Technicians of the Sacred
by Layne Redmond
Layne Redmond studied the frame drum with master drummer Glen Velez, performing and recording with him for eight years and playing a primary role in his first five recordings. She has lectured, taught, and performed at universities and music festivals in the United States, Canada, Europe and Brazil, as well as the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, the meetings of the National Association of Music Therapy, and the annual Healing Sound Colloquium. She has been called "Priestess of the Drum" and her recordings include Since the Beginning, Being in Rhythm, Roots of Awaking: Chanting the Chakras, and Trance Union: World Rhythms of Resurrection, Ecstasy and Bliss. In addition, she has done two instructional videos - A Sense of Time, and Rhythmic Wisdom. Redmond is the author of When the Drummers Were Women: A Spiritual History of Rhythm, Three Rivers Press, 1997. She is currently studying ancient Egyptian trance-induction percussion techniques and in March will be leading a trip to Egypt to study the ancient inscriptions and depictions of the percussionists, and to participate in drumming rituals in the Great Pyramid, the Red Pyramid and Hathor's Temple at Dendera.
Redmond has done considerable scholarly research on ancient priestesses who used the frame drum as a powerful sacred tool. She argues that women played this instrument for over three thousand years to transform, heal and connect individuals and communities to the Divine. In her chapter, she delves into the significance and technology of rhythm and into women’s role as transmitters of the sacred. Redmond also tells how she travels the Goddess path today, teaching women to drum, to reclaim their rhythms, and to reconnect with the natural world. She believes that this enables women to remember who we were and to see what we can become.
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