It’s long been said that music brings people together. Now, a local group of holistic healers, cultural practitioners, and musicians released an album they say heals people, too.
The group of 30 students from Hawaii Healing Sound School collaborated their various talents to record “Medicine Resonance,” meant to be like medicine digested through your ears. The group believes its album is the first of its kind in a new genre that could be called healing sound.
“Music is healing. Certain vibrations are cohesive with joy and optimal performance, and we’ve carefully put together an assortment of sound tracks designed to resonate with a person’s brain waves to uplift your spirit or even, going deeper, vibrate the very cells in your body to fight illness – like cancer!” asserts executive producer Katie Fisher.
The album, engineered and produced by Daniel Gilad, starts with a opening chant in a song called The Beginning: “An interplay of the healing sounds of sacred tones and vocals, chants in ancient languages of Hebrew, Hawaiian, Sanskrit, the primordial sounds of gong calling from the void, from the fertile dark of the night dreaming into the dawn,” describes the liner notes.
Five more tracks flow thematically to take the listener – or the patient, if we’re thinking about this as medicine – through an inner voyage. Track two, Heartbeat, is a slow and primordial concoction of gongs, breath, and voices chanting “om” and “breathe,” set to the primary beat of a relaxed heart. Near the end of the five minute, 15 second track, the heart speeds up as if awakened- which is what the CD promises to do on its back cover, calling this a “journey to awakening.”
Track three, Transformation, is lighter and slightly faster, sprinkled with some chanting of a mantra in the ancient language of Sanskrit.
Track four, Forest Dance, is the fastest, happiest beat, calling to mind a joyful jungle gathering with sound and smiles. It inspires one to dance, and through dance, “release fears or anxiety by just moving with the groove,” describes the liner notes.
My favorite is Time, the fifth track, with a funky melody that beings with a clock ticking and continues with the sound of a waves crashing underlaid with a soulful Native American flute and crisp crystal bowl tones. I like to zone out and just feel the vibrations of the song, which is exactly what the musicians hope one does, “saying it promotes a level of relaxing that allows deep rest.”
Finally, the album concludes with a traditional Hawaiian chant. The song is called Inner Sun, but the chant is E Ala E, which is something I learned a few years ago on Kaho`olawe when my friends and I, led by renowned cultural expert Dr. Sam Ohu Gon, woke up before dawn and hiked to the tallest peak on the island to greet the rising sun. By the end of Medicine Resonance, the listener should hopefully have his or her soul awakened.
The overall mood of the CD is refreshing and tranquil. “When you calm the parasympathetic nervous system, you are calmer,” Fisher, also a licensed acupuncturist, explains. She is careful to remind the reader to use this in supplement to one’s approved medical treatment, not in place of.
Fisher says it took three years to record and produce, as it’s an avocation for all involved.
Medicine Resonance is sold at Na Mea Hawaii http://www.nameahawaii.com for $20 or on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Medicine-Resonance-Healing-Begnning-Awakening/dp/B077PCP5ZT.
More on Hawaii Healing Sound School at https://www.facebook.com/HawaiiHealingSoundSchool.