Amusing Musical Musings

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).

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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!

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MTHSMIMT #6 & #7- More of my favorites!

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!!!

MTHSMIMT#- Day 5 Make-up!

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.

A Happy Song to Start the Day!

Good morning! Feeling happy, joyful and grateful today. As apparently per usual these days, I think of my blog every day and before I know it the day has gotten away from me and I am off and running and another day goes by, and I have not visited with you- whoever you are that may be reading this. In fact, I am sitting here at a little table in a little Airbnb in Vancouver, Canada wondering if I should stop, get up and make breakfast and get back to this. Bad idea! Breakfast can wait. Sharing musical ecstasy cannot wait another minute, hour or day.

Everyday, whether I actually get to this or not, and obviously by the date of my last post it has been quite a while, I wonder what I can share today- whether it is a tidbit on sound healing, music that excites me or the simple sound of a bird. One of my favorite recordings is that of sheep in Holland that I recorded on my iPhone a few years ago. It’s in my voice memos and makes me laugh every time I hear it. It was the day I discovered that sheep have distinctly different voices. It spans the range of an almost squeaky bleating sound of a lamb to a very gruff and deep voice of what sounds like must be a large older male, though really I have no idea- maybe it’s the little one’s mama. But it’s funny- and if I were ever able to figure out how to post some of my voice memos here I would.

I have hours and hours of music, workshops, sound journeys, kirtan, practice- as well as cicadas in Sedona, peepers in North Carolina (the Murphy, NC Wall of Sound!), Dutch sheep, birds in the backyard, birds in Holland, morning sounds in Maui, whale songs, my granddaughter Noelle when she was barely 3 singing a hysterical song she made up (I Don’t Care About the Truth), a ferry on Lake Kootenay (British Columbia- just recorded that one a couple of days ago)- all recorded with the Voice Memo App which is surprisingly good.

So- a couple of days ago I was in the grocery store in Vancouver and out of the relatively distant past comes the voice of Bruce Cockburn singing one of my very most favorite songs which I had not heard in years. And for the last two days I have been wondering what I might share in my next blog post. Talking about music and sound is all good- but there has to be an experience as well. There is no understanding without an experience- at least in my experience! And this morning I woke up thinking, that’s it- today’s the day. Sit your ass down and write something! And I wondered- and there it was. I’m wondering where the lions are.

Love, Loss and Impermanence

Benjy Wertheimer shared this earlier this morning on Facebook. Powerful, poignant and deeply resonant- good words to wake up to. He had a powerful reference point for it in his own story of love, loss, grief and more love. I know we will each have our own context.

For me, in this moment, it is much about my last few months as I wrote about in my previous post- feeling as though my heart had been pulverized as I watched my 38-year-old son Ben become less and less responsive after an eye surgery where they had to go in through his cranial bones. Eventually he turned around but there were a few days that were without question the longest days of my life as i wondered if he was slipping away for good, as I saw the nurses have to restrain him when he didn't know what was happening and was trying to pull out his feeding tube and many leads to the EEG glued to his head, when he didn't know where he was or why he was there, when I saw nothing but fear and confusion coursing through his being . I am still processing it with an awareness of impermanence and the strangeness of the illusory passage of time and the wrenching of the heart. And the softness and love that permeates through it all.

“You will lose everything.
Your money, your power, your fame, your success, perhaps even your memory.
Your looks will go.
Loved ones will die.
Your own body will eventually fall apart.
Everything that seems permanent is absolutely impermanent and will be smashed.
Experience will gradually, or not so gradually, strip away everything that it can strip away.
Waking up means facing this reality with open eyes and no longer turning away.
Right now, we stand on sacred and holy ground.
For that which will be lost has not yet been lost, and realising this is the key to unspeakable joy.
Whoever or whatever is in your life right now has not yet been taken away from you.
This may sound obvious but really knowing it is the key to everything, the why and how and wherefore of existence.
Impermanence has already rendered everything and everyone around you so deeply holy and significant and worthy of your heartbreaking gratitude.

Loss has already transfigured your life into an altar."

~ Jeff Foster ~

Sarasvati, Mike Oldfield, Creativity and Healing

Sarasvati, "She Who Flows", is the goddess of creativity, wisdom, intellectual pursuits, the arts and sciences, music and language. She is the one we can invoke before we begin any creative project.

This is a great little clip of Mike Oldfield, maestro extraordinaire, discussing his creative process. I love the how he talks about the germination of an idea.

And just for the fun of it I am posting another great song of his (what has he done that isn't great?) that isn't always associated with him- but in fact he wrote it (NOT Hall & Oates as some folks believe). This is the original version on his album "Five Miles Out" (Maggie Reilly on vocals). If your only association with Mike Oldfield is as the composer of "Tubular Bells" this one may come as a surprise- but really, he is a musical genius and full of surprises.

