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The Writers Block - with Ron Knight
The Writers Block - with Ron Knight

Episode · 1 year ago

The Writer's Block - Pre-Pandemic: How Rhythm Melts the Physiology of Separatedness: and Builds Immunity

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Ron Knight interviews author and facilitator Arthur Hull, recognized as the father of the drum circle movement. discussing Rhythmaculture, community, team building, personal growth and religious groups, to major corporations, what's been known on rhythm events and how human participation Melts our Separatedness. Shown to boost T cells in fighting cancer and other health related issues with improved quality of life, this is "a throwback" to an era before the pandemic made gathering for community events a current challenge. Excerpts from original broadcast in 2003, Sirius Satellite Radio.  

Hi Everyone, it's your host Ron nighthere on the Writers Block and today a Pastjat with Arthur Hull author of GrunCircle Spirit on White, cliffs Media Drum Circle, facilitation, building,community, published by village music circles excerpts taken from an earlierbroadcast, two thousand and three on serious satellite radio prior to themerger that created contemporary serious Xm, originally broadcast at atime prior to the pandemic. When community gathering for communityevents was a simpler, easier time, Arthur Hull and village music circles,Dicto dictoe Dick Dick Bat. Now you say village music circles, butwhat we represent is a non professional handdrummingcommunity from everywhere. There's a lot of peoplehere that don't know the other people in the room. So in other words, thisisn't the regular group village, music circles that you travel and tour with.Whenever you go from city to city, okay, all right the these are not the village,be no no well. Actually they are right, we'revery close to the village, so that'll work, but in actuality, the group thatI travel with is me. That's it. I show up somewores a very low laundry bill.Yes, absolutely and- and you know, the airplane Fars are really cheap and theneveryone shows up, and we play it's an inthe moment- music orchestra made upby community. It's not like an entertainment thing where we're up onstage and people are watching us. We are the community, we come together. Weget in TA circle just like this doesn't matter. If there's twenty of us or twothousand of us and then we listen to each other, an we play together. Isn'tthat NEAT? For those of you who don't know Arthur hule is recognized as thefather of the Community Drum Circle Movement. He is basically been doingthis for quite some time and for those of you who also would know it says here,Arthur is the two thousandand one Infinity Foundation, Spirit awardrecipient he's the two thousand drum magazines drummy award for the BestDrum Circle facilitator in S. nine hundred and ninety eight also drummagazines, drummy award for the best world beat New Age percussionist of theyear and then, of course, one thusand ninehundred and ninety four, all onetribe foundations, drumming education, aword he's also a very significanteducator in the drum circle, movement and world percussion genre. Maybe youcan kind of tell us what is a drum circle? Well, a modern drum circle. Aswe know it owes everything to its ancestors. Its ancestors are theuniversal principles of rhythmicultures all over the world. This is not Africanrumming, you know it's not polynesian drumming. It's not Malaysian. It's notTYCO, it's not! But it's very American. But what we're looking at when we'relooking around the room is drums and percussion that in actuality came from,or at least represent all of the cultures hat we just mentioned in abunch more. We take the spirit of our own life in rhythmchannel it through whatever instrument we have in front of us. I don't care ifit's two pieces of pipe or a fancy, six hundred dollar drum and merge it withevery one else and make music, so the culture that were that we are is theculture that we are we're not here to represent Africa or anything else, but we do owl our allegiance R, our love to thesource of all the rythmicultures that exist everywhere else on the planet,except in Europe and America. Aha, and I suppose we could at some point getinto a discussion as to why that kind of is farbout of the mix. If you havetwo hours, yes,...

