Harold E Smith
As a multitalented musician, Harold E. Smith makes music out of anything he picks up. He plays drums, wind and percussion instruments from many continents, gongs, whistles, conch shells and the traditional Australian Didjeridoo. In the jazz domain, Harold is noted for his highly energized, emotional, and innovative style of drumming, both as a leader and sideman. In all domains, Harold Smith is a person deeply in touch with the spirit of nature and the nature of our spirit. The first time he picked up the didjeridoo, he could play it. When he plays, he is always in conversation with the Great Spirit. He makes music that warms folk’s hearts, and brings smiles to their faces. The music comes from his heart, and his magical soul to ours. Harold has not just sought out the indigenous instruments from around the world, he has spent time with people who make and play them in concert settings and socially. From the Australian Aborigines, Wugularr Community, the very ones that made some of his Didjeridoos, sharing talks and music in his home, to the Tibetan Monks from various monasteries, Sera Je, Ganden Jangtse, and the more recent Drepung Gomang Monastery, with whom he has spent the most time helping them raise funds to build their new Monastery.
Harold’s compositions reflect the relationship between the old world and the modern world without compromise. In order to write the music, one has to have the understanding that many of these instruments being played have only ONE BASIC NOTE, such as the didjeridoo, conch shells, gongs, drums, chimes and many more. So, to make the composition flow smoothly for those who are playing modern instruments, you have to write and build every thing around that singular key signature of the ancient instruments that are chosen to be play on any given song. Also the didjeridoo requirers circular breathing, a technique of seemingly breathing in and out at the same time, that has been used by various indigenous cultures for thousands of years.