Common Ground

Common Ground is the body

is the pre-verbal space, before language

There is a space, where we all meet, through expression, in many ways, in diversity but still feels quite familiar. Although we may look and sound very different, yes we do, there is something beyond form that expresses through us, through our voices, and body movements. There is a common space, that when we tune into it speaks through as. The language of the soul, they say it’s music.

Before music became a formal language with signs and rules, it was and still is vibration, that moves us and through us, with breath. We are the instrument and we are the enjoyer of the music at the same time. We are playing and being played by music, as we allow music to take over , we become it.

Freedom, has no special form, but has a unique sensation, and here I will share what comes in many tongues, in many cultures, in many shapes, and colors, but one vibration. Right to the chest, the root, the heart, truth. The community.

Drum circles are quite spread in the world, bringing people together, under a common rhythm, in community. People drum, and tune into each other, then they feel the connection to a whole, and they forget their troubles, as the music moves them, they feel transformed, and the beat of the drum, aligns with the beat of the heart and the other way round.

Then there are other cultures that are not so spread around the world, who share common zest and passion about life and bring people together in a unique way.

Polyphonic singing, appears in a few parts of the world, with few things in common and some distinct differentiations. In the Balcans, in Poland, in Georgia, in Epirus that is shared between Greece and Albania, see this link for a more elaborate list. In polyphonic singing, one notices the strength of the circle, or community, where the group supports the lead singer, with a drone, and that can also be very bonding. They say that the sound and the songs are from the everyday life, it’s the sound of the wind, the sheep, peoples daily activities, flowing through the human instrument and becoming a song, also an offering back to the earth who is feeding us. Very often they are laments, in greek “miroloi”, and laments are also expressed through a special way of using the Clarinet. Stephen King wrote a book especially for this kind of music, from Epirus by Doma Books.

Bertsoak, or verses, is a tradition coming from the depths of the Basque country, a collaborative way of using poetry and the voice, to improvise, and heal the common stories that may be heavy on the chest, but also the funny things which are making us lighter. It is some kind of rap battle one could say but I cant explain it well, one needs to be good at improvising and well versed with the culture, which is very happy to be shared with whoever feels the call to get to know it.

sutartinės is from Lithuania (more coming soon, or follow the links)

Inuit Throat singing, women singing in pairs.

Tarantella Pizzica from Puglia, Italy where a spider bite is cured by intense music playing for three days, continuously until the woman gets freed from the spirit ! Such solidarity by the musicians and support to the affected woman!

More sources for folk songs:

Forms of polyphony in Georgian songs.

Indigenous theater