If you know me and have seen some of my past entries then you may be aware that I totally love Mike Oldfield and think he is one of the most brilliant composers on the planet today. Not sure that I need to say anything about this. Mike Oldfield’s “Tubular Bells” played on cello… it’s freaking brilliant. The only bummer is that you don’t actually get to hear the tubular bells at the end- but I was actually smiling listening to this as much as I do when I hear the original. Also I think as much as it is an extraordinary musical composition, a large part of the impact in this case is actually the visual aspect- watching him play and doing the looping. It is very cool… and a really interesting backdrop as well.
As usual I have waited days upon days upon days to get back to this. Okay, no. I wasn’t waiting! I was just busy with life and the ten thousand things. Blog is first in my mind pretty much on a daily basis- but somehow ends up last on the list. And way too often when I finally get here I am almost instantly snatched up and dragged down the rabbit hole of an overabundance of unwanted emails, tantalizing ads on the Internet (especially now when I am actively look for another vehicle, which means constant pop-ups of car ads), YouTube… oh yes, YouTube…
So, I have to be firmly committed to the task at hand. It’s Thursday, the fourth of July. My intention was to write about the nostalgia aroused in me by seeing the new (and wonderful) Woodstock movie last night. And then a feather drifted across my desk and I was reminded by my friend Jim, who passed away the day before yesterday, that there was another story to tell.
Yesterday morning I got a call from my dear friend Lynda that our friend Jim Feeley had passed away the day before. He was a great big teddy bear Paul Bunyan-type love of a man. He loved and laughed and hugged so hard that I wasn’t sure if he’d crush me sometimes. He was brilliant, a creative and artistic genius. I had been out and was driving home when I listened to my voicemail… my friend sobbing as she relayed the news. I cried for a few minutes as I was driving and then said “Jim…” and there he was, in the ethers. I knew in an instant he was so free, how his body had been weighing him down for so long with health challenges and COPD. Shortly thereafter I was able to reach Lynda and as I pulled in my driveway I sat in the car, talking to her on the phone, crying some more, knowing how much he loved and was loved by others and what a huge gift that was.
Just as we were about to get off the phone a small perfect pale gray feather drifted down from the sky and landed on my windshield right in front of me. Obviously from Jimmy and such a clear message that he was truly free. I was blown away- it was so perfect and beautiful. I thanked him and got out of my car and took this photo. Of course I saved the feather and even though I had it on the windowsill with the window closed he still managed to catch a breeze and fly right in front of me as I sat down to write this!
Energy cannot be created or destroyed. It just changes form. Thanks for the reminder Jimmy.
On another note, because the purpose of this blog is always to share in some way the power of music and sound to touch and heal the heart, soul, mind and body I am posting a video of the late great Tim Buckley. I heard a snippet of this song last night in the Woodstock movie, even though he wasn’t actually there- but they managed to weave it into the background regardless and it was such a treat to hear it, a remembrance of youthful innocence and carefree days. One of my favorite songs from one of my favorite albums of all time- “Happy Sad”. How appropriate. I am realizing that I used that line in an email I wrote this morning to Jim’s stepdaughter…
So many people ask me how I got into sound as a healing modality. The more I look back over the years to my attraction to sound, music and frequency I see how it was with me from the beginning. Some years ago I started writing a book on sound healing which I put on the shelf for a long time when I opened my sound healing center in FL. Recently I have decided to revisit it and a few days ago I opened to this section. Here’s a little bit about how I got here…
Excerpt from SOUND POSSIBILITIES: Restoring Balance and Harmony Through Sound and Music by Rosemary Warburton (in process- unfinished and unpublished. Please do not copy.)
Chapter on Sacred Sound: A Journey to the Heart (Part One)
“Everything has a vibratory essence and carries its unique tone.
Even the movement of blood in your veins emits its own sound.
You are music.
Ask yourselves, 'What does love sound like?'
And then make that sound.
The desire to be in harmony is, in itself, a statement of love.”
