Deep Gratitude to countless generations of Artisans who listened to the Grand Muse; who practiced, even mastered the Art of expressing the resonance and coherence of the Universal Aum; who crafted these and other Singing Bowls.

Your memory lives on.

~~~~~~~~~~~

This all started centuries or even millennia ago, long before the industrial age, when there was no entertainment industry, when everything was 100% organic. This original heavy metal music was not just background music at ancient temples, nor entertainment for royalty; it appears that brain/mind entrainment into deeper states, and dis-entrainment into the "state of no state" facilitated by the complex, rich, textured harmonics and sub-harmonic beats was intentional. It is quite likely that exploration of the resulting states and non-states was a facet of the spiritual, for lack of better words, training and education; that the sounds acted as guides or stepping stones to making non-ordinary states become more ordinary, at least to those who practiced. Our ears are not passive; they are active participants in sound, interacting with the environment in a way which leads to brain/mind entrainment with what we hear, whether it is shamanic drums, singing bowls, the cacophony of city noise, or the breath and heartbeat of someone close to us. And as we, through our ancestors, have heard sounds of natural, acoustic instruments for centuries or even millennia, there is something innately familiar, even sacred, about the sound of these and other antique musical instruments.

Fast forwarding to a recent decade, this project started off with a seemingly simple "what if" kind of question: "What would it be like to record a matched set of antique singing bowls in high resolution?"

Through a set of serendipitous and synchronistic events, the answer appeared from diverse locales and times as a set of pitch matched antique metal singing bowls. Not western A440 tuned, but the ratios between them are sonorous to western ears, in an older tuning known as Solfeggio. Yes, Singing Bowls from different centuries matched each other in pitch and ratios. Early on, playing live for a thanksgiving day yoga class, the instructor, counting the Yogis and Yoginis noticed there were 33 bodies there, and that there were 33 Singing Bowls. Also happens to be the birth number of yours truly. That kind of synchronicity is impossible to ignore, particularly for a reformed skeptic.

Metal singing bowls are not easy to record well, they are considerably quieter than contemporary crystal bowls, they resonate subtly in tandem with each other, and there are nuances that are easily lost. The dirty little secret is that most recording equipment is designed by left brained caucasian males, and as such is designed for textbook ideals of a timeless or static space; whereas life, and music, exist in context within a dynamic, complex, chaotic universe. While specific details about the recording equipment and techniques used in these recordings will remain intentionally nebulous and vague, the fundamental principle is systematically minimizing time smear in each component and implementation in the gestalt of the recording chain. Once coherence and texture are lost early in the recording chain, no amount of studio trickery or artifice can recreate or reconstruct it. This may be a cliche, however, "less is more" does apply here.

While both useful and fun in creating artificial spaces, multi track recording techniques do not serve live acoustic instruments and spaces as well. Even if we don't consciously recognize it, there is something odd, as our ears cannot physically be in multiple places simultaneously. We are hardwired for one pair of ears, and when presented with artificial renditions, our brain/mind, our central nervous system gets subtly confused or overwhelmed, being overly busy processing rather than "just" being, as it processes the abstract information being presented.

We are impressed when art expresses and communicates through a limited medium. Much, maybe most music is about communicating a message of sorts, usually emotional. These recordings do not directly do that, the intention is holding the space to facilitate and enhance whatever is present. What it is doing is providing a coherent, yet complex natural “signal” for the ears/ brain/mind/heart/CNS to entrain to and “drop” into a more relaxed, lower stress state of being, or being present while being less "stated."

Breaking the rules, not just as a rebel without a cause, but by starting out with the proverbial blank sheet; recordings commenced, continuing the "what if" question. Many recordings sound like recordings, not like live instruments in a space; many sound like special effects in search of a plot, they lack a coherent vision; and many seem like showpieces of the musician's ego. There are reasons why the name of the human behind the scenes is not listed or pictured in the cover art, it is about the music and not the musician, and certainly not about the musician’s ego. The suggestions of acquaintances who heard the early recordings were along the lines of "…you should do something with that." They were sure it was a live performance in the next room, when it was in fact, a playback of the recording. There was and is no compression, limiting, multi-mixing, gain riding, processing for mastering, none of the usual. So, eschewing hype and marketing, it was released on iTunes, Amazon, and Bandcamp as digital downloads; later on CDBaby as a physical CD. The idea was that if it had value and merit, it would find it's way. It did. Five (yes 5) years on Amazon New Age top ten downloads, again, with no advertising, just word of mouth.

The next recording, Breathe, goes deeper, in a less is more mode. Have listen on the 33 Bowls main page and/or soundcloud.

So, here we are.

The remaining fundamental "what if" question is: How can we shift ourselves, individually and collectively, from parasitic to synergistic symbiosis with our host, Gaia?

Your communication is welcomed.

33 aka Hanson aka Hans aka 333 Owls


contemplation


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