From the ears, eyes, and hands of renowned percussionist and educator Billy Martin (Medeski Martin and Wood), Life on Drums is a striking examination of the drummer’s art, captivatingly rendered with cinematic grace and intrigue. As relevant to experienced musicians as it is to newcomers, Life on Drums combines candid, wide-ranging conversations with Martin’s first drum teacher Allen Herman and beautifully filmed performances of Martin’s compositions for percussion ensemble and improvised trap set solos and duets. The film's distinct elements work together to impart a refreshing approach to instruction that prizes the creative and the intuitive over the merely technical. The resulting film – fiery and passionate yet practical and insightful – is a riveting extension of Martin’s open-ended approach to percussion, improvisation, and music.
“Life on Drums is about the art of drumming and percussion, and my concepts, methods, and philosophy of what is important. I’m trying to be as honest and sincere as I am about who I am and what I’m trying to say, and then demonstrate how these philosophies can be used. I want people to see this film and realize that, no matter what degree of technical skill they possess, they can be an artist.” – Billy Martin
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