~Emmanuel's Book II: The Choice for Love~ (Compiled by Pat Rodegast and Judith Stanton, 1989)
My first memory: I am an infant lying in my crib on my stomach rubbing my hand on the sheet. There are two experiences happening simultaneously- one, the tingling in my hand that spreads through my tiny body; the other, the transfer of sound that I can both hear and feel, a gentle whooshing like a quiet waterfall that both soothes and fascinates my infant mind. From then on, this simple act of rubbing my hand back and forth on the sheet, the combination of sound and sensation, became my lullaby whenever I was put down in my crib for a nap or at bedtime. It is the memory of a conscious discovery that there was something I could do for myself that would relax me and send me drifting into a beautiful dreamy state, that place that babies go to when they look like they are half-drunk with fatigue and bliss and a belly full of milk. This was the sound, the feeling and the action that lulled me to sleep as a very tiny child and, in my conscious awareness, not only my first memory but also my first experience of sound medicine.
Only recently did I realize that this gentle whooshing was also the sound inside my mother's womb. When there was no arguing or fighting going on, this was the sound that I heard- the ancient rhythm of blood and water, a gentle whooshing; and I was safe there, soothed by the rhythms and the tones of the quiet waterfall within my mother's womb.
Newborn babies can sleep through almost anything. When they are tired they simply fall asleep. They sleep through parties, loud noises, sirens screaming outside. They haven't yet developed the quality of “resistance” that comes with the development of the ego. As we get older if we hear a loud sound or a disturbing noise, we tend to tense up rather than allowing it to move through us; resisting instead of practicing the art of breathing and letting go.
As a child I was extremely sensitive to sound. I don't know when this began but as far back as I can remember I could not tolerate loud noises. My parents separated when I was four and, although I don't remember it, I think that prior to that there was a lot of loud shouting, arguing and fighting. I suspect that contributed to my discomfort with loud sounds. My father was very scary and prone to angry outbursts and tirades that came without warning.
Fireworks and thunderstorms were equally terrifying to me. It was as though I could physically feel the sounds and vibrations in my body, especially in my chest, to such an extent that they were actually painful. By the same token I loved music and the outdoor sounds of birdsongs, crickets, cicadas and junebugs. Before my parents divorced we attended church on Sundays. My mother discontinued not long after their separation but up until then I loved going to church because I so loved the singing of the hymns and the sound of voices blending together as one. To this day the sound of a choir will bring tears to my eyes for the sheer poignant beauty of the sound.
Music class was my favorite time in school and at home if I wasn't singing or listening to music on the radio there was always a song in my mind. When I was 7 years old I was given my first transistor radio- this was straight out music therapy for me! I loved music and wanted to listen to it day in and day out and this way I could. I was 5th in the line of 6 children- in classic codependent family dynamics I was the "lost child", the "quiet one." I was introverted, shy, fearful and hypersensitive. What could be better than to lose myself in music? If I was unhappy or got scolded I would retire to my room and listen to my radio. At night I hid it under my pillow and played it softly so that no could hear it but me. For many years music rocked me to sleep at night.
My father was the first person to introduce me to the idea that sound was powerful enough to change the world around us. He was an avid student of metaphysics, spirituality and the occult. I remember a dinner conversation one evening- I was probably eleven or twelve- during which he began to talk about the power of sound and how it has been used throughout the ages to enlighten, to heal and sometimes negatively to control large groups of people or societies. Two things he said that evening made an indelible impression on my mind. One was that there is a theory that when the pyramids were built Egyptian priests may have actually levitated the huge stones with sound frequencies. It is believed by some that they were able to direct vibrational frequencies with some kind of tuning forks embedded with crystals to the extent that they could control and manipulate physical objects. I remember him talking about how the stones were placed so close together and so perfectly that it was impossible to slip even a piece of paper between them.
For some reason this made more sense to me, “resonated with me”, far more than any other explanation I had ever heard. It was news to me- big news!- and I was very intrigued by the possibility. Even with no understanding of energy it seemed much more plausible to me that one could use vibrational frequencies to move matter far more efficiently than with brute strength. I loved the whole idea! Not long after that that we were studying ancient civilizations in my 6th grade World History class and we got to the chapter on Egypt. I will always remember the drawing of hundreds of laborers with huge carts, levers and pulleys and thinking, “That's not how they did it!” although I wasn't about to say anything- I never forgot it though. Twenty-some years later I picked up my first book on sacred sound by Ted Andrews and found this same theory presented in the opening pages. Clearly I had come full circle and it was exactly the confirmation I needed to continue on down the road. (Scroll down to the bottom of this page to see a really cool video on Acoustic Levitation!)
