Music as medicine: local artists release sound healing CD

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.

CD cover. Courtesy: Katherine Fisher

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 for $20 or on Amazon at

More on the CD at or

More on Hawaii Healing Sound School at

Author(s) on this Post

Diane Ako

Peace of mind By Diane Ako I like to reflect on life. Sometimes it’s philosophically. Sometimes it’s humorously. For all its beauty, life is far too difficult a journey to take alone. You need the support and connection with others to help carry you along the way. Writing brings me that connection– within and without. It clarifies my thoughts and feelings. It helps me reach out to others for advice, wisdom, or feedback. Your thoughts become your actions. Your actions become you. A wise yogi- Patanjali- said, “Speak what is true. Speak what is pleasant.” Let’s speak of things pleasant to one another and seek some peace of mind along the way. ABOUT Diane Ako joined Hawaii: In Real Life in October 2016. She likes being part of a community of local bloggers – people who like writing and sharing, like she does. Ako is an anchor/ reporter at Island News (KITV4 – ABC) in Honolulu. She previously anchored and reported at KHON2 (FOX) and KHNL (NBC), and at stations in California, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania. She freelance writes for NMG Network's magazines. In between news jobs, in 2017, she launched and ran her own p.r. company, Diane Ako PR. From 2010-2014, she headed the public relations department at Halekulani Corporation, which oversees luxury resort Halekulani and boutique hotel Waikiki Parc. She’s been blogging since 2009 – before Hawaii: IRL, she wrote for The Honolulu Star-Advertiser, the state’s largest daily newspaper, where her stories garnered a dozen journalism awards and an Emmy nomination. Ako has a BA in Communications from Menlo College and an MA in Political Science from University of Hawaii at Manoa. She volunteers as a board member of the Honolulu Gay & Lesbian Cultural Foundation, a Shinto shrine maiden at Daijingyu Temple, a citizen-scientist studying shrimp, and a yoga teacher at a senior center.

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One thought on “Music as medicine: local artists release sound healing CD

  • January 11, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    The album is a remarkable piece of collaborated work and effort. The 12 page booklet walks you through every aspect of the sounds and music. A must have in any Healing Environment.


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