Thursday, July 16, 2015

Traditions--A Griot & a 22-String Harp

21st Century Songs of Mandinka


I first heard the modern griot and kora player Seckou Keita when he performed with the UK band Baka Beyond. The second time I heard Seckou perform was on an album with his international quartet on the album Silimbo Passage. So when Arc Music sent me a press release for Seckou's solo album, 22 Strings, I requested an e-mail interview with the Senegalese musician.

And since that release of his CD last May, Seckou has experienced limelight and acclaim.

Whole Music Experience: Similar to many traditional musicians (from musical dynasties), you received intense musical and religious training as a child, rebelled as a young adult, and now you have returned to your musical tradition, in this case, that of a griot. Do you feel like you have traveled full circle? And how have your other musical experiences with Celtic musicians, your quartet, and other genres shaped who you are as a musician today?

Seckou Keita: My link to the century-spanning chain of griot transmission is on my Mother site Fatou Bintou Cissokho. It’s known as father to son but more of generation to generations, (as I’ve seen my grandfather training others that are not his own kids but coming from other griot communities /family) So therefore, it’s as much for me to come back to the source to inspire the next generation, but still exploring the new music.

Yes my experience with other musical journey played an important part of who I’m as a musician today and probably inspired me to what some people will call coming back to full circle. 

WME: Your name seemed familiar to me when Arc Music sent me the press release for 22 Strings and then when I read your biography, I noticed that you were in the band Baka Beyond and I had also reviewed your CD, The Silimbo Passage for my blog. In some ways the work with Baka Beyond (getting the word out about the Baka musicians and their plight) has similarities to the griot tradition in that as musicians you report a situation or news to the public, but in this case, an international audience. What has been your role musical and otherwise with Baka Beyond? Are you still performing and recording with the band?

SK: I was one of the drummers in Baka Beyond and I contributed on some compositions on the album East to West, both kora ,djembe and drum kit. When I released my 3rd album Silimbo Passage with my Quintet (SKQ) with 400 concerts around the world, time didn’t allow me to work with Baka Beyond.

WME: You mention in the press notes that the kora originally had 22 strings, but after the death of the creator of the kora, Jali Mady Wuleng, musicians honored the griot by subtracting a string thus ending up with a 21 string harp. When did the 22nd string return? And is this acknowledged by griot from Senegal, Mali, and other West African countries with the griot tradition? Oddly 21-strings would be considered sacred by some spiritual folks who follow sacred geometry, but 22 strings also has powerful significance, plus it sounds wonderful.

SK: first of all the Origin of the kora is from Gabou. Gabou was an empire which consisted of three places before colonization -  Guinné Bissau, Casamance (the southern part of Senegal) and the Gambia. The Honored strings to Jaly Mady Wuleng have been done after his passing but some griots have kept the 22 strings aside, and places you can found it is the Casamance and a bit in the Gambia too. I personally found 22 strings more adapted on the modern musical world for example ( the main key on the kora always have 4 octave  and that leave you  6 notes with 3 octave each ) …But in the case of the 21 strings  lets say your kora is tuned in G  that’s 4 octave  on G, and there’s 6 notes to cover with 3 octave  you will end up having only 2 octave on the C. Hope this makes sense.

WME: The peaceful resonance of the kora is mentioned also in the press notes, and before I placed your recording into my computer to listen to it for the first time, I was feeling irritated and angry. By the time I had listened to the CD, I felt calm and even peaceful. Kora also appears on some new age recordings and I often think recordings featuring solo kora would make lullaby music for children. Was the kora originally created to bring peace to a community or kingdom?

SK: Well said WME. Let’s put it this way and instrument that use to help Hero’s big kings that go out and cause troubles and wars .The kora was one the instrument that they will listen to and help them to deal with they emotion in a peaceful way, and I believe it has got a better place now in the 21 century where now things are a bit out of control.

