Pearl launched Project 108 in November 2012, encouraging percussionists of all ages worldwide to participate in a communal drumming experience. Musicians can submit videos of themselves playing four bars at 108 beats per minute (bpm)—in any style of their choosing—on Pearl equipment. Accepted submissions will be combined with Pearl artists such as Todd Sucherman from Styx, Scott Johnson of The Blue Devils, Peter Szendofi, Will Kennedy from Yellowjackets and Omar Hakim, who has performed with Sting and Madonna, to create a “continuous global groove.”
Derek Wolfford, marketing manager of integrated media at Pearl, came up with the idea because of the growing popularity of remote recording.
Why 108 bpm? “A lot of drummers tend to play a variable of the same heavy two and four backbeat pattern when they first sit down behind a kit,” Wolfford says. “The average tempo of my test group turned out to be 108 bpm, and it’s also a tempo that can be dissected many ways and still be played comfortably.”
However, Wolfford stresses that the project is not just for drumset players, but also for percussion, marching, pipe and orchestral Pearl instruments as well.
Originally, Pearl planned Project 108 to be one video. However, submissions came in abundance, so the company decided to create waves of smaller videos. The first wave was due Jan. 2, 2013, and Pearl anticipates several waves to follow.
“Project 108 is our way of showing that although borders, language and idealogy may separate us, music will always be our common denominator,” Wolfford says.
For more information, visit www.pearlproject108.com.