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.


My friend Walter sent me an article a while back about music therapy. In it neuroscientists said that listening to this song by Marconi Union results in up to a 65% decrease in overall anxiety and 35% decrease in the usual physiological resting rates. After reading the article I decided to test the theory and play it for myself at bedtime. It worked like a dream! I was asleep a few short minutes into the song and slept soundly. 

Not only a great song but a very cool and beautiful video- and for sure the best use of drones! It also reminded me that I need to get some of their music for VibroAcoustic Therapy. I have one compilation CD with a track by them that I use on the Soundweaver, "These European Cities", very effective for deep relaxation and transporting one quickly to an altogether different realm of consciousness. It's one of my favorite pieces for the Soundweaver.

If you missed the link above click here to see full article: Neuroscience Says Listening to This Song

Soundweaver VibroAcoustic Environment. Client is lying on a Somatron Body Mat with 4 speakers built into it, overhead speakers and a subwoofer underneath the table as well for extra clarity and surround sound experience. She is literally receiving a cellular musical massage through the vibrotactile effect of the speakers in the mat. VibroAcoustic Sound Therapy is not only deeply relaxing and enjoyable on the physical level, but can also be life-changing.  Contact  Wholistic Sound  for more information or to book a private session or weekend sound healing retreat.

Soundweaver VibroAcoustic Environment. Client is lying on a Somatron Body Mat with 4 speakers built into it, overhead speakers and a subwoofer underneath the table as well for extra clarity and surround sound experience. She is literally receiving a cellular musical massage through the vibrotactile effect of the speakers in the mat. VibroAcoustic Sound Therapy is not only deeply relaxing and enjoyable on the physical level, but can also be life-changing.

Contact Wholistic Sound for more information or to book a private session or weekend sound healing retreat.

Is Western Medicine Waking Up?

Dr. John Beaulieu's sound studio in Stone Ridge, NY
One of my oncology patients at the Women & Infants Integrative Care program sent me this article tonight. She is actually going to be participating in this program. It is so exciting that western medical establishments are finally waking up to the power and potential of sound and music therapy.

Sloan Kettering and Pandora Music Genome architect to ‘prescribe’ music for cancer patients

by Mark Sullivan

Pandora’s chief musicologist Nolan Gasser has made a career of tailor-fitting streams of music to listeners’ tastes. Now, Gasser is taking the body of knowledge he gained as the architect of Pandora’s Music Genome Project and focusing it on helping ease the suffering of cancer patients. The Music Genome Project was about breaking down and categorizing hundreds of music characteristics (or “genes”), then delivering streams full of songs containing the genes that people like. That same matching algorithm, along with some hard science from music therapy research, Gasser believes, can be used to “prescribe” music that will ease some of cancer’s more unpleasant symptoms.

Gasser, an acclaimed pianist and composer in his own right, is now working with members of the Integrative Medicine Department at New York City’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center on the first phases of such a therapy, and hopes the project will receive sufficient grant money to bring these ideas to fruition. Sloan Kettering has long been a pioneer in the field of music therapy and has an active Music Therapy department.

Healing music on ESPN

Gasser’s music therapy work was featured last week in an ESPN Films special called “Breaking Music Down to Its Genes,” in which he takes viewers through “The Wellness Suite,” his composition designed to contain the right traits to soothe and inspire cancer patients.

You might wonder why ESPN would produce a show about playing music for cancer patients. The point of ESPN Films’ digital shorts series The Collectors is to “profile passionate people scrounging for information to save the world’s bees or find the formula for funny,” as the network put it. Producer Jamie Schutz proposed Gasser as a subject based on his music data work with Pandora, but when he learned what he was doing with music therapy at Sloan Kettering, he thought that would be a perfect focus for the film.

The music in “The Wellness Suite” uses a number of musical techniques that music therapy research has shown to help relieve fatigue, pain, anxiety, and nausea in cancer patients. “The slow, heartbeat-paced tempo, consonant harmony, lyrical and sustained melody, occasional bursts of rhythmic energy, the use of strings, and so forth,” Gasser said, have been shown in the research literature to create positive therapeutic effects. Longer pieces of music that have “a slow, unravelling, and narrative” quality also have been shown to captivate listeners and ease pain.

“The Wellness Suite,” Gasser said, is “an extended work that puts all these things together.” In the ESPN special, the piece is performed in front of three cancer patients. Their responses to the music tell the story (see video above). “I came up with a melody that for me spoke of healing,” Gasser said.

Accounting for taste

“The Wellness Suite” acts as a sort of pilot for the wider body of work Gasser hopes to do with Sloan Kettering. He hopes to find existing music, and create new music, that brings to bear both the therapeutic musical styles used in the suite and the personal musical tastes of the individual cancer patients at Sloan and elsewhere. For instance, the research shows that long, sustained drones with shifting harmonies above have the capacity for healing. “So if the patient likes jazz, we might go out and recommend modal pieces by Miles Davis or Charles Mingus that have those qualities,” Gasser said.