WME: You were born in 1978 so you’re relatively young for a traditional musician, yet you have encountered many crossroads, forged relationships with diverse musicians, and returned to your roots wiser and more understanding than you would have been in your youth. When you encounter young musicians now, especially ones wanting to study a tradition, what advice or encouragement do you give them?

SK: There’s a proverb in Mandinka that says if you’re not sure where you are heading, go back where you come from. My advice is never force your ears, not to listen to all type of music and never give up learning the tradition and especially the histories behind anything you learn. As I’m still learning, make sure you mastered what ever you are learning before adding your own touch.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

21st Century Musical Healer Series--Harping with Kate Kunkel

Harpist/Healer Kate Kunkel
Harping Our Way to Healing & Health

As the founder of the Linked In group, Musical Healers, I have experienced the great privilege of meeting the best and brightest sound healers and sound therapists of the 21st Century. Canadian-based harpist Kate Kunkel (Harp Lady), is among those Light Worker musicians who have crossed my path. She has been featured on Shirley Maclaine's radio show and other broadcasts as well as, having several products available in the form of recordings and books.

Kunkel's inspiration story reminds us that each of us has a true calling for how we can serve on the planet, and thus find our healing, transformation, and happiness.

Whole Music Experience: You went through two major transitional periods which led you to the work you’re doing with sound therapy. First, while you were dealing with stress as a business woman, you encountered playing harp in a dream. Then the second transition took place when you performed music for a last rite of passage for a man dying from cancer. Could you briefly describe these situations?

Kate Kunkel: My first transformational experience came as a result of incredible stress.  I had a business in Palm Springs, California, that I felt demanded that I keep 12 other individuals (my employees) happy as I built the business. Obviously this was not possible. Consequently, I suffered terrible stress working seven days a week at the business and networking in the evenings to build it. 

One night as I returned from yet another networking meeting, I fleetingly considered driving off a bridge. It was only a nanosecond, but I realized that I was in a very bad place. As I lay in bed that night, I prayed for guidance and in a dream that night, I was given what I believe to be divine insight. In that dream, I was playing a harp, and for the first time in my life, I felt peace, and a true sense of purpose. The next morning I began my quest to find and learn the harp. One year later, I walked away from that business and began my true life – as a harpist.

The second transformational experience came when I was playing harp professionally in Las Vegas. I was asked by a friend to play for a man whose cancer treatment options were at an end. I did not realize he was so close to death when I arrived at his home, but was happy to be able to play for him when I arrived. His family said that he was waiting for me, even though it was obvious he was not conscious. But I could feel his presence, and I greeted him and began to play. It was only about 20 minutes from the time I started playing for him that he passed, but in that time, I felt an intense soul connection with him. It was a feeling I cannot adequately express, but I know it was real, and that I felt his spirit leave his body. It was the moment, the second that I knew my destiny. This was why I played the harp--for healing.

WME: You mention on your website that you offer Vibroacoustic Harp therapy. Can you describe this therapy?

KK: Vibroacoustic Harp Therapy (VAHT) is a branch of sound therapy inspired by vibroacoustic therapy, a 40 year old modality developed by Olav Skille in Norway. Basically VAT uses sound to produce vibrations that are applied directly to the body. During the vibroacoustic therapy process, a client lies on the specially designed mat or bed or sits in a chair that is embedded with speakers or transducers which transmit specific computer-generated frequencies into vibrations. In the case of VAHT, which was developed by Sarajane Williams, I actually play my harp into the amplifier, which then sends the frequencies of the harp directly into the client. It is an incredible experience; combining the beautiful tones of the harp with the powerful resonance of vibroacoustics.

WME: You have several recordings and a book on the healing consciousness of sound available. In the book you go into detail about the sound frequencies in our environment such as leaf blowers, booming stereos, lawn mowers (all my favorite sounds, lol) and the damage caused to us by exposure to those sounds. Then you mention healing frequencies to counteract our daily barrage of noises.

