TOM EHRLICH & GROUP
A CD for listening, “journeying”, playing together with and for dancing! Pure drumming music, essential. Rhythms of power, that develop their energies being steadily repeated. The CD contains e.g. the 30-minute-piece “TRANCE DANCE” and a sequence with schaman drums. The Booklet informs about the ceremonial use of drums and about the energy of the different rhythms.
Hier der Text aus dem Booklet:
Since millennia, drums have been used to carry messages, to accompany dances and as powerful instruments for changing human consciousness. Ancient shamans called the drum their “horse”, since it was the vehicle which carried them to other dimensions, other worlds, where they could contact and communicate with the Spirit(s). In almost all ancient tribal and traditional societies drums were used in rituals, ceremonies and celebrations, to call the Spirits and to lead participants to a direct contact with the power and energy of the cosmos as expressed through rhythm. Drums were also considered to have a “voice” and were able to “talk”, through different sounds and tones, in a kind of rhythmic speech. Through this language they were able to receive as well as send messages. In fact the powers of the drums were so great that in Africa and India they were given their own throne next to the king!
Today we are rediscovering the many powers and voices of the drums and their deep effects on body, mind and consciousness. The rhythmic beat of the drum is the pulse of life itself, which pulses through all living things. It is the heartbeat in everyone of us, which begins even before we come into this world and which beats without stopping for the entire duration of our lives. It affects the rhythm of our brain waves in our mind and is the rhythmic pulse which connects us directly with all living things and with the universe at large.
The drumming on this CD contains basic and fundamental rhythm, ranging from the simple pulse of shamanic drumming to heartbeat drumming and to rhythmic patterns for dancing. These rhythms when played in ceremonies usually last at least 4 to 6 hours and occasionally go through the night. The intent is for the participants to open their hearts to the Spirit and there is no time limit set for how long a piece should last. The drummers sit in a circle and the center is open for dancing. Some longer selections of drumming have been included here to give the feeling of ceremonial drumming and dance, and to allow all who hear it to participate. In order to have the feeling of being “inside” the rhythm and surrounded by the sound, as the drummers and dancers are, it is suggested to play the CD at a relatively high volume level.
SHAMANIC VOICES As shamanism is the root of all spirituality, so the shamans drum is the root of all drumming. Although sounding very simple, the connection of the drum beat with the shamans own heart, soul and consciousness gives this drumming a unique power, richness and depth. The shaman also considered the drum as his “horse”, i.e. a spirit power which could carry him over vast distances, even through the air, to make a contact to the spirit world. The shaman undertook these journeys in his soul, or with that portion of his consciousness which could leave the body in order to be healed or to heal others, and to receive knowledge. Either through the drum or with his voice the shaman called to the subtle and normally invi-sible energies of the spirits and asked for their help. This piece begins with rattles, another instrument often used by shamans, and as the shamans drum slowly emerges, you can hear the shaman calling to the spirits with his voice. The sound of the drum is very impor-tant, since it is in reality made up of many tones, pitches and harmonics. The shaman finds the “right” tone to which the spirit energy will respond. Later he is joined by two other drummers who support and keep the beat while the shaman goes on his journey.
WELCOME DANCE – THE GREETING This piece is a dance rhythm, whose purpose is to bring together and welcome all participants, especially the drummers and dancers. It is a kind of “warm up” and it also invokes the spirit energies of the space in which the drumming is taking place. The pattern is a simple rhythm of 4 beats, and after a short introductory call all the drummers enter together. The lead drummer plays variations in double time, which are occasionally answered by other drummers. These variations use the different tones of the drum, called bass, middle and high, as well as overtones to create actual melodies. The piece is presented in a short form as an introduction and greeting to all who are present.
THE DREAMTIME – HEARTBEAT DRUMMING The title refers to a mythical and “timeless” space, which is always ac-cessible to us when we have the key. The key here is the heartbeat. The piece begins slowly with the lead drum and a bass drum playing a sim-ple heartbeat together. Gradually and almost imperceptivly the other drummers join, and after everyone has entered into the beat, the lead drummer begins to double and fill in the beat in melodic developments. This is a kind of “song” or “singing” of the drums and can carry consci-ousness to another place. All the other drums join together, but the bass or “Mama” drum always plays the heartbeat, and as the piece ends you can hear the bass drum alone, fading softly into the heartbeat – that heartbeat which is ever present.
TRANCE DANCE A piece for dancing! For many years, trance was associated with un-consciousness and black magic. Fortunately, we now know that trance can be a very positive and beneficial state of consciousness, in which the tight restrictions and pressures we normally feel are momentarily loosened. Especially through dancing we can release these conceptions and our self image and open ourselves to new possibilities, contacts, energies and other states of consciousness in a non destructive way. The rhythmic pattern of this piece is in 6 beats and is basically two heartbeats connected with each other to form a new and longer rhyth-mic melody. While we were recording one of the members of the group began dancing, about halfway through the piece.