I have been commissioned to write and produce 3 hours of music for world renowned spiritual teacher Sonia Choquette. The music is intended for workshops and seminars around the world as led meditations. Four pieces, Air, Water, Fire, Space. Not too difficult, one might think” Meditation music is easy, its just drones”. First however, each piece is 45 min long…. an eternity it seemed. The pieces have to evolve and change colors. Each new event must be a subtle addition, not really noticed but felt.
“Air” I started with the sound of a gentle wind that turns into in a windy bamboo forest, with chimes, bells ect: the piece evolves and introduces sonic colors ever so gently. Emphasizing clarity of mind.
“Water” As if you are sitting by a running brook in the forest and overtime immersed in a rainstorm. I chose Tibetan prayer bowls and some indigenous chanting for melodic content.
“Fire” The sound of a campfire, then envelopes you in a raging bonfire. I felt it needed to become an American Indian fire dance. It starts out with multi-instrumentalist Kalani playing an American Indian wind instrument. The dance groove lasts more that 20 minutes and becomes fantastically trance like.
“Space” A sense of leaving your body.. Slow Pranayama breathing base. Drones with analog synth’s in a spacey, other world repeating musical phrase. I recorded Jane Runnalls who has a wonderful voice to sing angelic phrases. The piece will pull you out of your worldly self.
Sonia loved Fire and Space, however she needed to feel more movement in Air and Water. As she said” They are beautiful if you are meditating alone, but I lead hundreds of people at a time thru their journey” I suggested we make them more hypnotic rather than meditative. She was excited about this idea. So I called my dear friend the unbelievably talented Bruno Coon to layer some wind instruments, add some ethnic drum colors, play some Ude, and finally add some of his amazingly special vocal colors.
A very creative endeavor. If one has the patients to sit and listen to the pieces in their entirety they can be a wonderful experience. All in all I love each piece, although I am sure most people listening will not really notice much of the subtlety I labored over. But as I put headphones on and meditated to them I noticed each and every sound, where they entered, how they evolved, and how they seemed to disappear.
Here is a 10 minute excerpt from “Space”. Relax, take your time. It will take a while.[audio:https://gregtownley.com/blog_audio/Space.mp3|width=215]