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Reinhard Flatischler

COPYRIGHT CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION

INTERVIEW W REINHARD:

YOU BEGAN LIKE A LOT OF PEOPLE IN TRADITIONAL CLASSICAL WESTERN TRAINING. HOW DID YOU FALL OUT OF THAT BECAUSE IT HAS VERY LITTLE TO DO WITH WHAT YOU'RE DOING.

Well as long as I remember, I wanted to play the drum. But I simply wasn't allowed to. When I was 4 they just, you know, put me behind the piano. And rather than doing nothing I was fascinated, you know, making nice sounds. But I had to suffer a little bit in that way because I was not allowed even to try it out. So I tried it out secretly. And ah so I had a little hard childhood I would say in that because the call of the drum was always there from the first day, as long as I remember. And I grew up in a place where there were no drums. Italian place near Vienna. And so I had always this voice inside me and outside there was no response. Everyone was telling me, what are you talking about? Can't you be like other people are? So it created actually tense and fear and my life up to 14 years was pretty scared life. You know was narrow life. I was also suffering from asthma, from anything that ...... And then ah I had a major breakthrough. I just went to India.

AT WHAT AGE?

15.

BY YOURSELF?

Yes. Because the drum called me so much. So I was there learning the tapa and this was a very strange experience because in the beginning it was more cooking tea for the master and listening, you know. I didn't know that listening deeply is learning. I was always expecting more action, what he's going to show me. And he would show me for a long time just one stroke, you know. But I was constantly listening to the other students. So I learned a lot. And it's like the Indian drum was .... the first but I knew there's more. Because then I got confused. Well am I a piano player? What I'm doing in India? You know, all this cultural conflict so I'm not Indian and I had a time where I just no I'm an Indian tableau player now. I started talk like an Indian and behave like an Indian. Then ah by learning the drum in India you're learning it by (scatting) that's how you learn the drums by sticking. By remember it, I brought my feet in, I brought my hands in to just remember the angles as they call them, the bars. And so first I experimented a lot myself with the body language because I had not the drum all the time. So where I was I was doing something with my voice, my hands and that brought me on my way. I recognized profound changes in my speaking, profound changes in the whole body, profound changes in my perception of the environment. Then I was directly guided to well I tried it out with other people. Let's do it together. This was actually when I started, 17, 18 years old, I didn't try to do it with other people. I had friends, for example, with very high blood pressure, I had friends with a very high pulse. We just experimented and then, wow, it dropped after two hours. It dropped down to about 60 beats and so it was an experimental stage. Learning drums, knowing very .... something about I know there is a healing power of rhythm but I didn't know what it was. And after this stage came a point where the Goethe Institute which is a cultural institute, gave me they gave me a big hook by just ah financing concerts, classical concerts partly or financing workshops so I could stay for a long time for example in Korea or in Japan or in different countries to learn that profoundly. There's nothing you can learn unless you stay a few years and really every day get to know. So I got to Korea, got to Brazil, to all these places. And all of a sudden I recognized, wait a minute, they sound very different those rhythms, but I know this. And then I found there are underlying archetypes in all these cultures. If you go down and down and down through the sound of a special drum to the structures and to the feelings then you find the same archetypes in Korea, in Africa, in Brazil and Cuba. That amazed me very much. You even find identical rhythms played on the congogi which is an African bell or on a tu which is Korean gong. So from this pattern I really was just drawn to well what is the primal rhythmic knowledge of humankind? What do we all share in common? And that led me to takatina. Well people asked me why is called takatina. It's a very simple reason. When I started to do my body work that you have seen, with people, takatina is a combination of several ...... So after the set people will ask me, when are we going to do takatina again. They wouldn't tell me when we're doing camala again. So it called itself takatina. And of course there are some syllables in the Indian and German language that are similar. But .... gamala are combinations of sounds that you find in China, in Korea, in Brazil, in Africa and a lot of different places. They're like replique mantra.

LIKE WHAT MANTRA?

Rhythmic mantras.

THERE'S A COUPLE OF THINGS. I'M QUITE NEW TO THIS. I'M COMING AT IT FROM A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT DIRECTION. MY BACKGROUND IS BUDDHA .... I'M COMING NOT MUSIC, IT'S COMING FROM A COMPLETELYD DIFFERENT ANGLE. A COUPLE OF THINGS THAT STRIKE ME. FIRST OF ALL THE CONNECTION BETWEEN RHYTHM AND YOGA AND THERE'S ANOTHER THING AND YOU WERE TOUCHING ON IT WHEN YOU GOT TO ARCHETYPES. WHEN YOU'RE TALKING ARCHETYPES ARE WE TALKING REALLY THE FIRST LANGUAGE OF HUMANITY?

