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Meet Diana Lynn Wallace of Urth Rhythms in Sherman Oaks

Today we’d like to introduce you to Diana Lynn Wallace.

Diana Lynn, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My father was a minister so I grew up in the church making music in the community. I can remember feeling so connected to spirit when we sang hymns and clapped and stomped our feet and played tambourines. Bigger churches had full bands w but I always loved the simple tambourine, clapping and stomping rhythms and harmonies.

I first stepped out into the music world professionally with an East Coast-based Reggae Band called Jamallad and we were roots. Sparse instrumentation & harmonies. That is when I started dabbling in percussion and fell in love with world instruments. Our musicians were form around the globe so I was exposed to amazing percussion instruments all the time. My favorite moments performing were when we had the audience sing with us and the drum solos. Over the six or so years touring around the US I was always taking voice and drum lessons and attending workshops as we traveled. After leaving Jamallad, now based in LA, I performed with many choirs and bands and ensembles throughout the Los Angeles area singing, cowriting, playing percussion. I Released a children’s Lullaby CD in 2004 and soon after recorded a host of House Music tracks with DJ’s around the globe and enjoyed riding the dance music charts for about three years. I have enjoyed working with the talented Invertigo Dance Theater, composing, singing and playing live percussion. They have even gotten me out there moving with the dancers. JOY!!!!!!

The past ten years or so I really started focusing on more ambient instruments and voice, performing in Yoga Studios for meditation classes, weddings, sound baths, etc. Through these types of performances, I really came to understand the power of the drum in my life. The rhythmic trance was so healing, so I started bringing extra drums for others to play with me. It was a natural progression to play in the community. Holding space and empowering others to experience themselves through rhythm.

One thing that was always constant in my home were drums and percussion. I have always collected them and when we would have guests over, we would hang out and play drums around the fire, sing and melt into a communal groove of sorts.

I have always enjoyed drum circles and going to the Remo Center and Venice beach, but in 2016 I started working with a company offering drum circles for after school programming. I was hooked. I loved nothing more than filling my car with drums and teaching rhythms and songs to kids of all ages, making percussion instruments and having a blast.

I assisted one of my mentors at several events he was facilitating and the sky cracked open. I could bring all of my drums to kids at school, seniors in hospitals and rehabs, private homes, community centers, block parties, corporate offices, hospitals and parks. I had no idea there were so many people wanting to connect in a drumming community experience nor did I know how much I loved holding the space for this rhythmic magic. These people love this experience as much as I do and they allow me to humbly hold the space for them.

Creating Urth Rhythms and facilitating drum circles is one of the best things I have ever done. I get so much out of every single circle. Rhythm is such a gift to the world. The health benefits of drumming go from reducing a spectrum of behavioral issues in children such as such as behaviors related to inattention, withdrawn/depression, post-traumatic stress to pain management in patients. It also reduces stress and lowers blood pressure. Urth Rhythms is my most powerful way to be an active force in changing the lives of those around me. My father was a minister so I grew up in the church making music in community. I can remember feeling so connected to spirit when we sang hymns and clapped and stomped our feet and played tambourines. Bigger churches had full bands but I always loved the simple tambourine, clapping and stomping rhythms and harmonies.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I must say it has been pretty smooth in my almost three years in business. I have attended quite a few conferences and facilitator training to really establish a proper way of presenting rhythm circles so that they are accessible to everyone. The love and support of a like-minded community are priceless and I have found drum circle folks to be nothing less than super kind.

I had a house full of very heavy authentic drums from around the world that were cumbersome to haul around and took up so much space that I quickly got hip to Remo’s line of stackable and nesting drum sets that allow you to maximize your space and they are super durable. Remo has also been incredible support when I didn’t have enough drums for a gig. The support in this community is humbling to say the least.

Please tell us more about your work. What do you do? What do you specialize in? What sets you apart from competition?
I created Urth Rhythms to share my passion for drumming in community. Urth Rhythms provide unforgettable drum circles and rhythm experiences that are accessible to all ages, communities and ability levels. I am the main drum circle facilitator at Urth Rhythms and I work in group homes, public and private schools, yoga studios, community centers, private homes, churches and hospitals.

I am a people person and I have a knack for putting people at ease while holding the space for them to experience themselves in a way they hadn’t before. I am warm, impassioned and humble. What I do is not about me. It is about the space I create and hold for people to explore their rhythmic, creative and expressive selves without judgement. The space where they are able to become one with total strangers or take their family or community to a deeper connection through rhythm experiences. the space of breakthroughs and healing.

I specialize in vocal improvisation while combining indigenous songs and chants with the rhythms we are creating. Singing brings in the breath and gives a voice to the rhythmic community experience.

The benefits of recreational drumming are far-reaching. Drumming accelerates physical healing and boosts the immune system. It also reduces tension, anxiety and stress and helps control chronic pain. This is now proven by science. The UCLA Social Emotional Arts (SEA) program trains individuals to maximize the social-emotional benefits of arts experiences while minimizing self-judgment and anxiety that can impede learning and growth. Beat the Odds (BTO)also a UCLA program is focused on the power of Drumming in children. UCLA research has shown that BTO can significantly reduce a spectrum of behavior problems such as behaviors related to inattention, withdrawn/depression, post-traumatic stress, anxiety, attention-deficit/hyperactivity, oppositional defiance, and sluggish cognitive tempo.

I feel that I bring a warmth and connection that is very unique. I was with my father throughout his ministry, watching how he could comfort the most tortured souls. His entire life and my mother was dedicated to being of service. I will admit that as I child I didn’t always understand how they could give so much of their time and energy when they had seven kids at home but I know they were loved and counted on and were a pillar of the community. I finally get it. The apple truly does not fall far from the tree,

My ministry is rhythm.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I feel like I have been very lucky in my journeys. I always met kind people on the road while performing. In my personal life it has not always been smooth sailing BUT, there was always a kind soul or a magical opportunity like finding a job I desperately needed or a cheap $500 truck that would run for years until I saved enough from that job that I started out making not very much but within two years I tripled my salary. There have always been angles of sorts looking out for me.

I donate my time and services and give what I can to help others. I work with 2 amazing organizations Yetunde Price Resource Center and Community Coalition in Los Angeles, and there I really see the gifts of drums in those communities. So much kindness and support have come my way and I am truly grateful to give back.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
John Wallace, MM Imagery

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