So I’m wondering, do you ask your clients to keep a diary of the noises they’re exposed to and the health effects? I already know how those sounds affect me. And do your CDs act as masking for those sounds, or do clients play those CDs in a quieter environment at a different time to recalibrate their bodily systems?

KK: My CDs are not created to “mask” those sounds. I believe that adding more sound to obnoxious sounds only adds more substance to the obnoxiousness. I do ask clients to pay attention to the feelings they have when they are exposed to different sounds, and encourage them to find a way to eliminate those sounds from their environments. Obviously, that is often not possible, but by acknowledging the noise and understanding that in many cases that is what is causing you to be anxious or irritated, it goes a long way to making it possible to reduce the feelings of anger, irritation, whatever. I invite clients to play my CD or any other soothing music during times when they can pay attention and enjoy/understand/absorb the healing qualities of the music.

WME: I’m fascinated by the article on your website about Codes of Tones which I haven’t encountered previously. You mention that Mozart used the Codes of Tones and that they hail from ancient times.

How did you learn about these tones? What are they? What other musicians have used the tones in their compositions? Are you referring to Solfeggio tones or Sacred Geometry?

KK: No, I am not referring to the Solfeggio tones or Sacred Geometry when discussing the code of tones. I learned about the code from harpist Joel Andrews through his book, A Harp Full of Stars, and the system basically uses a letter/pitch equivalent chart. We know that Haydn used it also, but of course many musicians don’t share the source of their inspiration.

WME: You have joined a global tradition performing the harp. And as you mention on your website, the harp goes back to Biblical times, and I’ll add that the instrument in various guises and forms was performed in medieval West Africa, and I believe ancient Greece. Many of us also associate the harp with angels.

Where do you see the future of harps going? I noticed more and more sound healers are led to the harp.

KK: As a harpist, therapist and teacher, every day I see more and more people drawn to the instrument.  Perhaps it is the yearning for peace that we all experience now. When you sit down and play a harp, something changes in you. I believe it is partly the vibration of the instrument against your body, partly the history of it. Surely most of us have heard the many stories in various cultures of the healing power of the harp, so I do believe it elicits a kind of soul memory for many. I know for me that the first time I picked up the harp I felt “I’m home”. As I and many others work to dispel the myth that the harp “is such a difficult instrument”, I hope that more and more people will pick it up and realize that it is very intuitive, and far from being a complicated instrument that only the elite few can master, it is in fact a folk instrument. Given a few moments, anyone can pick out a tune on a harp. I encourage people to do just that, and see where it leads them.

Video explaining VAHT: 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Traditions Series--Vishtèn Plays the Music of the Red Earth

 Songs from Terre Rouge 

Hailing from Prince Edward Island and the Magdalene Islands (off Quebec's coast), twin sisters Pastelle and Emmanuelle LeBlanc along with Pascal Miousse, better known as
Vishtèn cook up a musical stew of Acadian, Cajun, Quebecois, and Celtic influences that get the feet tapping.

The three muli-instrumentalists perform double, triple, and even quadruple duty on their latest album, Terre Rouge named after the red earth of Canada's Maritime islands. The album features love songs with surprisingly happy conclusions, as well as, stories about blizzards, comical tales, and homages to the islands. Album release date is July 10, 2015 in the US.

Whole Music Experience: When and how did Vishtèn form? I read that Pascal is from Magdalen Islands and you’re from Prince Edward Island? (Your trio is the second band I’ve heard from PEI--Gadelle was the first).

Pastelle LeBlanc: Emmanuelle (LeBlanc), and I founded Vishtèn in 2000 with a fiddler from PEI. We enjoyed playing music together and decided to apply for a showcase and got accepted. The showcase was presented to many international buyers and was a huge hit! We hadn’t really thought of music as a career but it took off then and we got really busy. We played together for a few years, along with a guitar player, and then the fiddler decided the road life wasn’t for her, so we were in search of a new fiddler.