I would say what you have seen here is the first language of humanity, it is. It definitely is. I have done workshops in Korea; I have done workshops in Brazil and see, you imagine maybe Brazil being a country where everyone is rhythmical. It's not like this. So I had a lot of people living in cities too like they have never really they know samba but they are not exposed to play rhythm. So once they get for example you have seen something where they clap a different thing and they step a different thing. This is a very important part. Consciously you can never reach the archetypes. Takatina always works on two to three different levels that you cannot do voluntarily. So what will happen is you fall out and you come back because there's a community. You fall out, you come back. And in this process you have so much time and you are safe so you allow yourself not to grab the next thing but just to listen. .... to listen with the whole body. You are in the movement with the others. So then after a certain time, the eyes are lightening up in a certain way and most of the people's feet are like coming home. They know exactly this is the next thing but they don't know what it is. They can't say it's a 5 beat, they cannot say nothing. They just know that feels right. So I didn't teach them this is this rhythm, no. I just guide them in a way where they can find their own archetypes that we all share in common because I feel those archetypes have two functions. Maybe they have more but I see two basic functions. In musical terms they are like the building blocks. Unless you have discovered them you can't really compose, create or play creative music because they're like building blocks that you need to build something. The other thing is as we have left the rhythmic knowledge or forgotten the rhythmic knowledge for a long time and rhythmic knowledge is still there but hidden away somewhere and by rediscovering these archetypes you're rediscovering that part of your inner being that's cut off the same way as rhythm was cut off. So it's like coming home to yourself. That's the final goal of takatina to find this inner core, the access to the inner core. And then the most imporant effect of the rhythmic past that I find in the Western cultures is .... is fear. There are so many issues about fear and I myself was such a furious kid, child. It's not the fear if someone comes in and you know, with a gun, well that's a different fear. But it's a fear, you know

BEING OUT OF SYNCH WITH THE UNIVERSE.

So this fear actually melts down very much, very very much. And I believe that the Western people avoid sometimes rhythm by saying, well African people should drum or they have the rhythm, we don't have. And I think this is a very very ah there's no way of seeing it that way because we have already said a very stupid thing as well that black people can't sing, we sing, you drum. That's just a reversion of it. We all have the right to find our own rhythm and rhythm is like a medicine. We can't live without that. So once we tune in we're getting more healthy. For example my young age was very very traumatic with all kinds of disease. And as I went on in this rhythm path, my health is growing and growing and growing.

WHAT'S THE RELATIONSHIP DO YOU THINK BETWEEN RHYTHM AND WELL IT'S A BIG WORD, SPIRITUALITY?

I think rhythm is a great path on the development into spiritual life. See ah meditation is a beautiful thing. It has one trap. YOu could sit there and think that you're in deep meditation but you're still thinking and still seeing something you know. If you are in takatina and you start to think, to dream, you will immediately fall out. It's like in a monastery where you have the monk who just hits you on the head. It's like you had it yourself so you're falling out. Oh I was thinking. I was not meditating. So I think rhythm is a very profound way to spiritual it was always connected that way. It's not only a way into spiritual for my spiritual path no, for the whole world, because it creates community as you have seen. Rhythm, if rhythm in a community is lacking, this community will start to suffer. That's what many people don't see today. They try to solve problems, particularly problems with politics and social problems with social something it won't work. I think as soon as the knowledge of rhythm if I'm in a circle with people, we are changing automatically into, you know from I am I am I am into we are. Those people here that come to the workshop they haven't talked much with each other because it's not a workshop about talking. But there were many voices of well you are also near to me, you all feel like brothers and sisters. And that's a very old knowledge. That's why there from the Indian tribes to the Balinese people, wherever you look, they create in a regular rhythm their community with rhythm. So I think that's spirituality.

