Here are some notes for each track of the album "Be the Love you Seek" (release Jan. 2020).
Here is a little about the album:
Be the Love you Seek is a fusion of musical expression with elements of sound therapy to assist in guiding the listener towards relaxation. Instruments include Classical Guitar, Tibetan (Himalayan) Singing Bowls, Gong, Percussion and Native American Flute. (432hz and 936hz tunings)
Tracks 1 - 7 are musically based featuring classical guitar and Tibetan Singing Bowls. Tracks 3, 4, 5, and 7 share the same tonal center (B) in the tuning of 936hz (third eye chakra). Tracks 8 - 11 move towards a sound therapy based approach, culminating with a guided meditation in the final track.
I originally envisioned Tracks 3, 4, 5, and 7 as a sort of “suite”. I decided on separating some of them for the pacing of the CD. These are in the tuning of 936hz which I have found to be stimulating for the Ajna (Third Eye) Chakra.
Credits: Instruments performed, recorded and mixed by Jonathan Adams. Vocals by Jonathan Adams and Octavia Nasr (Om Shanti mantra).
1. Montana Skies (432hz) 4:14
Montana Skies was written in the early 2000’s. It is about the beauty of Montana. I first visited Montana when I was 19 to study guitar at Montana State University with Christopher Parkening. It was an amazing time both artistically, and to be in the natural beauty of Montana. I have realized in the years since that the joy I felt was not only because of these circumstances, but from within me. Later, I would often think of these times and feel that joy again and again. Montana Skies is a reminder, that all I seek is inside of me already.
2. December Sun (432hz) 4:58
December Sun is an instrumental that was originally named "December Mourning". Now, this feels more like a reflection on the winter sun. The Sun being source of life on our planet, and a cause for contemplation on it’s power and the grace it shines down on us all.
3. Dharmalodic 6:49
Dharmalodic is a an improvisation on a groove. “Dharmalodic” being a fusion of the words Dharma (truth), and melodic (for music). For me, meaning that music and frequency is a reminder of the truth of vibration, a subtle energy of the physical world. While the "realm of words” can be filled with untruths, and crafted confusion. The physical world of vibration speaks truth directly to our hearts and minds. This is accompanied by a bowl in 936 tuning (234 is the actual fundamental of the bowl, with many overtones above that.)
4. Ajna (Classical Guitar Meditation) 9:20
This is an improvisation on a looped phrase. This is also accompanied by a bowl in 936 tuning (234). The repetitive nature of the accompaniment supports the improvisatory melody. Ajna is the sanskrit name for the third eye Chakra. The third eye chakra is considered by some to be the pineal gland. The pineal regulates our circadian rhythms and produces melatonin, as well as other chemicals. It is theorized that the pineal may also produce the psychedelic chemical “DMT”, which may be responsible for mystical states, and which is found in the Amazonian psychedelic brew “Ayahuasca”. Studies have shown that music therapy can also stimulate melatonin production.
5. Om Shanti Mantra: Prayer for Peace (feat. Octavia Nasr) 7:37
Another in the 936 series, this chant is by Octavia Nasr (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Octavia_Nasr) who I frequently accompany for yoga practices, or perform together. The Chant (in Sanskrit) is:
Om Asato Maa Sad-Gamaya |
Tamaso Maa Jyotir-Gamaya |
Mrtyor-Maa Amrtam Gamaya |
Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih
The prayer for Peace at the end is derived from the chant itself.
Here is a general interpretation of the chant:
Om, (O Lord) Keep me not in (the Phenomenal World of) Unreality, but make me go towards the Reality (of Eternal Self),
Keep me not in (the Ignorant State of) Darkness, but make me go towards the Light (of Spiritual Knowledge),
Keep me not in (the World of) Mortality, but make me go towards the World of Immortality (of Self-Realization),
6. Introspection: Yoga is Union 4:20
This instrumental contemplation, is in the key of Am, and features guitar, percussion and voice.
7. Finding Theta 7:26
This piece contains repetitive layers of melodies that are repeating, and also changing. This is also accompanied by a bowl in 936 tuning (234). As the name suggests, these repeated coming around and around again is about finding Theta state (brainwave state).A sort of musical analogy of a meditation practice. The nature sounds I recorded in various places, the bugs and crickets are from Ohio and the Southeast. The Ocean waves are from Akumal Beach in Mexico. I feel that nature is the original "sound therapy”. I like to think of the sounds of nature as a beautiful accompaniment (pad) to the music… much like the droning accompaniment of a tamboura in Indian music.
