Camille Bigeault in Lockdown - extra bij hoofdartikel SWK 219
Als ik niet kan drummen, ben ik gewoon uit balans
Lockdown 13-08-2020 06:08
Voor het hoofdartikel 'Drummers in Lockdown' in Slagwerkkrant 219 (september-oktober 2020) lieten we 39 nationale en internationale slagwerkers vertellen over hun (muziek)leven van de afgelopen maanden: Hoe doorstaan zij deze gigloze tijd? Hoe houden zij hun techniek op peil? Hoe houden zij contact met mede-muzikanten en publiek? Zijn online lessen en livestreams een uitkomst? Hoe zien zij de nabije toekomst, en tot welke diepere inzichten zijn ze gekomen… We kregen 39 uitgebreide en opvallend openhartige epistels met antwoorden. Dat konden we lang niet altijd allemaal kwijt in de 20 pagina’s (!) die we voor dit artikel uittrokken.

Hier op lees je de volledige verhalen die zij voor ons schreven en zie je de video's en foto's die zij in hun reacties mee stuurden. 

Je vindt deze artikelen in een speciale sectie op de website, onder de knop "Lockdown". 

Camille Bigeault in Lockdown
Lees in dit artikel de uitgebreide antwoorden van Camille Bigeault op onze vaste vragenlijst (in het Engels), en de video’s die ze doorstuurde.

Het volledige verhaal van Camille Bigeault

Did you go online to continue performing/play with others/promote your music?
I had no drum set at disposal during the lock down so if we talk about drumming, I sadly couldn't perform at all. But! I took the time I had during this period to get back to singing and playing guitar, which I wasn't able to do the last 4 years and I enjoyed it a lot!
I did some live streams on Facebook and Instagram to share this part of me with people and reconnect with it and that felt so good! I also had a lot of time to work on the pad since that was the only drummy-thing I had left (haha) and shared some exercises and techniques also via livestream.

I collaborated with some collective drumming videos (the kind of vid in which each person plays 4 bars over a fixed tempo) using drink-glasses and funny things to hit around me.

Performing live on stream is interesting when you have no choice and want to keep sharing music with people, but I think you need some real set up and material (mics, good image quality, etc...) to make the experience enjoyable. It would be fun to keep doing it from time to time after Corona but, I think it would never replace a real live and its sensations, and I cannot wait for the real gigs to happen again and be all over the place like before.

Some videos:

Singing live session:

Pad live session:

Lock down girly jam:


Did you use the lockdown to pick up or intensify your drum studies?
As I only had a pad home, I worked my hand technique around 1 hour per day, and it felt great because that was something I didn't do at all for the 4 past years. I challenged myself (and my followers) to play the "Advanced life time warm up" from Tommy Igoe at the fast tempo (starts at 180 bpm) and rediscovered the importance to work at a (very) slow tempo and focus on your sensations, in order to push a pattern at your highest speed. Working hand technique has given me some pedagogical ideas that are complementary with the drums method I'm currently writing, so that's great.

Speaking about drums specifically, as I couldn't play any and that was quite emotionally difficult for me, I avoided drums video cause it was too hard to watch haha, so no drums studies for me!

Did you teach online during lockdown?
Besides doing hands technique/pad live sessions and pedagogical videos, I proposed private lessons on platforms like Skype or Zoom. It was my first time doing "screen" live lessons, and it's actually interesting, but you better have a good internet connection so there's not too much latency and audio/video bugs and in order that you can understand what your student is doing and correct him in the right way. It could be interesting to continue doing that from time to time, because it saves you a lot of "road" time but for regular students I would still prefer to see the person IRL!

Did the lockdown in a way also have a positive effect on your creativity?
Yes, in every aspect! Like I said before I could take my time to sing and play guitar again, and that entire-world-crisis context inspired me some songs. I made some progress on the compositions I want to record to have some new live playbacks tracks for my masterclasses, and now I'm comfortable to add some voice in it too, and that could make the songs even more original. I started to organize my ideas and my pedagogical approaches to write a drums method that will be ready within a year or 2 I hope!
And after 2 months without playing drums, when I could practice again, something had paradoxically changed and I could feel making some progress, with a fresh head and some new approaches.
Also, it has nothing to do with creativity, but I had to find a new drums practice place just after the lock down (because it was of course closed during the lockdown, but still is till September), and the place I found is really better than the other one, closer, with day light... so for that the lockdown was a blessing in disguise :D

Did you find a way to keep on earning money during lockdown?
Here in France we have a special status as artists and musicians, so I have a financial support from the government each year as long as I can complete that status's requirements (43 "officially paid" gigs), and it's effective this year also. We were afraid that the majority of us would lose that status (because we cannot technically work during the lockdown and months after..) but the government still supports us till 2021. It's a great status and we are very lucky in France to benefit from it, I can't imagine how difficult it must be for an artist everywhere else in the world to pay the bills with no gigs being possible...


How do you see the near future?
We should record a composition in studio and release a video with Tama later this year. About tours and gigs, it's still very fuzzy, I have some projects proposals but nothing sure yet. I don't expect to have much gigs till 2021 at least. I'm still waiting for the situation to get better so we can reschedule the masterclasses and drums festival I should have attended, like the OSUNU drums Festival (Paraguay). Some events are now happening in livestream, like the Drummer's odyssey drum camp I will attend this year (in October). Sadly I’m afraid that touring and traveling outside our near countries in Europe will be complicated till the situation gets better worldwide, because the epidemic is still high in America and China for example. But I really can't wait for the gigs and music scene to get back to normal!

Did you learn something about yourself as a person, as a drummer as a musician, during lockdown?
Spending 2 months without drumming hasn't been happening to me in 8 years at least. It was morally very hard, with a lot of ups and downs, and made me realize that drumming is to me like a third arm, a very essential part of me, and I'm not equilibrated and in peace if I cannot drum for too long. But in the other hand it brought new things on the table and confronted me to different things that are now enriching my playing and that actually contributed to my current projects (compositions and drums method).


Lees het volledige artikel met 39 persoonlijke verhalen in Slagwerkkrant 219 (september-oktober 2020) 
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