Rhythm is the beginning. Humans didn’t have to invent rhythm. Everyone has an innate feel for it. In the beginning we hear the continuous loud pulsating heartbeat of our mothers’ hearts. Later there is the rhythm of breathing in and out, day and night, the seasons of the year, the cycles of the stars. Without rhythm, life is impossible. It is therefore not surprising that practically all peoples of the world apportion rhythm an important status in their modes of expression. The drum’s sacred status is unique amongst musical instruments. Drums were and are still used to communicate with the gods, magicians heal with rhythm, weddings are celebrated and warriors go to war accompanied by rhythm.
We experience rhythm most directly through music. The fundamental relevance for its specific effect is obvious: It fires us up or is soporific, can make us feel happy or aggressive.
Everywhere – in nature, as well as in our culture – it is concerned with one thing: bringing order to chaos, harmonizing the myriad. We need a rhythm: it brings unity to all those involved. Rhythm is the great leveller, the pulse of the world. If life is rhythm and rhythm is so universal – is there then a common denominator for all rhythms?
A journey around the world on the trail of the rhythm at the root of all life.