The other thing that my father talked about was how, whenever Jesus performed a healing, he always used his voice, uttering words spoken with authority and conviction. The premise was that the power of the spoken word was a vehicle for the healing. In the words of Charles Fillmore, “He used words as the vehicle of the healing potency. He always spoke to the patient 'as one having authority.' He had a certain assurance, an inner conviction, that He was speaking the truth when He said, 'Thou art made whole'; and the result of His understanding carried conviction to the mind of the patient and opened the way for the "virtue" that went forth from the speaker.” ~Teach Us to Pray, by Charles Fillmore, ~
The way I understand this today is that the voice carries or transmits the frequency and the intention which aligns the energy and allows healing to take place. Sound is a carrier wave for intention.
Even at a young age this “rang true” for me because I was already so aware of the effect that sound had on me personally due to my incredible sensitivity to it. There were certain sounds that I was in love with, that could make me stop dead in my tracks, and other sounds I simply couldn't bear. In fact my family was constantly trying to “cure” me of my sensitivity to loud noises, as if it were some kind of a disease, by doing things like trying to force me to watch the 4th of July fireworks without blocking my ears, or holding my arms by my sides when they shot the cannon on my father's boat. Needless to say, their efforts were both unwelcome and unsuccessful and probably were more traumatizing than anything else.
The conversations with my father however ultimately shaped my future, although many years passed before I became aware of the true impact they had on my life. I consider myself very fortunate to have had the exposure to metaphysics and spirituality at such an early age. I was attracted to yoga and meditation from when I was quite young and when I was around 13 my father met a lovely woman from Switzerland he would eventually marry and who happened to be a yoga teacher. Both of my parents were quite ahead of their time in their understanding of natural health and I had actually started going to yoga classes with my mother when I was about ten years old. Now I started attending my stepmother's yoga classes and was exposed to Sanskrit chanting. Her first yoga teacher was Dr. Ramamurti Mishra, the great Sanskrit scholar and nada yogi (nada yoga is the science of sacred sound), also known as Shri Brahmanada Sarasvati.
I was on my path, trying out different meditations and chanting always seemed to work for me. I would sit alone in the woods, on the rocks by the ocean or on the beach and chant for hours on end. At the very least it cleared my mind and relieved me of some of my teenage angst! But more than that, I always felt happy when I chanted. Sometimes it seemed as though it altered the world around me as much as my inner world. I would be transported from a simple and beautiful path in the woods to a world of deeper magic. My senses were heightened and every leaf and blade of grass, every rock and patch of moss would come alive with dewdrops and prisms of light.
When I was 14, summer of 1969, just before I was headed off to my first year of boarding school, I got caught smoking pot. This was a pretty huge deal for me since instead of going to the progressive arts boarding school to which I had been accepted and was very excited about, plans were changed and I was sent to The National Cathedral School for Girls, a very strict and “proper” girls boarding school in Washington, DC. This was very much the decision of my father and an attempt to straighten me out before I became a washed up drug fiend! It was awful. I was miserable and I would have to say it had pretty much the opposite of the desired effect. I felt as though I had been thoroughly abandoned and forsaken. I rebelled against every rule and regulation. I was only there for one year- thank God. They actually told me on the last day of school not to come back under any circumstances- which I considered a victory!
It was, however, an important year for me. I truly discovered the importance of music as a healing balm for my soul that year. My older brother Tim gave me a KLH stereo as a gift when I left for school and it was my saving grace. Every day when I came back to my room after classes I would lie on my floor with my head between the speakers and “disappear”. I had also started playing the guitar and my music and my songs were my other consolation. If it weren't for my music I don't know how I would have made it through that year- and many years to come for that matter.
I had two other experiences when I was in Washington that winter which had a profound impact on me. They both took place at the National Cathedral. In honor of what would have been Mahatma Gandhi's 100th birthday, Ravi Shankar was to play at the cathedral and we students in our blue plaid uniforms were required to go! I was familiar with his music and resonated deeply with the sound of Indian music. Very few of my classmates had ever heard of him but I was well aware that it was an incredible piece of good fortune to be able to hear this man play. I was sitting in the balcony of the cathedral and I can still see him walking down the aisle below between the rows of pews with his small entourage. A woman dressed in a colorful sari accompanied him on the tamboura. From the moment he walked in I was totally captivated and when he began playing I was mesmerized and deeply moved by the beauty of it. The exquisite subtleties of the music and the majesty of the cathedral combined to enter me deeply, magically, beautifully.
