Saturday, June 15, 2013

In review--Piazzolla Resurrected

Hector Del Curto 
Eternal Piazzolla
Green Parrot Records

Since the moment a music librarian in Seattle introduced me to the tangos of bandoneonist Astor Piazzolla, I have admired and loved this music.  I have delved into several of Piazzolla’s recordings with his quintet and other ensembles, and I have heard tribute recordings from other musicians, both inside and outside of Argentina.  Similar to Franz Liszt and the American blues legend Robert Johnson, we wonder if Piazzolla also sold his soul to the devil in exchange for mastership of his instrument and genre.  Of course, I don’t mean this literally and I’m referring to the bursts of passion found in Piazzolla’s compositions.

When I saw a listing for Argentine Hector Del Curto’s Eternal Piazzolla I decided to review the recording.  As usual, I was concerned at first about the musicians’ interpretation of Piazzolla’s repertoire, but in this case, there was no need for concern.  I actually feel like I’m listening to Piazzolla himself or that his spirit hovers above me as I listen to this recording.  You want passion and twists and turns that could break the ankle of a dancer (oh, we live so dangerously)?  Well, those flames and madness show up in the 13 tracks, some obscure Piazzolla compositions and one original, Astor Place penned by pianist Pablo Zeigler who had performed with the master bandoneonist in the past and makes a cameo appearance on this recording.

Bandleader and bandoneonist Hector Del Curto also performed with Piazzolla along with some other Latin music superstars such as Osvaldo Pugliese (tango), Paquito D’ Rivera (reed player), and with symphonies and chamber orchestras.  He’s clearly on top of his game on this recording, channeling the essence of Piazzolla.  He’s loyal to Piazzolla too and the only musical liberty he takes is to exchange guitar for his wife, Jisoo Ok’s cello and with fabulous results.  Yes, the strings appear strong and weeping, the piano bombastic and the bandoneon simply explosive with musical ideas.

I only recognize a few of the tracks here, such as Michelangelo 70, Piazzolla’s 4 Seasons (Winter and Spring), Fugata, and the weepy chestnut AdiĆ³s Nonino (next in popularity to Libertango) which Piazzolla wrote for his father upon his death.  The composition of course seems doubly sad now that Piazzolla had also crossed over to the other side (he died).  Since I can’t imagine any Piazzolla fan or patron of Latin music not enjoying this recording, it comes with high recommendations.  Meaning, buy this one and listen to it often.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

21st Century Musical Healer Series: Healing Frequencies with Jonathan Goldman

Jonathan Goldman, M.A. is an international authority on sound healing and a pioneer in the field of harmonics.  He is author of Healing Sounds, Shifting Frequencies, The Lost Chord, the best selling The 7 Secret Sounds of Healing, Chakra Frequencies (co-authored with his wife Andi), and his latest The Divine Name, winner of the 2011 Visionary Award for "Best Alternative Health Book". Jonathan is director of the Sound Healers Association and president of Spirit Music, Inc. in Boulder, Colorado.  A Grammy nominee, he has created numerous best selling, award winning recordings including The Divine Name (with Gregg Braden), Reiki Chants, Frequencies: Sounds of Healing, The Lost Chord, 2012: Ascension Harmonics and Chakra Chants, double winner of Visionary Awards for “Best Healing-Meditation Album” and “Album of the Year”. 

Jonathan is a lecturing member of the International Society for Music Medicine. He has dedicated his life to the path of service, helping awaken and empower others with the ability of sound to heal and transform.  In spring of 2011, Jonathan was named as one of Watkin’s Reviews “100 Most Spiritually Influential People on the Planet.”  Also, in 2011, Jonathan was inducted into the Massage Therapy’s Hall of Fame.  He presents Healing Sounds lectures, workshops and seminars worldwide. Jonathan lives with his wife Andi in Boulder, Colorado. (Biography provided by Jonathan Goldman).
Whole Music: You have been exploring and teaching in the realms of sound healing, mantras, entrainment, and psycho-acoustics for 30 years or as you mention, three decades and you continue to explore these fields.  Have you noticed sound healing growing in popularity over the years?

Jonathan Goldman: The field of sound healing has continued to flourish and expand since, as you mentioned, I first began my exploration in it over 30 years ago.  At the time, there were at best a few books and recordings dedicated to the subject.  Now, there are hundreds and hundreds of books and recordings.  I realized several years ago, when I was interviewed by Women's World, which is a very popular and mainstream magazine, how the field of sound healing had truly expanded.  A few months ago, I was watching Diane Sawyer on the nightly news doing a segment on the use of ultra-sound (high frequency sounds) for use with Parkinson’s and other imbalances.  It’s a non-evasive surgical technique that’s almost instantaneous and seems extremely promising for all sorts of problems.

