AA Bondy's Back (or, Where Does the Time Go?)

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.

Coffee with Birds... Perfection


Sitting here with my morning coffee listening to a recording I made on my iPhone of the sounds around me while I had breakfast one morning almost two years ago- mostly an amazing recording of bird sounds and songs, the occasional chewing of toast (!) and some very quiet chimes in the background. I don't remember making this recording but I titled it "Bird Song Breakfast" and it is over 10 minutes long so it must have been quite deliberate. October of 2014- so it was just after I moved into this house. It must have been one of those fall days when there were a ton of birds out in my yard because all of a sudden the sound just fades away as if they suddenly all flew off!

My life is full of sound- of course yours is too. I just happen to be acutely aware of it, maybe a bit more so than many people. Sometimes when it is quiet and an unexpected sound cuts through the ambient noise I feel it in my body- my ears, my scalp and my skin have an instant response to it- much like the way an animals ears perk up when they hear something. It is an involuntary and fascinating reaction that I have only become aware of within the last 5-6 years, although I suspect it has always occurred. Does that happen for everyone I wonder?

I had a reading from someone a few years ago who had never met me prior to the reading via Skype and knew nothing about me or my profession. He said to me at one point, "You have very big ears." Actually physically my ears are pretty tiny (I was told by someone once that my ears were like little dimes!) so that was not what he was referring to. It was the way in which I hear, which he said is similar the way a cat listens/hears- they are aware of all the sounds around them. Actually voices are what I have the most trouble with in a way. I am so acutely aware of all the other sounds around me that it is often hard to stay focused when someone is talking to me.
Self Portrait??? I didn't realize it when I did it but of course it is... Me, loving sound.
It is such a beautiful day right now. Sitting at my wooden table, listening to these sounds which I have recorded, a hint of fall in the air since last night's rain cooled things down. Perfect clear day, not a cloud in the sky. The recording has just come to an end. Now I hear the steady drone of cicadas, the wind and rustling of leaves in the trees, the clicking of keys on my keyboard, the steady rhythmic chirping of one cricket, the glass chimes on my front porch and the light metallic tinkling of a different set of chimes, staccato sparse quiet chirping of birds- and a car coming into my driveway. Time to give a session to an old friend. Perfect day!

Love In the Form of Sound

I don't know what to write but it's time so I'll have to stream...

Streaming video, streaming consciousness, streaming words, streaming sound, streaming voices
Let the river flow
Watch the river
Watch the words as I tap tap tap on the keys and thoughts crystallize 
Ideas
Out of my head on to the page

Crow caws outside as wooden chair and wood stove creak in unison
Sweet smell of copal
An air of magic and possibility
Possibilities abound
Future events soon to be past paving the way for more
For newness
For growth
For healing
Transformation, rebirth 
Spring is here
Yesterday's snow was a little white lie
It couldn't keep the daffodils down

What is coming?
In form? Healing Sound Journeys, workshops, kirtan
Love in the form of sound...

Arguing the Case for Sound (A Sound Argument!)

Thinking about all the ways that sound plays into our experience... 

These pictures are from the app "Frequency", one of my favorites. I use it to measure the tones of Himalayan singing bowls. What I love, of course, is that it shows the sound waves.

I love all the different ways we can think about sound- the word, the meaning, the experience. Ideas and people resonate with us- or not! A word, a phrase, a title, an image, rings a bell. I especially like the idea of sound as an adjective that implies stability and strength- such as a sound building... or a sound argument.

Stop, hey, what's that sound?

I don't know. I didn't hear it. I was sound asleep!


"Sound" can be used as a noun, a verb or an adjective. The following is from www.thefreedictionary.com.

sound 1

 (sound)
n.
1.
a. Vibrations transmitted through an elastic solid or a liquid or gas, with frequencies in the approximate range of 20 to 20,000 hertz, capable of being detected by human organs of hearing.
b. Transmitted vibrations of any frequency.
c. The sensation stimulated in the organs of hearing by such vibrations in the air or other medium.
d. Such sensations considered as a group.
2. A distinctive noise: a hollow sound.
3. The distance over which something can be heard: within sound of my voice.
4. Linguistics
a. An articulation made by the vocal apparatus: a vowel sound.
b. The distinctive character of such an articulation: The words bear and bare have the same sound.
5. A mental impression; an implication: didn't like the sound of the invitation.
6. Auditory material that is recorded, as for a movie.
7. Meaningless noise.
8. Music A distinctive style, as of an orchestra or singer.
9. Archaic Rumor; report.
v. sound·ed, sound·ing, sounds
v.intr.
1.
a. To make or give forth a sound: The siren sounded.
b. To be given forth as a sound: The fanfare sounded.
2. To present a particular impression: That argument sounds reasonable.
v.tr.
1. To cause to give forth or produce a sound: sounded the gong.
2. To summon, announce, or signal by a sound: sound a warning.
3. Linguistics To articulate; pronounce: sound a vowel.
4. To make known; celebrate: "Nations unborn your mighty names shall sound" (Alexander Pope).
5. To examine (a body organ or part) by causing to emit sound; auscultate.
Phrasal Verb:
sound off
1. To express one's views vigorously: was always sounding off about higher taxes.
2. To count cadence when marching in military formation.

