Saturday, October 31, 2015

Awakening through Music (Hidden Power In Purposeful Music)

Around 2003, I turned away from my freelance gig as a movie reviewer/journalist and I experienced world music pulling me into greater consciousness. And while I was awakening, scientists were exploring music consciousness, musicians explored the music connection with non-humans, and music therapy grew by leaps and bounds bringing healing to prisons, hospitals, hospices, and other situations to heal despair.

Let's revisit some of the profound awakenings we experience in previous years and decades revolving around the healing power of music.

Around 2005, we discovered Masaru Emoto's work with water crystals and human consciousness via music. And around the same time various well-known sound healers were exploring the ancient practices with sound and music. Meanwhile, the connection between quantum physics and music fused with the work of metaphysical teachers and authors such as Greg Braden.

I launched this blog in 2007 and mostly reviewed recordings that I felt played into music consciousness even when reviewing traditional or world music recordings. Purposeful music comes in many forms. While I was writing reviews I came across music projects that bridged cultures such as the Playing for Change in which musicians from around the world all sung the same song but in different locations. Thanks to technology these tracks were overlaid on top of each other in a moving way.

Meanwhile, world music continued to grow as more people attended music festivals such as WOMAD and traditional musicians married technology with traditional instruments thus attracting younger audiences. Thanks the internet and YouTube, we discovered nomadic musicians from the Sahara Desert and built stronger ties with veteran musicians. Music journalism was on the rise and so was an interest in ethnomusicology with such books as Song Catchers arriving on the scene.

Early music in the form of Gregorian and plainsong chants of Hildegard von Bingen captured the awareness of Christians and non-Christians seeking music for relaxation and spiritual peace. Renaissance polyphony choirs grabbed my attention around 2006 when I penned several articles and reviews on the topic, then later included a chapter on this type of song in my book Whole Music.

Finally, for the sake of this blog post (keeping it on the shorter side), several projects revolved around consciousness in regard to nature and music. Concert Pianist Lisa Spector and Sound Therapist-Research Joshua Leeds teamed up with the Through a Dog's Ear book and recordings. The late Marjorie De Muynck blended field recordings from the natural world with sound healing and jazz instruments with her recordings while reminding us of our shamanic roots. David Rothenberg took his musical instruments out into nature and jammed with insects, whales, and birds. And the Saami yoik which represents a chant to a person, place, or thing (usually animals or people) continued to fascinate me and others. And let's not forget the Thai Elephant Orchestra which blew my mind. Who knew elephants could play musical instruments?

We've come along way with music conscious over the past decades. However, I worry that we're falling back asleep and going with the status quo. Please help me to keep us awake in regard to the healing power of music. Pass the word on about this blog and create a buzz for my book, Whole Music. I invite other musical healers to also write and publish more books on the topic. We've made progress so let's not stop now.

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