I find it satisfying to complete a project or at least the first part of a project. To have your vision come to fruition is a gratifying experience. In this project, I wanted to create an albums worth of songs, each one representing a Chakra. It was originally meant as an exercise in music creation but I soon realized the benefits of it as a tool to help individuals meditate for roughly 45-minutes.
Here is what I learned with this project.
Slow it down – most music I play, write or compose is of a moderate tempo since most of the music I’ve experienced is of this speed, around (108-140 bpm) or beats per minute. In music terms this would be known as “Moderato,” Allegro Moderato,” or simply “Allegro.” Well since I wanted to slow down the listener’s heart rate and put them in a relaxing state of being I decided to create all of these pieces at roughly half that speed, (60 bpm). This is a speed I’ve never even thought of doing since it’s considered to be boring. Well, in this context it made perfect sense. It also created some really interesting textures when some samples were slowed down, especially very complex loops. Even the virtual instruments using MIDI notes created some nice swells and textures.
Creating positive feelings isn’t easy – majority of music I’ve played or written is usually in minor keys which give a darker feel. In fact a favorite key in hard rock and heavy metal is E-minor since it’s easy to play on guitar and does the job of providing that dark feeling. What I wasn’t expecting is how difficult it would be to create a positive feeling. Though each song is in a different major key that represents a Chakra, I really had to think about how to keep the songs from turning dark, or at least too dark. Choosing the right percussion, environmental sounds, and chord structures helped the songs flow in a positive direction.
Let it flow like a river – the main objective for this project was to help in meditation taking the listener on a journey without making it interesting but not disruptive. Any changes in the song would need to be gradual and subtle. The idea was to ease the listener into each part of a song and into each song as a whole listening experience. I used a lot of fades and overlaps to achieve this.
This project was quit enjoyable and different from what I’m used to creating. I strongly believe that taking ones self out of the comfort zone is a sure way to learn things from a different perspective.
The next phase of this particular project I to add in spoken words to guide the listener through each of the Chakra. My wife has agreed to assist in this phase and I can’t wait to hear how it turns out.
Brian Lundgren is a marketing professional, musician, and family man living in the Southeast region of Massachusetts.