Go on a DEEPSØNØS journey with HÄANA at Wanderlust Aspen-Snowmass this weekend.
What is your thought process for putting together something that will be a “sound meditation”?
I consider a number of elements when putting together the live DEEPSØNØS sound meditation journey or the shorter recorded meditations. I’ve been studying the science of sound, meditation, and the effects of sound on people’s meditation experiences. I also tie that in with my intuition, tapping into the energy of the space and environment, the astrological configurations, and geographical location. In the live workshop experience, I have a full palette of tools to work with, as though I’m painting a picture, choosing the colors and textures to weave a gorgeous and deep meditation experience. I perform live on violin, vocals, synths, and sonic bass to create an original and intricate sound journey. The grounding effects of the bass frequencies are a key element in my compositions.
I’ve also been creating these 10-minute downloadable sound meditations, called “Episodes,” that anyone can experience wherever. With each Episode, the intention is to take 10 to recenter, reground, and refocus. No need for a timer, or for your brain to worry that you’ve been sitting for too long or too little.
Why are the compositions tuned to 432hz?
It’s an alternative tuning that I’m experimenting with. Music produced and transmitted at that frequency is supposedly more healing because it is a pure tone of math fundamental to nature. Many Tibetan singing bowls are hand-made to be tuned to 432hz. Prior to 1885, there was no standard in concert pitch. The musical note A was standardized at 440hz after 1885, and studies have shown that listening to music at 432hz is very relaxing and has a calming effect.
What are the textures in these Episodes?
In Episode I: Vernal, I recorded nature textures I found in the jungles of Costa Rica: dried leaves, sticks, seed pods, and incorporated them into the meditation sequence.
What are all the layers in these compositions?
I record my acoustic violin and then layer and effect it. My voice is also layered and effected with a breathy, airy quality. I added some textural sounds (bird calls, nature textures) to give it a very organic feel, and drums and organic synthesized melodies and pads using Kontakt and Maschine. In Episode I: Vernal, I used some wineglass and hurdy gurdy tuned sounds. In Episode II: Ephemére, I used some liquid metal pitched frequencies, which sound a bit like viscous water, and piano.
How are they created?
I choose the name of each Episode first to set the mood and intention. I consider the feel of the month in which I’m producing the Episode, as well as any astounding astrological considerations: Spring Equinox, Full Moon, New Moon, etc. Then I start pulling sounds, pads, textures, and lay out a map within Logic to give me some guidelines as to where I’m going with the series. My goal is to create a fully immersive experience that will draw the listener in deep. The creation and direction is very intuitive. Episode I: Vernal is composed in four parts—it has four separate “feels” that blend and merge together to create a very diverse yet soothing meditative sequence. Episode II: Ephemére focuses in three parts on an effervescent, spring-like quality that shifts and changes, and is produced with a heartbeat-like rhythm at 60bpm, which is akin to the rhythm of the heart at rest, inducing a rhythmic trance-like experience to draw you deep.
The live DEEPSØNØS workshop experience is an hour and a half journey, which I create live on the spot. No two experiences are the same. And the effects on each individual are different but profound. I feel very inspired by this work, because meditation to deep, intentional sound is such an easeful and beautiful experience.
Photo by Kate & Keith Photography
Echoing the sounds of the Nordic coast and urban dance halls, cinematic sonic bass producer/violinist/vocalist HÄANA blends folk songs and improvised instrumental/vocal music with cutting edge electronic sounds. The resulting sonic palate takes listeners on “a kind of mystical journey” (PopMatters), whose destination is a crossroads between classical and contemporary, organic and man-made, familiar and mysterious. HÄANA is also deep in the yoga/music/meditation scene, and performs her original orchestral and intuitive scores at numerous yoga festivals and studios around the world, including US and Canadian Wanderlust Festivals, collaborating with lauded teachers Elena Brower, Seane Corn, Shiva Rea, Eoin Finn, Aarona Ganesan, Jill Knouse, and many others. She also facilitates meditation experiences with her brand DEEPSØNØS.