GOOD ANSWER. YOU MENTIONED SOMETHING EARLIER ABOUT FINDING COMMON ARCHETYPES BETWEEN ALL VARIOUS DRUMMING TRADITIONS OF THE WORLD. AND YET WHEN I LISTEN TO INDIAN DRUMMING, ITS EFFECT ON ME, IT'S VERY DIFFERENT THAN WHEN I LISTEN TO, WELL FRED, FOR INSTANCE. WE LISTENED TO HIM EARLIER. IT SEEMS TO BE STIMULATING DIFFERENT PARTS OF MY ENTIRE SYSTEM IN COMPLETELY DIFFERENT WAY. EVEN THOUGH I CAN SEE THAT THERE ARE RHYTHMIC OR PRIMITIVELY SEE THAT THERE ARE SIMILARITIES IN THE RHYTHMIC PATTERNS, THOSE ARE EXTREMELY COMPLEX. THAT I CAN RECOGNIZE. YET ONE STIMULATES DEMANDS YOU MOVE, LITERALY DEMANDS YOU MOVE AND INDIAN RHYTHMS, SOUTH INDIAN DRUMMING FOR INSTANCE, I'M VERY CONTENT JUST TO SIT THERE AND FEEL IT TOTALLY INTERNALLY.

Yes, so let me first put it that way. Similarities between rhythm are not archetypes. Many people, you know, think well, ah this is a similar rhythm, it must be an archetype. It's not. Archetypes means underlying matrix that you know, like if you would have a candle and it would shine through all the rhythms here so they would all sound different but the archetypes are still the same. They start as simple as they are even in our physiology. Look the 2 and the 3 is anchored in our body in our breathing rhythm. If you run around this block you come back (panting) 1, 2 1, 2. Then listen to someone being in a deep deep sleep. What you hear is (breathing deeply). So you will find look all the carnival's rhythm, they are in tuned 4 Samba, compaza, whatever. All the original rhythms of Africa (scatting) they are all in the 3. ..... still there are African rhythms that will make you still. And there are Indian rhythms that will make you like this. It's not like you say India puts me there and Africa puts me there. See, you have I found about 8 different layers that have affecting rhythm. The first is the pulse. That's what you feel when you go to any place in the body where you can feel the pulse. And this pulse is just something (snaps fingers) between space. Now there's a very important experiment I did. Exposed people to a pulse pulsation and each pulse in this pulsation was equal. And then people start to hear after 5 minutes, tingkon, tingkon, other one tingkonkon. So we have this creativity that we form sooner or later, single pulses into groups that's creating a cycle. So that's the next layer. If a drum falls out in the level of pulsation it just breaks the rhythm at all. If you make a mistake in the level of for example 7 beats play 1 times 6 and 1 times 7, it will not break but the audience will immediately have a big question mark? What is going on? That feeling. The next thing is the third level I call the pulses that are in the intervals. For example the interval is an empty space but each empty space like a flute has sensitive points. Empty space like in an organ and any things has a point in the middle where the vibration divides itself into 2, into 3, into 4. It's the same in rhythm. Sound and rhythm is entirely the same thing. So you have in each empty interval in the middle, what we call the off beats. In the third division, what we call the gamala off beat then you have double time off beat and all these off beats are already there whether you play them or not. They are already there. So this is the third level. Now pick out a certain one of them. You have the off beats. You have like (demonstration with voice and hands) they all cover this interval differently. Now the next thing is they are also like building blocks. Take a beat, an off beat and a double time off beat and you create a rhythm figure which is the fifth layer. The rhythm ... for example that appears everywhere beat, off beat, double time off beat (demonstrating with voice and hands). This is already a very certain being. If you make a mistake on this, for example, the pulse goes on, the circle goes on. It won't do much. You can improvise about it, you can just forget it, you can improvise about it. So the more deeper you go the more profound it will appear. The next thing is

WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO CHANGE.

MAN ALIVE

"DRUMS"

PART 5

INTERVIEW W REINHARD CONTD.:

Now this fifth level of rhythm figure, that comes back to your question. (demonstrating with voice and hands) You have this rhythm in each culture. But whether you play it on the ... drum that you have seen, whether you play it on a chango, or an African drum, it will sound entirely different. You can put an open tone on it. You can put a slap on it. You can put you know, all these kinds of different things. So the rhythm figure is only in the structure but how you colour it will entirely change the feeling of it, will entirely change how it sounds. So you recognize it's the same thing. If you just go a level down, and say, oh yeah, this is the same thing but it sounds so different. See here, as we are passing more and more to the more individual things, this is how all the different cultures have created their different musics but it's all rooted in one. Now level 1 to level 4, that's the archetype world. That's how it is. That's law, that's nature law. And from this is the recreation. Now rhythm figure, how we colour this rhythm figure with a drum was the 6th. The 7th is the tempo because that goes through all. You have a rhythm. For example, in Korea I take just one, I could take many but this one (scatting) well this is a certain tempo. Now I measure like (scatting) it's still possible (scatting) it does work anymore. So the tempo is the character of the rhythm. You can play certain rhythms only in a certain tempo range. Otherwise they lose their swing, they lose their feeling, everything. The last one is the feeling. This is very weird but see. You have the subdivision pulse of 2, of 3, of 4. That means (demonstrating with voice and hands) and so on. They're all like matrix, you know. But you as a drummer, you don't play all the time on the matrix. You're leading the matrix. The way is for you to learn, first you have to find and you know establish this matrix in yourself, then you can leave it. So how a drummer plays between these pulses, that's the feeling. (scatting) It's not gamala, it's not takatina, it's in between. And I only can go in between if I know both in my body. So those are the 8 levels that are found that relate to they all have a different effect of you. So you can say, for example, the 3 will spin you down and the 4 will bring you out. But that's not a rule you can say it like this. For example, if have a 9 beat rhythm, 9 beat in a cycle, well that's a new airing of it. You could colour it with 2, with 3 in the subdivision pulses and they will have new effect.

