Remembering our origin – Exploring Space
When we look up into the clear night sky, we are enchanted by the myriads of stars of the milky way. We connect to the vastness that unfolds in front of our eyes, but do we really put our focus on space? Most of the time our attention gets caught up by the glitter of the stars. We are still observing objects, not the space that surrounds them.
Space is one of the most powerful and mysterious phenomena in our lives. Space connects everything with everything, everywhere and anytime. It is the constant background to all musical expressions and it is the container in which all manifestations of our life appear.
Even if we are consciously trying to put our focus on space, it can be challenging to get a direct experience of it as it is so vast and all comprising it surpasses our imagination.
The space journey to rhythm
There is a perfect tool we can use on this journey to discovering and experiencing space! It is rhythm. Through rhythm space becomes a direct physical experience. Whenever rhythm is perceived through body movement, it is a guide not only to the spaces between audible events, the beats, the pulses but also into our inner space which is the container of everything that happens in our mind. With this, the experience of space through rhythm becomes a very powerful guide to how to live our lifes from a different and more fulfilling perspective.
When we suddenly become aware of space and can sense it in the dialog between sentences and answers – dialogs immediately flow in a much more connected way. We are no longer forming our answers while the other person is still speaking. As we allow space to resonate, we find a more refined answer. In the same way when we feel the intervals between steps as we walk, we will suddenly settle down and without walking slower we can experience more time. When we discover the space between an inhalation and an exhalation, our breath suddenly flows much deeper and provides a much clearer and calmer mind.
Music and Space
Music itself inherently points to space. There is space between the layers of the polyrhythmic structures in African music and there are different space qualities in the seemingly endless cycles in indian music. Even if you aren’t a musician, you will be able to get a direct and lasting experience of space.
By joining the TaKeTiNa process you free yourself from cultural expectations. You are diving down into the core experience of rhythm and you are entering a world in which biological bodyrhythms, natural rhythms and musical rhythms merge. Your instrument is your body and while the movements of your steps guide you through one experience of space, your clapping rhythm connects you with yet another perception of the same phenomenon. And as you follow the call-response chanting later in the rhythm journey, your movements gradually become autonomous. And after every chaos phase – which is an integral part of learning with TaKeTiNa – you sink deeper and deeper into the perception of the space in which everything occurs. When you finally rest in stillness at the end of a TaKeTiNa journey, there is a good chance that you might experience space as something almost tangible as it merges with the unfolding inner stillness.
Space beyond Space – A new project
Inspired by the exploration of space, Johnny Bertl and I are composing “Space beyond Space” a suite for orchestra, choir and percussion, a commissioned work for Auckland Choral Society. The world premiere will be July 26th 2018 and will show the audience how the same music can be experienced when different spaces are brought into the foreground of perception. “Space beyond Space“ is crafted in a similar style as its predecessor “Waves upon Waves“ which you can listen to by clicking here.