The other event was when John Denver played at the cathedral and led “The Lord of the Dance”. He began by singing the song but then had all of us come together, holding hands and basically do a snake dance through the cathedral weaving in and out among columns and arches. I don't know how many people were there but I would imagine there would have easily been 200-300 or more. It was one of the most joyful experiences of my life and probably the first time I witnessed the power of music as a way of connecting people in a very real and profound way.
When I was nineteen years old I was taught a series of powerful kriya yoga meditation techniques. One was a technique which enabled me to focus on the inner current of sound. There are many names for this inner sound current; “anahata nada”- the unstruck sound, celestial harmony, “naad” and “shabda” are but a few. “Anahata nada” is sound that is not caused by an external force. It is a totally internal experience. From this practice I learned to go deeply within myself and become very still so that I could hear the inner sound and truly be carried on the current. It is like riding a wave of bliss. This was to become extremely important for me not only for the immediate gifts that the meditation brought but also for the use of this technique in later years as part of my understanding of the workings of sound on the subtle energy system. (Part Two coming soon!))
Last week I received a shipment of 200 CD’s- mine! My son, graphic designer Joshua Hardisty of The Midwest Visual Agency suggested a collaboration after hearing some sound journeys I had recently recorded in a couple of different studios. We both carry a procrastinator gene but somehow working together worked well for both of us. We were excited and inspired and, once we decided which tracks to use, we pulled it all together in a matter of 2-3 weeks. I did the music. He did the cover design.
It’s on this website if you go to “Shop” and soon there will be more in there! Like the really cool tote bags that Joshua also designed (the purple ones were my idea) which right now you can see on his webpage. He wrote a really great article about the design process HERE. I love that I got to collaborate with my son! In fact that may have been more exciting than creating the CD in the end.
But this is not the end- there is definitely more to come!
Yowzer!!! Busy days… the usual challenge, wanting to write, thinking about what is most interesting and exciting to share in my life and world which is always filled with sound and music. Of course if I wrote every day- or even once a week- I wouldn’t feel like I have to cram everything into one post!
Two great musical events in the last two weeks, one as I was making way to Tallahassee. I called my best friend from boarding school who I’ve seen just a handful of times in the past few years, having been reunited thanks to classmates.com about 15 years ago and told her I wanted to visit her in Baltimore as I was driving through. She was excited and the next time we talked she said she had gotten some tickets for a great concert. Well, we’ve all changed in the past 45 years, right? So I was not sure what kind of concert it might be… I said, Cool! Who is it? The Doobie Brothers! She said she thought we should revisit our high school concert going days… Well, I was all over that! They were so great and we had the best time.
And now I’m sitting here at the kitchen table in my friends’ house in Tallahassee with Sound Journeys and workshops already behind me and more ahead of over the next five weeks, here and in St. Pete. Life is very busy, very full, very exciting and I am running to keep up with it all! I am making it my intention to get back to this page sooner so that I can share more of the exciting stuff that is going on.
Well, I’ve been sitting at my computer for three days working on my website, setting up events for my annual road trip to FL, learning about inserting PayPal buttons and all kinds of groovy stuff so I thought I should take the time to write a little something here. Basically starting with a blank mind. I guess that’s not such a bad thing. Leaves room for endless possibilities.
I have been thinking today about the richness of life, something I think about a lot with gratitude, since I am one of those people who has been blessed with the ability to feel deeply. First thing this morning a video came my way by Nic Askew, a short film in his series of “Soul Biographies”- well worth visiting his website and getting on his email list (click on his name above). The film was an excerpt from a longer film that he is in the process of making called The Soul of Stress. The man speaking is an ex-Navy Seal, Christopher Maher, whose entire life for many years was essentially dedicated to being able to manage stress. The man is clear and soft-spoken and so calm that you think “Yes, this is the person I would want around when the shit hits the fan.” He talks about why he “resonated” with the career choice he made, realizing he started on that path- learning to handle stress- at two days old. He talks about what happened to him then “when the nervous system is as fragile as a butterfly’s wing”. It is a powerful and poignant story.
