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PRINCIPLES OF THE TEACHING OF THE RYTHMIC GAMES

The RHYTHMIC GAMES appear in my life as a necessity against my own lacks as occidental musician related to the necessary plasticity and air to arrive to artistic rhythm. There begins my attempt trying to incorporate the concepts of “game and tribe” where the student’s conventional stiffness is used to, incorporating the body and the voice, playing freely.

At the beginning I connect with the free rhythm in improvisation through jazz. I think that Max Roach with his melodic singing in the drums (always in African style), Thelonious Monk and his fabulous rhythmic movements and Charlie Mingus’ integrity worked as a great impulse.

As I investigated in this area I confirmed that in conventional occidental teaching rhythm is confused with measure looked from the rhythm mathematic, African, Arabian, Indian, gypsy and native musicians go over this concept because they have the plastic, free and tribal aspect of the rhythm and the way of sharing playing and creative group’s creation.

Iris Guiñazú says: “Rhythm is in the cyclic nature of everything what is created. Is an impulse that begins in calmness, goes up and down, repeating this movement continuously. Is a process that changes going from tension to release in continuous duration cycles. Every interior impulse is rhythmic, as every movement in nature and in each rhythmic movement then energy process is reproduced”.

From this point of view, and taking the idea of tribal circle, my working method integrates the body and the voice using three phonemes: pa – cum – chik. Pa is the beat of palms played and sang at the same time; Cum is the beat of the right foot on the floor played and sang at the same time; chik is ithe beat of the left foot on the floor played and sang at the same time. The teacher is in the middle as a rhythmic “chaman”, he invents patterns (for ex. four beats, he sings and asks the students to imitate). Imitation and creativity are two steps of the same teaching process in which imitation is first for the student to be familiar with the phonemes and the work, to let the creative action appear. Afterwards, the teacher asks a student to be the rhythmic “chaman” and he goes to the circle following the proposals of the one that is in the center.
The purpose of this method is that the student (musician, actor, singer, investigator of his own capacities) can afford new rhythmic elements to help themselves to discover what they already had inside

RHYTHMIC GAMES

1. The purpose of these rhythmic games is to make people feel and understand the rhythm as a movement thats represents the movement of life, what we mean plastic or artistic rhythm.
With this work people use their body and the voice as a rhytmic impulse for improvisation, because all that is not sang an danced caonnot be played plastically in the instrument.

2. These games are practised stand up beating and singing at the same time.
The phonemes that are used are: PA for the beast with the palms, CUM to beat
the right foot against the floor and CHIK to beat the left foot against the floor.
There are most important rules are: respect the order of what is written and use
silence and accents in a creative and different way.

3. The beginning is metronomic, slowly being concious of the work with the body and the voice playing with the accents and silence over the different phonemes. Is very important the voice leading the intention of the beats and the dynamic, I mean strong and soft beats.
When the player reaches pleasure with a phrase, is good to repite it up to make it relaxed in body and voice; only in that moment the natural necessity of making something new will appear creating a new one, changing accentes and silences.

4. Working slowly is very important so as to harmonize body and voice. Do not hurry because if mind works faster than body the work does not flow.
Do not try to make structures from mind, because the occidental tendency thinking in measures makes return to the same accents. The point is trying to give a more essntial sense to the “man”, based on periods as it happens with Indian music African, Arabian or gipsy. This is what I want to do with these RHYTHMIC GAMES moving accents and silences.
We have to be surprised with the changes in accentuation as the kids do, not try to manage them from mind; this will stimulate being open to sudden corporal men mental changes.
Allowing the body being spontaneous about the rhytmic impulse increases the energy, managing creative freedom and a flowing rhythm.

MODULES

The workshops are divided in two modules:

First Module: new aspects that come from the creation that I made some years ago making a method with the purpose or managing to feel and understand the rhythm as the movement that shows how life flows. In music, this is called Plastic or Artistic Rhythm.
I called this method “RHYTHMIC GAMES” and the central purpose is make the student capable in improvisation. It is done between the teacher and the students alone and in group, using the voice and the body to transfer it to the drums.

Second Module: From the book “Tambores – Un camino a la improvisación” (edited by Ricordi in 1996), we will do polyrhythmic and independence jazz exercises; in this way we will work with these styles: Elvin Jones, Max Roach, Roy Haines, Philly Jo Jones y Jack DeJhonette, among others. We will also very specially work with the following chapters:

CHACARERA (polyrhythmic 6, 3 , 4)
8 4 4

CANDOMBE (4 Voices, in group)

MURGA