rhythm & roots

Vocabulary from Ko Ko Bop (EXO)

These are listed in the order in which they appear in the song.

The Neuroscience of Drumming

According to new neuroscience research, rhythm is rooted in innate functions of the brain, mind, and consciousness. As human beings, we are innately rhythmic. Our relationship with rhythm begins in the womb. At twenty two days, a single (human embryo) cell jolts to life. This first beat awakens nearby cells and incredibly they all begin to beat in perfect unison. These beating cells divide and become our heart. This desire to beat in unison seemingly fuels our entire lives. Studies show that, regardless of musical training, we are innately able to perceive and recall elements of beat and rhythm.

It makes sense then that beat and rhythm are an important aspect in music therapy. Our brains are hard-wired to be able to entrain to a beat. Entrainment occurs when two or more frequencies come into step or in phase with each other. If you are walking down a street and you hear a song, you instinctively begin to step in sync to the beat of the song. This is actually an important area of current music therapy research. Our brain enables our motor system to naturally entrain to a rhythmic beat, allowing music therapists to target rehabilitating movements. Rhythm is a powerful gateway to well-being.

Neurologic Drum Therapy

Neuroscience research has demonstrated the therapeutic effects of rhythmic drumming. The reason rhythm is such a powerful tool is that it permeates the entire brain. Vision for example is in one part of the brain, speech another, but drumming accesses the whole brain. The sound of drumming generates dynamic neuronal connections in all parts of the brain even where there is significant damage or impairment such as in Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). According to Michael Thaut, director of Colorado State University’s Center for Biomedical Research in Music, “Rhythmic cues can help retrain the brain after a stroke or other neurological impairment, as with Parkinson’s patients ….” The more connections that can be made within the brain, the more integrated our experiences become.

Studies indicate that drumming produces deeper self-awareness by inducing synchronous brain activity. The physical transmission of rhythmic energy to the brain synchronizes the two cerebral hemispheres. When the logical left hemisphere and the intuitive right hemisphere begin to pulsate in harmony, the inner guidance of intuitive knowing can then flow unimpeded into conscious awareness. The ability to access unconscious information through symbols and imagery facilitates psychological integration and a reintegration of self.

In his book, Shamanism: The Neural Ecology of Consciousness and Healing, Michael Winkelman reports that drumming also synchronizes the frontal and lower areas of the brain, integrating nonverbal information from lower brain structures into the frontal cortex, producing “feelings of insight, understanding, integration, certainty, conviction, and truth, which surpass ordinary understandings and tend to persist long after the experience, often providing foundational insights for religious and cultural traditions.”

It requires abstract thinking and the interconnection between symbols, concepts, and emotions to process unconscious information. The human adaptation to translate an inner experience into meaningful narrative is uniquely exploited by drumming. Rhythmic drumming targets memory, perception, and the complex emotions associated with symbols and concepts: the principal functions humans rely on to formulate belief. Because of this exploit, the result of the synchronous brain activity in humans is the spontaneous generation of meaningful information which is imprinted into memory. Drumming is an effective method for integrating subjective experience into both physical space and the cultural group.


Root’s fingers know this dance like she’s been doing it for years—which she probably has. Perfect sections, evenly sized. Each line of motion across the scalp fluid and precise, like an oar in water. 

Her fingers are sure, firm—not gentle, exactly, but tender. She hums a little as she works, pulling a strand just behind the ear, her fingertips brushing over the soft skin there in a way that sends a wave of shivers all over. The kind of shiver that a few months ago would have prickled, but not anymore. Like the brush of a shirt against clean skin, or the rustle of cotton sheets: there’s a rightness to it, a whispering feeling that can’t be put into words.

“Your hair is made for braiding,” says Root, twisting a strand into place. “Easy to handle. Nice and thick. It looks… sure of itself.”

“Sure of itself. We are talking about hair, right?” It’s the kind of weird, whimsical thing Root likes to say, that sometimes takes a little digging to get to the bottom of.

