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Steven Halpern at Rhodes

Steven's FAQs

Q: What is your intention in composing your music?

A: My intention is to create beautiful music that uplifts and heals body, mind and spirit.

Q: Do you listen to your own albums at home?

A: Absolutely! In fact, I have always considered myself to be the first member of my audience.  Obviously, I listen intensively to new compositions when I'm editing each album and I ‘field test’ every new album in a wide variety of listening situations before I release it. 

But more importantly, I continue to listen to albums like CHAKRA SUITE and IN the OM ZONE 2.0, among others, before and during meditation.  I often work at my computer listening to ACCELERATING LEARNING and ENHANCING CREATIVITY. Yes, the positive effect of the music works on its creator as well as so many of you. I especially appreciate how the music can become 'transparent' and not distract me from what I need to focus on.

Q: Why do you focus on relaxation so prominently?

A:  Relaxation is fundamental to most healing processes.

Q: Why isn’t most music relaxing?

A: Two key reasons: 1) It wasn’t intended to be. The predictive structure of most music is based on a tension/release paradigm. When I want to relax, it doesn’t make sense to me to add more stress to my existing stress level. I want immediate gratification, and that’s what my music delivers.

2) Most music is too fast. You can’t relax if your heart is beating faster than 60 beats per minute, and most music is 80-130 beat per minute! Your heartbeat automatically entrains and naturally synchronizes with the rhythm; it’s not a matter of choice or personal preference in musical style.

Q: What is “sound healing”?

A: Sound healing is an umbrella term that refers to the use of sound and music to assist us in healing ourselves. The ceremonial roots of sound healing go back at least 25,000 years

In my opinion, sound healing is an inclusive concept that includes ancient instruments, like Tibetan singing bowls, contemporary instrumental compositions, voice (chants, toning), tuning forks and sound beds and tables.

Dr. Hans Jenny discovered dramatic visual proof of the power of sound in his cymatics research.

Q: What is the best way to listen to your music?

A: There is no 'best way'...it's whatever works best for you. Having said that, there are two primary modalities that most people find most suitable.

The first is to create a relaxing background ambience. Played softly, the music creates a ‘field effect’ that is subtle but recognizable. This is the mode that many healers and massage therapists use with their clients.

The second mode is what I call ‘deep listening’ in which you listen with intention and focused attention. In this mode, the music can become a focus for meditation, without having to name it as such. No multitasking in this mode. You simply allow yourself to resonate and melt into the music.

Listening in this way, you are more easily able to access what Deepak Chopra calls “the gap between thoughts, the quantum field of infinite-possibilities.”  I have always used a musician's phrase to describe this as listening to the spaces between the notes. When you listen to my music in this way, you'll be able to hear the subtle overtones and harmonics that are lost when listening as background the effect of the music is automatically enhanced in this mode of ‘becoming the music.’

Q: Do you need to be a trained musician to appreciate your music?

A: Absolutely not!  In fact, the more intellectually analytical you are, the more difficult it often is to allow the music to transport you to the ‘inner peace zone.’  We call this the ‘paralysis of analysis.’ 

As a former jazz and R&B musician, I learned tons of scales, sophisticated chords and rules of composition. However, when it comes to relaxation and healing music, our ‘human instrument’ is not impressed by compositional complexity. It gets in the way of ‘being in the moment’ with the music.

John Bradshaw, bestselling author and PBS -TV host, and a dear friend, describes my music as “music of being, rather than music of doing.”  We are, after all, human beings, not human do-ings.  As you listen, you'll discover that the music makes it easy to tune in to ‘the power of Now.’ Years before Eckhart Tolle used that title for his bestselling book, I was demonstrating that reality to audiences throughout the world. Not only that, but I proved that my music evoked the relaxation response faster than other music, from classical (Bach) to rock, jazz and a majority of what has come to be labeled as ‘New Age music’ with my landmark biofeedback research in 1973.

To read the FAQs about Steven's Soundwave Subliminal audio series, click here