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about

The garamut drums were recorded on a 4 track recorder on Ponam Island, a small reef island north of Manus and home to about 200 people. The drummers from Ponam are held in high regard around the Manus province. Six garamut drummers play as an ensemble with one main drummer signalling changes to the rhythms and pointing out where the piece ends. Most of the pieces are quite short, about one minute in length. The drums vary in size and sound. The bass garamut is about 2 metres long, suspended vertically from a tree and played standing up. The older men are the master drummers on Ponam and play at all the important ceremonies. But surrounding them when they play are all the young boys who sit in the sand and try to keep up. The tapes were brought back to Australia where we layered keyboards, shakers and effects in the studio, keeping in mind the small atoll feel of Ponam Island.

credits

from Tabaran, released October 10, 1990
PONAM GARAMUT DRUMMERS
Hubert Papei : lead garamut
Alphonse Kawei : garamut
Gregory Soho : garamut
Charles Lamun : bass garamut
Paul Randrapaii : garamut

Russel Bradley : Swirley cabaca
David Bridie : keyboards
Tim Cole : tapes
Rowan McKinnon: guitar

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Not Drowning, Waving Melbourne, Australia

NDW's music was haunting, evocative, brooding, sensuous and a million other words that excite people who type for a living. In record stores, you could usually find NDW filed under ambient or art-rock, ill-fitting labels if ever there were. Though they were often minimalist, they never made background music. Arty by comparison to other acts of the era, but they knocked out some glorious pop tunes. ... more

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