My interest in rhythm began as a child. or maybe dragging my hand against the handrail banister slats while cha cha cha-ing up/down 3 flights of stairs. Or the slurping sound my feet made in the wet sand, or crickets and car horns… Whatever.
We had these friends that were musicians (more Ruskie Jews) and they had this toybox full of stuff: triangles, claves, tambourines, finger cymbals, things that clacked, things that rang or jangled or whistled. That’s what/why my studio looks like now, except it overflows throughout my entire home instead of a mere chest…
Alan Lake Playing Berimbau
The mother was as a prolific artist and had her work leaning up against every available space, pastels here, photographs there. Again, like my home today. The father sang and played piano. The older son (my brother’s age) played upright bass and eventually became a recording engineer very early on. Pre stereo. The younger son played piano as well, meaning I was often left to amuse myself.
We had friends that were artist/musicians that had this toybox full of stuff…I’d roll a ball down the hallway trying to bowl down green plastic army men. Or sometimes I’d play marbles with my steelies and cats eyes and moved by the music, feel compelled to join in.
I loved visiting them and consider these my first jam sessions.
I was about 4.
Alan plays approximately 70 percussion instruments from the world over and has worked and played with many artists such as Madonna, Bryan Ferry, Julian Lennon, Al Jourgensen from Ministry, Brian Wilson and Sam Moore from Sam and Dave I’m a “Soulman” fame and Ian McDonald from King Crimson/Foreigner. The list also includes choreographers, poets, painters, filmmakers, writers and assorted artists.