Akash and Animals

I was going to write something very profound and educational about sound and music today- specifically about akash, which is the purest and most subtle of the five elements in Vedanta. It is the energy that is left after sound fades. All sounds produce akash. More on that at another time as something else grabbed my attention when I sat down to write!

This video just came across my radar. You've probably already seen it. If you haven't it is really fun and also quite fascinating. It made me think about how animals relate to sound and the fact that they seem to (sometimes) love it and will even harmonize with it.  Pink Floyd did a song years ago, Seamus, on their album Meddle in which the dog howled along with the bluesy tune.

When I was in Florida I was playing Tibetan bowls for a meditation at a metaphysical church one Sunday. The organist was visually impaired so she had a service dog that was with her at all times. The whole time I played the dog was totally chilled out except for one bowl which clearly disturbed him. I couldn't play that bowl or he would immediately start getting agitated and I knew he would bark if I carried on with it at all- not conducive for a meditation so I didn't play that one!

Before I became a sound therapist I was a potter. During part of that time my pottery studio was in a barn behind our house in Jamestown, RI. The first floor of the barn was in good shape and that's where my studio was but the loft was not so great. The windows were all open and it was filled with barn swallows. They had nests all around the windows inside the barn. I always listened to music when I was doing pottery and one day I put on a tape by Mark Isham. I don't remember what it was but it was very rhythmic and within minutes the birds started singing. Not just singing- they always did that when I played music in the studio. No, they started singing in time to the music. It was the most amazing thing! From then on whenever I put that piece of music on they sang in time to it- a whole chorus of birds serenading from the hayloft. I experimented with other music but they never did it with anything else in that same way.