TaKeTiNa is ..... infinitely difficult to capture in words!
It grew out of a search for rhythm archetypes. Austrian master percussionist and composer Reinhard Flatischler developed this innovative rhythm process out of the fruits of his life journey through rhythm languages around the world. He wanted to uncover the underlying foundation for all of the different expressions of rhythm in different cultures. He created an experience where participants move rhythmically supported by the drum, speaking the words that support the movement, eventually clapping a different rhythm in the hands, and finally lifting the whole into singing and harmony.
The process unfolds in sequence. You begin, and before you know it, you are in the middle doing things that you didn't know you could do. Somehow, your body understands. The chatter in your mind has been bypassed as you are swept along into greater complexity and greater inner stillness. When you are released from the ongoing rhythm of the drum and the singing, you discover that it is still sounding inside you, and as it moves through you, it sometimes touches deep places in your consciousness.
It is called a "rhythm journey", and though you have only been moving in a circle, you certainly seem to go someplace. What you bring back when you return is individual. The journey itself is the collective experience of synchronized movement. What are the fruits of this journey? Meditative stillness, increased rhythmic integration, right and left brain balance, personal insight.
My Rhythm Journey that led to TaKeTiNa
I am intrigued by the phenomenon of “arrhythmia”, or lack of rhythm. This term is usually applied to the heart, but it also applies to anyone who cannot synchronize their body with a beat. I am told that in Africa, this condition is actually considered a learning disability. Some people think of this condition as a racial disability. I think it is cultural. As I teacher, I grew concerned when I started to see it in our young children. In fact, I was concerned enough to begin a personal quest seeking effective strategies to address this inability, because I’m a firm believer that “All God’s children have got to sing and dance.”
My journey led me to TaKeTiNa, as described in a book entitled The Forgotten Power of Rhythm by Reinhard Flatischler. Inspired by what I read, I sought out a workshop. My first-hand experience of the TaKeTiNa process resulted in a desire to dive deeper into this whole body awakening that connected me with something innate and primal; a rhythmic knowing that felt intrinsically human. If not a direct answer to my quest, it was at least an intriguing strategy to explore.
I received my Basic certification as TaKeTiNa Rhythm Instructor in 2004,and my Advanced certification on 2008. The training was rigorous and life-changing, opening up new perspectives
for me on just about everything in my life at the time. From 2001 to 2008 I gave workshops and sponsored events. Now after a long hiatus, I am taking it up again. I will be offering a class entitled "Taste of TaKeTiNa, as part of the Summer Arts in Sacramento program in July. I also have a monthly TaKeTiNa practice group where you can experience elements of the TaKeTiNa process. We meet the first Sunday of every month from 2 - 5 pm, September through June.
In addition to TaKeTiNa rhythm work, I am developing an approach to rhythm as it would apply to singers and instrumentalists, integrating sensitivity in the body – the intuitive body knowing – with our ability to interpret information visually. This initiative, called Groove Camp will also be offered as a class as part of Summer Arts in Sacramento. My recent Seminar for Singers in January also took up this theme - "Singing in the Groove" - which I will re-visit again in October in a new seminar.
Description of a TaKeTiNa Journey
The Circle forms.
A voice fills the space with syllables: GA MA LA. The surdo joins the voice as you add your voice to the growing chorus: GA MA LA.
Then, movement, as you create a pattern for your feet. The circle moves, leans, changes direction. Now claps are carefully layered onto the feet that travel. Syllables, feet, claps, connected to the deep tones of the drum.
A new instrument, the berimbao, adds a new voice to the mix, stirring the pot, as we lift off into singing in call and response. The train has left the station!
Cruising along at a good clip now. Wind is at your back. Sudden turbulence! The rhythm structure is jostled out from under you. You climb back onboard only to be jostled out again, and again, and yet again. Turned out and tumbled! Which way is up? No orientation! Only to find that feet and hands are travelling on their own. Only the mind was confused. With no perceptible need for it, you toss it out the window. No more chatter.
Inner silence and outer movement. Voices singing, harmony transporting, until you detach from the circle to lie down.
Outer stillness and inner singing, and the rhythm that travels inside.
Outer stillness and inner rhythm.
Profound stillness. Deep Silence.