“I mean, as opposed to those anemic braids. The kind that get all wispy at the ends.” Sift. Pull. Twist. “My braids used to look like that when I was younger. Before my hair turned brown and got thicker.”

“Turned brown? What color was it before?”

“I was blonde as a kid. And for a few teenage years, not much of a color at all.” Her next stroke is slower, less fluid, like her thoughts are taking up more bandwidth. “That’s about the time I learned to braid my own hair like this.”

It’s hard to imagine Root as a blonde, much less a dishwater blonde. Her eyes and her hair are such a sure brown. Chestnut in the sunlight, the color of black coffee in the shadows.

Root pauses again; she’s not done with her thought. She hesitates, the way she does now and then when she talks about her years in Texas.

“The braiding thing was… actually how I figured it out. Obliquely.”

“Figured out what?” Casually delivered—as follow-up questions have to be, to get her to finish her stories.

“That I liked girls.” She finishes tucking the strand into place and doesn’t pick up the next one right away. “There was a girl at my school who was good at doing braids. She did mine once, and I… I liked it a lot.” Root cards carefully through the strands to straighten out the ends. “A little too much, if you know what I mean. I still remember what it felt like, her fingers in my hair.”

She’s silent as she picks up the next strand. Not from expectation—she never expects an answer—just a little lost in her own thoughts. She’ll come back, eventually.

Mama used to do this on school mornings sometimes. In the days of stickers and crayons. She always talked, too, about how beautiful the braids turned out. You’ll be a beautiful woman someday, she said.

It was torture to sit still, then, enduring the tugging and scolding. But middle school rolled around, eventually; Mama was no longer an all-powerful force, and braiding took too long to endure.

Twenty years later, here’s Root—whose mother probably never braided her hair—handling each strand with ritual rhythm. Root, whose every touch feels intentional, tender in a way that’s not as uncomfortable as it used to be. Sort of nice, actually. There’s something about an acquired taste that flips a switch, opens up new spaces inside—and Root is definitely an acquired taste.

The girl whose hands woke up Root’s body, all those years ago, probably never knew what she’d catalyzed. Never even guessed. But Root remembers—of course she does—the way she remembers everything. That’s her brilliant brain, her gift and her curse: constantly synthesizing and hypothesizing, sometimes getting locked in a repeat string so she can’t let go.

The remaining loose hair dwindles, disappears as Root picks up the final soft strands, which she handles with extra care, stroking down their length to incorporate them into the mass of the braid. From there, her fingers pick up speed.

“Anyway,” she says, finally, lightly, as if she’d only stopped talking a second ago. “It’s funny, the things that stay with us.”

When she reaches the ends, she pulls the elastic band off her wrists and twists it around and around, pulling it good and tight.

“That should do it,” she says. “Want a mirror to see?”

“I’m good. I trust you.”

Root hums, smiles, presses her nose into the braid and takes a deep breath, an audible breath of relief. Like she’s just come up to the surface after being churned underwater. She’s thinking about something—maybe something long ago, maybe far away.

Or maybe she’s just thinking about this moment, a quiet night and the smell of shampoo and fresh sheets, all warmth and peace and silence.

Note: Root references a scene from a coming of age story you can find here.

Adam: “The songs are quite unmistakable HURTS, but the atmosphere is more rooted in rhythm and technology.”

Theo: “Lights was so different from anything we’d done before and because we felt that the song was working and we had learned a lot from it, this experience gave us the confidence to take on new adventures. It was very exciting to change the approach and to deal more with rhythms and grooves. “

The work on DESIRE began right after the Surrender Tour wrapped up. “We wrote "Beautiful Ones” and “Ready To Go” in the first week", - says Theo about the first two songs in the tracklisting of the album. Both pieces were written within a few hours. - “It was exciting, because they felt very familiar, but they sounded progressive and fresh." 
🎵Beautiful Ones - A Celebration of Individuality.

🎵Ready To Go -  “It is a song that celebrates life. The refrain works like an old blues or gospel chorus, which continues to grow.  It was really exciting to put it in a pop song format.”

