By Radim McCue Published October 27, 2009
One of drumming's most famous inventors will be honored November 6 and 7 at The Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation's 2009 New Perspectives on Invention and Innovation symposium. Since 1995 this annual symposium has brought together historians, inventors, practitioners, and a broad range of audiences to explore new avenues of inquiry into the history of invention and innovation through a mixture of scholarly presentations, family hands-on activities, educational programs, and exhibitions.
This year’s event, to be held at the National Museum of American History, features an exploration of Hot Spots of Invention. The highlight of this event for music lovers will be on Saturday when Ken Kimery has a discussion with Remo D. Belli, considered by many as the “father of the modern drumhead”. Belli revolutionized the music products industry by perfecting the first practical synthetic drumhead, “Weatherking®.” Find out what the The Beatles, DuPont, and Mickey Rooney have in common when Belli discusses his experiences as a musician in the 1940’s Los Angeles and how his community of fellow musicians in Los Angeles led to his innovations and inventions in the making of percussion instruments. This conversation will be hosted by Ken Kimery, Executive Producer of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, and a question and answer session will follow.
After the event, Belli will invite visitors to join a drum circle. In the words of Arthur Hull, “The Community Drum Circle is a fun entry-level learning experience that is accessible to anyone who wants to participate. Drum Circle participants express themselves collectively by using a chorus of tuned drums, percussion, and vocals to create a musical song together while having a great time.” And, families visiting the event will have the opportunity to experience drum making. Just prior to Remo Belli’s presentation on Saturday, Nov. 6 from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, visitors to Spark!Lab will be able to construct their own drum out of recyclable materials and join in facilitated mini drum circles at specified times; mini drum circles will be held at 11:30 A.M., 1:00 P.M., and 2:30 P.M.
This annual symposium is free and open to the public. For more information visit http://www.remo.com.