessed this master of the frame drum and her Mob of Angels in New York in 1994, and again in California in the late 1990s. Layne Redmond played a pivotal role in my awakening journey, though she did not know it. In this moment when all the timelines are merging, as solar cycles and planets dance us awake en masse, I say a humble thank you. Thank you for drumming me to consciousness, for your generous heart, for sharing your manifold gifts as manna for us all.

Blessings, Layne Redmond, now adding her joy to the Music of the Spheres…

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