“Beat versus Pulse”
All music comes from the mother. From the rhythmic pulsation which we felt when inside her, and then later from her cradling and rocking, her lilt and her lullaby. And all love came from her – and all negativity. Within each of us there are two mothers, the one we know who loves us – and the one we fear, the one we must obey: “She who must be obeyed.”
When we feel loved by her, we move through life effortlessly, gracefully, as if we were still in her arms rocked by the movement of her body, reassured by her smile, comforted by her song. This is living life on the pulse, the rhythmic gentle undulation of the mother, of life itself. This is peace, this is tranquility. This is love.
But life on the beat is the very opposite. It is imposed on us. It is the feared schoolteacher tapping his cane, warningly, menacingly. It is so often, unfortunately, the conductor’s baton: not the open hands of the loving mother, but the scepter of domination. Not a life of love, but one of fear. Not our free choice to act from the highest intention but servile submission, fearful obedience. Not freedom, but usury.
And as in life, so in music. We can play on the pulse, truly, effortlessly, lovingly. Or on the beat – the metronome being the mother who must be obeyed. And it is not play, for there is no enjoyment – it is work, and hard work, for there is no love.
We have a choice to be coldly accurate, like a machine, or to be human. To submit to the domination of the beat, or to flow with the Pulse of love and life.
We just need to find Her, move with Her, play with Her – the Mother of Love. Then we become True Musicians – true to the real purpose of Music, validating Its, and our, Existence.
Excerpt from The Way of the Pulse: Drumming with Spirit