My first thought was: “That’s amazing!”  My second thought: “I can’t believe it’s taken this long to finally happen.”  I love that all aspects of sound healing from psycho-acoustics to mantras to ultra-sound are now really beginning to make headway in the mainstream.  Now, from my perspective, it has taken 30 years (I’m sure a lot longer actually), but it’s worth it.  And remember—this is just the beginning.

We’re going to be finding extraordinary information and developing remarkable technology which utilizes the power of sound to heal and transform.  As a guest on the July Healing Sounds Show, I have a doctor who uses sound for treatment of autism and all sorts of learning disabilities and head trauma.  It’s incredible.  I know that someday soon, we’ll have proof positive about the therapeutic effects of self-created sounds such as mantras, vowels and even humming.  There’s data now, but what will be uncovered will be extraordinary.  And then watch what happens.  When people start believing that something work and that it is real, the positive and multitudinous reactions that occurs are phenomenal.  I can’t wait!!!

WME: How do you relate the work you do with the work of your friend Gregg Braden with quantum physics?  Much of it dovetails and involves frequencies for healing and ascension.

JG: I, of course, related very heavily to Gregg’s work and to the field of quantum physics in general.  If you examine the teaching of the ancient mystic masters and our modern quantum physicists, you find that they share a commonality in their understanding that everything is vibration.  Our spiritual texts from so many different traditions tell us that the universe was created through sound, in text such as: “In the beginning was the Word”.  Our scientists call this creation of the universe the Big Bang.  Regardless of the name, it is all about sound.  I love the name “Super String Theory” that talks about multiple dimensions operating at different frequencies and vibratory levels.  This is essentially what mystic describe when they talk about different planes of existence.  And these multiple vibrations actual occur in real time whenever a sound is created.  We call these vibrations harmonics or overtones. Science and spirituality going hand in hand—what could be better? 

Perhaps the greatest thing about the union of science and spirituality is that it allows for untold possibilities with regard to using sound—especially our own intentionalized self-created sacred sound—the ability to heal ourselves as well as the ability to help shift and change not only the vibratory rate of our planet, but the consciousness of all beings on the Earth.   This seems to fulfill certain spiritual prophecies as well as adhering to the work done by the scientific organizations such as Global Consciousness Project, HeartMath and others.

Every year, for example, on February. 14th, we have World Sound Healing Day in which people sound together, projecting an “AH” sound encoded with the energies of Light & Love in order to interface with the field of our planet—which some called the Gaia Matrix or the Noosphere or just plain Mother Earth.  People go to the Temple of Sacred Sound—the world’s first interactive cyber space toning temple which is accessible 24/7 every day.  (See website link at the end of the article).

WME: I know you have been doing your work for three decades, but I’m impressed with your catalog of CDs, your Healing Sounds Intensive (18th annual takes place in July 2013), sound healing tools you sell on your website, your books, blog, radio show, and World Sound Healing Day, just to name part of what you do. Someone who doesn’t understand Divine inspiration will wonder how you find the time and energy to do all of this work.  So what would you tell these folks?

JG: I’m sitting here chuckling to myself, because in front of me is a list of products and projects that have not yet manifested.  One is called “The 11:11 Divine Name Seminar” which is a 4 DVD set that began on 11:11:11, when my wife Andi and I completed a 3 days teaching to about 100 people in a sacred temple here in Boulder. This event culminated in the sounding of the Divine Name at exactly 11:11 AM on 11:11:11.  There was something very special about the experience and we filmed and recorded it.  It’s been at least 1 year and a half since the event and The 11:11 Divine Name Seminar still hasn’t been released.

We’re very close and perhaps by the time this is online, it will be available.  I don’t know. But while it may seem that I’m doing many things; there are also a great many things that have not yet come to fruition.  With regard to “Divine Inspiration”—well, I certainly don’t get involved in the creation of products or projects unless they are “Divinely Inspired”, meaning that I get some sort of inner guidance that something is supposed to get done.  Oftentimes, it’s as though there’s an inner voice telling me what to do. But as I’ve said, I’ve got a page of Divinely Inspired CDs, DVDs, books, websites and more and despite my dedication to this work of bringing awareness of the use of sound and healing to our planet, there’s still so much more to get done.  I like to think that perhaps time has sped up and thus, all these different ideas are just taking a little longer.  That’s one explanation.  Regardless—I’m doing the best I can.  Some of these new products and projects are very inspiring and very exciting.

I am on your e-mail list so I received a clip from your CD The Divine Name I Am, which I find deeply relaxing.  And this project is connected to The Moses Code.  Could you tell us more about this recording, its intention, and your mission with the project?

