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Percussionist Makes Music Using Nature’s Instruments

Jesse Armerding used to make music on the streets of New York City. Now, he finds a better environment for his percussion music in nature. He uses natural elements, such as a hollowed-out tree trunk, to create his beats and melodies.

“There is a sonic treasure. And people are going by it all the time, and it’s hiding in plain sight. That’s such the theme of what’s been fun about a lot of this.”

Video Transcript

Meet Jesse Armerding: percussionist

Ipswich, Massachusetts

(Jess stomps and claps in the middle of a street that goes through a canopy of trees)

Jesse Armerding: See, I was doing Stomp in New York. It could be 3:00 a.m. on a Tuesday, and there’s just always three to nine layers of sound going on. And there is with nature, too. I mean, if we stop and listen, there’s like five sounds going on right now, but it just feels a lot more in line with my nervous system.

Jesse creates percussive music by foraging in nature.

I told one of my drummer collaborator friends, “You gotta come up and check out this tree.” And he was like, “What?” I was like, “I promise you, I promise you, you need to see this. Just trust me.”

“Forage”

(In a wooded area, Jesse and two friends drum on a fallen, hollow tree trunk with drumsticks)

(Camera pans across treetops)

(Jesse walks through the woods)

That was so crazy to me. There is a sonic treasure. And people are going by it all the time, and it’s hiding in plain sight. That’s such the theme of what’s been fun about a lot of this.

(Camera pans across treetops)

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