The brave memoir of a passion for an ancient technique that grows into contemporary tech
The Strong Institute has announced the release of Jeff Strong’s new book, Different Drummer: One Man’s Music and its Impact on ADD, Anxiety and Autism.
“Different Drummer is a brave and open memoir of someone who has followed his passion and intuition and combined those with careful research to create something truly groundbreaking.”
Percussionist and researcher Jeff Strong embarks on a three-decade journey into the power of musical rhythm. Different Drummer chronicles his path as he navigates ancient drumming practices, conducts clinical research, and develops the music that establishes him as a pioneer in the world of auditory brain stimulation.
Beginning with his own struggles with ADHD, Jeff abandons a successful music career and doggedly searches for ways to use musical rhythm to positively impact brain function and behavior. Jeff meticulously documents the development of his therapy and its supporting technology as he drums for people with a variety of challenges including autism, anxiety disorders and ADD.
“I was engaged in a tradition with a long history. In many places around the world drummers were employed to moderate behavior, to calm or excite, to soothe or provoke. They were the therapists, the psychologists, the psychiatrists. Drummers were the bridge to the unconscious and the unknown where the root of behavior resides.”
Jeff’s inquisitive mind and careful research reveal how fast, complex drumming can offer long-term benefits for children and adults with neurological disorders. Different Drummer offers a compelling look at the life-changing effects of musical rhythm, why the drum holds a prominent role in cultures around the world, and how rhythm can influence the brain and behavior.
As a Licenced Therapist, I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in, or dealing with Spectrum issues…ADD, Autism, and Anxiety. Jeff Strong , a percussionist and researcher, invites the reader to learn, explore, and open their minds to a unique and highly effective therapeutic approach to working with brain functioning and behavior. I found this book to be an interesting balance of the writer’s personal journey and client case studies. It is a humanistic read….not dry at all. This book should be on the shelves of anyone working with, or living with, people dealing with sleep, anxiety, aggression, attention, self-regulation, processing, and/or connection issues. This work is changing lives.
–Review on Amazon.com
Different Drummer: One Man’s Music and its Impact on ADD, Anxiety and Autism
Paperback: 298 pages, $18.00
Wholesalers/Distributors: Baker & Taylor; Ingram
BISAC: Music / Individual Composer & Musician
Publisher: Strong Institute; 1st edition (January 21, 2015)
Contact: [email protected]
Visit: www.differentdrummerbook.com for more information.
About the Strong Institute
The Strong Institute, founded in 1994, is a pioneer in the field of custom auditory brain stimulation. Known primarily for their work with individuals on the autism spectrum, the Institute also has a major impact in ADHD, Anxiety Disorders, Traumatic brain injury, PTSD, and Sleep Disorders, among others. The Strong Institute’s mission is to utilize technology and data to research, develop, and deliver the best possible auditory brain stimulation programs for individuals with neurological disorders. And for those without. Brain Shift Radio is a current manifestation of this mission.
Cellist, composer, and accompanist, Yoed Nir, takes another step toward center stage with his sophomore solo release, The Next Dream, due out June 17th.
Nir has appeared on over 600 albums with the likes of Judy Collins, Interpol’s Paul Banks, Rufus Wainwright, Yael Naim, Kishi Bashi, and Of Montreal, and was most recently seen touring the world with Regina Spektor as part of her live band.The experience of working with a small army of elite artists over the years has produced a mature, nuanced musician and composer set to take the contemporary, classical, and indie music worlds by storm.
Since completing his classical music studies at the Jerusalem Music Academy, Yoed Nir has worked to develop a signature cello sound, distinct and identifiable in any musical context. On the path to discovering the voice of his music, Nir experimented with and explored a wide range of extended instrumental techniques which enables him to layer multiple sonorities to create new textures and sound fields for the cello as a solo and ensemble instrument. The Next Dream features Nir’s own music in which listeners can hear the full spectrum of his influences from Bela Bartok and Dmitri Shostakovich to Umm Kulthum, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Jimi Hendrix at the other end of the spectrum.
The intention of the nine-track album revealed itself after the completion of the record. Having written, arranged and performed the album, Nir realized that he had created a song cycle to accompany the dreams of the listener. In the footprint of his first release (Suspended Hours, 2013), the majority of what you hear on the record is Nir layering numerous cello tracks with minimal yet haunting vocals. The difference lies in the addition of an array of powerhouse collaborators,including violinist/vocalist Kishi Bashi and vocalist Sonya Kitchell.
The track listing includes:
1. Awaken Love feat. Sonya Kitchell
2. Devil’s Dance
3. Time is Up
4. No Chance Survival
5. To The Unknown feat. Kishi Bashi
6. My Last Breath
7. It’s a New Beginning
8. Burned With Desire feat. Keiko Ishibashi
9. Traveling Through The Dark
For more information on The Next Dream and Yoed Nir, please visit:
ABOUT YOED NIR
Israeli born cellist Yoed Nir has worked with Grammy-winning artists, toured with pop legends, and performed at an Emmy-nominated live concert for PBS. Having studied in the finest of music conservatories and performed on over 600 albums with renowned performers such as Yael Naim, Kishibashi, and Regina Spektor, Nir’s unique musical background has granted him the ability to explore a mixture of genres from pop and jazz to rock. As a solo musician and composer, Nir released his debut album, Suspended Hours, in 2013, and is poised to release his second solo album, The Next Dream, in June.
