Without getting all technical here's a (very) brief explanation of the main four categories of beat, known as binaural soundwaves, and the effects they can induce. Effects are obviously dependent on the listener choosing to relax and focus on the rhythms.
Intention is the key factor in any meditation or visualisation exercise.
The varying levels of trance state happen by beat, meaning how many beats there are per minute, and the pitch of the sound. They are:
TRANSLATED TO FAMILIAR NOISE
High sounds and fast beats to me resemble clattering rain or standing close to a waterfall – a huge gush of sound I find overwhelming. This is known as white noise.
High pitched sounds do not personally help me relax, though I see how they clear the mind of chatter simply by drowning the eardrums in noise. In beats terms this would be Beta, a frantic sound that awakens, heightens the concentration.
My choice of track (and beat) is an intuitive choice dependent on frame of mind. I am conscious some make me more at ease, and others induce a higher imaginative state so I am selective. For instance, Alpha is useful but light; the midway point. In Alpha I find I’m not able to get lost in my imagination which is needed for proper visualisation, but it can be restful.
Theta is steadying in that I find I’m locked into the repetition, like being grounded; it is solid and reliable. At times it can also be too invigorating, heavy or binding.
Finally, with Delta the beats are further apart, almost indistinguishable. Barely beats as such but waves of sound that reverberate; they wash over you. Delta is lulling, soothing, gentle, like steady chant from a buddhist temple; the resonance of Himalayan singing bowls. It is a ‘beat’ that hangs; a chime; a sound that clings to the moment and allows you to cling back and sink into it.
I will divulge some of my personal go-to tracks and soundscapes in a future post.
Insomnia, that’s where this all started. This was in the mid-2000’s when we all walked around with telltale white iPod wires dangling all the time. My iPod and I had a very longterm, round-the-clock relationship. I didn’t go anywhere without it, including to bed, which was when I needed it most.
Intuitively, first off I turned to nature to help me. I hunted through dozens of soundscapes searching for tracks that soothed rather than invigorated. When I look back, this was my real first investigation into the innate natural rhythms that can prove mentally healing.
The natural noise I found effective was of the sea, rain, thunder, forest life – repetition of sound that came in low rumbles and brown noise on long play through the night. Birds, however, with their bright, random chatter, woke me up.
It took time to grow used to a noise in the ears for hours at a time, and worse rolling over to find a white earpod wedged in the side of your neck, but on very low it gradually lulled me. Bit by bit I trained myself; I began to fall asleep more readily and more often. Better still, one day I began to resume an almost normal sleeping pattern. These days I only use it when I know my mind is busy or I wake in the night on alert.
It works much like meditation: I know to use it when I really need it.
After I later took up learning the drums the soothing repetition became beats in the literal sense. This – tribal beats, rattles and chants particularly – became as comforting and natural as raindrops and thunder claps; as natural as a heartbeat.
I enter trance state to paint because in order to create anything I have to alter my mind state from where it's naturally at in the everyday. It requires calming down enough for me to pause and then allow myself the space to focus on the process of creating...
Every artist has to somehow separate their work out into logical categories. The logical part is often hard for artists because it's not usually the natural mindset. We feel, we create, but we don’t do strategy so well. Not always, of course – I speak from my own point of view.
In starting out, and getting my website and portfolio looking its best and as [digital/design term warning] UX-friendly as possible, the inevitable question arrives: how do I set out my own work into a series?
I spent some hours pondering this. I practice what is not logical or seen; I delve into the subconscious willingly. I also can’t control what comes out, only what I decide to post, publish and reveal to the world. How do I categorise that? To make sense?
FINDING THE TRUTH AND REASON
My question in response had to be, is my art any different to how I now live my life? If anything, concentrating on art as a career has highlighted what is important to me, and has brought all aspects of my life into greater alignment.
So I decided to address this task spiritually, since it’s the theme of my work...