Yoshizen's Blog

Toy for a Grown-up / Rhythm Indicator

Rhythm LED(1)A09A1234

This electronic device is —– I may say, Rhythm-Indicator !

When I was a Disco-King (you believe or not 😀 ) often people (other keen dancer) asked

me a question about the way I dance, which is completely free movement hence virtually

no pattern still exactly follow and synchronizing with the Rhythm —– I needed to explain

what the Rhythm is.

Since I’ve been almost a fixture of the club, I also made enormous observation of the

people’s dance movement.    Among the many funny discovery, the most interesting

phenomenon was, that some of the people dance with the song, not with rhythm beat,

therefore it looks odd and off the rhythm still,  the person was not aware of it but

pretty much enjoying the dance  (in fact nothing wrong with it ! )

And another discovery was that the Spanish moves a moment later than the beat.  (It is

common with the Flamenco Dance, the movement occur not at the tense moment of the

beat, but the moment when its highest tension collapsed ! ! ! )

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Anyhow, to talk about the Rhythm in the noisiest environment, it’s easier to show it visual.

So, I made this Rhythm-Indicator  (but only for a Rock beat)   which shows the emphasis of

the 8 beat in red, amber, green, small green LEDs.   And I explained, the movement what

the Rhythm demands, not what I want to move. = So, the movement was the exact reflection

of the music in each moment, not a pattern in fashion  (such as in a film) or choreographed

planed movement. —–  Funny things even among the keen dancer was, that they dance

what they want = regardless the different music, still repeat the same movement !

(= What is the point to have different music.   😀 )

Rhythm LED(2)474-001

My indicator shows 8 beat, strong, weak so on, and having BPM (speed) controller, and a

Selector for x2 and ½ speed.   The Reset button was to synchronize with rhythm cycle. —– so,

in operation, reset to the first base drum, and adjust the speed to match the music =

Red LED to come coincided with every base drum of following cycle.

Voila’ the rhythm of the music was visually indicated.

—– To put the circuit and the batteries in a thin cosmetic case, I needed to curve the inside

to make a bit more space.    (It was long before SMD components or Lithium battery.)

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Though, even in the same music, same song, the speed is not constant and the pattern and the

use of percussion is changing. (that’s the way to make a music more dynamic and exciting).

—– So, inevitably, I had to design more elaborated system such as automatically pick-up the

base drum and synchronize the LED to the Rhythm cycle.

But instead to develop Rhythm-Indicator Mk-II, I changed the direction to design the

Sound-reactive Disco Pendant. = It was a by-product of the Base Drum synchronizing circuit.

—– I’ll show you those Sound-reactive LED Pendant in the coming posts.

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Most Bizarre Story in Zen — Disco Dancing in ZEN

” Dancing can be a practice for Zen “

This must be the most ( yet I got many ) bizarre story.  You believe or not I was a Disco King.

1-Tokyo Dream12-001

(This must be the most rare photo of me dancing — taken far later date / Sept 2015 

and it shows Rotating LED and LED flushing pants !)

As I used to take photo of many musicians, one occasion at a rehearsal session, a drummer

complained me, even though they work hard to make their tune unique and new, when it was

played at a gig, everybody dance exactly same to the other.

So, I promised him,  ” I’ll dance as the exact reflection of your tune and show it to you.”

(Here I’m not talking about a kind of common body-shaking in one-two-one-two, regardless

whether the music is 8 beat or 16 beat.  Its got to be much more athletic, expressive movements )

——————–

First I get rid of all the patterned crèche such as typical John Travolta’s or Micheal Jackson style kind.

and resorted to the natural dynamics of the body.  Since its heavy inertia, we can’t shake the bottom in

16 beats (still I met 3 person who can do) so the rhythm of the percussions should be assigned to the steps,

bass drum to the bottom and the melody to the hands.

On the end 3 parts of the body started to move independently in different speed in the same time   🙂

And as the use of natural dynamics of the body,  with its maximum speed, lots of people miss took

my dancing as a kind of Martial Art, and asked me which school is it ?

Funnily enough, one person even asked me, Is it related to a religious practice ?

( This is the back ground of previous post ” Shaolin Martial Art “)

——In my knowledge the Indian Barathnatyam Dance which follows some tradition of the ancient

Dancing Yoga,  exactly synchronizing with the music (in its Tara / drumming pattern and the melody)

So,  I applied this to my dancing.  (My favourite is the German Bass. It is the limit the body can follow)

——————–

Even dancing every weekend,  it took 3 years to achieve this movement.

And during this period,  I noticed, this is the process to learn unconscious body coordination,

same as to learn skiing or riding a bicycle,  and this must be the matter what the Zen said about

the ” Ichijo ” as a sword become a part of the body ( or the sword and the body become one )

and then the Dharma would be prevailed.  (How exiting ! ! ! )

When your body follows the incoming music signal automatically, we don’t need to think what

is the music or how to move.    So, I thought, if I can leave the business to the unconsciousness,

I would be connected to the Dharma. ——– though there was not such simple paradise and

nothing changed in my life. ——– Then, Waite a moment,  I realized,  all the baby has

to learn to walk, and all of them become able to walk unconsciously. 

It is nothing special.

———————–

Still, at least, I got an insight = unconscious or subconsciousness has the Key to decipher the Zen.

——– (And since then many clubs’ owner, manager offered me free entry for my strange dancing.

It was unexpected bonus——but they too, need a prominent dancer who become a talking piece )

(Some of the readers might have seen me dancing in a club called Flex in Hitchin,

Enigma in Maswell Hill, Limelight in Shaftesbury Avenue, Fridge in Brixton

(Escape from Samsara) = in every weekend, continuously up to 5.5 years (for

Fridge) often having with flashing light pendant or trousers.  🙂 ) 

So, I had my 60th Birthday Party at a D & B club (organizer called Movement with DJ Fabio etc) and

invited teens to septuagenarian who never seen my “legendary” dancing.  Ha Ha Ha,

It was a good  laugh.  😀

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