Crescendo of Darkness Tour: Keep the Beat

Crescendo of Darkness from Press.

“Keep the Beat” by Calvin Demmer

A young girl questions why her tribe plays the djembe drums every night and finds it may be more than just a tradition.

Calvin shares his thoughts about his story with us below.

“Keep the Beat” Inspiration

By Calvin Demmer

Being from South Africa, I wanted to remain on the continent for the main flavor of my story “Keep the Beat.” I didn’t zone in on one specific culture, but tried to see what most of the tribes in Africa had in common in their past. Some of the habits they shared were the various rituals they practiced and their unique beliefs in spirits or the afterlife. I immediately knew my story would have a strong supernatural angle.

To incorporate the music theme, I wished for the instrument to be something interesting that would work well with the ideas I had for rituals; and fortunately I quickly knew what I would use. Then it was all about creating my own world, tribe, and specific reason for the instrument. This all actually came together pretty easily and the “Beat” part was somewhat inspired by an earlier short story I’d written called “Forbidden Fruit.”

As I worked on the story more, and through various early drafts, it kept taking a darker and darker road. The stakes needed to be high for my main character and I wanted there to be a harsh penalty for ill conceived actions.

Overall, if a supernatural African world, where spirits linger and time honored rituals must be obeyed to avoid great consequences, is what intrigues a reader, then “Keep the Beat” will definitely be a fun and interesting experience.


Calvin Demmer is a dark fiction author. His debut collection, The Sea Was a Fair Master, was released in June 2018. When not writing, he is intrigued by that which goes bump in the night and the sciences of our universe. You can find him online at or follow him on Twitter @CalvinDemmer.

Crescendo of Darkness

Edited by Jeremiah Donaldson

Cover by Carmen Masloski Press

 Let music unlock your fear within.


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