We met Pascal Miousse through mutual friends and immediately fell in love with his playing. We jammed and hung out one weekend and asked him if he would join the band. As he was finishing up a touring project, he said yes - the timing was perfect. Since then, Vishtèn has had 5 members, and then 4 members, and now a trio for the past 5 years.

There are lots of musical connections between Prince Edward Island and the Magdalen Island and both Acadian styles compliment each other very well.

(Yes, Gadelle are friends from the same area as we are from, and Helen was our step-dancing teacher for many years growing up)

WME:  It says in the press notes that all three of you are multi-instrumentalists so who plays which instruments? And what were the ages you first began playing traditional music?

Pastelle: Emmanuelle – whistles, octave mandolin, bodhran, piano, podorythmie (foot percussion), jaw harp, step dancing, vocals
Pascal – fiddle, guitar, mandolin, vocals
Pastelle – piano accordion, piano, mandolin, step dancing, vocals

Pascal started playing fiddle tunes when he was 4 years old. His father’s a guitar player who accompanies numerous Magdalen Islands fiddlers and he encouraged Pascal to play at an early age. He later picked up the guitar and mandolin.

Emmanuelle and I started step dancing when we were about 5 years old. We started off imitating our mother, a great step dancer, then joined the community dance classes and soon started performing at local events. We both played a bit of piano growing up and learned the fundamentals of accompanying traditional music by listening and watching the musicians that would drop by the house to play a tune.

We come from a community where house parties are common and consider ourselves lucky to have been exposed to so much great traditional music. 

Emmanuelle picked up the whistle and bodhran in her late teens and the octave mandolin a few years ago.

I started playing accordion and mandolin around the time the band started, when I was about 20 years old.

WME: Is the track Corandina” the only song from the Magdalen Islands that appears on Terre Rouge? It definitely has stronger roots in Quebecois traditional music and less so with the Celtic strain, especially with the call & response vocals and the rhythms even if the fiddle has Celtic strains.

Pastelle: Yes Corandina is the only song on Terre Rouge that comes from the Magdalen Islands archives. The song wasn’t originally a call and answer song, but we adapted it a few years ago.

WME: How big of an influence is Celtic music with the Acadian folk traditions?

Celtic music has a very strong influence on our islands when it comes to the instrumental pieces (reels, jigs, strathspeys, etc). On PEI, Scottish and Irish settlers brought their music and dancing with them. Since French-speaking Acadians are a very small minority (only 5% of the island’s population still speaks French), we’ve been surrounded by these Celtic traditions for a long time and have learned the repertoire.

The Celtic tunes are often times adapted to more of a French style however - Acadian fiddlers will use a shuffle to create a rhythmic effect instead of Celtic ornaments such as cuts, rolls, etc. When it comes to step dancing, there are also a lot of common steps with the Celtic styles, although only in the Acadian traditions would you see sitting down dancing and foot percussion that accompanies the music. The songs come from our French ancestors - lots of different versions in different Acadian communities and households.

On the Magdalen Islands, they have a strong Celtic influence as well, mostly from Cape Breton. Repertoire were learned by tuning in to radio stations from Antigonish and Cape Breton, where people listened to a lot of Scottish players. Most fiddlers on the Magdalene play a repertoire of traditional pieces from Cape Breton, often times hybrid tunes (example : part A of a Scottish tune, but then a made up part B). We’ve heard from fiddlers that they would learn their pieces from the radio programs, but that sometimes the radio would shut out…the fiddler really wanted to play a new reel at the next dance so if he hadn’t caught a tune in it’s entirety, he would make up the rest which is where the hybrid tune comes from.

The Magdalen Islands are part of the province of Québec, but since they are situated in the Maritimes and in proximity with Cape Breton and PEI, the repertoire is Maritime/Celtic influenced rather than traditional music from mainland Quebec. 

