Direction: Herman Kathan and Ulrike Strobel
A two-year course on music of indigenous trance cults and trance-induced
upcoming advanced training "Trance-Grooves" will already
be the fourth cycle in which rhythms of West African and Brazilian
trance cults as well as different trance techniques will be taught
and experienced in a well-founded way.
Due to the rich experiences of the past courses, the leadership team
will be expanded in the coming cycle. The whole training will be led
by Herman Kathan together with Ulrike Strobel. The team will work as
a polar structure, complementing each other and thus opening the way
for a broad field of experience. Both Herman Kathan and Ulrike Strobel
set different focuses, which have already complemented each other fruitfully
in their previous cooperation in other seminars. The experience and
processing of the trances, embedded in the refreshing learning and
making music of traditional trance rhythms, accompanied by the necessary
theory about the contents of the training, will represent a broad spectrum
from which everyone who enters into the diverse processes can profit
Those who are already familiar with the work of Herman Kathan and
Ulrike Strobel may already be familiar with a wide variety of trance-inducing
methods, and even the state of a trance may no longer be a novelty.
For others, a trance experience can be new territory waiting to be
discovered bit by bit with the joy of adventure.
Over the past few decades, our understanding of trance has undergone
a significant transformation. Comprehensive scientific inquiry into
changed states of waking consciousness has led the broadly defined
phenomenon of trance out of a shadowy existence. What was suspected
of hysteria until the middle of the last century is now recognised
as a means of discovering, articulating and finally realising the potential
slumbering within us. Altered states of waking consciousness range
from inner attentiveness to deep trance states, from the introverted,
complete enstatic calm to the dance in which the individual ecstatically
steps out of himself/herself and brings into the world what was previously
hidden within. With the inner senses thus opened up, we are able to
perceive other realities of our existence, which are expressed in intuition,
inspiration and spontaneity.
Today, a wide variety of people make use of the effects of trance:
artists derive creativity from it, it helps therapists initiate processes
of change and for many, trance plainly and simply provides access to
our innate fullness of life.
Trance can open up access to our unconscious and to our resources. Last but not least, states of trance can open up the spiritual dimension
of ourselves and music. This can also fundamentally change our relationship
to music and our music-making practice.
For musicians, trance is not only a means to an end; it constitutes
the immediate creative act of performing live music. In this context
trance means submersing oneself into a perceptional structure which
puts an immense store of information at your disposal which cannot
be tapped into in a state of daily waking consciousness. In the act
of performing music, musicians gain access to such information and
are able to create genuine music out of it while activating personal
processes of change in musical expression. Such processes can also
be initiated by merely listening to music which incorporates trance-induced
In light of the comprehensive effect of trance it comes as no surprise
that indigenous music, which stands at the center of archaic societies,
is full of trance-induced elements.
Conscious of this enormous power throughout their lives, Herman Kathan
and Ulrike Strobel have been dealing with different trance structures
both theoretically and practically from their own perspective since
the beginning of their professional careers. The therapeutic as well
as the musical aspects are core competences of both. Ulrike Strobel
has focused more on the former, Herman Kathan on the latter.
has studied the music of trance cults in West Africa and Brazil,
in particular those of the Djina cults and the Candomblé,
Imparting these rhythms and their solo figures including the energetic
potential inherent in them is the central focus of the course “Trance
Grooves.” Other trance-induced rhythms which are not used explicitly
in trance cults will be imparted as well. Philosophical, mythical and – last
but not least – practical subject matter connected with this
focus supplement the training course.
Sound archetypes are one of the focal points in the work of Ulrike
Strobel. They represent a rather Western approach to the wealth of
experience that is being developed in African cultures with the help
of trance-inducing grooves. The experiences, memories or sometimes
even painful traumatic trauma brought on by the trance are worked through
in a psychotherapeutically sensitive way. On both ways we will be travelling
parallel. Based on western trance-inducing methods, the participants
will also be able to experience and explore the traditional music they
have learned and use it for the development of their own personal structures.
Trance music of indigenous peoples often possesses the most complex
structures produced by these cultures. For this reason they require
an experienced and advanced engagement with percussion music. Even
professional rhythmists will be challenged by this music. Whoever has
taken the course “Djembé Pur” with Kathan or completed
a comparable training with other musicians has the best prerequisites
for participation in the course “Trance Grooves.”
It should be clearly pointed out here that a very large part of the
music taught in trance grooves is very complex. Indigenous trance music
should not be confused with what is commonly understood by "meditative" music
and what has been marketed for years under the label of "New Age
In contrast, prior experience with trance-inducing methods is not a
prerequisite for participation.
Besides being oriented towards interested musicians and music lovers,
this course is particularly suited for (music) therapists, teachers
and members of other social professions with previous musical training.
In principal all persons are welcome in this course who take an interest
in the topic and who wish to engage with the grooves focused on in
this course and the effects they generate in a self-exploratory, intensive
and practice-oriented manner. This also includes a certain amount of
courageous self-reflection and the openness to share with the group.
The amount of time needed to learn the rhythms on the one hand and
to experience and work through the music with various trance techniques
on the other hand will be roughly balanced.
The leadership team: