Music is terribly important to me. Whether it’s the latest hot number by Richard Cheese or another brilliant epic by Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Having access to pre-recorded music is an amazing thing and I wonder how deeply having music and the musician separated has changed that artform. No longer do I need the presence of the artist to enjoy their art. I can tune into long dead voices and those from far distant lands.
Music is a universal thing. The vibrations of sound hit our ears, our brains and our bodies. Dance is the natural echo of music in the body; as simple as the bearded nodding head of the doom metal fan, or the exotic gyrations of the latest pop craze.
Music breaks down the divide between inside and outside. I was talking with my Brother TP808 last night about this, about how the vibrations of sound hit us. We who are ourselves a concert of vibrations; beating hearts, breathing lungs, gurgling guts. Our own music, from the large scale systems of the body such as blood circulation, all the way down to the molecular level and beyond, plays through us. Music penetrates us, making us perhaps a bit ergi, wild or ecstatic. The sound waves pass into us; creating chords and dissonances with our own bodymind patterns.
I use music a lot of ritual (see for example the tracks used by me and my colleague HERE). Sometimes I arrange for some suitable ‘white noise’ while I’m meditating, but most of my use is as an integral part of ritual work. Sometimes this is pre-recorded, sometimes live. 190-ish bpm is such an amazingly effective and accessible tool for entering trance states that I consider my drum one of my chief magickal tools.
For ritual work I sometimes create my own sounds. Mostly using easy, freeware software rather than anything more complex. A soundtrack becomes both the ritual frame (for example by determining how long a process in the ritual might run) as well as a tool to enable the ritual (by assisting participants in generating the right state of bodymind).
The rapid digital exchange of music allows us also to share these vibrations and therefore, to some degree, these brain states. Here, for your amusement, are a few tunes I’ve used in ritual over the last few years.
For a ritual connected with William Blake and the romance of Albion
For a cut up ritual about power and control
From a ritual working with servitor entity