The Future - Projects
‘Weightless’ – The Most Relaxing Track Ever YouTube click here
Being approached by Radox Spa was an amazing opportunity to become involved in a project which demonstrated that therapeutic sound was more relaxing than music by many other artists included in the research undertaken at Mindlab based at The University of Sussex.
Lyz’s brief was to work with acclaimed ambient music trio Marconi Union to produce the ‘most relaxing track ever’. ‘Weightless’ is a specially designed piece of music with therapeutic elements woven into the structure. Here’s what she had to say about the project...
Therapeutic sound is sound used with the specific aim of creating a therapeutic effect. Many musicians and composers intuitively use therapeutic elements in their music every day, but when you put many of these elements together it is possible to create a track that has therapeutic properties over and above those of conventional music.
So what did we use to create the most relaxing track ever?
The first thing to consider was the rhythm as this was the foundation of the piece. Five minutes or more of continuous rhythm has been shown to cause brainwaves and heart-rate to synchronise with the rhythm; a process known as entrainment. Throughout the track there is an entraining beat of 60 beats per minute which slows down as the track progresses. This gentle and subtle slowing allows the heart, respiration, blood pressure and brainwaves to be gently lulled into deep relaxation.
Intervals are really important in music as they create an emotional space. In this track we concentrated on the octave and the perfect fifth. The octave creates space and is good for helping people feel safe and promotes deep relaxation. The perfect fifth creates an uplifting space and is good for depression and positivity - it is the ‘sonic sunshine’ of the interval world.
Marconi Union chose to concentrate on Dorian mode for this piece. Favoured by the ancient Greeks, this mode was related to one of the four ‘humours’ (elements in the human body). Dorian mode is said to promote calm. Throughout the piece there are random sounds which create a feeling of space. We deliberately avoided any repeating tunes which a person could latch on to and therefore the brain cannot predict what is coming next and simply gets out of the way, allowing for deep mental relaxation.
There are low underlying bass tones which punctuate the piece. Low tones relax, whereas high tones stimulate. It is no accident that Buddhist Monks chant ‘OM’ in a low tone to create a meditative space and the low, bass sounds were our version of this. A low whooshing sound can be heard a little way into the track. This comes in every four heart-beats. This sound has a wonderful trance-like quality to it, taking the listener even deeper . Towards the end higher tones bring the listener back to the here and now, tonifying the mind.
Project - Globalsound
To hear Project Globalsound 2011
Click here for audio only and/or to download free of charge
Project Globalsound 2012
Music and sound unites, uplifts and inspires. In 2011 people joined together to create a sonic collage for peace, wellbeing and unity.
If you would like to take part in this project you are very welcome. You do not have to be a professional sound practitioner/therapist/healer or an accomplished musician – everyone is welcome - please read the submission instructions carefully to ensure your piece will be accepted. Our aim is to send a healing/wholing/loving/peaceful intention around the world, carried on our sound. From the smallest peep to the largest drum each and every sound is just as valid as the next, enabling each contributor to take part in this project in their own unique way. The sounds of nature are also welcome - this is a sonic collage so it will comprise many textures that will be woven together to make one unifying whole.
Clifford Sax and I will take your soundbytes and mix them into a track. I will be blogging, tweeting and Facebooking about the project as we go along and the final piece will be released on YouTube, my website and all around the world on 21.09.12. Please tell everyone about this project and if you can help with broadcasting and publicity please let me know
If you are motivated to take part we need the following;
- 1 x mp3 file of a sound piece of 1 - 3 minutes duration. It is important that this is not multi-instrumental, although single melodic instruments such as a flute or sitar for example are fine. Vocals accompanying a drone such as a tampura or Himalayan bowl are also ok.
- 1 x photo of you or your group/community who created the piece
- Your town and country
- A word or two to accompany the piece – this could be a word such as ‘peace’ or ‘love’ or a short statement – only a few words max please.
The final piece will be presented as an audio track and on YouTube we hope to present images of the people who took part as well as the music. Email [email protected] or visit my website for more information.
By emailing your piece to me you are agreeing for your piece of sound to be included in the piece and any copyright/reproduction laws are not applicable. You have given Lyz Cooper and Clifford Sax consent to use your sound piece within Project Globalsound only and that this piece will be broadcast worldwide on many sites and YouTube. You also give consent for your image and statement to be incorporated into a short film. If you are under 18 years of age or considered a vulnerable person we will need parental/guardian/carer’s consent to publish your image(s)