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Leonie History

Leonie was born as the first of three children of Sigrid and Burkhard Fink in Berlin, where she spend her childhood and adolescence, her years of studies and the first period of her professional career. All three children enjoyed an enriched family-life and learned from their both parents self-determined living with a very close relation to nature. During school holidays, the family spent frequently some weeks in the mountains, then trekking, biking and camping in summer and skiing in winter.

Burkhard, an engineer in electronics and professional photographer, stimulated the children’s curiosity with radio-electronic and optical handiwork and Leonie got from him her everlasting passion for photography with its scientific background in light, colours and… the physics of photons.

Sigrid, a parish worker in the church, showed her children other domains of handicraft, such as how to make marionettes and play with them on stage. No wonder that the younger sister of Leonie became on actress and pantomime. Leonie was especially motivated by her mother, to sing as a child in the choir of the church and then, at the age of 14, to become a member of “Singakademie Berlin”, one of the oldest mixed choirs in the world, founded in 1791, with members as famous as Mendelsohn-Bartholdy. The conductor of the Singakademie during Leonie’s time was the renowned Hans Hilsdorf, who performed together with the four great orchestras of Berlin including the “Berliner Philharmoniker”.

Leonie learned in the church, how to coach groups of young children. As teenager she became an animatrice for early creative playing and started soon after her Abitur in 1981 a formation as deaconess, which finally led her to her studies in social pedagogy. She stayed closely connected with “Evangelisches Bildungswerk Berlin” and in this context she developed new models of creative christian animations for young children, which later were applied in other church communities. Every two years the Bildungswerk organized its “grand festival” for children in Berlin., in which several thousand children (6-12 years old) participated. Finally these new approaches in animation of young children were published and distributed over all protestant church-communities in Germany.

After finalizing her studies with a diploma in social pedagogy at the “Evangelische Fachhochschule Berlin” in 1988, Leonie felt some growing distance to church-activities and searched for new ways to evolve her various talents in artwork and handicraft, in science, teaching, organization and caretaking. She found a very suitable job in the Berlin Project “Working with the Elderly” (organized by “Verband fuer sozio-kulturelle Arbeit Berlin”) where she and two like-minded colleagues were able to set up the project “SelbstHilfe im Vor-Ruhestand”. With this project it was intended to stimulate people of about 50 years(+) of age, to discover new or hidden talents, suitable to be strengthened until retirement, such that self-determined living would be facilitated in the “third age”. This project became highly successful and many stable self-help groups of elderly people in Berlin have their origin in the pioneering work which Leonie had initiated with her colleagues.

After these 12 years of work with the elderly, during which Leonie learned new activities like yoga, belly dance, political campaigning for the Green Party and conducting a choir, she and her new partner Thomas Blum (both met in 1998) decided to leave Europe for a longer time. They settled in the South of India, where both followed a common passion for sound, rhythm, light, colours and plants. They became active in different projects, located in the region between Chennai (Madras) and Pondicherry.

In the project “Magnetomusic” (see website: PROJECTS) they cooperated with the Madras Institute of Magnetobiology (MIM) and carried out experimental studies on the impact of pulsed ELF-magnetic fields & soundscapes on the germination of plants. In the ongoing project SONARIUS (see website: PROJECTS) they started a cooperation with musictherapists from the Auroville-community near Pondicherry and designed sound pieces for relaxation and deep listening. In this cooperation they used their patented SONARIUS- amplifier, which allowed linear and circular movements of every sound piece or life--input. With a very selected sound programme Leonie and Thomas performed so called sound yoga sessions, suitable to enhanced relaxation and trance-effects. In parallel to these activities, Leonie studied french at Alliance Francaise Pondicherry, where she got within 20 months “le certificat de francais supérieur”.

Eventually in 2004, Leonie and Thomas moved from India back to Europe. They settled in Marseille, where Leonie took a job at the Croix Rouge Francaise. She worked as caretaker with elderly patients and as well with young handicapped people. In 2011 Leonie changed to the association “Chrysalide”, where she worked as an animatrice with mentally retarded patients, applying music, rhythm and handicraft for their individual stimulation.

With Thomas she continued in Marseille the project SONARIUS, and as a new application of moving sound stimulation in the lower frequency range, Leonie and Thomas designed the “BabyQ(9+9) Programme” (see website: PROJECTS), suitable for an early pre-and postnatal sensomotoric stimulation, during which for the parents a first identification of their childs talents and handicaps should be possible.Leonie’s practical and theoretical interest in lifelong learning will become the center of a new project, which actually is driven by her exercises in meditative painting.

