Kalamazoo Lively Arts – Trybal Revival

Kalamazoo Lively Arts – Trybal Revival


– Trybal Revival
is a group of folks who gather to create
community music. Every time they come together the sound they make
is new and unique. If you’ve never heard about
the idea of circle singing watch now, as we
dive into the art and speak to a few members. (ambient tones) (ethereal acapella singing) – How did this get started? How did you guys meet and decide to do this? – It’s been 10 years, 2007. So you’re helping us celebrate
our 10 year anniversary. – [Interviewer] Congratulations. – Yes. (laughing) In the fall, so it
even matches up. – And Beth and I were
both circle drummers. We’d go to drum circle events and we’d get these rhythms
going and everything and then every once in a while
one of us would vocalize. And then the other would join. And we’d say hey, this
is some good stuff. And you know what we ought to do is get some more people involved and see how many
layers we can create. So that’s how we got started. (ethereal acapella singing) – So explain circle singing. – It’s a cyclical
chant that’s text less. So it’s small circles of sound
that go around and around and then you can add
layers of sound to it. One over another. And completely improvisational. Sometimes it doesn’t
work very well until you run it for a while and then it finds a
groove and gets going and becomes pretty fantastic. (ethereal acapella singing) – Okay tell me, so this sounds
like it’s a very specific type of singing. It has a very specific name. Can you tell me a little bit
about how you came up with it? – Well we foolishly thought that we had actually invented it because we just started
doing it spontaneously. But then when we looked into it we found out that it
was centuries old. You know, and a tradition
that comes out of Africa where they have these
community chants and so on and very similar to
what we’re doing. And then after we got
this going for some time the city was restoring
an historical silo over off Harrison Street. So I went to the city and said hey, I wondered if I could
get inside that silo. I have a singing group and they’d like to
sing inside of there. And they were like, what? (laughing) And I talked them into
giving the key to us and we went in there and the
acoustic in there is amazing. (acapella singing) – So, give me the pitch. – We just give you
a part to sing. So we just go. (acapella singing) – Do I just repeat it? – Yeah. (acapella singing) We would say fit where you can. Find your little
spot within that. (acapella singing) (laughing) So you see, it’s simple. You just find your little spot. Or if you need help,
we’ll give you a part so that you can participate
and just feel what it’s like to be with us. (acapella singing) – So contemplative
practice and meditation you’re pointing to
spiritual disciplines as they’re usually described. Is that how you guys
see this primarily as a spiritual practice? – Yes. – Yes. It’s community, but it’s a
community spiritual practice. – Community spiritual practice. – It’s about the
process of doing it not the product of the song. So not what the song will
sound like necessarily. We don’t ever really record. Just about being in
the moment together. Mindfulness. – It’s not quite an addiction. (laughing) I mean, you know it’s a
very pleasant experience to be carried away. It transcends a little bit. – Yeah. – And not every piece
that we do does that but it’s often that
something works so well that it’s moving and it carries us
out of where we are. I would say that. – It’s almost like,
it’s a group meditation. It’s group mindfulness. It’s often very playful. It can be mournful. Often people will come in
and maybe there’s a death or something like that. And we cry with them. – And sing. – And sing, it’s a contemplative
practice essentially. It is not a performance. Usually you think of
singing as being something that you are performing outward but we face inward and
listen to each other. And then we sort of
practice it together. (acapella singing) (ethereal acapella singing) (cheering) – [Narrator] Support for
Kalamazoo Lively Arts is provided by the Irving
S. Gilmore Foundation. Helping to build and
enrich the cultural life of greater Kalamazoo.

2 thoughts on “Kalamazoo Lively Arts – Trybal Revival

  • I met Trybal Revival not too long after they had begun to sing together. We've joined in sound and song ever since and I find nothing builds a sense of community faster than singing together and because this is a 'No Mistake' Zone there is room for all…whether you 'think' you have a voice or not.  Here you do…here you are connected in each other in  the beautiful, perfect messiness and emerge different somehow…and relieved of burdens…and joys shared… www.trybalrevival.com  Join them some time!

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