The Call of the Drums

Kein Problem! Wie geht das?Rishi Vlote

I am a German musician - playing drums and percussions and a whole range of other instruments - with more than 35 years of experience in music, meditation, trance dance and other transformational work. As a drummer, music producer and event facilitator I offer events, seminars and retreats as well as individuel sessions. I often collaborate with partners like Dhwani W. Zapp, Shakya M. Grahe, Harshil Chiostri, Nirava Dainotto and others...

I trained with Arthur Hull, Frank Natale, Serge Kahili King and other teachers and I play and produce CD's with various world music projects and artists like Hamsafar, Prem Joshua, Snatam Kaur, Milarepa, Ashik, Subodha etc.. My own productions „Forget Your Limitations“ and „Shamans Return“ are widely used in workshops, classes and seminars as well as in discotheques and parties. With my band projects TranceFormation and The Call Of The Drums I tour and play all over Europe.

In my shamanic events I create a save spiritual environment for personal insight and experience of inner power and wisdom. Using ancient rituals and techniques I invite people to reconnect to the deep wisdom of mother nature and the inner healer, guide and alliances.

I facilitate concerts, DrumCircles, shamanic events and workshops in a variety of circumstances from private parties to music festivals to exhibitions, corporate events and trainings. I play the drum kit as well as a wide variety of drums, percussions and tuned instruments from all over the world

You can also book me as a drummer to accompany and support you, your band or musical and art projects as a musician, engineer or producer





Grown up in the 60' in the beautiful countryside of the Harz mountains in northern Germany, I spend a great part of my time in nature, amidst lakes, trees, birds and flowers. Thus I always had a strong connection to natures spirits.

Due to my „nervous“ tendencies - like drumming on grandmas pots and pans, sofa, chairs and other stuff -  my mother send me to the local marching corps to channel my energy into something creative... (Thanks a lot, mom!!)


                             Rishi at age 11 with his first snare drum

However - "just" a snare drum was not enough for me! After one year I got my first own drum und soon a whole kit. Shortly after I co-founded my first band „Hochspannung“ (High Voltage) with Tommy Wawer, Jörg Deterding (who was soon replaced by Jürgen "Rosy" Rosenbaum (†), Leo Leonhardt and Martin Tychsen, who later became lead singer (Jo Jo Tyson) of 80's Pop trio Silent Circle.

My drum kit grew bigger every year and I learned to love and play a wide range of musical styles from Hard- to Latin Rock, Jazzrock to Fusion, from Reggae to Ska, to World Fusion and Trance.

After moving to Göttingen at the of age 18, I soon played literally any kind of music in almost any type of ensemble from Duo to Big Band.

Göttingen was my playground to develop my personal style and also to become more flexible.  With Lutz Lagemann (now with Slow Horses), we first formed Hot Licks, a five piece Funk Rock Blues band; then New Wave and Ska was hip, and we changed long hair and hippy clothes for suits and shades: COMBO kommt was the next thing - playing Reggea, Ska and Dancehall. Besides all that I played Top 40 and weddings with the infamous Karl Heine Sextett, later renamed to Sunshine Band and helped out in almost any Dance, Blues- and Rock band (and even Dixie Jazz) in the area.

My drum kit kept growing and I started to integrate also hand drums, like congas, djembe, darbouka and other percussion instruments into my setup.

During that time I started building electric guitars and basses and together with Lutz I founded "ChaCha Guitars". Although we produced some fine intruments, the custom guitar business was yet too difficult and instead I started to produce high quality transport cases for musical instruments and high tech equipment as well as professional PA speaker systems. “Cha Cha Cases” was born and grew over the next 12 years from a one man workshop to a 6 employee "enterprise" before I got tired of dust and fumes and sold the business to ML-Cases.

Those days was a time of many personal changes: I felt spiritual longing in my life and got introduced to meditation, which opened new directions and a long time relationship. So I packed my stuff, left Göttingen and moved to Munich.

The Bavarian capital received me well and shortly after I played in several Funk- and Fusion bands like  Freddies Fat Bag and Tico Feo, latter was one of the most uncomplicated bands, I ever had the honor to play with...

Until I met world music virtuoso Prem Joshua and Chintan Relenberg and co-founded the Ethno Trance Fusion project HAMSAFAR. This delicious mix of melodic and very groovy dance and world fusion music presented by five highly flexible and skilled musicians started off with high expectations, We played many concerts all over Europe, India, US and gained a very good reputation for our concerts. HAMSAFAR split after 8 years, soon after the release of our first and only album „Lifeprints

In the meantime I got intrigued by my next important teacher from whom I learned my first shamanic skills - Frank Natale, an American pioneer, who was re-importing shamanic ritual and ceremony back into our western culture. He got me very inspired and I began to experiment with shamanic events and workshops combined with live music - specially drumming and chanting. The impact of the live music on people was significant and I noticed, how much faster and deeper people emerged into a state of trance when real musicians played real instruments in real time. Since more than 15 years I tour with various artist and co-musicians around Europe and the US to present the rituals with live music to recreate a culture of sharing, experience, authenticity, honesty and brother/sisterhood.

Since the time I started to meditate, my aproach to music has diverted in many directions. Specially the integration of space and silence as a fundamental part of life gave my music new dircetions and taught me a lot about the healing qualities of sound and vibration. This lead to various new projects and got me in contact with a different kind of musicians like Chintan Relenberg, Prem Joshua and lately Dhwani W. Zapp, Maok, and Shakya, amongst many others.

After HAMSAFAR split I became part of Milarepa's tour band, a spiritual singer/ songwriter from the US. We toured through Europe and the US in various lineups from trio to 8-piece band.

Through him I met percussionist Harshil Chiostri from Florence. It was "love at first beat!" We were ment to groove together!

We decided to produce a trancedance album together and started recording in Harshils seminar center "Podere Amarti" near Pisa and our first collaboration "Forget your Limitations" - A TranceDance Journey, quickly hit the shamanic trancedance and personal growth scene. The second album, “Shamans Return” A Shamans Meditation was finished 2010 and the third album is on it's way to be released 2015

In 2002 I met another musical brother - Dhwani W. Zapp, (owner of Oilios Music), during theHAMSA Festival in Sweden. Also musical love affair! We formed “TranceFormation”, touring Germany, Czech Republic and the northern European hemisphere with TranceDance and Dreamtime - Healing Sound concerts.

Another important meeting I had at the NoMind festival in Sweden with my Norwegian drummer brother and Drum Circle facilitator Mikael Khei. He is also a trained TaKeTiNa teacher and leads drum workshops all over Scandinavia.

Mikael introduced me to the work of Arthur Hull, a pioneer in the field of "facilitated Drum Circles". I had already experimented with the intriguing power of drums and percussions in many occasions and used some simple techniques like "call and response" and "drumming around the fireplace" in workshops, concerts and festivals to uplift the energy and create a space of community. Yet - Arthur really worked the whole thing out and created a special "language" to teach and inspire people all over the world. From the ancient drum circles of the tribes and clans he took the step to drum circle facilitation,  helping to get people drumming together at any given occasion and level of skills. I first read his books, than booked his training. A fantastic inspiration and a huge expansion for my work and an invitation for anyone who wants to experience the uplifting power of rhythm and drumming in his own environment.

the call of the drums | m.e.m (at)
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