About Feather Song 'Spirit' Drums

The ‘Spirit Drum’ is a frame drum which incorporates a range of traditional shamanic drum designs and modern construction techniques. The result is a beautifully crafted lightweight drum. The round frame supports the spherical nature of sound waves and the Native American drum inspired strapped handle allows the frame and drum head (velum) to vibrate in sympathy. This results in an acoustically pleasing low ‘voice’ with a clear resonance and long ‘gong like’ tones.

These drums are ideal for Shamanic work; meditation or meditative drumming sessions; ceremonial drumming; sound healing or sound journeys.

Each drum is lovingly hand crafted and meticulously constructed. The drum velum is goat skin and the frames are a composition of Radiata and various other timbers. All of the raw materials are sustainably and ethically sourced.

Drums can be customised and commissions are welcome.

I started hand drumming 17 years ago and ever since then I have been addicted. Over that time the drum, and rhythm, have shaped many aspects of my life. My first love, the Djembe, took me on an amazing life journey. Along the way I met my wife; studied my masters in Music Therapy and found a career; performed with incredible musicians; learnt from inspiring teachers and taught eager students. This journey brought me to the shores of Aotearoa/New Zealand in 2009 where I currently live on the Kapiti Coast with my wife and young daughter.

A bit about me...

In addition to this passion for percussion and rhythm is my love of woodwork and crafts. Since before I could walk I was tinkering in my Dad’s workshop; hitting my thumbs with his hammer and generally getting underfoot. This resulted in me pursuing a hobby of building drums and various instruments. In 2005 Bonny Phillips and I started Rhythmania (in South Africa) and our focus was to get as many school children drumming as possible. The project revolved around building drums with students; running drumming workshops and teacher training courses. Rhythmania continues this work today.

It was when I found an old dusty Remo Buffalo Drum, neglected in a store cupboard in a music room at a college where I taught drumming, that I fell in love with the ‘Shamanic’  or 'Ceremonial' style frame drum. The long low tones captivated me and I would spend my tea and lunch breaks playing this drum. The music teacher gifted the drum to me and I have used it in my music therapy practice ever since. This new love affair resulted in me exploring the building of ‘Spirit Drums’ and this has been an evolutionary process over the past 11 years.

This passion and experience culminates with the Feather Song ‘Spirit Drums'!

Why 'Spirit Drum' and 'Feather Song'?

For the longest time I have wrestled with trying to find a 'label' and name for my drums. For me these drums are not necessarily 'Shamanic' drums however, if a person uses them for Shamanic purposes, then the drum may very well be considered a Shamanic drum. Much the same for 'Meditation drum'; 'Healing drum' or 'Ceremonial drum'. The drums use, and purpose, might naturally 'dictate' its label. Despite this I believe these drums, their resonant voices and the 'Ceremonial' style drum designs from which I draw inspiration, have a strong connection to 'Spirit' and hence I refer to them as 'Spirit Drums'. 

The name 'Feather Song' comes from the nature of feathers and that of the drum. Feathers are light and beautiful. They are perfect by design and purpose. Despite their apparent fragility they are able to lift birds, both small and large, to great heights. Similarly the humble frame drum, simple and perfect by design, is able to lift our Spirit and enable us to soar high above this physical realm with its rhythmic song.