History-THomas

Thomas Blum comes from a conservative christian family (mostly administrators, teachers) in former East-Germany (Erfurt) and moved as a child to the Rhein-Ruhr-Region in West-Germany (Duisburg).

After his Abitur he studied 1966-1969 Philosophy&Sociology at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt/Main, mostly attracted by T.W.Adorno, who died prematurely in August 1969. Thomas travelled then about 2 years in Europe and Asia and later he continued his studies with physics as a major plus supplementary seminars in developmental psychology and human perception.

In 1977 he earned a diploma in physics (TU-Berlin) and in 1981 his “Dr.phil.” at TU-FU-Berlin, always supported by Profs. D.Bente, K.Eyferth, O.J.Grüsser, H.Lemke, I.Rechenberg and B.Schmidt. During his post-doc years he completed his skills in electro-and magneto-encephalographic recording- methods, to be applied in visual and audio-somatosensory perception. He visited related laboratories at New York University (Lloyd Kaufman & Samuel Williamson) at National Hospital London ( A.M. Halliday) and at University of Nottingham ( Colin Barber). Together with Dipl.Ing Rudolf Bauer (TU-Berlin) and Prof.Erich Saling (Institute for Perinatal Medicine, FU-Berlin) he developed initial recording methods in “fetal magnetoencephalography”, a completely non-invasive approach, to study cortical functions of the human fetus during the last trimester of pregnancy. This method seems to have a great potential in basic research on maternal-fetal bonding, to be studied with simultaneous recordings of fetal MCG & MEG & maternal MCG ( click pdf’s 1 – 4 at bottom of this text).

In 1985 Thomas finalized his Habilitation at TU-Berlin and after the “Third International Evoked Potentials Symposium”, chaired 1986 by Colin Barber and Thomas Blum in Berlin, he left Berlin, moving to France, where he met Alfred Tomatis in Paris and studied his methods of sound stimulation. Two years later he set out for Asia, with a focus on China, where he became associate professor of behavioral medicine at Sun Yat Sen University of Medical Science (SYSU), Guangzhou. There he started his first extended field study on prenatal sound stimulation which later was completed at First MCH & WHO Maternity Child Health Center in Shanghai. For the experimental design of these pioneering prenatal studies please click the pdf’s 5 & 6 at bottom of this text. Thomas acknowledges the inspiring cooperation with chinese colleagues at SYSU (Zhou Jiong Liang, Gui Fen Deng, Liu Chuan Hua) at MCH Shunde, Guangdong (Tao Li Sheng, Zhen Da) and at WHO/MCH Shanghai ( Tiang Fan Pan, Jiang Di Xian, Shao Jing Yu).

In 1976 Thomas had married Veronika Blum (a sculptresse and pharmacist) and became father of Sarah and Lloyd. After a decade of a creative family-life they separated and divorced in 1993.

With Leonie Shihora, his partner since 1998, he initiated the R&D company LeonardoEvolution , which had been registered in Berlin in 2001.

Based on a design of Dipl.Ing. Burkhardt Fink, Leonie’s father, Thomas & Leonie developed procedures of deep-sound-meditation, which used the very slow linear or circular motion of homophonic sound pieces, suitable to evoke trance-like states in sensitive listeners. These methods of “sound yoga”, to be realized with the SONARIUS amplifier ( see project SONARIUS) had been further studied & applied in Chennai and in Pondicherry, where Leonie and Thomas lived between 2001 and 2004 and where they cooperated with the Madras Institute of Magnetobiology (see project MAGNETOMUSIC) and with several sound-addicts in the Auroville - community near Pondicherry.

Eventually in 2004, Leonie & Thomas moved back to Europe and settled in Marseille, where Leonie took a job at Croix-Rouge-Francaise and later at “Chrysalide”, a large association in Bouches-du-Rhone, where she applied sound stimulation for the animation of mentally severely retarded patients.

Thomas activated former contacts to colleagues in Asia and together with Chairat Panthuraamphorn (MD, an obstetrician in Bangkok and pioneer in fetal stimulation) Leonie & Thomas started in France an extended project, in which they integrated prenatal audio-tactile and postnatal visuo-motoric stimulation (see project BABYQ). This project resulted in the english-german edition of the programme “BabyQ (9+9)”, which is going to be distributed as a mobile android application for smartphones and tablets.

Thomas continues his sound yoga activities and cooperates with QI-GONG institutes, which apply slow circular sound movements in their exercises. He prepares as well a publication on “taste and herzlichkeit” and searches materials on global population growth and a probable evolutionary tendency towards light-weighted planetarian people.

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