WME: Where would we hear the Micmac Indian influences?

Pastelle: The name of our band is a song which is part Mi’kmaq, French & English and represents the strong ties between our cultures (the natives helped the Acadians during the deportation). The song is tinged with Mi’kmaq sounds.

WME: The Cajun song Joe Feraille acts as a departure rhythmically and coming from the US, I’m familiar with Cajun music also realizing that the original Cajuns came from Acadia (though you don’t hear much of the Celtic influence with the Cajun songs I’ve heard). Which genres of traditional music most influence your trio?

Pastelle: Cajun music and Acadian music have definitely had different influences based on the geography and different settlers in the area. What we have in common are the songs, which have traveled and evolved but we find some common repertoire for sure.

Cape Breton, Scottish and Irish traditional music was part of the scenery for all of us growing up in our communities, but we soon were listening to many other types of traditional music which have influenced us a lot, like Cajun music, Québecois, Appalachian, Swedish & music from Brittany.

WME: Final question, how do you go about collecting and researching songs for your repertoire? Do you listen to field recordings, meet with old timer master musicians, or swap songs at folk music festivals? I noticed that you do all the above, but I like hearing it in your own words.

Pastelle: We’ve been doing a lot of research for old Acadian songs since the band started and have a collections of field recordings that we work with. It has truly become a passion for us and as we’ve traveled, we realize the importance of celebrating our roots music as not a lot of people out there are doing it. We’ve spent many hours collecting songs at the archives at Université of Moncton, going through hundreds of songs, we’ve had sessions with our local folklorist/historian, we’ve also met a lot of people who have shared collections with us or have even sang songs to us which we then incorporate into our own style. 

YouTube channel

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

In Conversation--Pianist-Composer Peter Kater Explores Love

Love, Gratitude & Enchantment: Improvisations & Compositions by Peter Kater

Prior to receiving Peter Kater's latest CD Love (Mysterium Music), I had heard the pianist-composer's work on numerous Silver Wave and Canyon Record albums as well as, having associated his name with new age music.  When I received his lengthy biography of achievements and the CD, I was more interested in the music speaking to me. After all, I spend most of my time reading and writing which leaves me with stress and migraines. It's rare that I can read through an entire bio these days.

Thankfully, Kater's CD brought some healing to my head and my heart so I listened to the album several times (I don't often do this with albums mainly because I have over a thousand recordings, most of which I have reviewed over the past ten plus years). I opened the windows of my apartment allowing the music to drift outside where people could stroll by and absorb the enchanting piano and love offering.

The following interview took place via e-mail and I'm honored to post it here.

Whole Music Experience: Your new album, Love which features solo piano has had a powerful healing effect during a stressful week for me. I read in the press notes that you have set the intention to produce healing music since your first collaboration with R. Carlos Nakai. What was it in your collaboration with Nakai that moved you so deeply to turn away from jazz and embrace healing music?

Peter Kater: It was so long ago, I don’t remember.  Ha ha.

I wasn’t embracing healing music as much as I became attracted to doing music that came from a more essential place inside of me. The fact that it was (is) healing wasn’t really the goal. It just seemed natural, pure, and effortless. One doesn’t set out to do healing music. One allows the music to heal oneself and then is moved to play music from that place from that healing. Then in the listening back to that music other people resonate with the healing that has and is always occurring, which can then resonate and invite their own healing. 

WME: On your new album you focus on the various aspects of love ranging from romance and intimacy to compassion to passion. You include both compositions and improvisations, do you ever feel like you’re channeling this music?

 PK: It’s only channeled. 

WME: Besides love, what else inspired you to record this album? Do you think of your listening audience while you compose and record or is there some musical place you go (such as a trance), where you allow the flow of music to wash over you?

PK: Only love inspired me. No, I don’t think of my listening audience. I follow my muse. I trust the unfolding.  

