The MORE Drums at FIGMENT NYC and Elsewhere: A Brief History

June 9th, 2012 by Andrzej

This picture was taken yesterday after I'd prepared the MORE Drums so they'd be ready for FIGMENT today. FIGMENT is an interactive Arts Festival that was voted best Arts Festival in NYC last year by the Village Voice. It is happening this weekend from 10am until 7pm on Governors Island, which lies between Manhattan and Brooklyn in NY Harbour. There are approximately two hundred interactive art installations all over the island for FIGMENT and it's a great place to come and play with your friends, kids and family.

MORE Drums on Governors Island NYC 2012 © Andrzej Liguz/moreimages.net. Not to be used without permission

The first time I was involved in a mass drumming was at Glastonbury Festival in 1982. After the festival had finished on Sunday night the crew lowered the lighting rig so they could remove the lights. About 100 of us ended up on the stage at dawn on Monday morning banging on the lighting rig in unison. It was a remarkable experience that led to my life long interest in the power of drums to unite people.

Mutoid Waste Co. at Glastonbury 1987 © Andrzej Liguz/moreimages.net. Not to be used without permission

I moved to Australia a couple of years later and lived in a sub-tropical rainforest for a couple of years, where I found myself involved in drumming and capoeira workshops run by a Brazilian friend by the name of Sajim.

In 1987 I found myself back at Glastonbury Festival in England, where I came across the Mutoid Waste Co. and immediately related to their Trash aesthetic and the large number of people going nuts beating on plastic industrial drums and anything else they could get their hands on.

Mutoid Waste Co. at Edinburgh Festival 1987 © Andrzej Liguz/moreimages.net. Not to be used without permission

After Glastonbury I promptly followed them to Edinburgh, where they were part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and then back down to London where I got to listen a lot to them playing the Zombie Beat, which was always led by Ivan Tarassenko, who tragically died in the Kings Cross fire in November 1987.

Ivan Tarassenko with Joe Rush / Strapper banging an oxy bottle at Edinburgh Festival 1987 © Andrzej Liguz/moreimages.net. Not to be used without permission

I returned to Australia at the beginning of 1988 and co-founded the Mutoids in Australia the following year when we built Carhenge at Confest. One of the highlights of my life was leading several thousand people from the top of Carhenge in a mad drumming frenzy on New Years Eve under a huge thunder and lightning storm. Videos and the full story are available at this blog.

Me leading the drumming from the top of Carhenge at Confest 1990 © Andrzej Liguz/moreimages.net. Not to be used without permission

Me leading the drumming from the top of Carhenge at Confest 1990 © Andrzej Liguz/moreimages.net. Not to be used without permission

 

Carhenge at Confest 1990 © Andrzej Liguz/moreimages.net. Not to be used without permission

I built the first Drum Room for a Mutoid party we did at Munster Terrace in Melbourne a couple of months later and then refined the concept when I started Imagineer in 1992.

Imagineer Drum Room, Adelaide 1992 © Andrzej Liguz/moreimages.net. Not to be used without permission

Me playing the MORE Drums at Reclaim The Streets, Sydney 1999 © Andrzej Liguz/moreimages.net. Not to be used without permission

I started MORE (Ministry Of Random Events) in 1996 to build big scrap sculptures and create interactive events. Later in the 1990’s I worked with Reclaim The Streets in Sydney, taking the MORE Drums onto the streets so people had something to do whilst they were waiting for the Sound System to be set up.

MORE Drums Sydney 2000 © Andrzej Liguz/moreimages.net. Not to be used without permission

MORE Drums on Governors Island NYC 2008 © Andrzej Liguz/moreimages.net. Not to be used without permission

I moved to NYC in 2006 and joined FIGMENT in 2008, when I installed the MORE Drums for the first time on Governors Island.  They’ve been there all summer every summer ever since and will there again all summer this year. So come on down and have a go. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never done it before or think you have no sense of rhythm.  Everybody can do this. We only ever need one or two people to hold down the rhythm and everybody else drops in around them.

MORE Drums on Governors Island NYC 2010 © Andrzej Liguz/moreimages.net. Not to be used without permission

MORE Drums on Governors Island NYC 2010 © Andrzej Liguz/moreimages.net. Not to be used without permission

I will be there all of this weekend at Chapel Bazaar, where Clayton Rd and Comfort Rd intersect, near the Mini Golf Course and Sculpture Terrace. See you there.

 

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