sublime sound gifts
Welcome to my virtual sacred space!
I am deeply grateful for this opportunity to meet you at Yogi Hari's Ashram. I know this will be a special and memorable time for us all.
I know it is not a coincidence that our paths crossed. I hope that we grow and evolve together for many years to come. Below are some gifts to show you my gratitude and appreciation.
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The Heart of the Mother
SONIC MANTRAS is the title of my forthcoming album. It is a collection of Spacedrum improvisations.
"The Heart of the Mother" is my first Sonic Mantra.
It is a repetitive melody intended to quiet the unsteadiness of the mind. Just like a mantra, it is a tool for the mind, allowing your awareness to easily turn inward.
I played it over the phone for my Mother in Portugal on her birthday. She loved it so much, I decided to name it in her honor.
This is not a polished recording but it captures the moment inspiration barged in and stole my heart... a few seconds of hesitation... and the melody came through completely.
This inspiration came when I was highly stressed. I reached for the Spacedrum hoping to find relief. Beauty and chaos walk hand in hand, we just need to choose which one will be featured in our lives.
Allow the chaotic times to inspire ever greater moments of Beauty in your life.
Please click on the red play button to listen.
Playing the magical Spacedrum
The Heart of the Mother
"My mothers life, and ours, changed when her left arm was amputated. A rare and very aggressive cancer was ravaging inside. For a powerful and courageous woman that was just the beginning of a new life... "
Olinda de Noronha is a self taught artist, who started drawing after she lost her arm at the age of 64.
To read more about my Mother's inspirational story, and to see her art, please check out her Facebook page.
Remembering the Past, Harkening to the Future
The Healing Nature of Sound
by Rian McGonigal
There are countless research studies done in the last 2 decades, confirming the healing power of Sound.
Coming from a family of storytellers, and being one myself, I know the power of stories to open the heart and sparkle the imagination.
Clifford Chi writes: "Even without the modern neurological research that proves storytelling is the best way to capture people’s attention, bake information into their memories, and forge close, personal bonds, humanity has always inherently known that people crave and seek out great stories almost as much as food and water."
Instead of giving you more facts, I would like to leave you with a story... a powerful story, that revealed the healing nature of Sound to a young classical guitarist at a time when such concepts were unheard of, and changed and redirected his life forever.
This story was written by my husband and Sound Mentor, to whom I owe everything I know about the magical power of Sound.
"My first experience with the healing nature of sound came in my mid 20's playing classical guitar in a very nice French restaurant in Media, Pennsylvania.
One evening, a party of six came in with a little girl about three years old. The adults were her parents, aunts and uncles. Their waiter was Sid, who was also a neighbor and friend to them.
I started out with some Italian Renaissance lute pieces. The waiters and staff were all familiar with my repertoire and would hum along with the melodies. Sid brought the orders to their table and everyone was enjoying the food, wine, conversation and music.
I began to play the guitar transcription of the First Cello Suite by Bach. It has seven movements, and most of them given titles of dances of the time: Allemande, Sarabande, Minuet, Gigue.
Toward the end of the first movement, the little girl got up and started to dance around the restaurant. People rarely brought very young children there, and everyone was charmed with the child's spontaneity.
I couldn't take my eyes off her. Her joy was captivating. She would sense the different tempos and various movements and create new dances. Then, during the "Sarabande", the slow fourth movement, she came up to the guitar and started to to reach for the strings. I looked over to the family, hoping they would stop her before she got too close. The family didn't move, they were all transfixed on the child. She came so close that I had to stop playing and smile at her and tell her nicely not to pull the strings. At this point her mother came forward and picked her up. She looked at me intently and said "Thank You". I smiled and saw that all the adults at the table were smiling and nodding at me. I looked up and Sid, who had also stopped what he was doing, and was looking at me. He pointed his finger at me and smiled. I thought "Yes! WE are all enjoying the little girl dancing."
I continued the suite and the little girl swung and danced around a pole which supported the ceiling, just s few feet in front of me. The family finished their dessert. As they left, each looked at me, smiled and said "Thank You!". I closed my eyes to each of them and bowed my head to say, "You are Welcome". But something seemed to be puzzling about all this.
It was time for my break. I put on the break music in the office and went into the kitchen.
Sid came in, leaned on the sink, folded his arms and stared at me with a sweet smile while nodding his head. I said "What?"... And what were all those intense "Thank Yous" from those friends of yours with the little girl? He paused and said, "That little girl is deaf". Then he just raised his eyebrows and stared at me. It took a moment for me to say "Wow!". I looked at him as it sank in.
We both stood quietly. Something had happened that had never happened to me before and may never happen again, but it affected me so deeply that I can never play Bach again without thinking of that night, and the little deaf girl dancing."
Rian is currently working on his book describing his journey with therapeutic music & sound,
from the little deaf girl dancing, to designing and directing the music & sound therapy programs
for two major cancer treatment centers.
Please click below to download your pdf
Remembering the Past, Harkening to the Future
SOUND & SILENCE: The Lost Art of Listening
by Maria McGonigal
When we lived closer to Nature, listening was a necessity. The rustling of leaves could indicate wind bringing rain or the approach of a predator.
We needed our sense of hearing, literally, to survive.
The nourishing, stimulating and healing sounds of Nature: birds singing, brooks gurgling, coyotes howling, have mostly been removed from our lives.
We have lost our ability to listen in our over stimulated modern culture.
Constant noise from cars, horns, planes, digital devices, etc., leave us few opportunities to be silent and listen.
Noise can negatively affect our brains and profoundly affect our health.
Living in a city and being constantly exposed to noise, night and day, may induce chronically elevated levels of stress hormones.
Technology has given us the ability to text, so we are disconnecting from one another’s voices as we loose our ability to listen.
When we communicate silently through texting we are not stimulating our ears to listen and appreciate the subtle nuances and colors of telling a story. On the other hand we are listening to music at decibel levels that are damaging our ears.
Nature, sound and silence can restore those states of grace where we can truly listen.
Sound and silence are intimately related.
In fact one cannot exist without the other.
When I immerse myself into Sound, whether playing an instrument or toning, I deeply appreciate the silence that envelops me afterwards.
In this silence, my ability to listen increases exponentially.
Herman Melville stated,
“All profound things and emotions of things are preceded and attended by silence.”
So, even when we explore ancient sites to gain knowledge of our ancestors, we interpret our findings by filtering through our beliefs.
We are our stories…and our stories are what we leave behind… in the memories of humans... in the memories of stones.
If we choose to listen with grace, the stones will sing.
Ancient Secrets Present Alchemy ~ Conference Article by Maria McGonigal