News!

Rhythmic Movement Training Course Offered in Kent, OH October 7-8, 2017

Level 1: Blomberg Rhythmic Movement Training® ADD/ADHD and Learning Readiness

Level 1In this 2-day course, participants learn the basics of Rhythmic Movement Training (BRMT) including examination of the most important primitive reflexes involved in ADHD and ADD: TLR, Landau, STNR, Spinal Galant, Amphibian and Babinski Reflexes. Through active exploration, participants learn to notice and integrate reflexes through Blomberg Rhythmic Movement. Full registration is $350 if deposit is received three weeks prior; $425 thereafter.

Harald Blomberg, MD developed his methods through nearly 30 years of clinical research and application. Blomberg RMT is a drug-free approach to brain maturation based upon the rhythmic movements infants spontaneously make before they rise to walk. Blomberg protocols effectively address concerns with muscle tone, hyperactivity, concentration, attention, autistic symptoms, reading and writing difficulties, vision, emotional regulation and developmental problems.

Instructors: Laurel Myers Hurst, MA and Kate Wagner, MA (Blomberg RMT-USA)

To register online, click here. Questions? Call BRMT Sliding on the back-from the feet330-990-1289.

This course is for teachers, parents, social workers, therapists (OT, PT, speech, vision), mental healthcare providers, medical professionals, counselors, kinesiologists, special needs and elder care givers, and all those interested in children’s development or alleviation of ADD/HD in children or adults.

Holistic neurological care for every body!

Advertisements

Shine Theory: A Serendipitous Contribution to the Smithsonian

blogFrom the moment they heard of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), Ginger Smock’s nieces and nephews knew her personal affects were destined to be there. In her time, Ginger Smock (1920-1995) was heralded as a dazzlingly talented jazz violinist with classical training and a long career of gigging and band-leading from cruise ships to casinos, yet today she is virtually unknown among 20th century jazz musicians.

Ginger’s family dutifully preserved remembrances of their aunt’s life: her violin, music stand, album collection, personal recordings and letters. They sought out scholar Laura Risk, an accomplished fiddle player and student of violin technique, and plead with her to extend Ginger’s legacy through inclusion at the Smithsonian. Feebly, Laura promised to do what she could, knowing that making connections with the NMAAHC curatorial staff was a long shot.

In October 2014, I attended the New York Public Library Schomburg Conference on the State of Black Research Collections. I was star-struck by the attendees who represented nearly every notable archive and library of African American interest. One of the most highly anticipated presentations was by the newly appointed librarian, Shauna Collier, of the National Museum of African American History. She described the logistics of gleaning books and materials from the existing Smithsonian libraries to build the NMAAHC collection and outlined the priorities and concerns for the future of the library. Excitement over the museum, though ground was barely broken, was palpable.

Shortly after, I was sitting in Pittsburgh, PA with my compatriots, members of the newly minted Historical Ethnomusicology Section of the Society for Ethnomusicology. I introduced myself and my project du jour, organization and annotation of the collected works of composer Halim El-Dabh. After the meeting, Laura approached me saying she was working on a project similar to mine with a family in Los Angeles. She wanted to make good on the hopes of Ginger Smock’s family, but she had no idea where to start.

I was stunned.

Serendipity.

Hadn’t I just met one of the chief officers of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and didn’t I have her email address in the conference brochure? Why, yes. Yes, I did.

In one message, Ms. Collier connected me to Dwandalyn Reece, NMAAHC Curator of Music and Performing Arts, and the rest is history. The Ginger Smock collection now resides, safe and sound, for all the world to explore at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Here’s the point. When we do our best to promote one another, like Laura did for Ginger’s family and as I did for Laura, we can accomplish amazing stuff. Shauna Collier, Dwan Reece and Rex Ellis (Assoc. Director of Curatorial Affairs) at the NMAAHC don’t need to know me, but I’m so pleased with the part I played in making Ginger Smock SHINE!

Sanza Time Live

Listening for all it was worth to the recent performance of selections from Sanza Time (Spaces Gallery – May 21, 2016) was an exercise in attentiveness rewarded by awareness.

Sanza Time
2016 release by Halim El-Dabh and Ron Slabe

Lisa Miralia, host of Mysterious Black Box radio, opened the performance with acknowledgement of the turtle shell among the instruments arrayed for the performance and credited the shell with channeling “every note” of the electro-acoustic performance score from the ancestors. Her assertion caused me to question how I should receive the piece having set the expectation that I would hear a message relayed to me via men acting as media. What followed confirmed the “man as media” metaphor as a gross oversimplification of the performance affect.

In some disciplines, deliberate and repeated exposure to a stimuli might be called desensitization. I sensed that portions of the movements I heard were designed, by repetition, to attune my ear to the acoustic qualities of the instruments. However, this hearing awakened, rather than dulled, my sensitivity to and anticipation for the timbral stroke of each tone color. After perusing the sound palette manifest, the performers launched a journey through measurable dimensions to an anatomic and atomic awareness of my being.

It may sound trite, but offerings from Sanza Time prompted rejoicing at the remembrance that I am stardust. This knowing was spectral in nature. I can describe it as intellectual and sensate, but the dyad is not two points on a line graph. My experience constitutes two points in a sphere of mass. Some truths are so great that at all points they are interconnected by the sheer weight of their gravitational pull.

