I first met Bezl LaBonte while I was on the fair circuit.
I spent many years traveling from one festival to another,
one year I attended five Beltane Festivals,
each just a little more south than the weekend before.
Bezl popped into my tent and sat quietly for some time before he became a little fidgety.
Without saying a word he picked up a metal salad bowl and began to tap on it.
The conversation around him died as we listened to his gentle rhythm,
tuning the sound by shaping various flat spaces on the bowl,
We sat entranced as he was apparently unconscious of our attention for nearly twenty minutes.
Music seized him as he produced what turned into symphonic splendor.
with out any apparent concern,
simply placed the bowl down.
Seconds later a host of people outside the tent began to applaud with great enthusiasm.
I often heard people comment that he doesn’t talk much,
but only those that haven’t heard him play say such things.
Later at the drum circle he made his impromptu performance
as he breathed life into his drum:
playing classic phrases from Africa inverted over poly rhythms never heard before;
he drummed until the sun rose the following morning.
Music is not his only means of expression.
He sculpts wood into musical instruments,
human and free form shapes,
furniture and high relief.
Years later Bezl commissioned me to develop his symbol as an amulet he ties into the drums he creates.
Many people add charms and amulets to their drums,
marking festivals, circles and other experiences.
Bezl is the only one I know
who applies a Talisman
as the Birthing Amulet
for a Drum.
I am honored to be a part of it.
For more about custom:
Amulets by Merlin
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