Sunday 23 June 2013

Inspiration in the Desert

As I mentioned when I posted GW Hardin's article HERE last week, the use of tones and frequencies, and music played an important part in our journey to the desert.  We had been discussing the use of music and the frequencies of sound for months, so Hardin's paper was perfectly timed, arriving on the afternoon that we left for the Sahara.

From the moment we arrived in Southern Morocco on the edge of the Sahara I had two pieces of music that constantly played in my head, non-stop.  Both pieces of music I had been introduced to well almost 25 years ago, and both have stayed with me for all these years.... costing me a fortune in CDs I might add, as I have given away so many copies of both albums I've lost count.

The meditation that we did on the morning of the last day we were with the tribes was something I will never forget.  I honestly have no idea how long it went on for, it might of been 1 or 5 hours.... or some amount of time in between that.  The soul gazing was planned.... but the tone and frequencies and singing was spontaneous and....... unbelievable.

Katrina has a way of making tones that is unlike anything I've heard heard before singularly- taking on some aspects of throat singing, and types of east asian chanting.  The sounds that she created rang through the communal tent in a way that was physically tangible to me.  Brian, Bob and I immediately began to sing our own tones creating a harmony of frequencies.

After some time passed (how long I have no idea, it might of been 3 minutes or 3 hours), I began singing a melody that appeared in my mind.  It wasn't until I had been singing for a few minutes that I began to recognize the melody as one that I "knew", but I had no idea from where.  The tones and frequencies and humming continued. It ebbed and flowed like the tide.  I would drop off and bob would add his own melody, meanwhile Brian and Katrina held the harmony of it all in tones, hums and rhythmic sounds.

I can only speak for myself, but during this time, time had no meaning.  There was no "time", there was no "space" - everything just IS/WAS.  For moments I felt that I was floating, completely free of any encumbrance. There was no ME separation. We just were.

It was hours later that I realized that the melody I had been singing had been taken from a specific piece of music.  A piece of music that I had been introduced to over 25 years ago.  This is the Album- by Peter Gabriel, the inspiration came from the very first song on this album.  The entire album is one of the greatest sound tracks ever recorded in my opinion,but at the very least, listen to the first track.  Sit back, put on some head phones, close your eyes and listen..... I'm pretty sure you'll even see the desert.

The second piece of music is another very different song.  I was introduced to this album around the same time that I bought the Peter Gabriel sound track.  I have listened to the entire album so many times that I've memorized it, without knowing a single word of the language.

Just days before we left to head south to the desert, Bob and I had been talking about music and out of the blue I put on this song for him to listen too.  From that moment on, it played over and over in my mind- waking or sleeping, it didn't' matter.  When I went into the dunes by myself to do my own work, I used this song as  a basis for the tone's and frequencies that I used.

The Bulgarian Women's Choir are considered to have the most highly trained voices in the world.  These amazing women can actually sing in 1/4 tones.... while standing next to each other.  As a singer myself, I couldn't fathom being able to do that!

I spoke to GW Hardin about it and sent him links to both pieces of music. GW responded that the two types of music have common elements in origin:

"Bulgaria and Morocco both were strongly influenced by the Eastern forms of music. Their music, also influenced by the Sufi tradition, carries quarter tones that you hear in the choral piece. These quarter tones allow for a much greater ability to attune to the sacred. Thus, what I've found is much of their music is dedicated to the sacred. As a mathematician, I've always been fascinated by the mathematics of music. It's why music plays such a strong role in human history."

Both of these pieces of music have been with me- in my head and heart for years.   I think I discovered why when I was in the Desert.


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