one mans view of the Drum and Bugle Corp activity

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Rise of the Machine

Back in 1967, the then Chicago Cavaliers won the VFW National Drum Corp championship at Fenway Park in Boston. The word in the stands was that they were the “Green Machine”, performing their routine like a fine tuned piece of equipment.
The 2006 incarnation of the Cavies brought the Machine analogy to a new level at Lawrence Mass Wednesday evening August 3rd bringing to the field multiple pieces of humanoid equipment that flow, fly, break apart, bend, and snap back together. Percussion, horns and machine-like metal sounds punctuate the sometime sporadic, sometime precision movements of the corps for a visual experience that breaks new ground. The soundtrack is not one that drum corps purists will be throwing on the turntable any time soon, not much to tap your foot to here. But melded with the visuals and execution of the performers, the show works. The Blue Devils will have their hands full trying to outperform the Cavaliers again the year.
The 2003 Cavaliers Frameworks production took drum corps to a new visual level as show designers smoked the processors of their Pyeware computers designing shows once not possible with charts, paper, and pencil. But for better or worse we are in the cyber age, and drum corp has embraced the technology and challenged the performers. Corps have risen to the Cavaliers initiative with some success as witnessed by the Cadets 2005 “Zone” winning show, and the overall “overdrive” movement now seen on the field.
Visual sophistication will continue to evolve and I’m sure we will be treated to more visual wonders but I will still be yearning for those classic drum corp moments. I will see a block slowly coming together, parking in place and treating me to the luscious stacked chords that raises the hair on my neck and reminds me “this is why I come to drum corp” .


Post a Comment

<< Home