SO WHAT YOU'RE SAYING IS IT'S FAR TOO COMPLEX TO CATEGORIZE IN A SIMPLE ...

Yeah.

BUT ARE THERE ANY SIMPLE RULES AT ALL YOU CAN APPLY TO HOW 3s, 5s, AFFECT, 7s?

There are general lines. You could say I said about the 2 and the 3 and the 4. There's definitely something in the 12 which balances the people very deeply and the explanation I have is because 12 is 3 times 4 and 4 times 3. It has you know polarities inside. So for example this very famous African guideline (demonstrating with voice and hands) is 12 beat. The old Indian prupat is 12 beat. So many sacred balancing rhythms are 12. The 7 is the opposite. The 7 is 3 and 4. For example in Indian rupak which is a 7 in India, (scatting) you expect (demonstrating) it begins but the Indians to even make it stronger, this unevenness, they put no accent on the first beat. Three and four, you could put it four and three. That makes it a very, you know

AMBIGUOUS.

Yeah but at the same time the 7 has a tremendous drive. It's very it becomes .... but on the other side it's very rolling. So it's exactly the different feeling of 12. The 9 you could say I've done lots of workshops on 9. The 9 will eliminate anybody feeling at all. And the 9, it's like it would ah ah how is the English word? If it would you put a stone in some chemical and it disappears? How is that?

DISSOLVE.

Yeah it dissolves feeling. It dissolves anything because the 9 itself dissolves. The 9 is the last number. After that then everything is repeated. So the 9 I always tend to balance the 9 with the 4 or the 2 which brings it down to earth. Definitely the 2 and the 4 has the tendency and the ability to bring you down on the earth. And the pulse of course. See, I've done a lot with people in a therapeutic setting. So people who have problems with arriving on this planet, and that's a lot of people, with the pulse, it guides you to here I am, I'm landing on this ground, you know. So it eliminates, for example, fear that is groundless, that is really scary you know. If I'm feary but I still have the ground, I can live with it you know. I can proceed. But to have no ground so rhythm gives you ground.

WHY DOES RHYTHM HEAL THOUGH?

In so many ways the words I said applies most to here is it eliminates fear. It makes you selfconfident. Look, you have a good example. If you can swim and everyone who can swim goes out in the ocean, lays down, relaxes and let the water carry you. So now tell to someone who can't swim, come out, we'll lay in the water. So the physics for him and you is the same, exactly the same same water, same body. The only difference is the trust. It's exacly the same in the rhythm. The rhythm will guide you into trust step by step. It will just trust in yourself, trust in life I myself remember I had a time especially before I really went into my drums. I had so many nos and just many nos where one no. I'm better, I'm not good enough, I'm always no. So rhythm ...... yes , that's a very healing power in rhythm. That's for the individual. But another thing that applies so much is the collective. Rhythm will connect people in a way words cannot, you know, can never lead you there. Only rhythm can lead you there and it will create community. It's a great community builder. Rhythm is the great community builder. And we will have a different level of doing something together if we would drum every or you can drum. It must be a context where you understand what we're doing together. The thing with see now the drum was taken so much and so long away of us, people all over the ..... you know, they just, oh the drum, we want a drum. And then what happens sometimes is they're drumming but they have forgotten it so long so they just try to get off with it which means you're just dropping into your subconscious and to let it go which is not the meaning of rhythm. The meaning of rhythm is to bring the conscious, the awake conscious and the subconscious and the unconscious together. That's a deeply healing thing, like do a slap here, continue with that and proceed with it so that you for example you cannot do two things voluntarily. You can for example I'm doing taki taki then I'm asking someone, okay, do like this. It goes like that. Because you cannot do it voluntarily. And that's the same in three levels. As soon as you want to do voluntarily, oh I can't get this clap. This goes off. This will sink deeper and deeper in the connection with the subconscious. The subconscious or unconscious and I don't believe there's only three levels. There's millions or endless levels. They're connecting .... is voom voom voom where it actually belongs to. All the time we are talking, our heart is pulsing. Without that we have to do ...... So it's the same in our steps. So in takatina the pulses. Now here you do something consciously and in the next step even do someting consciously. (phone rings)