To be continued…

Today Aug 7th 2017 there is a Full Moon Partial Lunar Eclipse that will fall in Aquarius sign (15˚25”). Like a Full Moon, a Lunar Eclipse usually is the end of an emotional full cycle. Imagine a full glass of water. If it is full, then there is not way to add more water on, therefore in order to add extra water you may need to “pour out” some of it.  
A Lunar Eclipse usually is more intense then the Solar Eclipse, because the Lunation Cycle describes our emotional stage, our needs, our feelings, moods, natural and instinctual reactions, habits, daily rhythm, flux of change, roots. Actually, the Lunar Eclipse will activate our past, our interior, our subconscious, our dreams, perhaps determining us to become oversensitive, moody, even nostalgic, thinking far back in past.

The house where this Lunar Eclipse will fall will be a very important aria of your life during this time. Also, it will emphasize the aria from where your higher emotion comes; it will emphasize your needs, even your emotional security, what you need in order to feel protected.  

In a very positive way the Lunar Eclipse may show fruitions, something you have been working on and now is the time to collect your results, your fruits.
Where in your natal chart do you have 15˚25” Aquarius? Pay attention to that house; that it will be a very important area of your life during this time and for next six months.
Nevertheless, it may show the area from where the intensity comes, and in the same way it will show the exit, where your emotions will have a culmination point, followed by feeling relief. Practically, the Lunar Eclipse releases and put us free in a different way, leave us open which the possibility to see a new light, a new way of living. (Check my Solar Eclipse video, to find out where, in what aria of life you have predisposition to start something new).

A wee little drabble featuring a glimpse into the past of the Royal Family of the Dark Forest. A little spin-off of some flashback dialogue featured in the latest chapter of Between the Shadow and the Soul.

They were able to keep an eye on their domain quite well from the twining tree roots where they had decided to take shelter from the storm. Their spawn continued to run across the floor of the Forest, jumping across and into puddles and skidding across the slick leaves, snarling and leaping after raindrops. What had started out as a test of strength had descended into a wild and exhilarating romp, and neither of the two felt like stopping him. The Bog Prince of the Dark Forest was already a right little hellion when the mood struck him, and he wouldn’t have listened anyways. 

Besides, it was good for him to play.  

Nonetheless, the Queen arched a brow at the fearsome looking figure beside her. “If he gets sick after all this playin’ in the rain, you’re gonna be the one lookin’ after him, buster.” 

The Gravener King snorted and leaned back further into the roots of the tree, the hollowed space at the base of the tree quite a boon in such downpour. “Ye worry too much. He’s a hardy lad -” 

At that moment, the hardy lad decided to crash headfirst into a tree trunk, letting out a yell of pain and anger. He scrambled to his feet and slammed a small fist against the knotted wood in fierce retribution, his claws meager, nowhere near the talons his father sported.

Griselda looked over at him, her wide mouth pursing in concern. “Boggy, sweetheart, be careful!”

Gravener gave a careless gesture, bright, ice-blue eyes taking the sight of his Queen, silhouetted against the rain, her burning hair gently curling in the mist, her horns gleaming damply. Gods, but did his wife do a stormy evening justice. “Nae need ta coddle th’ boy, Griselda, he’s doin’ fine –“

Keep reading

[TRANS] ‘JELLY’ Magazine February Issue

Q. Firstly, please tell us about the charms of your album <WELCOME BACK>?

B.I: We wanted to present a wide variety of musical styles and genres we think only iKON will be capable of doing and after trying and improving and trying, the album was completed. Thought I thought of describing it as we conveyed all of what we wanted to say through our songs, I’ll be greedier.*laughs* We put our 100% into this, but I think we wanted to make music which would make people want to listen to us and for the debut album to become one of meaning. We also put in the feelings we received from the fans who’ve waited for us. So, we used the meaning of welcoming in our title <WELCOME BACK>. 