[Middle English soun, from Old French son, from Latin sonus; see swen- in Indo-European roots.]

sound 2

 (sound)
adj. sound·er, sound·est
1. Free from defect, decay, or damage; in good condition: Is the bridge sound?
2. Free from disease or injury. See Synonyms at healthy.
3.
a. Marked by or showing common sense and good judgment; levelheaded: a sound approach to the problem.
b. Based on valid reasoning; having no logical flaws: a sound conclusion; sound reasoning. See Synonyms at valid.
c. Logic Of or relating to an argument in which all the premises are true and the conclusion follows from the premises.
4.
a. Secure or stable: a partnership that started on a sound footing.
b. Financially secure or safe: a sound economy.
5. Thorough; complete: gave their rivals a sound thrashing.
6. Deep and unbroken; undisturbed: a sound sleep.
7. Compatible with an accepted point of view; orthodox: sound doctrine.
adv.
Thoroughly; deeply: sound asleep.

[Middle English, from Old English gesund.]

sound′ly adv.
sound′ness n.

sound 3

 (sound)
n.
1. Abbr. Sd.
a. A long, relatively wide body of water, larger than a strait or a channel, connecting larger bodies of water.
b. A long, wide ocean inlet.
2. Archaic The swim bladder of a fish.

[Middle English, from Old English sund, swimming, sea.]

sound 4

 (sound)
v. sound·ed, sound·ing, sounds
v.tr.
1. To measure the depth of (water), especially by means of a weighted line; fathom.
2. To try to learn the attitudes or opinions of: sounded out her feelings.
3. To probe (a body cavity) with a sound.
v.intr.
1. To measure depth.
2. To dive swiftly downward. Used of a marine mammal or a fish.
3. To look into a possibility; investigate.
n.
An instrument used to examine or explore body cavities, as for foreign bodies or other abnormalities, or to dilate strictures in them.

[Middle English sounden, from Old French sonder, from sonde, sounding line, probably of Germanic origin.]

Touched by the Warmth


Update: Leading a chanting group in Newport, RI early tomorrow morning.

It is an interesting challenge to try to recreate the feeling in my home that I had at my sound healing center; such a very different venue in all ways except the intention, which was and is to create a warm and welcoming space for all lovers of sound and music to experience and explore the healing power of music, sound and frequency. I guess I am succeeding. This is the very sweet message that was sent out by Carol Dutton, the organizer and host at Emmanuel Church, as a reminder about tomorrow's group. I was really touched by her warmth and sincerity.




 
Dear Friends
I am happy to say Rosie Warburton will be leading our chanting session tomorrow in the All Saints Chapel, Emmanuel Church from 9 am to 10:30 am.  I met with Rosie last week at her beautiful log cabin  in the woods in Tiverton.  When I walked in her door I felt at peace as I looked around her living room which was filled with singing bowls and musical instruments.  Rosie has a separate room for her sound healing sessions.  I felt so very fortunate to be in her presence, chanting with her.  I am truly blessed to have her in my life as I learn and experience healing through the power of sound.  I hope you can join us for a very special chanting session.  May today and every day bring you peace, joy and happiness.  Namaste, Carol













Are You Awake?


I love my dreams. In fact, I love my dream life as much as I love my "waking" life (which I believe is just a another level of dreaming where we actually think we are awake). So I relate to all 24 hours really as a dream.

