Rhythm in Disguise

How musical therapists are helping patients in a care center in southeast London:

“For about 10 minutes, Gibbes hits the djembe in a 3/4 beat while Prince accompanies him in making what sounds sort of like a flamenco song. Gibbes stares off into space while pushing the song up to its crescendo, then rolling it back down again. He takes his time and does this more than once. Eventually the sound of Prince’s guitar lowers to a whisper and Gibbes is only rubbing his hands in rhythm over the rope-tuned skin on top of the drum. Then comes a long silence. Prince doesn’t say anything. So after about 30 seconds, Gibbes starts to speak.

“Prince can’t understand him so Gibbes tries again. ‘You are not…?’ Prince repeats back to him. But that’s not it. So Gibbes tries again. He does this five, six more times. Eventually, Prince pieces it together and repeats it back to him: ‘Oh! You were lost in the rhythm!’ he says. ‘Well why didn’t you just say that?’ Gibbes just rolls his eyes and laughs.”

Author: Brian Leli
Published: Sep 25, 2012
Length: 22 minutes (5,533 words)