Decided I would do some rambling of thoughts that come and go through my head when building. During the creation process it’s easy to get lost in the final outcome and trying to make something just to satisfy a certain goal. That is, going through actions to achieve an outcome without really understanding the base level of what we’re trying to get done.
In the drum world our products are (generally) round and come in specific sizing to achieve a goal. Ie: sonic projection that matches a desired tonal outcome. It can be the tight crack from a 12 inch popcorn snare or the deep thunderous boom from a 26 inch bass drum. Regardless of the product we buy or the things we want to do in our lives; there’s a purpose we hope to achieve and the results that follow. On target, or off target. Meeting expectations or needs improvement. It’s perfection we seek, and very often if not always we fall short.
This pursuit reminds me of the story of Giotto and the perfect circle. From Wikipedia “Vasari also relates that when the Pope sent a messenger to Giotto, asking him to send a drawing to demonstrate his skill, Giotto drew, in red paint, a circle so perfect that it seemed as though it was drawn using a compass and instructed the messenger to give that to the Pope. According to Vasari, “the messenger departed ill pleased, not doubting that he had been made a fool of. However, sending the other drawings to the Pope with the names of those who had made them, he sent also Giotto’s, relating how he had made the circle without moving his arm and without compasses, which when the Pope and many of his courtiers understood, they saw that Giotto must surpass greatly all the other painters of his time.”
The lesson I gathered from this story being although the drawing of a circle was basic in concept the perfection of the fundamental activity proved its creator to be superior in skill. So often we try to set goals that are so intricate and detailed that we lose sight of the essence of 360 degrees in the work.
There’s a profound significance to it. For me at least; knowing that as we try to grow and develop into new ideas there’s got to be the focus on the fundamentals. Sometimes that means re imagining the way we achieve them as well, because time is the 4th dimension of all the things we do. Evolution is present in countless activities but at the center of that growth is the core fundamentals of what started the development.
This brings me to my next aspect of this rant on the essence of 360 degrees and how it relates to perfection. The center. The surface of a perfect circle is equal in distance to the center (radius) at any/all given points. In all my drum builds I use a jig setup that hinges on the shell turning on a center axis. If the shell isn’t centered the drum won’t come out equally round. This in turn affects the milling of the inner surface as well which impacts the sound and can essentially make it it have no value to the goal we’re trying to achieve. The quest for perfection starts with a fundamentally sound center. I feel like that sentence applies to everything we experience in our lives. You can’t get the perfect circle without understanding where the center is in our actions and as I mentioned before that center moves in all four dimensions and changes over time.
For Spearhead Drums the perfect circle is a goal that I strive to achieve with each instrument. The human element is always present though and those results of satisfactory and needs improvement give us the drive to focus on the project in every step, every time. Always seeking that perfect sound and a perfect circle. On a more personal level the essence of 360 degrees means understanding that in order to attain perfection I need to understand my own center and have a well-rounded skill set.
Or something like that…..
Take from this tirade what you want or nothing at all as a poor excuse for philosophising. However, it’s always an interesting experience when we step back and take a look at what we’re doing in the essence of 360 degrees trying to get the perfect sound in everything we do.