Tags: sound


[sound byte] Ottmar in Denver

A snippet of what I heard at the Ottmar Liebert & Lunanegra show in Denver.

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“Since this is my first voice post, some comments... I'm going for easy, non-intrusive and nondisruptive capturing. This is easiest with my little Siemens SL-55 phone. The quality reminds me of old home videos from the early 90's, so in that respect it's not so bad. Next time I buy a phone, mic quality might be a factor if I decide audio posts are worth keeping up.”

Transcribed by: pashmina

thoughts on mantras

This kinda relates to this post on the correct way to chant mantras. YES, I'm hung up on this a little bit, because I hear people chant mantras wrongly all the time, so I will keep writing about this. I'm well aware that I'm stuck, and I'm fine with it for the moment.

Not maintaining the integrity of the rhythms of mantras is equivocal to not maintaining the correct accent of words in Mandarin chinese. I know it sounds extreme, and it's a way to convey how I feel about this. If you don't maintain the correct accent of words in chinese, no one will understand you. For example, if I changed the accent of banana, it could also mean elephant's foot. Yeah, no kidding. When you strip away the correct pronunciation, and the rhythms of mantras, you don't have a mantra anymore, you have a song, or some ordinary series of words strung together. The power of the sound is gone, and has been replaced by noise.

If you are serious about the practice of mantras, (I'm referring to Vedic mantras in particular), then you will value the structure of mantras. The word mantra can be broken into man, manas or mind, and tra, tool. Mantras are mind tools that were created and perfected through their power in sound. Sound has many levels of depth of understanding. A sound is more than just a sound, it is a vibration, and conveys an idea of an object; it is imbued with meaning. And sound also indicates the consciousness of the person, and conveys their subtle presence. This subtle presences is none other than turiya.

When you bastardize a mantra by changing the rhythms and melody, you are smashing the depth, and flattening it to the grossest level of manifestation. Please do not engage in such an insipid form of practice in front of me. And for you integral geeks out there, here's some KW to back up my fierceness on this topic:
Mantras are Zone #1 injunctions that can help with particular state training, and can induce ordinary and nonordinary peak experiences. "When you correctly follow those injunctions, you will have a series of phenomenological experiences." -KW, Integral Spirituality, Ch. 3 (My italics.) Yes, correctly, because otherwise you are just wasting your time.

an exercise in deep listening...

This was an exercise from Pauline Oliveros' Deep Listening class which I took senior year at RPI.

What would you record to represent your own soundscape?
I’ve always looked to music to represent my moods and current state of being, which probably explains my peculiar taste in music. I have a diverse and eclectic collection of music that would confuse most. If I had the talent and capabilities to write my own soundscape, there are certain sounds that immediately come to mind. One is echoing or mirroring, I like the sound of something echoing, as if it is rippling through still water like waves. This soundscape would have sounds that bring up the image of something “rippling,” and a sweet slow low bass line that is not intrusive or elusive but soothing and predictable. It would have sounds reminiscent of home punctuated by sounds that remind me of my cultural roots and heritage. It would convey an upbeat but calming mood. It would be a soundscape for and about change. I’d want to record a fusion of natural and mechanical sounds that balance each other to represent the duality of their effects in my life. My soundscape should also contain enough elements at the same time so that each time one can get lost in one aspect of the piece but still enjoy its complexity.

yea.... some people know what I'm talking about

Last night I hung with some peeps who really knew their stuff when it came to the power of sound and mantras. Gave me a nice, warm, wooly feeling. Yay! I'm not alone in America! And I woke up this morning and started laughing at something I never realized before...

Part of the reason those damn new agers' mantra chanting is soooo off is because they're missing half the alphabet of pronounciation from their speech! Lol. English has 26 letters, Sanskrit has 54! Hee hee.

Don't be fooled!