WME: Your career is impressive as is your humble beginnings. What essence has stayed with you since your days in Colorado renting out churches to perform your music to playing with renowned musicians and making appearances Carnegie Hall? 

I believe strongly in the Law of Attraction and I’m sure that there are thousands of musicians, sound healers, and music therapists who would love to know how you journey from point A to point B. Did you take many risks, land in the right place at the right time? 

PK: To answer that would be more like a few chapters in a book rather than a quick interview question. But to answer briefly, it’s all a risk. There are no assurances. It’s all about trust and faith and doing what you have to do because you have no choice.  You journey from point A to B one step at a time, hopefully without thinking about it too much. Actually, thinking is one of the most undermining things you can do in creative process.  I landed where I landed. It’s all about faith and surrender. You can’t plan a life or anything creative.  It unfolds and you show up (or not).  

WME: You have collaborated with several Native American musicians including Nakai, Kevin Locke, Mary Youngblood, Robert Mirabel, Joanne Shenandoah and others. I also took a listen to the albums, How the West was Lost, volumes 1 and 2, which is some ways reminded me of the multimedia work Edward Curtis did in preserving Native American cultures.

What is the process for you in melding western well-tempered piano and keyboards with indigenous flute and other music traditions?

PK: I open myself up to the energy and ideas and music starts coming in. I don’t have a process. I wait and Listen. Music is all about listening, not about being creative. I listen and wait until I hear something. And then I start to write or play. When I stop hearing it, then I stop. Faith, trust, presence and surrender. No second guessing.  No self-doubt.  Just surrender to what is.    
Learn more about Peter Kater's compositions, recordings, and performances at his website and Mysterium Music

Sunday, June 21, 2015

21st Century Musical Healers Series--Lyz Cooper

 Toning into the Realm of Weightlessness 

Purposeful and intentional sound/music just took on a new meaning for me. Lyz Cooper (researcher/musician/teacher/sound therapist), combines psychoacoustics and music therapy to create sound therapy-with the difference coming from designing intentional sound recordings for the purpose of relaxation, changing brain patterns, and healing the mind-body-spirit.

Cooper teaches at the British Academy of Sound Therapy, has penned two books exploring the healing power of sound, has produced sound therapy recordings, and she collaborated with Radox Spa and the ambient music band Marconi Union on the popular relaxation piece, Weightless (see video at the bottom of post). She is also a regular contributor to the Musical Healers group on Linked In (an intimate 600 member group that discussing the frontier of music vibration).

Whole Music Experience: Who were your mentors and or inspiration for doing sound healing work?

Lyz Cooper:  Two people I was doing some PR work for - a woman called Surya who ran drum circles and a man called Gandiva who worked with the gong, were my first contact with the therapeutic power of sound, but it wasn’t until a while later that I considered sound healing for myself. Looking back I believe that Surya and Gandiva ignited sparks in my subconscious and I am grateful to them for that. Michael Ormiston and Rollin Rachelle were the first overtone singers I ever experienced and both blew me away! Although they were approaching their art more from a musical angle at the time I could feel the energy moving in my body and so they also ignited a spark. 

Sadly I didn’t have any mentors in the early days but lots of people over the years have inspired me and continue to do so as I read about their work and research. My students inspire me as they tell me about the wonderful results they are having.

WME: I noticed two recordings of yours listed on your website (Emergence and Chakra Balance). Are these recordings based on your compositions or are they collaborations such as with the piece “Weightless” for the Radox Spa?

LC: Chakra Balance is mainly my composition but I also received input from my business partner at that time, Anne Fleming as well as the guys in the studio, and Al Grandy on keys was a great help. Emergence is a collaboration with my group, Soundscapes comprising Lianne Fagon, Clifford Sax and myself.

WME: Speaking of “Weightless,” I listened to it on YouTube and I did notice my otherwise super tense body relaxing. You employed several techniques such as including an abstract melody, a repeatable rhythm at 60 beats per minute, slowing to 50 beats, low tones, musical intervals such as the perfect 5th and octave as well as, an ancient musical scale.