Sanza Time gently draws the listener into awareness of the relationships between everything we may perceive as differentiable. I became keenly aware of my physiology during this performance. I felt a stirring in my solar plexus–an effervescing. The music graced me with an awareness of a most crucial truth: the dyad of self and other that describes the interconnected sphere of human identity. Objects of great mass may have measurable dimensions of great size, but, in actuality, the expected span of distance is inversely affected by the draw of gravitational pull. Sanza Time impressed me with the measurable distance of human individuality and the actual closeness of human unity.

El-Dabh and Slabe as designers, performers and executors of the stimuli that elicited this response were responsible for and must have been aware of it, yet they stood apart from it in a measurable way. Simultaneously, they were resonating within the soundscape and interacting with it. The immeasurable yet perceptible union we felt in the performance space and Sanza Time reveals the profound mystery of our differentiated sameness. My body exulted at its differentiated ability to sense pitch, duration and timbre while while my soul reveled in its metaphysical union with the energy in the room.

Sanza Time is an invitation to explore the sphere of truth incorporating the dyad of self and other. As such, the performers aren’t asking the turtle shell what the ancestors intend to say, they are asking the audience to understand what the ancestors already know.

 

Ohio Arts Council Supports Camp Halim Summer Program

OAC_50th_Logo

Thanks to the Building Cultural Diversity Grant, we are connecting 50 youth from the Villages at Franklin Crossing with artists and tradition bearers of the African cultural-arts continuum. Community and regional performances with master drummers and instrumentalists benefit the minds, bodies and hearts of youth as they mature as an ensemble.

Catch us in performance at the Cleveland World Festival (Sunday, 8/2 @ 2:30 pm – Lower Hungarian Garden of Rockefeller Park, Cleveland on the Scene Magazine Busker’s Stage). Other performances in the works are 9/12 at the Kent International Festival, 9/19 at Kent’s Art in the Park and 9/26 at Lorain’s FireFish.

Camp Halim Debut

During our inaugural camp week, almost 40 youth from the Villages at Franklin Crossing (Kent, OH) participated in drumming, dancing, storytelling and musical games. A small but mighty contingent performed the Camp Halim debut at the 2015 Kent Heritage Festival on July 4. Crowds grew quickly as we played.

To open the concert, we honored self-respect Coach Valorie Robinson, a LoveLight board member, and all she taught us about seeing and sharing the beauty in ourselves and in the world around us. We said and then played a variety of rhythmic phrases: “Work smarter, not harder” (Coach Adrienne Cobb), “Always follow instructions” (Mr. Joe Shaw), “I like my television” (Josh), “I can share wi-fi” (Isiyah), “I can share a cupcake” (Neveah), “I am awesome” (Isiyah) and “I am different, y’all” (Tiffany). As we played these rhythmic phrases, we affirmed the speech and essence of one another, and had fun with dense and sophisticated duple and triple rhythms.

Camp Halim youth wet the audience’s appetite for Step Team, a community dance tradition of African-American fraternities and sororities. L-O-V-E-L-I-G-H-T, LL drills were designed by LoveLight youth workers, and their involvement was funded by Ohio Means Jobs.

I was glad to bring my teacher, Kazadi wa Mukuna, to introduce Camp Halim youth to the West African jazz style featured in Les Wanyika’s “Sina Makosa.” Pae Stovall was our saxophone soloist.

Our finale was an “ABCs” rendition of kpanlogo. Coaches Samuel Boateng, Nick Butto, Shasha Zhu, Adalyn Hurst and Pae Stovall inspired street dancing with master drummer Olu Manns and special guest Dr. Kazadi on djembe.

Next year, we will need an encore number as our fans in the audience were crying out for more. Camp Halim youth shone like the stars!

More than a drummer…

Because Kent State University University Professor Emeritus Halim El-Dabh made a habit of lunchtime drumming session on the steps of the KSU Museum, generations of KSU alumni see him as a drummer. These sessions, however, were a means to an end. The goal was to sense, to share and to amplify the energy of the place and the people–to mutually reinforce the joy of being human.

El-Dabh is a composer of serious art music and a dedicated teacher. Hear El-Dabh’s reflections and see him in action in this video (link).

GRAMMY Foundation® Award!

Laurel Myers Hurst has been awarded a 2015 Preservation Assistance Grant from the GRAMMY Foundation® to benefit the Halim El-Dabh Archives project. Halim Abdel Messieh El-Dabh (b. 1921) pioneered the fields of electronic music composition, sound art, ethnomusicological research and black studies. Since publication of El-Dabh’s biography, The Musical World of Halim El-Dabh (2003) by Denise Seachrist and The Wire magazine article “Once upon a Time: In Cairo” (2003), an exponentially increasing number of radio broadcasters, symphony directors, festival planners, theatrical producers, musicians, students, scholars and fans have been clamoring for access to Halim El-Dabh’s music in recorded format and in performance scores. The purpose of the current GRAMMY Foundation® funded project is to assist Dr. El-Dabh and his wife, Deborah, as they plan for the safe transition of the El-Dabh collection to a permanent repository where the composer’s work will be made widely available to the public.