I first heard about Layne Redmond minutes maybe hours after she passed from this world to the next. It was a facebook post. It was a picture of this most beautiful woman holding a frame drum with words something like “fly free like the vibrations you so lovingly shared”. The day was October 28, 2013. I see many post of Facebook but the picture stayed with me. A day later, my friend Cheri from Wild & Wise, mentioned her passing and I was like, I saw a post about that last night.
The drumming community is a tight community. Her passing created ripples far and wide starting with those closest to her, rippling all the way to people like me who had no knowledge of her prior…but now, have sat with her through one lecture and held a tambourine with her all by a virtual memory in video format.
I held a tambourine today and learned something I didn’t even know I wanted to learn and now I am passionate about it. She plays so beautifully and teaches so simply, making if all feel possible.
Let me tell you what I learned today about Layne Redmond from her web page.
She has followed an extremely unusual path specializing in the small hand-held frame drum played primarily by women in the ancient Mediterranean world.
From 1981 through 1990 she intensively researched the ancient playing styles and history of the frame drum in religious and cultural rituals culminating in her book, When The Drummers Were Women. This book details a lost history of a time when women were the primary percussionists throughout the Mediterranean world and also explains why they are not today. When The Drummers Were Women was released by Random House in June 1997 in the U.S., Canada, Australia and Europe. And has been published in German and in Persian in Iran.
Remo drums has a line of frame drums that Layne helped design and they named them after her.
Her best selling meditation cds include: Chanting the Chakras, Chakra Breathing Meditation, and Heart Chakra Meditations. Sounds True released her book/cd Chakra Meditation on the classic teachings of yoga and the chakras in 2004.
Here is a video of her speaking about raising money for a new translation of her book When the Drummers Were Women
Layne wrote a letter MAY 1, 2013 before her last retreat she attended this past July in Asheville, NC. Many have spoken about how much she has helped them by speaking about end of life in such a positive way.
Here is a quote from the letter: “I’m really at peace, busy eating anything I want and looking back over my life with true pleasure. It has been so great to meet so many of you who love the frame drum, and it has been really amazing to see how the simple desire for wanting to learn to play the drums has unfolded in my life.”
Layne’s empowerment to women and gift of the frame drum carry on. The ripple is getting wider.