Monday, 4 May 2015

Episode 11

The seventh of several episodes in which Miriam and I ramble conversationally around a mind map I made recently. The six topics we randomly selected (not all covered in this episode): "mystery", "(Aleister) Crowley", "lunar/solar consciousness", "Rome as self-replicating entity", "number mysticism", "vibrational frequencies".

Some relevant links:


Blogger Nathan Williams said...

Surprised at the extent of the expression of your skepticism re didge healing. Certainly sound healers often make preposterous claims and imply all sorts of pseudo-scientific claims re the effect of "frequencies" - but the point I'd like to make about a didge is the sound it makes. It's low, for a start. Not 440Hz but much lower, like 100Hz (I know you were using 440 as an example) - but also nothing like an electric drill and no one in their right mind would set up a sound healing workshop with an electric drill... (would they?!). The low tone of the didge combines with the real audible (low enough to hear) overtones which create a chord, the harmonic series which as you know I sometimes call "The Cosmic Chord". One could not have that experience listening to either a drill, or even a musical instrument pitched around 440 Hz. There is something in the sustained low frequency, with its rounded tone and smooth early harmonics, which can be manipulated by the didge player, which do, like many drone musics, make for quite a "healing" effect if listened to. John Cage had a definition of music via Sri Aurobindo that I'm fond of: that it can "sober and quiet the mind, thus making it susceptible to divine influences". For a westerner only familiar with popular and classical musics and that heard through the media, there could well be something in the "frequencies" of a didge, and in particular I mean the prominence of the audible overtone series in didge playing, that could lay claims to being more "healing" than other familiar musics - and I would venture that it is perhaps this contrast that makes for the efficacy of the (to your mind dubious) sales pitch. You'll know, as do any Children Of The Drone what I mean about the efficacy of low drone musics, whether they be Indian Tanpuras, African Mbiras, Western Medieveal Organum drones or didges. Partly it's the aural / physical experience of the harmonic series (in its sonic, via mathematical simplicity) that makes for a profound experience that can't be had from any old frequency. 440, no. An electric drill, no. A fridge... now, perhaps. Just off to lie down meditating beside the freezer for a few hours...

9 December 2015 at 14:20  

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