Return to Brixton East: The Donkey Jaw and other Instruments

With gin and drawing available all week at Brixton East, I made my return; to complete the drawing from my last post.

And what an evening of discovery it turned out to be!


Musician Greta Eacott and her percussion and wind band responded to dance, drawings and the space with improvised, as well as rehearsed pieces while the gin and charcoal were flowing.

Among the musicians, this kind young gentleman allowed me to take his photo with his ‘quijada de burro’ (donkey jaw).


His unusual afro-peruvian instrument makes an atonal rattle when the ‘teeth’ are struck with a stick, but the angle of the mandible can also be used for a chalky resonant sound. The rest of his percussives were more vegetarian-friendly: triangle, maracas etc.

I’m only sorry I didn’t capture him, in pencil, in action. I did manage a quick trombone player though.


It’s my understanding that Janie Skuse’s team will be continuing to explore these interdisciplinary events in other sites around London and brilliantly, there is a mailing list:

In terms of my, now updated, previous drawing (below); I would say that the structure is okay. There’s a lot going on, it’s at a funny angle and so I’m reasonably happy with it in this respect.

As usual I really struggle when it comes to tonal work – my rendering becomes a bit lazy and there’s always something too dark or too light.In addition, things can get a bit ‘muddy’ if you see what I mean.

If anyone has any exercises which you find helpful with this, any tips or books etc to recommend I’d be very very grateful – my struggle with tone is not a new one!



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