And now, if I have your full attention, turn up your speakers, lay back and listen to the full recording of "Ommadawn"- total gorgeousness and brilliance! Talk about sound healing! I used to listen to this endlessly. It's over 40 years old now and has lost nothing over the years- still just brilliant and beautiful. I know every note by heart. It was music to disappear into when life got to be too much... This is one of those albums that could always bring joy to my heart and peace to my mind.

Celebrating Righteousness (Thank You Oprah)

Okay, I intended to write something completely different tonight but then I saw Oprah's speech from last night's Golden Globes and was dissolved in tears. You've probably already seen it. Sound healing is a wonderful thing- but when someone has the boldness, clarity and integrity to speak from their heart, to stand up for truth and righteousness, then everything else kind of pales. So, in case you haven't seen here it is- and if you have, this is going to be one of those speeches that will be worth watching and listening to over and over for years to come.

This was the end to an awesome day. I woke up this morning on my birthday- 1.8.18- to a sense of profound joy that has stayed with me throughout the day. This absolutely topped it off for me like nothing else could have. Thank you Oprah, and to all the women and men who stand strong in the truth of their being.

Thoughts on Healing (One Anyway)

Yeah, I don't have that many- but I do have one. An observation that came as I was working with someone on the Soundweaver recently. Holding a sort of witness consciousness, watching as my hands slowly came into their energy field, gently resting on either side of their head and after some minutes very slowly, almost imperceptibly releasing, hands moving away in slow motion. Moving to the next place on the body I was called to. Could have been the heart, the solar plexus, the knees, the feet, one shoulder or the other- or both. Listening, observing, waiting, letting go, moving on. What is happening in these subtle delicate moments- these listening moments which are full of power, intention and awareness?

At some point during the session I wrote this note: "The trick is to match the client's energy and hang out with it til a total synergy is apparent- then LEAN INTO IT- gently- enough to allow their energy/physiology to shift."

In other words, you hang out until you become ONE with their energy. No pushing, no forcing, being fully present- WITH INTENTION. Using a sound analogy, it is the difference between crashing a mallet against a gong so that the volume is almost unbearable and a shock to the system, or playing the gong so that the sound slowly builds, as if you are coaxing the sound forth and allowing the waves to wash over the listeners and then to recede like waves on the shore.

I used Estas Tonne today for my inspiration and therapy while I was doing some stuff in the kitchen. I wanted to escape but there were things I needed to complete on. Once I put this music on I was captivated and happy to be right where I was.

Shin Ae, Sound Evangelist

I have been trying to write this blog post dedicated to my beautiful and brilliant friend Shin Ae for almost two weeks now. This is as far as it's gotten so I am letting go of all the other things I wanted to express and publishing it.  What I really want to share here is my love for the beautiful strong radiant and joyful being that she was and gratitude for our deep connection.

 Shin Ae, August 2015- Oncology Retreat, Exeter, RI

Shin Ae, August 2015- Oncology Retreat, Exeter, RI

Last night [May 8 at the time of this writing] my friend Lynn and I celebrated the life and memory of our very dear friend Shin Ae who passed away on April 22, after a 2 1/2 year struggle with metastatic breast cancer. We both met her as a patient and quickly came to know her as a dear friend. She did not take her diagnosis lying down. She was a ninja warrior and activist to the very end. This picture was taken almost a year after her diagnosis, at which time she had been given 9 months which she enthusiastically refused to accept- which I'm sure has a great deal to do with why she was able to stay with us for as long as she did.

In February I came to her house to have a visit with her and give her a sound healing treatment. She was a metal worker, a welder, and she loved instruments made of metal- Himalayan singing bowls, gongs and tuning forks- so I brought them all. I set up the gong in her living room, laid bowls on her spine and played them which always gave her great relief and played the tuning forks for her to help re-balance her nervous system.

She was getting ready to head out to California for the Wisdom Conference and told me that she was hoping to get me out there to do a Sound Journey. She had just come back from walking the fashion runway in New York for NY Fashion Week and although she was not feeling well and was fairly weak she powered through it with her indomitable spirit. She told me that day that she was a "sound healing evangelist" because the sound healing had helped her so much in her process for relieving pain and restoring peace when it was most needed. Although I do what I do because I know it is effective it is always another miracle to me when I actually witness the relief that people get from this modality.

I always felt honored and grateful both to work with Shin Ae as a patient and also to connect with her on such a deep level. And I know that's not about me- it was a gift that Shin Ae had, to be able to enter into the space where another human being was coming from, no matter their background, their source point or their operating procedure. She could step in and connect in a way that superceded the mundane and went straight to the heart of things. That was Shin Ae, no bullshit, all heart and a brilliant mind and a gift to all who knew her.