JG: Talking about things taking their time, The Divine Name: I AM took over 2 years to complete. I am grateful that in the liner notes of The Divine Name: I AM, I was able to write considerable information about what you just asked about this recording. I wrote about 2,000 words and I’m grateful for the opportunity to express this information in that amount of space.  In truth, I probably could have written a book about it.  In fact, the recording of The Divine Name: I AM is the result of 2 books—The Divine Name, which I wrote for Hay House and The Moses Code by James Twyman, for which I contributed the chapter on my discovery of the actual frequencies of the Moses Code.  The Divine Name is about a discovery I made over 15 years ago about the Tetragrammaton—what is said to be the personal, holy name of God.

I actually created a CD with Gregg Braden, before I wrote the book, called The Divine Name: Sounds of the God Code. That CD had me intoning this very sacred name, composed entirely of vowel sounds (which resonate the chakras going from the crown to the root and then back to the crown).  The book, The Divine Name, is about my discovery of these sounds. It’s also a teaching vehicle so that people who read the book can learn to intone the Divine Name.  There’s actually a teaching CD included with The Divine Name book.  This, incidentally, is very different from the CD I created with Gregg which is a musical recording, designed for listening and for creating deep relaxation. We’ve received some extraordinary feedback about that CD, but I must say there’s nothing like the experience of intoning the Divine Name yourself: it’s like a hot line to the Divine and is perhaps the most powerful sound I know of.

That’s one of the sounds on The Divine Name: I AM. In The Moses Code, I wrote about my discovery about how the “I Am That I Am” could actually be understood as a sonic code composed of two very different and yet very pleasing frequencies.   Please understand that both the Divine Name and the “I Am” are two different names that Moses was given during his encounter with the Burning Bush.  For more information on this, you’ll have to either read The Divine Name or the liner notes for The Divine Name: I AM.

What I did with this recording was to chant the Divine Name in the frequencies of the Moses Code.  I was joined on this recording by Tina Malia, who is improvising some beautiful intonations.  Some people consider this to be an extraordinary tool for manifestation.  I just find it very calming and helpful in attuning to divine consciousness.  Thus, for me it’s very relaxing and healing.  I’m grateful that others feel this way as well.

WME: Final question, you meet someone who is just getting into new age self-healing and wanting to raise their music consciousness.  They have never heard of sound healing.  How would you describe this vast field to him or her? And how would you encourage this person to get started with it? Would you recommend toning, trying a Tibetan bowl or purchasing a sound healing CD?

What a great question!  All the recommendations you suggested are great.  My book The 7 Secrets of Sound Healing would be a really good start for someone in this situation you describe.  It’s an easy and fun book to read and yet there are some deep truths in it.  There’s also a music CD included with it which embodies the different principles of sound healing that I talk about in the book. It does an excellent job helping people understand the vast aspect of sound healing, gives very practical exercises and techniques.  In addition, the music on the CD is really relaxing, so people can get some firsthand experience with sound healing through this.

That’s one idea about how to get started.  And, of course, I’d suggest that the person go over to our main website where there’s a lot of information on the healing power of sound.  We also have a free mp3 download, “The 7 Minute Chakra Tune Up”, which is a great tool to help people experience the healing nature of sound—many people utilize “The 7 Minute Chakra Tune Up” on a daily basis and we’ve heard wonderful feedback about this.  I am grateful.

From my perspective, the most important discovery we can make about how sound can heal is through our own experience with sound.  Once you’ve had personal experience with the healing power of sound, then no one can take this away from you and it’s real.  So, another way to experience the healing power of sound is this exercise.  To begin, I’d suggest that this person find a nice quiet space where they won’t be disturbed, sit with their back straight, and close their eyes.  Then I’d ask them to “check themselves out”—in other words, just see how they’re feeling.  Have them notice their heart rate or their breathing.  Are they tense or relaxed, sleepy or anxious?  There’s no right or wrong about this, other than for them to focus on themselves and see how they are.

World Sound Healing Day
Then, I would simply ask this person to hum for a few minutes.  I always like to ask a person to add an intention to any sound that is made, so I’d probably suggest as an intention that this hum was giving them an internal massage, filling them with Light and Love.  After this person sounded for a few minutes, I’d have them check them selves out.  I would be very surprised if they didn’t notice some significant differences from before they began to make sound. 

If they were tense, they’d have probably chilled out considerably and if they were already relaxed—they might have entered an altered state of consciousness, with reduced brainwave activity and many other physiological phenomenon to indicate very deep relaxation.  When we make self-created sounds, there are many different neuro-chemicals that are produced, including melatonin, nitric oxide, endorphins and oxytocin.   As noted in my first answer, these are just a few of the positive physiological effects of sound that we’ve discovered.  There’s a lot more on the horizon.

One last thing I’d like to leave you with:  We heal the planet.  We heal ourselves.  We heal ourselves and we heal the planet.  It’s our choice.  We can make a difference.