Sloan Kettering and Gasser hope to develop a repertoire of music for different types of patients (with different musical tastes), then conduct scientifically rigorous testing to find out if patients who undergo this approach to music therapy really fare better than patients who receive different approaches, or no music therapy at all.
Pandora's Nolan Gasser
Above: Pandora’s Nolan Gasser
Image Credit: FiveThirtyEight
Evidence exists that music can help ease discomfort, but very little has been done to affect this by linking specific musical traits to personal taste. “Hopefully the results of our research will show that by integrating musical features with personal taste, we can better move the needle on treating the ailments of cancer treatment,” Gasser said. He says patients will also be given some instructions on how to listen to music so that they can get the maximum benefit.

The first round of testing at Sloan Kettering will focus on using music to relieve symptoms like pain and nausea. But later tests may try to determine if music can accomplish even more in some patients, tapping the body’s innate healing powers. “It would be nice to explore grander prospects like increasing general metabolism in the fight against cancer,” Gasser said. “The prospect that a sustained musical therapy could help in the act of healing or even reduce the spread of cancer is pretty ambitious, but it certainly can’t hurt.”

Gasser says there’s every reason for optimism. “We are musical beings; music is part of our very identity,” he said. “We all have the capacity for music to have a positive effect on our well-being.”
Gasser is working on a new book called Why You Like It: The Science and Culture of Musical Taste that documents his work at Pandora and his 20-plus years exploring the nature of musical taste.



Feel Good Music with Joey Blake and Bobby McFerrin

I watched this video yesterday several times. It is so fun, bright and uplifting. It made me feel good all over.

Is not the fact that music makes you feel good enough of a reason to say it heals? What is healing? Is it a "curing" of symptoms or is a shift in consciousness? If you go from feeling poorly- physically, mentally, or emotionally- to feeling light, happy, positive- does it matter whether you took an aspirin, had surgery or listened to a fabulous piece of music?

The Sync Project

This just popped up on the radar. I have been very busy today sorting out paperwork- aaaaaarghh!- and suddenly here comes this brilliant inspiration about which I am wildly excited! The Sync Project- THESYNCPROJECT.COM- all about researching, understanding and harnessing the healing power of music. In my world it doesn't get much better than that.
Please check it out!!!
And while you're at it- watch this video if you haven't already seen it. And of course if you have, then I have no doubt that you will want to watch it again! And then you will absolutely want to watch the movie Alive Inside! So inspiring!


Beautiful Shyamji, my nada yoga teacher
This morning I updated my profile on my blog and spent so much time looking at pictures as I was considering updating that I came across all kinds of wonderful inspirations in the process! I decided I would share some of the things that have inspired me today- people, places, instruments- rather than getting too wordy.

The first is a suikinkutsu, also known as a Japanese water harp- an instrument I discovered while researching outdoor instruments for my healing sound gardens. The next one is a music piece by one of my teachers, music therapist, preserver of indigenous and sacred music Silvia Nakkach who has a voice of gold and a heart to match- Sarasvati incarnate!

Deity of Sound- sculpture by my dear friend
Ceramic artist and musician, Brian Ransom
The side of a music school in Minneapolis

Singing, Ringing Tree- Crown Point, Lancashire, England
John Beaulieu's sound studio in Stone Ridge, NY
Sarasvati, She Who Flows

My beautiful teacher, shaman/maestro Don Tito La Rosa
Jim Pepper's saxophone! Smithsonian Institute
"The Gift" by Patricia Bowers
Playing music for visionary artist Alex Grey
Dear friend, colleague, amazing sound healer, Baba Frejon/Fred Johnson- vocalist extraordinaire and dancer Katurah Robinson who dances from her heart
Athena VibroAcoustic Table
built by Somatron Corporation
My dear teacher, bhakti yogi,
amazing musician and "kirtanmeister "Jai Uttal
Beautiful friend, brilliant artist, hostess of my healing sound journeys Suzanne Benton-
blissed out after a Sound Journey

Another brilliant teacher teacher and revealer of the magic of tuning forks as well as craniosacral therapist/polarity therapist/naturopath/psychologist John Beaulieu
My Sanskrit teacher, the late Swami Sarasvati Sivananda
I miss you, Swami Bob!

Music for Massage- Escape Artist

The first time I ever saw this video of Zoe Keating playing "Escape Artist" I was hooked!

Somehow when I transferred all my data to my new phone a couple of weeks ago not all the music I had on the old one was transferred. So today, when I was going to give a massage, the music that I had hoped to play was not on there. The only thing that I thought might really work was Zoe Keating. I had never used it before and I wasn't sure but I thought I'd give it a try.

It was so good! Rhythmic, entraining... I felt my client's breathing become steadier and deeper, and my own movements became entrained to the music so that it felt like I was doing a rhythmic dance on the body- sometimes working broad flowing strokes in time to the music, sometimes focusing in on a very small area, an indentation at the base of the neck or kneading a small knot on the bottom of the foot. Next client- same music, same steady rhythmic flow. She went into a dreamlike state during the massage. They were both super-happy, much more relaxed, way less pain and I had a great experience as well. Thanks Zoe!