Based on my recollection of the sounds and feelings of meditation at a handful of places over the years, almost all of which were in the lineage of the San Francisco Zen Center. I’ve been re-reading Shunryu Suzuki’s collection of essays “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind” since the late 90’s when I first found it in the Boulder Book Store. I don’t know that I agree with all the thing that Zen is, but in my head somewhere for a while now. My interpretation of SFZC mediation is that it’s not about transcendence, but about grounding. You’re taught to meditate with your eyes open. The sounds in the room are there to keep you in the room.
My piece is heavily manipulated recordings of a zill and sruti box that I made this morning. Recorded to a Tascam DR-05 stereo field recorder, manipulated in Makenoise Morphagene, further manipulated in Mutable Instruments Clouds and Mannequins Three Sisters, recorded to four-track cassette, mixed to stereo to a second cassette, then recorded to digital via Audacity. Some editing in Audacity to get timing right.
The three minutes of tape hiss in the middle…that’s on purpose.
Really enjoying what I’ve heard so far.
Here is my take on it - along with my comment on SC:
While working on this assignment, I found out once again how incredibly hard it is to do very little: Since music for meditation should allow for emptying the mind. It should not distract. And yet, there should be something there that helps one get into a spiritual, contemplative mood, let any thoughts pass and then, a state of non-thinking, of pure presence.
As a consequence, music for this purpose might have several properties:
Modal - which allows a stable, calm state of mind
Quietness and space - making sure the music doesn’t overwhelm, neither by quantity nor by information overload
Far-eastern sound connotations - As in many “spiritual” purpose-made music releases, this seems to aid obtaining a certain mood, often by raga-type sounds, or sounds that get used in “puja” ceremonies in India (and heard in yoga/spiritual paraphernalia shops all over in places such as Rishikesh).
Since all of these are optional anyway - and are cliché-ridden on top of that - I chose to simply use an electric guitar, for drone-like sounds, and after considering sitar-like moves, opted against those (for reasons of economy). Everything got recorded into Logic Pro, with generous helpings of delay and reverb, obviously.
I layered six guitar tracks (plus one track for the chime) on top of each other and tried for them not to get into each others’ way too much, to allow for the composition to consist of very little information.
Enjoy your meditation!
Here is mine! Just Friends, Rings and Mangroves recorded into the ER-301 and Manual Grain-ed down to half speed. The Rings loop also plays over the top of the manipulated loop. There is also a field recording of my studio room with the windows open.
I wanted to explore an orchestral but highly textured / cinematic dream like response.
Kit used :
Custom sampled instrument of vocals by Kelly Snook
Spitfire Audio Olafur Arnalds Chamber Evolutions
Spitfire Audio Albion One ( Winds and Brass )
Spitfire Labs Hand Bells
Hollow Sun Moog Taurus
TC VSS3 Reverb
J37 Tape Saturation
Pretty simple modular patch: The QuBit NanoRand feeds cv to The Make Noise Telharmonic, and that gets filtered by the AI Synthesis AI004 OTA Filter. Then it goes into ableton for delays and reverb.
I’m really happy that I found the time to participate in the Junto again.
More recordings of quartz crystal bowls with feline generated background noise and a drone thrown in for good measure. Edited in Ableton Live with a generous amount of Valhalla Shimmer and Vintage Verb.
From soundcloud: “For the third eye. Quartz crystal bowls at 323.24 Hz, 168.26 Hz, and 257.3 Hz. Verbos Harmonic Oscillator at 64.32 Hz into Makenoise MMG modulated by a Bubblesound ULFO. Vocals by Clive Owen Wilson, a cat, and water bowl percussion by Banjo, also a cat.”
Thanks for listening.
Really love this track. I think you nailed with the layout, very spacious and with very few elements happening at the same time.
Love the slowness if this one!
A collaboration between me and and a friend. Our first Junto! A fun and rewarding experience, looking forward to participate in forthcoming projects. We were aiming for something vast and spacious. The pulsating drone and subtle waves of noise reminds me of the ocean. Timelessness as a concept came to mind.
Some technical info:
On my end I recorded a drone with the grackler through the t-resonator - moving slowly between the two filters. The warbles is a benjolin with high filter settings through a spring reverb (the knas ekdahl moisturizer). There’s also some bass sounds from a C-L plumbutter 2. My friend did the keys on a vst called addictive keys through a soundtoys reverb + tremolo. The whole master track is run through a meris poly moon.
First track for Disquiet. Time stretched some synths and samples into loops. Cut and chopped loops into tracks. Ended up with 4 tracks total. Added lots of effects and washes.
I’m used to meditating with the window open. The street below is semi-busy so there is a fair amount of noise but it’s random, not the white noise of a freeway or a really busy street. This track started out just playing about with noise sounds to get some practice with different flavors of noise, then it dawned on me that it was turning into my Junto track for this week. I wasn’t attempting to mimic the sounds of traffic, but rather to share the characteristic inconsistency of the soundscape outside my apartment window.
I almost wasn’t going to do this one - but then my partner needed to stay up late Sunday doing some volunteer work. So rather than go to bed, I stayed with him and worked quietly on this with headphones.
Apart from the bells (recycled from a previous Junto) I wanted to work with a group of field recordings and Elektrosluch device recordings I had… And so, I contemplated how does one make these ostensibly jarring sounds, meditative?
I worked more on form and timing relationships, and tried to not rely too much on filtering, delays, and reverb to smooth them. I was after a gritty sound, but meditative experience.
Composed and performed on the Digitakt. Then mixed with a bit of a slowed down copy of the take, and lightly EQ’d.
That is an awesome description - of course I can’t hear any of those samples - not in any way in which they relate to the originals at all! Nice finished product though!
My contribution this week: https://soundcloud.com/kyletm/harmonic-chance-disquiet0323
An ode to John Cage and chance.
This is my first post on the Junto; I’ve been following (lurking) for a few years and have started several projects, but never finished any on time. Meditation, specifically its effects on psychological distress, was at the heart of my research as a grad student. I’ve had a personal interest in it for a long time and have explored music for meditation for personal and clinical applications. So, it seemed like I really needed to carve some time out this weekend and finish a project for this week’s Junto!
What music designed to support meditative practice (what I understood as Marc’s intention) might sound like can depend on what kind of meditation you’re doing. For this project, I chose concentrative work (like TM or chanting or visualization, as opposed to, say, mindful or relaxation); music for that might support meditation by providing a point of focus. For me, having some activity, but not too much, helps me keep my mind from wandering for too long, while still avoiding absorption.
Here, I attempted to strike that balance with a through line built on a recording of a Coniff bell, layered with a variety of other sounds that I associate with meditation. I run Live 9 as my DAW and used several original recordings and samples, including bells from my collection, as well as 3rd party samples and plugins. Although I often write Max and M4L patches, I didn’t use any in this piece.
Thank you to @disquiet and the Junto community for the opportunity to participate.
This is inspired by and dedicated to my wife, Mairead.
Main lead line - AAS Lounge Lizard. Drone beds - AAS String Studio and Arturia Analog Lab 3 (Matrix 12 and CMI Fairlight multi), sends into Eventide Blackhole and Ultra Reverb, and Soundtoys Little Plate. Field Recordings from Søren Hybel (www.luftrum.com).
Rings and Mangrove sequenced by an Arturia Keystep.
Modulated by Just Friends and Batumi.
Manipulated by Morphagene.
Reverb’s by Erica Synths Black Hole and Valhalla Shimmer.
Time stretching by Paul Stretch.
All recorded to cassette and then layered and mixed in Pro Tools.