How did this collaboration with the Radox Spa and the ambient group Marconi Union come about? What was the process like of working with the musicians on this relaxing piece?

LC: It is wonderful that you found Weightless relaxing. 

I was contacted by Radox’s PR company asked if I would collaborate so I said yes. To be honest, I would have rather composed the piece myself but Marconi Union was already in place for this project so that was OK.

I had a meeting with Marconi Union, their agent and music label, and Radoxs’ PR company and told Marconi Union what ‘sonic vitamins’ (as I call them), to use.  They came back with a couple of pieces and I sat and ‘tuned in’ to each piece, choosing the best version which we then discussed and tweaked a few times until it was ready.  It them went to Mindlab for testing and then was officially launched. See (insert YouTube link) for the making of Weightless. The process was an interesting one at first they were not as open to the process and took the micky a bit, but one band member, Richard, was quite interested and we had a few conversations.  Now they are much more open and I believe have launched an album based on the properties of the original Weightless piece we created together.

My company, MindMu concentrate on what we call ‘consciously designed music’.  I acknowledge that is a grey area because one could say that many composers design music consciously, but I guess what we are saying when we use this term is that we are consciously employing certain methods that are known to have an effect on the body and mind. We hope to be launching more pieces soon.

WME: You also published a book on sound healing with daily exercises called Sounding the Mind of God. Tell me about the premise of the book, when it was originally published and the public’s response to it?

LC: Sounding the Mind of God was launched in 2009 in English and in 2010 in German.  The aim of the book was to demystify the ancient art of therapeutic sound and to present my method, which I guess you could call more ‘sound therapy’ than ‘sound healing’.  Although there is some cross-pollination of the two approaches, my personal definition is that sound healing is the effect that sound has on the system regardless - ‘passively’, if you like.  Sound therapy is the reflective element – it is the individual’s exploration of the sound as it interacts with them and the meaning they derive from this interaction.

I am fascinated about knowing as much as I can about how and why things work and I love research.  I saw Sounding the Mind of God as a way to bring together lots of different research, opinions, and views to help explain how and why sound can be such a powerful therapeutic tool.  I also wanted to bring the written word to life by giving lots of different exercises that people could do to help to feel the effect of the sound. This is the proof of the pudding, if you like. 
I have had a really good response to the book, so much so that it was translated into German the following year and is also on Kindle.  Although my work and research has moved on now, I continue to get emails from people that have received clarity about how sound can be therapeutic, as well as benefit from using the exercises in the book.    

I am currently working on my second book, What is Sound Healing which is due out in February 2016.

WME: If you haven’t already covered this with the first question, I’m interested in how you applied sound healing to recover from a life-limiting illness as you refer to it on your website?

As I mentioned in question one, I had done some PR work for a couple of people working with sound and music so it was in my consciousness.  I had been very ill and had left my job in advertising during which time I began using my voice, scanning my system, and toning into certain areas, changing the pitch until I felt that it was helping me. I began to feel the benefit almost straight away. When I was well enough to go out of the house, I purchased a singing bowl and noticed that it had a slightly different effect.   

This was when I knew that something very special was happening and that I needed to know more. I continued to use the voice, breath, visualization and the singing bowls for a while and started developing techniques based on these methods. I then began to look for other tools to work with and travelled a lot, working with indigenous people and teachers.  Twenty years later I have added crystal bowls, drums, mantra, tuning forks and gong to my repertoire and teach a range of courses in 1-2-1 and community sound and voice therapy at The British Academy of Sound Therapy. 

I am also continuing to research and develop my techniques. My latest piece of research concentrated on the therapeutic application of sound induced altered states of consciousness for my MSc in Applied Music Psychology.  The results of this research will be available shortly.

Video featuring the production of Weightless.