So I woke up feeling grateful. Later I learned of the death of a dear friend of a very dear friend of mine who passed away almost two years ago. Avedis loved my friend Shin Ae deeply and I know he is so happy to be dancing with her- and we who knew them were all blessed by their presence on earth. I didn’t know Avedis well at all but I know that he was Shin Ae’s rock solid support when she was undergoing cancer treatment and his heart hurt watching her go through her trials.
Tomorrow I am going into a sound studio, Celebration Sound, to record some sound journeys- the first stage of a CD project my son Namdev and i are working on together. You can find him at The Midwest Visual Agency (and he’s all over the internet besides that- Joshua Namdev Hardisty).
I have strayed a bit from my point- it’s a bit of random access tonight- but back to the point is the line that runs through my mind so often from Jai uttal and Ben Leinbach’s beautiful piece “Radiance- Prayer to the Goddess Sarasvati”… “Peace to that huge ocean of emotions and feelings”… Please listen…
And then there’s this, another piece of music I find breathtakingly beautiful… De Profundis- Out of the Depths by flute master Terry Oldfield, with the song of the whales and a most beautiful prayer running through it.
Fortitude and equanimity… these are the words that have been echoing in my mind for over a week.
That’s how long it’s been since my son Ben was admitted to the University Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah. He has a rare bone disease, fibrous dysplasia and has had a series of health issues over the last two years which have kept him wheelchair bound. Last Friday he was on his way to work, which conveniently is at the same hospital, anxious to get to Starbuck’s before catching the train up to the University, when his wheelchair skidded on the ice. He flew out of the wheelchair onto the railroad tracks and broke his tibia. There were some people there waiting for the train who lifted him onto the platform- one man put his briefcase under Ben’s leg to support it and someone else got his wheelchair off the tracks just minutes before the train came. Angels all around, so it would seem.
He was taken to the hospital by ambulance and called me shortly after he got there, told me quite calmly “My tibia is toast. I’m waiting for the doctor and for them to bring me some morphine.” The doctor came, the meds came, and that evening he was taken down for surgery. The plan was to put a rod in his tibia to stabilize it. I talked to the doctor before the surgery and he seemed quite confident that it would be simple enough- basically a routine surgery for the orthopedic department. They had already done five of the same that week. Except those patients most likely didn’t have fibrous dysplasia- they had normal bones and probably fractured them skiing or snowboarding. Four hours later they finally called me. They were done. unable to do the rod although they tried for a long time. His tibia was too bowed for them to do it. They ended up having to do a plate which the doc said was less than ideal but would hold the bone in place until it heals.
So now it’s been just over a week. I talk to Ben every day, several times a day, usually for a half hour or more. I have been consistently astounded by his attitude, calm and accepting. He seems to be healing well except that he has had a fluctuating fever every day, the cause of which is still undetermined. He has blood tests and cultures and nothing has shown up positive. No other signs of infection and they have done several CT scans now to see if there is a possible blood clot.
Through it all Ben remains calm. He doesn’t get upset with his nurses or doctors, he doesn’t feel sorry for himself. Being a mathematician and a scientist he is clear and methodical and able to advocate for himself when necessary. He gets tired. I know there’s some frustration but more than that, bafflement. just trying to figure out what the hell is going on. And he just keeps on keeping on.
Wondering how I tie this all in with my general theme of music and sound healing I decided to post a video of one of Ben’s favorite recordings- Debussey’s Le Cathedral Engloutie (The Sunken Cathedral). I remember my music teacher Carl Thorpe playing it in a concert when I was 16. It brought me to tears and I have never forgotten the experience. I confess that I did not post Ben’s favorite recording of the piece- it moved too fast for me and did not have the atmospheric quality that I connect with it so I chose this one instead, which is followed by an orchestral interpretation of the piece- I think Ben will approve!
Seriously I intend to get on this page EVERY DAY! The truth is I have amazing experiences related to sound and music and healing or at least one of those three EVERY SINGLE DAY- and I want to write about them- I want to share them. That is a true desire of mine.