‘Photographing’ sonic mysteries
By April White
Have you ever experienced a magical moment during which you felt suspended outside of time and space, and then you immediately wondered whether you had just imagined it?
Maybe the cynical part of you convinced yourself you had made it up or created it in your mind. But another part of you knew it was real—maybe more real than any other moment—and this part of you knew better than take credit for it or dismiss it.
This was my journey and struggle with Dr. Hummingbird, my new album of ambient, instrumental soundscapes that was inspired by moments such as these.
Each song seemed to blow into my consciousness like a soothing breeze and briefly land on my ear just long enough for me to take a sonic picture of it before it floated off again like a butterfly. And each time I almost couldn’t believe what I had heard. But there it was, recorded into a song that I could revisit whenever I wanted to hear that it was, indeed, real.
To this day, every time I listen to the album, a part of me stands back in astonishment, knowing better than to take credit for the songs, but merely for having heard and captured them in notes and sounds.
Some of the songs came to me through the creatures in my care, my cherished parakeets and bunnies: Cornelia, Buckminster, Evangeline, Cletus, and June. I wrote
“Evangeline, My Queen” to comfort my baby bunny when she was facing near-and-almost-certain death. She loved the song and listened to it with upturned ear each day, as if she knew it was written for her. And, miracle of all miracles, she survived!
I like to say that “Love Birds” was actually written by my two very musical parakeets, Cornelia and Buckminster, because they guided the melody with their cheering chirps of approval as I played the piano next to them. And “Buckminster Blue” was written the day after he suddenly passed; as I struggled to find joy above sorrow for the time he spent with us.
I consider many of the songs to be soundtracks that accompanied the creatures outside our house in Los Angeles. “Dr. Hummingbird” was inspired by the ruby-throated hummingbirds outside our window that always prescribe joy and wonderment. “Sunning Lizard” was written while watching the little lizard outside our window sunbathe fearlessly on the retaining wall. And “Elemental Cavalry” is a song about asking for reinforcement, expecting an army of angels to be sent, and instead being rescued by tiny but mighty dragonflies and butterflies that simply shifted my perspective away from myself and back onto the universe at large.
Some of the songs were written as illustrations of concepts or images I was pondering or processing. “Erasing Angles” is about the hope of erasing harsh, misguided or broken lines that violate sacred geometry through love. “Fixing Dolly” was written to sonically illustrate an image of a crestfallen little girl bringing her broken dolly to mommy and handing it over reluctantly when she realizes she can’t fix it herself. Finally, “Veer-Zaara Love” was inspired by the incredible love depicted in the Indian romantic drama “Veer-Zaara,” which is best summed up in a line of the film’s dialogue: “Are they human pretending to be God, or are they God disguised as humans?”
While I like to say that Dr. Hummingbird takes listeners on a “tinkly” journey through a lush, internal landscape that reminds us there’s magic in the world, all I really know is that it takes me on one. I can only hope that others will hear a glimpse of the same comfort and joy it brought me to capture these songs in this series of sonic photographs.
Feel free to email me at [email protected] if you would like me to share music with you in the future.
About the Author – April White (iamaprilwhite.com) is a Los Angeles-based composer, producer and singer. Her musical journey began at age 4, when she learned to play the piano through the Suzuki Method. She is also a member of the indie electropop trio Tiny Machines, (tinymachinesmusic.com).
Bliss of Being
The Pure Heart Ensemble
RichHeart Music (2013) 58:50 minutes
Review by Jenny Smiechowski
The aptly titled “Bliss of Being” makes you glad to be alive. It lulls you into a state of peace and serenity with its skillfully woven melodies composed of a delicate balance of piano, vocals, cello, and flute.
The Pure Heart Ensemble, which is collaboration between Richard Shulman, Kate Steinbeck, Dielle Ciesco, Adriana Contino, and Bob Hinkle, has crafted a soulful and resonant album that evokes a state of contemplation and restoration. It transports you into that rare mental place where both outer and inner disturbances melt away and all you are left with is the stillness of your own mind.
Richard Shulman’s piano acts as a guiding light throughout the composition, centering and leading the other elements in the group. The soft, tinkling piano has a mellow, familiar essence and feels like the soundtrack that should accompany a light spring rain. Dielle Ciesco’s vocals are ethereal and are a lovely complement to the piano, cello, and flute, often echoing their moving and meditative melodies.
The crystal bowls on ‘Divine Connection’ resound with an amazing healing energy that only crystal bowls can produce. They immediately encourage your mind and body to release tension and tune into the uplifting energy that is being offered.
‘We go together,’ the last track on the album, is more invigorating and upbeat than the rest of the tracks. It encourages listeners to come back from their meditative journey and return to the outer world, although not without bringing a little peace and stillness back with them.
On his website, Richard Shulman states his mission as being to “assist listeners in embodying and expressing their Spiritual essence and potential.” Shulman and his collaborators certainly accomplish this mission on “Bliss of Being,” a divinely-inspired and spiritually transformational piece of music.
Jenny Smiechowski received a B.A. in Environmental Writing and Environmental Policy from Unity College in Maine. She is a freelance writer who specializes in the areas of natural health, spirituality, and the environment.