8. Awakening in the Dream (Note to Self) 6:51
This piece begins the “sound therapy” portion of the album. This poem came to me one night after a dream, and I spoke it into my iPhone. The dream was about running from fear. Here is a post from my blog about the poem:
A few months ago I had a dream that woke me up around 5am. The dream, which I still remember vividly, was me in a ballroom, dancing around with characters. These characters were cartoonish, almost like characters from Alice in Wonderland. There were giant teapots, clowns and entities that really had no shape or form. We were in a ballroom, and there was light coming in from windows and a garden. In the dream I knew that these entities, and characters were all fears. I remember dancing for a while in the ballroom, knowing that I could control them with my mind, just by not interacting with them, and that there really was nothing to fear from them. They were immaterial, just caricatures created by my mind, representatives in my psyche. Then I got tired of being there and decided to run. There was a staircase in the corner of the room, and I ran for it. The staircase lead me down away from the ballroom and away from the light of the windows. As I went down the winding staircase, I felt relief at being away from these characters, these "fears" were behind me. As I ran down the staircase the light became dimmer as I descended into the darkness of the winding stairwell. The walls were also closing in gradually, inch by inch with each flight of stairs. The walls were made of egg crate foam. Eventually, I could hear these entities, these "fears" running down the stairs after me. The walls were very close now and the egg crate foam on the walls was squeezing in on both sides. It was very dark now and I couldn't run any more. I would have to turn and run back up. I would also have to fight these fears on the way back up. I sensed they had grown in strength and could hear them laughing as they descended. It would be an uphill battle going back up. I knew I could do it though, I had done it before. I had learned to dance in the presence of those fears like they weren't there. It was only when I ran, that they gained in power.
In real life, I faced many overwhelming fears in the heart of my anxiety and awakening process and occasionally still do. I faced fears of my own perceived inadequacies. I faced fears of letting down other people. I faced fear of my own selfishness and desires and the guilt and shame that went with that. Fear that just being me was not enough to be loved. Fear that showing the real me would result in rejection. Many times facing these fears was horrifying and felt very real. I gradually learned though that when I faced my fears they lost power, they disappeared or shrank. Gradually, I began to be more empowered to just be ME and not allow these fears to control me. By facing my fears I could change my behavior and be comfortable outside of my comfort zone (this box that framed my perceived identity and reality.) There truly is nothing to fear, but fear itself. It's a daily process and a daily realization, for me, to Choose Love and not fear in every moment.
As I laid there in bed thinking about this dream, this poem came to me. I spoke it out into my iphone so that I would remember it. —
9. Third Eye Flute Interlude 3:40
This flute interlude was recording in a tunnel between the Big Sky ski lodge and parking late one night. I thought the long concrete tunnel had an excellent natural reverb and stayed in there for hours enjoying the sound. This is a snippet of that improvisation. The cedar flute is also in 936 hz tuning and was made by Lee Nix of Farpoint flutes.
10. Gong Bath Zen (Sound Therapy) 7:30 —
This is a “gong bath”. A therapeutic soak in the frequencies of the gong. While gongs contain almost too many tones to keep track of, this also hovers around the 936hz tuning. The waters were recorded by the shore of Lake Titicaca in Bolivia.
11. Guided Chakra Meditation (Be the Love you Seek) 8:00
This guided Chakra meditation was originally published as part of the course “Heal with the power of sound and frequency” for the Insight Timer meditation app. The set of singing bowls in the background are from a “Chakra Set” of bowls that I began collecting around 2012. The root bowl is around the tone of C# (the tone for the earth 136.1) and the rest of the chakra tones are building on that in a scale. The affirmations for each chakra are based around the concept/energy of Love. Love, being the rosetta stone of all self-understanding in my opinion, and something that is continually unfolding. Be the Love you seek”, is one of the affirmation here, and is one that I wrote down for myself during my earlier experience with anxiety. The idea being that I realized in my lifelong search for love outside of myself (from others) that it was only found within, and when I practiced what I desired to receive (kindness, respect, integrity compassion), that it naturally showed up more and more in my life.
My hope is that some might enjoy some of the songs individually, but also as a relaxing program that may also be enjoyed from start to finish in a relaxing session.
Total time 1 hour 11 minutes
Dick Metcalf of Contemporary Fusion Reviews