This is Alfio Antico’s drum.
He made it and carved it himself. In person, it is sturdy and heavy, so much so that only someone of his strength could play it.
When we visited with him in the hills near where he grew up in Sicily, he talked about the Great Mother: Earth. He talked about how the drum tells his story: a shepherd fond of his sheep and the land, and how, when we allow ourselves to hear Her and to feel Her, we become one with the Her.
But you must listen.
Feel the earth beneath your feet.
Then, feel Her rhythms in your body and in your hands. And you touch the drum’s skin–the sheep’s skin–as you would touch Her: with respect.
And she expresses Herself through you. Through your hands.
Listen. Feel. Touch.
That’s how you play the drum.