...this something that somebody has to bea master musician or a drummer to participate in something like this well,this is what we're trying to erase in our cultures the fact that we thinkthat we are as a culture rhythmically challenged what I do around the countryand what I do round the planet is facilitate family friendly,recreational rhythm based events, got it grandma and GRANDPA. We just did hethe bumber shoot in Seattle myself and a few other facilitators. We all gottogether. I host the project. Bumbershoot is an arts festival. Webring three hundred drums into that arths festival, get underneath the tentand facilitate nine circles a day for four days now won the math. That'sa lot of circle. It's Mom Dad, grandma and GRANDPA that come by. They herefeel the masage of the rhythm, a quarter mile away. It draws them tothat. They think it they're going to be entertained in t e. What they do isthey get handed a drum and invited in to participate so we're doing basicrhythmical evangulism wow. So would you say that the family who drums together well plays together but a booner chaeverybody, but a Boomcha, okay, yeah? So then, obviously they are in capturedor in raptured ar drawn into what we will call for the sake of anything else.This thing called it a drum circle spirit. If you will M, let's say community drum circle or recreationaldrum circle, and actually everyone with hand percussion, ready and rumble. Okay, stop notice. There were no drums.Okay, it's not just a drum circle. It's aninstrument circle and what happens is that when you put all these percussiontambers bell shakers woods as well as the memrane instruments called thedrums, but many different pictures such as low pitch ready, go d enough media pitch. Go I pitch go all of a sudden. You have an orchestra.Now it's mom, dads and kids at the beginning of a anybody's, welcome community event, andit starts out as noisy joy, okay, but slowly but surely at ourjobs as facilitators is not to be fearless leaders but give them theexperience they need to educate them about how to listen each other and howto play together and by the end of the program, you're, actually makingdialogue, music with Diam Dynamics, but you're using percussion instruments,which is the most saccessible instrument in the world. We arebasically as facilitators, rhythmical evangelist and the father of thecommunity. Drum sirkl. Mickey Hart gave me that title. I really basically, I'ma midwife. Okay, I'm a yeah. I've been traveling all around the you know: ThPlanet, R and I'm doing right. Basically, today I flie to London and Igo to a training in London on teaching people how to facilitate rithem basedevents and I'll be doing Wen in Scadanavia Wen in Germany, in otherwords, I'm doing now in Europe. What I've been doing in the United Statesfor last fifteen years and it's you know, I don't go round fathering drumcircles, but I support Mentur and help those people who havethe same kind of disease that I do called them. Percussionitis, yeah, okay,okay, and they need people to play with. So they create those people, notprofessional masicians, but just people. Why Percussion in particular arthor Imean it seems to me that if we would, we call this kind of a grassrootsoperation. If anybody can pick up a drum man play. It is this kind of thefact that maybe there's no other performance quote unquote, challengewith something that might be more musically molodically. You know othertypes of instruments that maybe require...

...a little bit more focus, more studiesor musical discipline or something t my answer that to that would be ding. So it's a grass roots movement. What isyous look: Have the people hat come to my how tofacilitate rythm based event? Trainings okay are not drummers theyrschoolteachers, their priests, there's their ministers, their kids at Rishcousilors Ar psychotherapists their ORF teachers, their music therapist. There,people who are using drums, percussion rhythm as a tool inside a community tatthey're already serving what you're seeing is the tip of the iceberg? Whatyour represent! What we're representing here in this circle is the tip of theiceberg and that's the community drum circle, events that are popping up allover the United States and Europe that are accessible to community, but inactuality, the majority of the people that are learning how to facilitateryllan based events are taking this tool for unity into their particularpart and peace of the community. In our training that we did in Hawaii, we do once once a year, yeah gee tough place towork. Why yeah, Hor likelet see don't think Iwould be able to stand that to six people from six people from China.Three people from Japan, somebody from Iraguay someone from Guatemala. Europe was well represented, one of the one of the people. Theperson from Hong Kong was the chief of the police for the training departmentin the Police Department in Hong Kong and he came to learn how tofaciliateatetate Rythem based evance. So he takes it back there and build ateam. So there seems to be various types of drum circles. Aren't there Imean there are various places you might find a drum circle and AC in actionright. Basically, I've just started describing some of the places thatyou're going to find them and as you can tell that these drum circles areused for specific purposes. So it's really right nowwere. It is a grassrooch movement. We are birthing ourselves. We are rediscovering,uncovering and and exploring AU rhythmical sensibility as a culture andlearning how to bring rythmiculture back into a culture that never reallyhad it. Okay and it's interesting because it sounds only because you knowI do some of the world music programming here. It certainly soundslike some of the other or many of the other world cultures and their streamsof rhythms, as we would regard them are actually kind of making themselvesapparent in this overall blend. That's emerging right here, like I said,source we owe our allegiance and and wherewe're coming from, and what we're doing back to those cultures that use rhythmas of everyday part of celebrating life in Africa. You do not drum unless youdance, unless you sing and you usually don't drum dancer sing unless you havea purpose that everything has a purpose so you're drumming for ceremonies ofsome sort, you're doing harvest drumming for harvesting orplanting or you, marriage, so virtual SOMON, you name it and basically, herein the United States and the trainings, I start doing demographics in thecircle, and I go all right how many people have drunk for a wedding andsome people. GIGGLE and six people stand up how many people have drum forawake or a morning or and three or four people have stood up.How many people have have drunkd for someone who was dying this year and abunch of people stood up? I want to make a note of that too, because itseems like your mission, is to really go to the the populist. You know incarnation ofpeople making recreational music together and along the way, having avariety of team building or, shall we say, awareness sociologicalconsciousness at applications and of this is rehearsed or scored. This ishappening in the moment on a moment: music, we're watching a facilitator, inthis case Arthur in the center of the group, who's, basically givingeverybody very specific hues and...

