Where Does Your Wanderlust Take You? East Forest Pt III
I once heard Gordan Hempton, a nature field recordist, define silence as, “not an absence of sound, but an absence of noise.” I love that description. It's an important reminder about the value of natural sounds, the richness of silence, and the fundamental roles that silence and sound play in the human experience.
When accompanying a yoga class, I often get asked why I mix field recordings and nature sounds into my music. I do it because I want to bring that special silence out from the forests and into the yoga studio. I figure that if people don't have the time or inclination to head out into nature, I'll bring it to them: a sea of crickets at night, a chorus of frogs in a lagoon, the wind washing through leaves on a mountainside.
There is music to the world around us and tuning into it creates pause in a sea of modern noise. Numerous indigenous cultures around the world revere frogs and crickets for their unique sonic abilities as shamanic portal openers. These sounds hold the power to calm our minds and open pathways to the soul.
The sonic mechanisms that help facilitate such calm have partially to do with the rhythmic waves that form when multitudes act together. Out of the random chaos of ten thousand crickets each singing independently, patterns and waves of sound begin to build – out of many individual parts the group sound becomes one. This cumulative sound is a kind of white noise in which our minds let go of the individual parts and instead focuses on the larger auditory picture, in this case a soothing pulsing sonic wave that entrains the brain with trance inducing effects. Nature allows us to step back and experience oneness via the working together of countless disparate parts.
When I go out to make field recordings I'm really just looking for sounds that touch my own soul. I want to capture a tiny portion of nature and transmit it to listeners by weaving music around it. I see most natural sounds as instruments – each containing pitch and tone – for instance, there are over 900 different species of crickets that subsequently translates to 900 unique instruments.
The earth is full of music. Open your ears to the sounds around you and see what happens when you tune your ears to the great chorus that is singing one song. Get out of the noise and find silence. The songs of nature are being sung all around you, it is an endless gift beckoning us to quiet our minds and open our hearts.
All photos by Karina Towers.
~ East Forest is a unique musical project that aims to offer powerful tools and exceptional experiences that empower inner transformation and subsequently engender positive global change. East Forest has been creating its visionary brand of melodic-ambient-hypno-shaman-pop since 2008 as well as leading meditative workshops, sound healings, and healing ceremonies around the world. You can followEast Forest on Facebook or visit him in person accompanying classes at the upcoming Wanderlust Festival Mont-Tremblant.