IT MUST BE REALLY IMPORTANT.

DO YOU REMEMBER WHERE YOU WERE?

No.

YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT HEALING, RHYTHM.

Because I'm floating.

(chuckles) WELL OKAY SO LET'S JUST CONTINUE FLOATING THEN. YOU'RE WORKING INTO THE WHOLE IDEA OF HOW WE'VE LOST IT BUT WE'RE GETTING BACK TO IT.

I'm already there.

YEAH.

It's three different levels in the collective the subconscious and the conscious and the unconscious and all these paths. Usually suffering comes if your conscious mind and your awake mind is separated from the that's what subconscious and unconscious that's what all yoga, you know, tries to focus on, all the .... tries to focus on. Rhythm will really very directly guide you to the channel through all this by first you tend to do things voluntarily so one must go sooner or later and the way how it goes is by falling out. And for falling out you need the community because if you fall out and you're alone, it just stops. You can't continue. But they will continue. And why? Because they're continuing, there's lots of timers, okay. Over there, oh there they are, okay. And I'm back.

DO YOU THINK THAT WE ARE GETTING BACK COLLECTIVELY NOW?

I am very

DO YOU THINK IN OTHER WORDS THAT PEOPLE ARE PICKING UP A DRUM MORE IN THE WEST?

I really hope so and I really see it. I really see it happen. And well it doesn't have immediately to be a drum because the primal rhythmic instrument is our body. So it could be just the body too. It will of course if you do takatina for a year, you want to expand to an instrument sooner or later and that's the drum of course. But you can start with your body. Everyone can start with the body. And I see this happen. I see also a lot of question marks, you know, because we've lost it for a long time. But I hear this big demand and frankly speaking, I just tell you, if we want to really see a path and a future for our planet there is no other way. I really say it so clearly. Because we always try to solve problems in a very detailed and special way. It's much deeper. As soon as we are really drumming together. I haven't met this guy but I've heard so many things about him Arthur Hall for example. He's doing this with gangs in L.A. that usually shoot each other and he's very successful in that. So living in Austria sometimes, having Sarajevo next door, I was thinking, jesus, I'm seeing rhythm lacking because ....well you're a Serb, I shoot you, you are this here. And everyone shoots everyone. And that's hollowgram with ...... detection in this planet and the thing that's missing is the deep knowledge that we share. We have a sacred place in common and once I discover this inner line from me into you, I can't shoot you any more.

WHICH IS IMPORTANT.

Yeah I think it's really.

I WANT TO BACK UP BECAUSE IT'S AN IMPORTANT POINT AND I THINK YOUR TAKE ON IT WILL PROBABLY BE A SOPHISTICATED ONE. WHY DID WE LOSE RHYTHM IN THE WEST?

Why did we lose rhythm? First of all I don't like the word we lose rhythm because we still have it. It's rather we forgot about it. Because see the difference is like if I lose something it's somewhere and I have to look around and someone else has to give it to me. I rather like the picture when I'm in my workshops I really think .... teach, everyone is deeply rhythmically. You are, as you're sitting here, you're deeply rhythmical. Everything you have to access is this core where it's, you know, where it's stored. Now there are many many ways. I think one of the reasons why it is because the drum was not allowed simply by law.

WHY?

There are again many reasons and the reasons don't count so much. I think it's scary for people who don't drum because they are touched inside here. I feel rhythm is the most caressing for the people and it's the thing they're longing most for it. That's how I see it many times. So well there are also other reasons because in this time there was no telephone and the people could you know make a telephone with it. So there are many reasons why it was like this but it simply was like this. And of course like many things that if you separate, soul, body into the flesh is evil and this is it doesn't leave necessarily through them, you know, (chuckles) because the rhythm unites everything. The rhythm unites all these parts. It just doesn't tear you apart; it puts you as a whole human being together.