...gestures, and this is very orchestratedin provisational music. I am orchestrational director rather thanfearless leader or dictator, and I'm taking the energy and the beauty ofeveryone's contribution and helping us mould it in such a way that we end up a manifesting. Our highest musicalpotential is a group bottom line, and it's all in the moment, and that's whatthe that's where the magic is. It's kind of like taking the best of theelements that are apparent and rather than trying to create something andrearrange it, because maybe you've got a better idea. You take the best ofwhat's there and orchestrated into its fine, most finely tuned machine andshowcase it ready. Here we go wood. There's our clock, not not bad. No,that's scissors ca te time. So now we're going to add the paper rocks paper. citens paper isthe shakers because it fills up the space around in Ibetween, thise notes,paper shakers come it's really about listening tosupporting each other and sharing our rhythmical spirit, and most of usactually were brought up. Thinking that we were rhythmically challenged, wewere told to shut up and act, our age quit, making that noise or women weresupposed to be seen not heard, or you were put in the dumb section of thechorus and Aske to whisper, or you have been taught under the most repressivemusic teaching system that ever existed on the planet, which mailed you thatyou never wanted to touch that Vili again ever ever ever again right andotherwise, if you had any musical prowess, you were supposed to like pickup that brass instrument and go into the marching band, because the marchingband played with the football team and the football team could actually go outto do a conquest against the other school right and then eventually wewould train you to go into the military or right Wen office. Buildin. Youtouched the essence of what it is because when we lost our rhythm USEuropeans right, we lost our rhythm during a period of time calledInquisition Sixteenth Century, and there was a the the first of theoriginal macartheism was happening back then, under the disguise of religiouszealots and people were being burned at the steak put in prison and drowned tothe tune of hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people per country fromSpain to Germany into Russia down into Italy innless, you acted a certain way,and so basically we wiped out a lot of our cultures in Europe at that time andfrom that time, on any culture that came out of that used drumming for warsand, of course, funerals and one other thing I might say, wasn't it kind oftrue that during the movement of some societies into other continents,because somebody was saying hey if we come in with a boat and get you guysoff this piece of the Rock and move you across the ocean where you can be sold,is you know slave labor? A lot of the indigenous people weren't allowed tobring their drums, which were really then when they had to fabricate theirowns and their own beat congas or would have you. I mean this is really amethod of communication for them to be able to at least kind of speak in somesort of a code and weren't the people that were kind of shipping human beings.Around kind of saying, Hey! Stop that code, I mean. Is there any truth inthat Tim Agree? What you got two more hours, yeah read by book all right.What you've done is Sonopso the reality of bringing people are over from one culture and try to use them as work,hourses and slaves and and in all of the Third World countries,not just in Cuba, but Cubas. A good example of what's happening here in theUnited States. Actually they were property, and so economic exchanged good right, and sothey, and also they did not. They...