The time slips by so fast. Amazing how real an illusion can feel. Heh heh…
Well, I couldn’t let this one go by. New song by AA Bondy, after 8 long years of… I don’t know. Couldn’t tell you. He’s been quiet. I only know that I loved AA Bondy from the first song I ever heard by him… which was? Don’t remember, a whole lot of his music hit me at once. My son Moose loved him (still does, turned me on to this song earlier today) as did my friend Devon and suddenly there was a lot of AA Bondy around.
So, he has released this one song as a preview to his new album which is being released in full on May 10. I think I have listened to this at least 8 times today- the last time on YouTube through my TV which is hooked up to my stereo. One more thing, his house burned down in the California wildfires the day after he completed the album- which is called “Enderness” by the way. Life is so weird.
It’s late- “past my bedtime”. As usual. But I have to post this video with a short explanation. I watched the movie Arrival tonight. I wanted to see it so badly when it first came out but for some reason couldn’t make it happen. How I wish I had seen it on the big screen! So beautiful… And the soundtrack knocked me out. It should, right? It’s all about communication. It worked. It was brilliant. And when it got to the credits the music was so incredibly beautiful I had to watch them a second time through. The piece is by the late Johann Johannsson and it is haunting and lovely. But there is also a track by Max Richter- “On the Nature of Daylight”. I had to look him up on Youtube and when I did I came across this amazing video, as exquisitely beautifully as the music they are playing.
A little over 20 years ago I had a client with essential tremors, much like the woman in the video in the attached article. The first time he went on the Soundweaver, with the vibroacoustic therapy and some light hands-on energy work, his tremors completely stopped. I would say that first time it took about ten minutes. After the session his tremors started up again like an old engine slowly starting up and within about 30 seconds they were totally back. But he had experienced relief. He told me it was the most relaxed he had been in 8 years since the tremors started up and that during the session he had no tremors at all. He said that at night when he slept he could feel his organs still shaking but during the session everything stopped.
Afterward he wrote a testimonial: “I fell into a state of meditation. I was in a void with beautiful light-blue light. All of my tremors stopped. It was like I was in a void with no end and no beginning. As soon as I felt like there was something beyond that, I reached for that Unknown and I came out of my state of meditation. as if I wasn’t supposed to go any further. It was a wonderful experience.” CST, 7.30.96
For the next year or so he came to me regularly for sessions. After the first session the entrainment set in much more quickly and it would only take about 3 minutes for his tremors to come to a total stop. They would always start right up again shortly after the music stopped, but he would get a reprieve and a period of deep rest that was very rejuvenating for him. The relief from going into such a deep state of relaxation would stay with him for a few days- which was huge. And then the exhaustion of the tremors would begin to set in again.
Close to a year later he shared another experience in a testimonial: “Most of the time I was in a marble chamber and at the entrance was some kind of a huge sculpting of a snake-like creature on the right. Inside it was calm and peaceful, no other people. Then I went into a place where everything became light. Light blue. It was so peaceful and calm that you feel no weight. When you are in there it is an extension of your life and you do not want to come back. I spent the rest of the time in the blue light. I feel like I am floating. I didn’t even feel the weight of my arms when I came out.” CST, 5.26.97
He didn’t come back much after that. It seemed that it became perhaps too painful emotionally for him to come back to his body after being in such a deeply restful and beautiful space. Not long after this he had surgery for his tremors which wasn’t entirely successful as I recall, but that’s another story and not mine to tell. He was elderly when I was treating him and passed away several years later. Working with him was an incredible gift for me and I know there was a period of time where it was extremely helpful for him. It was also tremendously educational as I was still fairly new to the work- had only been practicing a few years- and opened me to tremendous new possibilities with rhythmic entrainment and vibroacoustic therapy (introducing sound directly to the body through the use of a mat or recliner with speakers built into it).
Tonight I ran across this video about brain surgery with sound- in this case for essential tremors- very exciting!!! Click on this link for the full article.