Starting this evening and for the next 3 days I am taking an amazing workshop with John Bealieu and Silvia Nakkach on Sound and Dreams. If tonight's introduction is any indication, it promises to be off the charts. According to John, science is now saying that certain levels of sleep, dreaming and wakefulness are all going on simultaneously. For example, we can be awake and daydreaming or asleep and lucid dreaming which is actually an experience of being conscious in the dream state. This is an interesting article that seems to relate to these ideas.
Conscious Experience in Sleep and Wakefulness

Two of things John said we would be gaining of an understanding of are 1) Becoming more aware of when our consciousness is shifting from one state to another, presumably so that we can make more conscious choices about our state of awareness and 2) Learning about dream analysis.

Tonight we had our "orientation".  After the initial talk about logistics for the weekend, there were a lot of massage tables and yoga mats set up. We all lay on them and received incredible sound and bodywork. The musicians and sound healers are all very high level practitioners and it was really an extraordinary shamanic experience. I came out of it pretty disoriented! I am looking forward to going to sleep tonight and seeing what happens in my dreamtime.

Sound Observance

This afternoon when I was out in my yard, I walked over to a honeysuckle bush to smell the blossoms. Nearby I noticed a bumblebee gathering pollen from it. As I stood there and got quiet, a humming began to emerge and as I got quieter still, it grew into a gentle buzzing. It was a large widespread bush with arching branches, only the lower ones drooping down enough for me to smell them and as I stood there I began seeing more and more bumblebees flying lazily from flower to flower. I felt like I was in a sacred space and I crouched down slightly and stepped under the curved branches so that the bush was all around me. I stayed there listening to the electric sound of the bees feeling like I was in a small cathedral enveloped in sound, fragrance and the energy of the bees.  It felt very warm and meditative- in fact I think I shall put a small chair under there so I can spend more time observing the sound and energy. It was such an incredibly pleasant feeling, embraced in that buzzing vibration of life.

Musical Toilets and Synchronicity

If I could have any toilet in the world, this would be the one I would want. Unfortunately it belongs to someone else.

Three years ago, when I went to Holland the first time, my friend Jane Tipping and I decided one day to go to the medieval town of Amersfoort to go shopping. Jane had heard it was great place to shop and she finally had someone to go with!
 
The tall narrow houses in Amsersfoort, which form the perimeter of the town, were built from a fortification wall that surrounded the town in the 1300's. In the 1600's another wall was built around the inner one as the town was growing rapidly and the inner one was used as the foundation for the Muurhuizen, or wall houses.

We hadn't been there but about ten minutes and were walking down the narrow street on the perimeter of the town when we were stopped by an old man who insisted we come into his house and see what the buildings look like from the inside. I think his name was Fritz (or Frans?)...
 We were mildly uneasy about going into a persistent old man's home- but he WAS persistent and we were ready for an adventure so in we went! He had a crazy little place that was FULL of knick knacks- but when I first walked in the house I looked around a corner and found myself looking in the bathroom at the toilet pictured above. I know that usually a toilet is not the first sign that you are in the right place unless you have to pee really badly, but I was there to teach a sound healing workshop. Sound and music were very much my focus, as they tend to be most days and there was this wild musical toilet. I couldn't believe it. I did indeed take it as a sign from the gods that we were in exactly the perfect place!

It turned out, needless to say, that he was a musician- a stand-up bass player- and that his whole family had all been musicians. His father had been a musician- I think maybe his mother had been a singer and his sons were both musicians. He had a picture of his father as a very young man with a group of musicians- maybe an orchestra or something. I don't remember the details but it was all just great, funny and as magical and synchronistic as anything in my life. I had the feeling I had just walked into some crazy, dreamlike, divinely orchestrated scene that I couldn't possibly have dreamed up on my own!

He tried to get us to go up the very narrow stairs to see the upstairs but we managed to escape at that point. The picture below is Jane looking slightly unnerved and clearly ready to leave at this point! I have often wondered whether it was just a weird synchronistic event or if he actually just hangs out outside of his house accosting every obvious tourist and stranger that walks by. Was he lonely or was he just an old man who was totally turned on by the heritage of his town and his family and wanted to share it? Who knows, but I am leaving for Holland on Tuesday and my guess is that very soon Jane and I will be headed for another shopping spree in Amersfoort (we found some great clothes there the last time!) and I am definitely wondering whether we will run into Fritz and his musical toilet again.

You Never Know (And Sometimes You Do)

Slowly starting to get new clients in my new space. Today someone came for a session who I met almost two years ago at an Expressive Art Therapy training I had taken. Turns out she saved my contact information and last week contacted me to make an appointment for a session. We hadn't had any contact since we had taken the class together.

So interesting to me when you don't have any idea that what you shared at some past time has had an impact on someone. You might not have even known they were listening or remotely interested. I have had people contact me for a session sometimes years after they came to one event that I did.

