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Pompano Drum Circle
Broward County > Cultural Home > Public Art > PAD Tour > Artist > Pompano Drum Circle

Artist:  SonArc, Inc. (Bill and Mary Buchen)

Video 1 | Video 2 | Video 3

Art components
Size:   Overall Drum Circle dimensions: 7 feet 4” x 16 feet x 16 feet

Individual component dimensions
Earth Bow:  7 ft 4 inches ht x 1 ft 2 inches wide x 2 ft 2 inches depth
Earth Drum:  1 ft 6 inches ht x 3 ft 8 inches wide x 3 ft 8 inches depth
Djembe Drum:  2 ft 5 inches ht x1 ft 4 inches wide x 2 ft 6 inches depth
Tambor Drum: 3 ft 8 inches ht x 1 ft 5 inches wide x 2 ft 2 inches depth
Bata Drum: 3 ft 3 inches x 2 ft 7 inches wide x 1 ft 6 inches depth

Year Installed:  2012

Venue: Northeast Transit Center (Pompano Beach)

The Pompano Beach Transit Center is located on a 2 acre campus near the southwest corner of Dixie Highway and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. 

Description
Drawing upon the musical traditions of the diverse cultures represented in the Pompano Beach community, the Pompano Drum Circle connects people and these traditions through the universal language of rhythmic percussion. Sited on a paved circle adjacent to the Transit Center Services Building, a grouping of five sculptural instruments invites communal music making while passing time waiting for the bus. Individual components include: the Earth Drum, Earth Bow, and the Djembe, Tambor and Bata Drums.  The sculptural drums are inspired by musical traditions from the United States, Brazil, Africa and the Caribbean.

This artwork is an innovative solution to stimulate transit ridership by enhancing the visual appeal of the Transit Center and offering a participatory activity to engage the attention of passengers.  The Pompano Drum Circle appeals to a broad cross section of the public while reflecting the cultural and historic background of the community in which it is located.

Earth Bow: Inspired by the Brazilian Berimbau, it’s played by striking the tensioned wire with the attached nylon stick.

The following drums are played with the hands:
1. Bata Drum: has cultural roots in Haiti, Cuba and West Africa.
2. The African Djembe drum is used in musical ensembles throughout the world.
3. The Tambor Drum originated in West Africa and was brought to Brazil where
    it is found in Samba bands.

Artist Statment
Throughout recorded history, many of the world’s cultures had a special area set aside for the creation of music. These sites had a distinct relationship to the land and community.

Drawing upon the musical traditions of the diverse cultures represented in the Pompano Beach community, Pompano Drum Circle connects these traditions through the universal language of rhythmic percussion. Sited on a paved circle, the ensemble of sculptural instruments offers transit riders and the neighborhood a gathering place for communal music making and dance.

Although typically made of wood with animal skin heads, the Pompano drums are fabricated of stainless steel for durability in an outdoor public environment.

Individual components include:
The EARTH DRUM is originally from Africa where a pit covered by a skin or boards is played with the hands or sticks. Buried partly below ground, the Earth Drum at the Northeast Transit Center is played with the feet white sitting on the seat attached to the hand-played Djembe drum. It can also be played by standing beside the drum and tapping with one foot.

The EARTH BOW was inspired by the Brazilian Berimbau and played in the martial art Capoeira that combines elements of dance and music. It was developed in Brazil primarily by descendents of African slaves along with native Brazilian influence. Traditionally made with a gourd resonator attached to a wood bow, it’s played by rhythmically striking the tensioned wire with a stick.

BATA DRUMS have cultural roots in Haiti, Cuba and West Africa and are traditionally hand drums made of wood and skin. They are known as ‘waisted’ drums as their middle is thinner then the playing heads. In Haiti they are played in groups of 3 drums known as Iyá (large) , Itótele (medium), and Okónkolo (small).

DJEMBE DRUMS originated on the West Coast of Africa (the Gold Coast), and in Mali the name means “everyone gather in peace”. Touring West African ballet companies first introduced the Djembe  to international audiences in the 1950’s and it is now widely played in musical ensembles throughout the world.

The TAMBOR DRUM originated in West Africa and was brought to Brazil where it’s popular in Samba bands. At the Transit Center, the two Tambor are played with the hands and have different sizes and tones.

Artist Website: www.sonicarchitecture.com