Happy 2019 my friends! I went to the gym this morning after a late night of Irish music on New Year’s Eve and a chill day yesterday. The gym has a bank of TVs across the entire length of the room- at least 20 of them, maybe 30-with ten stations to choose from. All the current news stations of choice- CNN, MSNBC, Fox (no comment), the Food Network (which led me straight to the store after the gym the other day to buy pastrami, lol!), some home renovation channel and some other uninteresting choices. Occasionally I listen to podcasts on my phone (Alec Baldwin, Geoff Thompson, or NPR’s “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me”). Usually I’m captivated by MSNBC but at a certain point today I found it all too disheartening, bordering on nauseating. And it was only 8:30 a.m. I decided the best choice if I was going to stay on the treadmill another 10 minutes was music. So I put this track on repeat. Best thing I could have done. Totally changed my energy. Music is the balm… ;-)
Literally not a day goes that I don’t think about what i want to write in my blog. Thoughts, ideas, inspirations, observations. Unfortunately a day rarely passes in which I actually take a pause between “The 10,000 Things” long enough to actually get to this page! (As a matter of fact I just had three paragraphs written and some how managed to suddenly hit a wrong key somewhere and delete the whole thing… Starting over.)
Tonight I’m sitting in my living room with the fire going, Christmas tree lit up, just me- and Bruce Springsteen. Okay, well, kind of. Bruce Springsteen on Broadway… on Netflix… in my living room. And he said something so astute that I had to take advantage of the moment to share it. I let too many of these moments go by.
He said that we become the person whose love we are most desperate for because that is the one way we can get it. It blew me away. So clear and simple- I started weeping. I think I always thought it was some lack of vigilance that caused us (me) to somehow become like our (my) parents (usually the less attractive aspects, it always seemed to me) and this just made such perfect sense to me. It hit me like a sort of revelation. So, that’s it. just that. We become the person whose love we are seeking… So simple.
Well, there’s a little more since I’m on the subject of Bruce. When I was 18 I ran off with my boyfriend and ended up living in a little hunting cabin in Saxton’s River, VT. That winter I was listening to the radio one day and there was an interview with a guy named Bruce Springsteen (this is 1973 now). He caught my attention because A) he was a young rock n’ roller and B) because in the band he had with him he had a tuba player and an accordion player and that was odd enough to be worth listening to. The first song he played was Rosalita and I loved it and that was all I needed to hear. Up until then all the songs I ever heard with my name in them were Second Hand Rose, Yellow Rose of Texas, Rose of Washington Square and Rosemarie I love you. So here it is. Enjoy!
I have a lot to write about it but it’s past my bedtime and I might turn into a pumpkin so this will be a short one. I want to write about my Sanskrit workshop, I want to write about time spent in Paul Dobbe’s recording studio this past week…
But first… I want to share another one of my top ten favorite songs! And I have to share it now because I went to see Tom Rush tonight and he closed with it and it is hanging out in my consciousness. It is timeless. I remember when I first heard it- I was 15- up at my brother’s house in Vermont. It blew me away the first time. The whole album was one of the great albums of the era, to my mind- definitely on my lifetime list of top ten favorite albums. He covered a number of other people’s tunes on the album doing his own unforgettable renditions of each of them. Every song on the album is exquisite but there’s something about the heart and the intensity of this one that makes it even more special. It has never failed to bring tears to my eyes. Tonight was no different.
And again, it speaks of the power of music to bring us straight into our heart, letting all the other crap drop away for a while. It’s a cleansing. On one of the steps going up into concert venue tonight was emblazoned “Music is Truth.”
Really I don’t have any! I just liked the way all those words fit together. Let’s see what happens with a little stream of rambling though. I can’t call it stream of consciouslness because I’m not sure how much consciousness will actually be expressed here!
Some of the things I have been recently ruminating on… First, the sound journey I did two weeks ago at St. Mary’s Church in Portsmouth, RI. I played longer than usually- not incredibly longer but maybe 8-10 minutes longer… and I felt like I could have just hung out and gone on and on. I had to reel myself in at a certain point (that point being when I looked at the time).
It was such a gorgeous space- I had been wanting to do a sound journey in there ever since I first went there for a yoga class about a year ago. I record all my sound journeys so a few days ago I was listening back to this one. I often don’t remember what I did after a sound journey- I am in such a focused and meditative state. I just remember the feeling and the overall vibe of it. Sometimes there are certain instruments that stand out or maybe a particular chant. This one happened to be particularly trippy- there were a lot of combinations of tones that were creating very interesting and powerful binaural beats and as I perceived them I began to play off them and amplify them.
