Do not know ever since, people of Quang have always transmitted each other verses for example: “ Nhat drum Lam Yen, second gong Phuoc Kieu” to talk about the most famous drum village in the Central: Lam Yen drum village.
Lam Yen is the name of the previous day, is the four continents of the four territories combined: Lam Tay, Lam An, Lam Dai and Lam Trung. This empty village now belongs to Nam hamlet, Dai Minh commune, Dai Loc district, Quang Nam province .
Lam Yen emptied family is mainly Phan family. So far, this family has nearly seven generations of emptiness. Descendants say that more than 200 years ago, the ancestor Phan Cong Thien, a Northern immigrant who came to explore in Quang Nam, stopped in Lam Yen and developed an empty village on this land. Since then, the next life after the previous generation, the descendants of the Phan family has brought drum sounds to many regions across the country, making Lam Yen drum brand.
The process of emptiness
To serve the folk festivals, the school or the Mid-Autumn Festival, the drums are the most difficult from January to August in the lunar calendar. A drum of quality assurance must meet the criteria: good, round, and sound good. Drums come in a variety of sizes. There are big drums such as adoration drum, small drum like total drum (diameter of the drum face of 16-17 cm), command drum (drum face diameter of 18-25cm), music drum (drum face diameter of 27-28cm).
The first stage for a drum is to prepare the drumstick (drum body). The drum chips must be of jackfruit wood and the surface of the drum must be of buffalo skin and not any other material. Jackfruit wood after drying, depending on the size of the drum, will be sawed by sawmills according to the curve of the chips. Drum flanking includes shavings and shavings. Shavings are only made of old jackfruit wood. Workers will split jackfruit wood to certain lengths, sawn chips, dried to be available to meet the needs of each customer’s size. Chips are formed into a drum shape called a drum.
Next, the emitter picked up the skin of the old buffalo. The secret to making a long-life drum is at the stage of the buffalo skin stripper before stretching. Buffalo skin will be dried. In the dry season, let the skin dry well, but don’t be pressured. In the rainy season, because of humidity, we have to burn with fire, but do not let the fire age, otherwise the skin pieces will be ripe, the drum face will not be beautiful and unstable. Completely dry skin will be soaked in water. Soak for a while, the skin will be drilled, planed to remove the excess and only a certain thickness remains to seal the drum.
The drumming process requires the drumming artist to be meticulous and skillful from the beginning to the end stage. Perhaps if anyone is not dedicated to the profession, not heavy with the drum, it is difficult to create quality products that meet the needs of customers.
A standard drum means a drum with a “bruised” sound, or a “mourning” sound depending on the type of drum. To hear the drums requires a good sound ear. Often the people in the family will hear and be taught from a young age to have good qualities. The job is empty so it is often difficult to teach to outsiders.
According to Venerable Thich Nhu Tin, abbot of Thai Son pagoda (Ngu Hanh Son district – Da Nang city), Lam Yen drum has been an old trademark in Quang land. In order to have a satisfactory drum, people often come to the village to order, instead of buying outside. Lam Yen’s bare village survived thanks to that. Modern society is synonymous with the drum, with which a sparse goes. However, with the needs of spiritual life, traditional cultural needs of the Vietnamese, the drum and drum still play an important and irreplaceable role.