My name is Michael Winkler (born in 1975), and I am not only a musician but also a teacher for the Chinese martial art “Taijiquan” and a health care practitioner doing “Zen-Shiatsu”, a holistic body treatment method.
Further I am married and father of one son, who is born in 2013. Together we explore the idea of “natural learning”, which will reflect on this blog in several ways.
When I was a teenager I started to play the guitar. 60ies and 70ies Rock Music were my favorite styles, but soon I discovered the Jazz-Rock Music by John McLaughlin, and next the Jazz Master John Coltrane.
For the next decade of my life I will go to learn Jazz Music on the guitar.
1997 I moved to Berlin to learn more about Jazz. Not in school but rather in “real life”, because Berlin has a lot of opportunities to play and go to live Jam-Sessions on stages.
2003 I ended up being burned out, doing lot’s of additional jobs like cap driving at night. In order to restore myself I came into touch with the Chinese martial and healing arts “Qigong” and “Taijiquan” (Tai Chi). Later I also learned the treatment method “Shiatsu”, and those three disciplines became my profession.
2007 on my second trip to China (learning more about Taijiquan, Qigong and Daoism from the lineage holder masters) I first touched some bamboo flutes. In China they have the smaller horizontal “Dizi” and the bigger vertical “Xiao”. The last one, which is a little similar to the Indian Bansuri, became my favorite.
A while later I did hear the Indian Classical Music on the Bansuri. After listening to Pt. Rupak Kulkarni’s recording of the morning raag “Ahir Bhairav” it was clear to me that this was exactly the sound I was looking for, and within the next years the Bansuri and the Indian Music became even more important for me than the Jazz Guitar.
2014 I had the great luck to meet the one who produces my very favorite sound, Maestro Rupak Kulkarni. He is one of the main disciples of the living legend Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia. We hosted him at our home of that time in Berlin, and we organized a concert and a small workshop.
2017 on my first trip to India, I met Pt. Rupak Kulkarni again. He made contact for me to other great players from the Hindustani Music tradition in Mumbai (Bombay), like Pt. Bhanuprakash Barot, who became a very good friend of mine, and the flute player Pt. Anand Kashikar.
2018 my wife and I decided to move to India, to join the international township of Auroville. Since then we are living there as “Newcomers”, and eventually becoming Aurovillians by the end of 2019.
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The Raag (Raga) system of the Indian Classic appeared to me like a “Road back to Nature”, as it does not use temperated scales and intervals, and each of the Hindustani Raags does pronounce the mood of specific times a day.
The Bansuri offers a very musical approach to playing music. Less work in the brain, but closer ear-training needed, and more effort to produce sound. All quite opposite to the guitar, where you can end up very easily just learning visual patterns on the fretboard, without truly being able to hear all of that in your aural imagination.
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On this website I want to share all I learned on this journey, maybe helping you to make a decision and use some of this knowledge for yourself. Especially for beginners this website will be very useful, so check it out.
May the music always be with you!