...didn't n it you see rhythm, is themother tongue. These people were from at least three basic cultures anddidn't speak the same language, but they spoke the same linguage when theydrummed and when they drummed, and they made a spirit connection that was aboveand beyond what the colonialist wanted him to make. But at for a certainperiod of time they weren't able to cut down trees to make drums they had tomake do and what they may do with was barrels and stays, and that's where youget the AFFHRO Cuban Conga from it's, not African. It's definitely Cuban. Buthere's the deal. You take these cultures and you mix them together on win littleisland and you get Spanish influence right.You get your by influence from Nigtjera. You get this Sinagambia influence thebombares and the walloffs and the congales influence mixed in with nativeAmerican still on the island, and you get the Jajanco the Afro Cuban music.You get a rhythmiculture that re invented itself and recreated itself and made it itsown, its own thing and that's like people say withdrumming it suits the need of whoever is doing the drumming because, likewater, it will flow wherever it needs to go for that individual. You mightsay that it kind of did this tingding, so it kind of also would have happenedon a sociological level rather than just on the individual psychologicallevel. Absolutely it is a comedy nominator. First of all, let me touchon the water thing. People come together and they drum together they'reactually creating a vibration that vibration. We are mostly water. Thatvibration goes to whatever place is the most uptight. Okay in ourselves, in ourhearts and our motions in our bodies and our beings and our souls, you nameit and it releases that for a moment you don't have to be anywhere. You haveto think about your rent. You don't have to be mad at whoever you're mad atyou. All you have to do is be there and you get massage know, there's thataspect of it. That brings rather you're conscious of it or not, brings peopletogether to celebrate that kind of we call it rhythm church. You KNO, it'snot quote spiritual. Well, I would say that in the beginning and all the wayalong the way, that was probably one of the fundamental reasons people went tochurch was it not just for that sense of healing is thank you for that. WorYeah, you know, but I mean in a way that's what's kind of really going onhere. When people come back into taking an active, I mean tell me if I'm wrongthey're, taking an active participation in the creation of that musicality orthat flow that I guess, you'd call it that spirit. That's really happeningright and by participating in that they can connect with it being that you know,I'm careful about the word healing I'm fifty seven years old I've beendrumming for fifty eight years. My poor mother and I've seen some miraculous things happenD. I got thousands of stories, but the only place where we can actuallysay here. This is scientific proof, is doctor, Berry, bitman's, work, who'sbeen working with cancepations and under certain protocols with groupdrumming can increase and strengthen the immune system inyour body. You literally take a test. You pull out some blood and measure it.You sit down you drum with a bunch of people under a certain protocol run bythe doctor, and then you take more blood out after it and you have morekiller tea cells in your body than you had before. You started drumming and wedid all kinds of blind tests from meditation relaxation tapes andeverything else and didn't get this kind of result and for cancer patience.That's pretty amazing stuff. You Bet now there's also another doctor who'swritten a formidable book. I thought he was actually going to be joining ustoday's here. He is yes. Where is yes? I Bet Freeman Dr Robert Frievan is herehi. I didn't get a chance to say hello to you, but it's good to see you hi,and this is dctor Rrobert Friedman, who...

...is a qualified practice itioner likemedicine, let's throw on the mice for a second can we can? We do that you wantto come on over and step up to the Mike, because Robert Friedman is also theauthor of a book, the healing power of the drum, and is it not apsychoanalysts perspective or is I a doctor's perspective want to tell us alittle bit about Your Book Body Yeah psechotherapeutic perspective, focusing on the use of drun particularicly with in terms of what Arthur was talking about with water in terms ofrelease and how the drum helps to release things, like stress, anger,negative emotions and and he's correct. There is reallyonly one clinical research done by Dr Bitman, but there are scores of anecdotal information of individualswho have experienced this. This release into really joy from anger or stress, and if I made Dr Barry Bitman's workhis actually uncovered on a blood level, a molicular level, things like theincrease in the killer cells, which have actually been shown to bebeneficial and reducing cancer, and your work is actually had a little bitof research compiled from benefits to Alzeimer's patients, Parkinson's, acouple of other various conditions as well Mi. I M Mih not mistaken, actually,the it wasn't. Research actually started with do with thebarry Bernstein,who worked with Azhamer's patients and found that asarmers patients, when theydrum, were able to develop greater concentration, to say thirty seconds toa minute without drumming and t en thirty minutes with drumming and theywhat hey? What they found was that what they believed was was that rhythm wasprocessed throughout the brain and with allhamers patients wbut it does. Itaffects the the ser, the Serbellum I sai, this Roupof court texs Ri the higher level of the brain, and they believe that rhythmwas processed in the Serabellum or the lower portion of the brand, so thatalltimes patients were able to drum and interact with their with their familyand friends through drumming, where they couldn't do it with with any otherbeven with any other stinulus. That's interesting, wow, that's great! So itreally does have a lot of power and they're actually able to test this, andis this probably a reason how why were seeing more drum circles in star we saymedical environment, so we're seeing it in schools? Community centers wereseeing it in nursing home, seeing it in work, of course, corporate work as well:Double TN, doubleding team building right wean get into that late yeah. Wecould spiritual senters, of course, and then, of course, just the hippies underthe bridge ha've been doing it for a while to right, Arthurdu, okay, Robert, I'm glad that you're here todayand thank you ever so much for Ginias in this wonderful circle andfor and tohelp share in this. That's great here's! HERE'S THE DEAL! Okay, it's prettyobvious in the corporate environment, because it's obvious in the corporateenvironment we have hierarchies. I Love N. I do half of the work I do is insidethe corporate environment, an INISCUSAL DU team building unitythrough diversity. Give me excuse. I've got the Mentaphorce, but it's all thesame thing. We ship a bunch of drums to a meeting or a conference. The largestcorporate group we've done is six thousand silicon graphics employees atonce. That was that was a huge circle. Well, it wasn't a circle, a little bigfor Seri O mob yeah, but nonetheless, we've got this. We've got this. What Icall physiology of separateness, it's in our bodies as human beings, we makejudgments about people that we see and our relationship with them and all thatkind of stuff in a community envirironment you come in, you sit downand play, and and and it doesn't even matter, you're an individual by thetime you have been drumming for ten minutes, you're now part of a group andthat physiology that separated you from the people around you starting to meltin the corporate world that physiology is separateness, is also withinside thejob description. So I love Buti, Yeah Yeah,...

...a group of people that are all like thepresident standing next to the vice president satin next to the janitorstanding next to the midline person standing at the administrativeassistant, stending next to and they've all they're wearing their corporatephysiology, and I physically watch this physiology melt within fiveminutes of them. As a group beginning to play together, it melts thephysiology of separateness, its just one of the things, okay that drummingtogether as a group can do. Rather, you now know the person next to you or not,and what I think statistically happens is as a result of that is that theperformance of these corporations actually gets increased, because someof those things that divide us or all of a sudden taken away and people learnhow to work better with their associates in their colleagues right itbetter. They wouldn't pay me the Bucks They Pai me to come in and dometaphorical implantation, okay by doing drum circles and and coming upwith the metaphors that apply to you know. Look here. We are a group ofpeople, we've never seen each other before each one of t is is good at whatwe do on some level. Okay, my job isn't to empower these people to the best oftheir abilities to let them feel safe and comfortable, and let them know thatI'm here to empower their sharing they're going to add value to what thisproject is, and this is a representation of team building.Everyone is no more no less important than any one else on this team to makethis project work. Okay and were all the elements that make a drum circle,successful the listening, a cooperation rather than competition dialogue. Okay,all this kind of stuff. All these elements that you would identify withina corporation are functioning within this. In the moment, musical rhymical,expression of human spirit and body feels like they're, also heard, andperhaps getting their own active participation into the creation ofwhat's happening being, rather than perhaps feeling stifled on notexpressing themselves in a productive way. It's about ownership and everybodyhas a piece of the ownership of that project. I guess today Arthur hole and winteragain of many. Many words from Drum magazine is the Drummy Best Drum Circle,facilitator and training. Certainly in his drumcirclecom and village musiccircles, facilitator training, operation of results is the beautifulmusic that comes out of it, even though some of it's a little noisy, it's surea lot of fun. Thank you for having us on your show, absolutel welcome. Thankyou again, Arthur hole and village music circles today. Thank you all verymuch for joining me here today.

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