Percussion is instrumental to pleasure

8th March 1996 at 00:00
As the auditorium darkened, the sound of distant drumming could be heard and the audience - children with their parents or small school groups - grew quiet, listening as it grew louder and nearer.

Then it was all around them, as the 11 musicians of Inner Sense made their way through the auditorium of Birmingham's Town Hall, to the stage, beating, shaking and tapping a variety of percussion instruments.

Their Latin-American rhythms were infectious as they took us through the carnival dances or the quieter cafe songs of Brazil. Children were soon out of their seats imitating the two dancers on stage.

Later, there was a chance to practise various clapping rhythms and even create a "polyrhythm" between the two halves of the audience, and at last two dozen eager volunteers were invited to play with the band on drums, shakers, tambourines and bells.

It was an hour of lively music-making on a Saturday morning in one of Birmingham's main concert halls, hosted by Channel Four's Gamesmaster, Dominic Diamond, and sponsored by Birmingham City Council and the Arts Council.

The only flaw was the sound system which meant that Diamond's introduction of the musicians and their information about various instruments were lost unless the speakers positioned themselves directly in front of a single microphone - something they were loathe to do.

However, the music needed no such help. Here was the pure sound of the instruments, and loud enough to keep any rock and pop groupie happy.

Further concerts in the series April 6 (Rhythms of Africa), May 4 (Sounds Eco-Friendly), June 8 (Dance Crazy). Details of performances and schools workshops: 0121 2129940

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