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Many of you will already know of the incredible drums being made by Descarga Percussion. Theo 'El Greco' Godas is the highly talented maker of these sort after drums that can now be found all over the world. Theo has been right at the forefront of the resurgence in clay darbuka and dahola drums and is without a doubt the most innovative drum maker around, a skill past on to him buy his grandfather. Theo's master pieces are played by some of the best players in town such as Levent Yildirim, Onur and David Kuckherman...you may have heard of them?!
Working with such high-end musicians allows Theo to test his new designs and craft them to perfection. With the ceramic drums being so popular today we now have many different styles each requiring a unique tone. To cater for this demand Theo has created drums such as the 'Big Bell' series (These are the ones I use), as well as the longer bass Daholla's for the 'Ustad' series that Levent has helped design and the new timber drums such as this lovely cherry wood drum below.
A few years ago when I was filming 'The Rhythmic East' documentary i had the chance to stay with Theo and watch these drums being made. You can see Theo roping a drum in the film toward the end in Greece. On returning home i wrote an article about actually being there and watching your drum maker creating your instrument. It is a rich and rewarding experience on many levels. The amount of work, expertise, passion and yes sometimes even tears that go into the making of just one drum is remarkable. What clay mixture will go into a drum? Skin treatment? Type of skin? Body shape? How many times will it be fired in the earth? Any artwork on the body or glazed? Then the laborious task of roping can begin. This entire process leads up to one final moment before the instrument can take its journey into the lucky drummers hands: Will it pass the sharp eye's of it's maker and be considered perfect?
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