“Bodhi Tree Leaf”, John Gage (http://jmgage.com/)
Here is a new tune called “What Was It?”. It was inspired by Stephen Levine’s One Year to Live Project, which I learned about in William Lesley’s lecture entitled “Remembering Stephen Levine”. You can see this lecture by clicking on this link:
Since we are moving into uncharted waters with this new music, we are interested in hearing from you about your listening experiences. Happily, some of you have taken the time to provide some responses. Below are some of the more elaborate comments I received on the first two tunes we released. They seem to confirm that the listening experience is enhanced by following the Suggestions For Listening (see below). Two people mentioned difficulties with hearing and understanding the words. It is not clear where in the tunes this happened but there are some points where the voice levels were intentionally recorded at a very low volume. As per item # 4 in the Suggestions For Listening, I would suggest that you treat the voices as just another ” instrument” and pay attention to this sonic experience rather than any associated meaning.
Below the Comments is are the Suggestions For Listening and the link to “What Was it?
——————————————————————————————————————–COMMENTS ON “RIDE THE SOUND CURRENT” AND “IMPERMANENCE”.
I listened and I think it’s great. I like the beat and found myself dancing to it. Also conducive to samadhi.
Keep up the good work!
WOW!!!! I just listened to this again with no distractions and not as ‘easy listening’ but rather as ‘meditation’ as u suggest Maybe because of the title I had the thought “Oh just go through couple of deaths within 8 months of each other and then you will know about impermanence … then I tried to release my preconceived notion…however, as I listened the music and words totally took me to the process of releasing my mother and the events of her last few days in her body….including the end where it sounded like her essence was being whisked away by a helicopter…I was rocking and totally into the main body of the work very very compelling…maybe because I have been listening to you and Jim for so long, but I feel this is your best collaboration EVER… Only change I would make is I found it kind of hard to hear what you were saying in one of the longer sentences ( kind of in the middle)..maybe it is aging ears on my part and wouldn’t be a problem for most people..also I listened with my ear buds and not ear phones as suggested. Simply the best
Loved the words throughout the first piece (Ride the sound current?), and longed to hear more vocals in the 2nd half of this piece. Great, nevertheless.
I’m replying by email because I couldn’t find a comment button on the website, but I want to actually rave blissfully about “Ride the Sound Current” your collaboration with your brother. I find it to be wonderful, for oh so many reasons, starting with the conception, and forward from there through the spoken messages set to music, the amazing ecstatic sax, the rhythms, and on and on.
I found it wonderful to listen mindfully w/ headphones, and am especially loooking forward to moving improvisationally to it, with eyes closed, as in moving meditation. I have been participating in an Authentic Movement class which uses this format, which does not use music. I think moving to this kind of music would be a valuable variation as well.
Very cool tune and idea!!
.impressive. Wonderful stuff!!!!!
I loved this track, too. I am addressing these very things at present.. with Pema Chodron’s, When Things Fall Apart. Tough stuff. For me anyway. Sometimes I yell at poor Pema, mentally throwing her book at the wall. But still… I return to the swim. Thank you for your music.
Wonderful, Steve. I like the way the sax dances on a very compelling back beat. Keep up the good work!
Great idea. Could take a lifetime to fully illustrate. Musically I find it satisfying, as I do all of your recent recordings. For me, after stopping to put in my two new snazzy hearing aids, the voices could be cleaner and more dominating as they fade in and out. That might just be my ptsd from years of straining to hear conversation in restaurants.
Here are some suggestions for listening:
1) Play the music when you have enough time to mindfully listen without worrying about being distracted by other issues.
2) Use whatever rituals you usually use when preparing to move out of the flow of ordinary life.
3) The music was especially created to be heard through headphones. Try to avoid earplugs, if possible.
4) As you listen, focus on your bodily reactions (i.e. sensations, feelings, emotions etc., whether positive or negative) rather than the meaning of what you are hearing.
5) Try listening to the piece more than once be open to having different experiences with each exposure. Try dancing/moving while you listen!
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