It's getting harder and harder to tell fact from fiction, TV or film from real reality. As a former fan of "Person of Interest", I felt prepared for the camera action we've seen lately.
With respect to what's been happening in Boston, it's fair to say we don't know the whole story.
That got me contemplating the focus of my friend and colleague's Eldon Taylor's book, I Believe: When What you Believe Matters.
There are so many things we think we 'know' but in truth, they are things we believe to be true, because we were brought up that way or read it on Wikipedia.
During the run up to the Grammys, I was reminded to see what Wikipedia had to say about me. Imagine my surprise when I read the very first sentence, which was factually and philosophically inaccurate. It was obviously written by someone who might have meant well, but does a disservice to my evolution as an artist and my contributions to the world of sound healing and New Age music
I mean, who knows more about my life than me? I am unquestionably the world's leading authority on Steven Halpern.
I thought that would be an easy situation to correct. I was mistaken. Apparently Wikipedia has recently instituted new policies that make it difficult to take down incorrect information.
So just in case you had looked me up, I'd like to clarify a few points and add a few new ones, since this entry looks over 10 years old.
My evolution as an artist, a jazz trumpet player and jazz/rock/funk guitarist took a quantum leap when I got to study with master musicians Ron Carter, Archie Shepp and Joe Ford in 1968. I was attending the University of Buffalo, and not part of the New York City jazz scene except when I visited during holidays and the summer. When I first flew out to California, it was to check out the jazz and lifestyle scene in San Francisco for two weeks, then return to grad school in Buffalo to study music, healing and consciousness. (I was exploring the healing powers of music long before heading west.)
My life changed in an instant as a result of a deep meditative experience, which opened me up to playing the healing music I've become known for. For a few years, both worlds coexisted. In the summer of 1970, in fact, I was extended an invitation to the Montreux Jazz Festival. When that offer fell through, I took it as a sign that my path was to focus on the healing path.
In the next sentence on the entry, the author uses an unfortunate turn of phrase and omits over 50% of the instruments I feature on my albums. That's a pretty major inaccuracy. It's like the author is defining my entire discography from one album.
And speaking of discography, many of the dates are incorrect, and my most recent releases are entirely missing. So that's the double whammy of wrong data and missing data.
If any of you have had experience in dealing with Wikipedia and have some helpful suggestions, please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Meditating with Metallica
Along similar lines, my friend Michael Diamond forwarded an article that he knew would get a reaction from me, The 3 Biggest Myths About Meditation Music. This article deals with myths about meditation music. I'll need an entire newsletter to respond in detail, but let me offer these considerations as starters.
Recommending that meditating with heavy metal music will take you to the same place as relaxing meditative and relaxing music is not borne out by the evidence provided by cymatics and brain scan research due to the tone of the sounds themselves. It also ignores the importance of intention in creating healing soundscapes.
From everything I've read about the intentions heavy metal musicians have in mind when they are recording, creating a meditative experience for their listener is not one of them. All meditation states are not created equal. I'd love to get a brain scan or EEG of someone listening to heavy metal. I'm sure we'd see quite a different frequency of brainwaves.
Maybe one of you knows how to fund that research project. Let me know if you do. That would be a fun project.
In the meantime, the series of research recordings that I began in 2008 continues to resonate with meditative and mainstream audiences alike. My albums DEEP ALPHA and DEEP THETA are helping individuals dial in to positive experiences with predictable, positive and repeatable ease.
As I write this, I'm finishing the final edits on my two new albums that are perfect follow-ups: DEEP THETA 2.0, and DEEP ALPHA 2.0. Both feature shakuhachi (bamboo) flute and keyboards. The combination of traditional Asian instruments, often associated with “blowing Zen" and bansuri (Indian raga meditation music) adds a melodic dimension to my ethereal keyboards and Rhodes electric piano.
Here's a sneak preview of these two new releases.
DEEP THETA 2.0
DEEP ALPHA 2.0
Until then, stay tuned with the sounds of spring,