So, part of the moral of the story is, don't be afraid to share what you do- and don't assume that no one is listening. You never who you might reach- usually just when you least expect it!

A few years ago when I was in St. Petersburg I taught a class for the Florida State Massage Therapy Association. It was an opportunity for me to network and reach a fairly broad audience and for Licensed Massage Therapists to get a few of their necessary continuing education credits. About three years later I got a call from a woman who had been at that meeting. I had played a crystal bowl and she told me she had never forgotten the sound of that bowl and had wanted one ever since. She was just waiting until she could afford it. She came to the center later that week and bought her first crystal bowl.
And this is the other part of the moral of the story. That is how sound is. Sometimes it just penetrates through all the other clutter and chaos and you know when it strikes you. You know that it just changed you- or brought you back home in a way that nothing else could in such a brief instant.


Sound Inspiration

Here are just a few of my favorite movies about the power of sound and music to unite and to heal:
  • Genghis Blues- The story of blind Chicago-based bluesman Paul Pena, his personal discovery of Tuvan throat-singing and his ensuing visit to the Republic of Tuva, a tiny country on the northern edge of Mongolia.
Tuvan shaman dancing near Kyzyl
  • 1 Giant Leap: In short, watch the video below. This is one short excerpt- absolutely exquisite. Musical duo Duncan Bridgeman and Jamie Catto traveled to Asia, Africa and India recording tracks on their laptops and then having other brilliant musicians from around the world laying more tracks over them and interviewing fascinating minds such as Kurt Vonnegut, Tom Robbins, Dennis Hopper and many others- a blend of philosophy and music. Music unites individuals, cultures and minds. Music brings out people's inner innate joy. Watch the movie and clear the room so you can dance your way through it, because you will want to!
  • The Story of the Weeping Camel: A most surprising and fascinating documentary. A nomadic Mongolian family's newest camel colt is rejected by its mother. As a last resort, after trying everything they could to get the mother to accept her newborn, the family brings in a musician to perform a very special ritual.

 
If you've already seen all three of these films contact me- there are many more I can recommend! What am I going to do tonight? Get out my flute and my drum, clear some space in my living room and watch 1 Giant Leap again!

Music and the Emotions 4.20.11

I have a particular fascination with the fact that certain music can evoke such a powerful emotional response- part of what makes it such a powerful healing modality... that it can assist us in accessing deep places within ourselves of joy, angst or ecstasy- sometimes taking us on a white water raft trip and sometimes a gentle sail on a balmy sea and ultimately deposit us back on the shore feeling soothed, peaceful and whole once again.

Daniel Levitin, author of Your Brain on Music, psychologist and researcher has been exploring this curious power that music has over us for many years. As more and more study is being done in the field of psychoacoustics- the effect of music on the mind- scientists are beginning to get clues about this phenomenon. Yesterday there was a fascinating article in the New York Times Science Section which actually followed up one written several years ago specifically about Mr. Levitin's works and his book. This latest article has some very interesting input from a number of musicians as well, including Paul Simon and Bobby McFerrin.

Enjoy the read. This may actually open up to an interactive page where you can listen to different pieces of music and then enter your response. If the link doesn't work (I couldn't find hte "embed" code) then just cut and paste the url. It's worth it if this topic is even mildy interesting to you.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/04/18/science/20110419-music-expression.html?src=me&ref=science

3.9.11 Forever Young

Watched the movie "Young at Heart" last night, which follows a senior citizen chorus from Northampton, MA over a period of six weeks as they prepare for a concert in their home town. The music is great- songs by James Brown, Talking Heads, The Clash, The Police, Bob Dylan- and the old folks ROCK! I showed it at my sound healing center and was disappointed that so few people showed up- four to be exact (besides me). It is such a wonderful inspirational movie and I cannot imagine how anyone would not love it, so I felt badly knowing that so many people missed it. It speaks to the power of music, and in this case singing, to bring people together- to connect, uplift, inspire, empower, heal, motivate, and above all to keep the spirit alive.
Here they are doing a song by Kurt Cobain... totally cool!

11.21.10

Sound is a catalyzer- it has the ability "to produce fundamental change in; transform", specifically the bioenergetic system, and in fact all matter when used with intention and understanding. Wholistic Sound... therapeutic sound, healing sound, sacred sound... all varying shades in the spectrum of wholistic sound, all have the power to heal and transform us from the inside out and from the outside in.