Paul French; delivers an amazing Instrumental album, featuring Musical Themes from Biblical Times! Paul's talents as a percussionist, blended with beautiful piano arrangements by, Christopher W. French, has made this album a true classic! The great variety of hand drums and percussion instruments are very unique in their sounds, as they bring to life the Old and New Testament Stories from the Bible! You don't have to be a percussion fan to appreciate this album, "Journey To Bethlehem" speaks for itself, as one of the most exciting instrumental albums you will ever hear!
Here below, are just a few of the percussion instruments used in our "Journey To Bethlehem" instrumental album. As you listen, you may recognise these instruments being played.
Pronounced (Jem-bay) is a skin covered hand drum shaped like a large goblet and is meant to be played with bare hands. It's made of a frame or shell covered by a membrane or drumhead, made of one of many products, usually rawhide. The djembe originated in West Africa, where it became an integral part of the area's music and tradition. One of our most distinct songs to listen for the djembe is, "The Triumphal Entry", which also has a rhythmic feel and flavor like the theatrical show, Riverdance.
The Conga Drums--
The conga is a tall, narrow, single-headed Cuban drum of African origin, probably derived from the Congolese Makuta drums. A person who plays conga is called a "conguero". Although ultimately derived from African drums made from hollowed logs, the Cuban conga is staved, like a barrel. These drums were probably made from salvaged barrels originally. They were used both in Afro-Caribbean religious music and as the principal instrument in Rumba. Congas are now very common in Latin music, including salsa music, as well as many other forms of American popular music. Although they are played throughout this album, some great examples to hear Paul's conga's are in his songs, "The Queen of Sheba" and "Journey To Bethlehem".
Paul also used the wooden body of his conga drums, playing them with drum sticks. In his song, "The Walls of Jericho", you will notice this technique at the intro and solo parts of the song.
Sometimes called rhumba shakers. They are simple percussion instruments, usually played in pairs, consisting of a dried calabash or gourd shell or coconut shell filled with seeds or dried beans. Often one maraca is pitched high and the other low. Although they look easy to play, they are very critical in keeping with time.
Maracas are heard in many forms of Latin music and are also used in pop and classical music. In rock and roll, they are probably most identified with Bo Diddley. They're great for Christian Instrumental Music as well, and fun to play!
Is a percussion instrument that sometimes looks like a fish! It consists of an open-ended, hollow gourd with parallel notches cut in one side. It is played by rubbing a wooden stick along the notches to produce a ratchet-like sound. The güiro is commonly used in Latin-American music, and plays a key role in the typical cumbia rhythm section. Paul used the Guiro often throughout these instrumental songs, and is one of our favorites. With it's unique sound and flavor, it gives the music a push and sets the mood. Listen to "The Queen of Sheba".
The Cow Bell and Wooden Block--
Cowbells are made of metal, and are an important element in Latin-American and go go music. Cowbells are struck with a stick - the tone being modulated by striking different parts of the bell and by damping with the hand holding the bell. They are often played as 1/4 notes in
time to the music. Our song "King David's Palace" is a great instrumental piece, where the Cow Bell and Wooden Block are used in a fun and energetic way!
Timbales (or tymbales) are shallow single-headed drums, shallower in shape than single-headed tom-toms, and usually much higher tuned. The player (known as a timbalero) uses a variety of stick and hand strokes, rim shots, and rolls on the skins to produce a wide range of percussive expression during solos and at transitional sections of music, and usually plays the shells of the drum or auxiliary percussion such as a cowbell or cymbal to keep time at other parts of the song. The Timbales were used very often throughout this whole album. A great example is found in the drum solo parts of our song, "Joshua" (the first song). The rims of the timbales were also played at the drum solo and ending of "Exodus".
A percussion instrument can be any object which produces a sound by being struck with an object or hand, shaken, rubbed, scraped, or by any other action which sets the object into vibration. The term usually applies to an object used in a rhythmic context and/or with musical intent. The word, "percussion", has evolved from Latin terms: "percussio" (which translates as "to beat, strike" in the musical sense, rather than the violent action), and "percussus" (which is a noun meaning "a beating"). In a musical context then, the term "percussion instruments" may have been coined originally to describe a family of instruments including drums, rattles, metal plates, or wooden blocks which musicians would beat or strike to produce sound. Percussion instruments come in countless sizes, shapes and sounds. They are the oldest instruments known to man, next to the human voice. And still today, they can be great enjoyment for both the musician and the listener!
Ever since the very beginning of playing my conga’s at eight years old, my dream was to make an album, a CD for the Lord! I was always so excited to go to the music stores and see what new percussion instruments they had for sale. I couldn’t wait to get home and try them out, and then bring them to Church to use them in our Praise Band!
I am very thankful for the gift of music, God has put rhythm in my hands and heart...and most of all, I am thankful that I had been given the opportunity to use those gifts in my Church! My dad bought me my first set of conga drums at the age of 8 years old. Because he was a drummer himself, he gave me lessons, and we spent hours on end playing together with him on the piano, and me on my conga’s and drums. Our Church was so kind in allowing me to be a part of their Worship and Praise Band. This was a great place to serve the Lord with my gifts, and also where I met, Robby Robinson!
Robby has been with Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons for over 20 years, as music director and keyboard player. He is the most talented person in music I have ever met in my life. I am so thankful to this day, for the eight years I played as his percussionist in our Church Praise Band. His brother, Rex Robinson, was also in our band. He too played for Frankie Valli, (bass guitar). With all this musical training and exposure in playing with extremely talented and godly musicians, I have been truly blessed!
And now, I am so thankful that my dad and I have put together this new instrumental percussion album to the Glory of God!! I appreciate all his time and work in making these songs, and I pray that God will use them to bless so many people! My dream of making a CD has finally come true!! And I give all the glory...all the credit...and all the praise...to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!! Who I will love and adore my whole life through!
I thank each and every one of YOU....who enjoy this music, and have inspired me to play with all my heart for the LORD!
I thank You dear Father In Heaven...for Your grace and mercy to me...that I may receive the gift of eternal life through your Son, Jesus Christ!..To have been given the opportunity to play my drums for YOU....The King of kings and Lord of lords! The Savior of the world....AMEN