Q. From the uptempo songs to the ballads in the album, pick your best 3?

B.I: The slow R&B number that conveys one’s feelings to a lover who’s leaving, <APOLOGY>, the hip-hop track that displays iKON’s roots, <RHYTHM TA>,  also our debut track and a mid-tempo number, <MY TYPE>. It’s these 3 songs!

Q. B.I & Bobby compose lyrics and songs, are there any interesting episodes that you remember ?

Bobby: We participated in the lyrics for all the songs in the album. For the JP version of <RHYTHM TA> there was part that went” If you’re going to regret (…) this kind of feeling; regret”. The pronunciation for this was really quite hard. Smoothly rapping this part was really hard.

B.I: Although I can’t exactly remember an especially interesting episode *laughs* as I thought <RHYTHM TA> left an impression on me. Personally I had an image/vision of what I wanted the song to be like, but it took more time than what I expected to craft in that way. There were countless modifications to make and this track took 1 year to complete so it left strong memory for me. 

Q. iKON just debuted but you’re standing on the same line with many groups of the same generation. The reason for that would be emotional power of your songs and high level dances. Although iKON has many charms, to the members, what do you think is your best charm right now ?

B.I: We’re still young so there hasn’t been long after we debuted. Actually we are still lacking in many areas. But also those imperfections give something fresh and fun. While we’re young we want to show you more, we have a hungry spirit. Our reckless/fresh performances and on top of that each of the members’ mischief. *laughs* I would think that those are probably iKON’s charms. Also the strength of our teamwork. We talk a lot of insignificant things, it has become that as we play around we don’t stop laughing. Anyway, we have good friendship and teamwork. 

Q. You went through a lot of trials and hardships before you debuted. Now that you’ve debuted, what are your strongest thoughts ?

Jinhwan: In WIN: Who Is Next, when we lost to TEAM A (who is now WINNER) there were really a lot of regrets. But as time passed we turned those regrets into energy and we only thought of doing our best. Time heals everything. After that through MIX & MATCH our debut was decided and I was excited! Now standing on stage is what makes me the happiest. Having a lot of people watch us perform makes me feel really blessed. 

B.I: Till our debut, during that time when we made songs, dances or performances we wanted to do our best. Our goal was to become the best in the music world!

Q. How was promoting in Japan ? 

B.I: It was interesting! Sometimes due to the language barrier there were interesting moments…

Donghyuk: In response to our clumsy Japanese the fans have interesting reactions *laughs*. Whatever we say in Japanese, even if we speak it haltingly everyone cheers on us with “Kya~”. That makes it fun for us. The fans in Japan have amazing aegyo and are charming. 

Jinhwan: Japan also has delicious food! *laughs*

Chanwoo: Charcoal-grilled food for example!

B.I: I like beef. I also like sushi!

Bobbby: Also, udon! *laughs*

Yunhyeong: The members also have a favorite steak house, which we frequent visit when we’re here. 

Everyone: We like it! *laughs* 

Q. When this magazine is released, you will also be in the midst of your Japan Tour. What does that mean to you ? 

B.I: During our fanmeets we will brush up in areas where we’re lacking, so please look forward to a more matures us. To give you cooler performances all the members are working hard to prepare. 

Bobby: From here on we’ll have a lot to show you and more new music, so please enjoy it! 

Q. What kind of year do you want 2016 to be and what are your individual goals ?

B.I: We want to quickly make our next album. If we can do that we can also return to Japan faster and show it to the fans. But for now the goal is a dome tour~!

June: The dream is big! *laughs*

Donghyuk: For me it’s also a dome tour!

Yunhyeong: My goal is to further study Japanese and to better communicate with the fans. 

Jinhwan: To become healthier and happier. 

June: To become an artist loved by many in Japan

Bobby: I want to mature and appeal to more people with a cooler side and more of my own charms. 

Chanwoo: With the release of this debut album I want to perform in front of more people. 

Everyone: Please take care of us! 

Trans by FAIRYJINHWAN_ | take out with full credits.