A few nights ago I went to a ukulele class. Now THAT was fun!!! I expected a small group of 12-20 people but it turned out that there were over 50 people in the beginner’s class- probably closer to 60- and the songbook we have been given is so much fun. Goofy songs like “Put The Lime in the Coconut” to songs by Herman’s Hermits, The Beach Boys and the Beatles- lots of Beatles tunes. My new favorite song to practice is “Don’t Pass Me By”- not something I ever imagined playing on the ukulele!
And then I went to an amazing workshop this past weekend at John Beaulieu’s property in Stone Ridge, NY- auriculotherapy with tuning forks- ie using tuning forks on acupuncture points in the ear, a brilliant therapy that I have wanted to learn for 20 years. It was a small group and thus a very intimate workshop and just what I needed for balance, inspiration and some great new information. John also gave me a really powerful treatment as part of his demo on Sunday morning which was also sorely needed. I have been trying to get my energy back and release some of the physical and emotional toll that my trips to Utah took on me earlier this year when my son Benjamin was having health challenges. A short treatment with John- who is such an extraordinary sound healing practitioner, bringing together his skills as a psychologist, osteopath, craniosacral therapist, musician extraordinaire and so much more- was just the right medicine.
And to top it off, we were in John’s sound studio which is for me, and I am sure all of the other sound healing practitioners, artists and musicians who are drawn to being there, like Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory was for Charlie!
Every day is FULL!!! Full of life, full of people, full of music. The one thing that seems to be lacking is time. My mind also is full. Every day there are so many bright moments of inspiration and awakening that I want to share and here it is, past midnight and I am knowing I have an early day tomorrow so I can only take a quick minute to post a couple more of my favorite pieces of music.
Here you go- one of the greatest soul men of our time. In doing a little research I discovered that he died on my birthday 2 years ago. I saw him several times back in the late eighties and he was wonderful and so accessible. I called him once at his home in Chicago- (those were the days when you could still get a phone number from information!) to tell him how much my boyfriend and I loved him and he answered the phone himself! The next time we saw him he dedicated a song to us (Love and Happiness).
So put on your dancing shoes and turn it up! The second one is one of the all time greatest songs ever, imho!!!
Well, I fell off the wagon really fast! I am determined to catch up but tonight only time to jump on here quickly and post one new song although more and more are being added to my
”stopped in my tracks” playlist.
I listened to this whole album tonight loud- it was so good. Musical immersion… Did a few quick expressive art drawings while listening. Will post on Facebook tomorrow.
Day 4 of music that has knocked my socks off!Read More
And the winner is… Chuck Prophet! TURN IT UP!
Note: The first video is the super cool, super chill version of one of the finest songs ever. The second is the super kick-ass rocking guitar version- both excellent… The third is from Live At Daryl’s House which was where I heard it the first time. Blew me away! (No, I was not AT Daryl’s house, lol- watching it online!) I have been known to listen to this song over and over- in fact I just did!!! It’s just too freaking cool.
Had never heard this song nor Marcia Ball until this randomly came on some radio station somewhere years ago… WMNF community radio Tampa perhaps? I think it was even before I moved to FL… WBRU Providence? No idea where I was or what i was doing. All I know is I stopped, listened, cried, and fell in love.
So… after I posted my last post- the one with one of my all-time favorite songs by Bruce Cockburn- I thought it would be really fun to post some of my other favorites, songs that made me stop in my tracks the first time I heard them. I was going to list them but I think it will be more fun to surprise you with a new one each day. I don’t know if I could just do my “Top Ten” (I’ve already gotten to eleven and I’ve only just begun).
Anyway, when I got to choosing a song by the Talking Heads I couldn’t decide on just one because everything they ever did was brilliant… so I went to YouTube and put in David Byrne and came up with this, a new song, something I had never heard before. I can’t say it’s my number one favorite song by him (because like I said, they all rank #1 with me) but it’s a brilliant performance in every way and I was instantly blissed out as I began to watch. I can definitely say it’s one of my favorite performances. Turn on your speakers or your Bluetooth and turn them up loud- and let me know if you love it even half as much as I do!!!
Afterthought: Thinking about healing with music- anything that brings you joy is healing. Joy makes your cells sing and come alive!