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Steven Halpern at Rhodes

DEEP ALPHA and Brainwave Synchronization Music

My latest recordings began as a research project over 30 years ago. If you're a long-time reader of my newsletters, you will recall that I worked with one of the first two research labs in America in 1973 conducting experiments in biofeedback and music utilizing GSR, EEG and Kirlian photography.

The contacts I made through this team positioned me perfectly to continue to expand my own knowledge base, as well as to act as a sounding board and bridge to a larger audience, beyond the cutting edge of quantum physics and subtle energy medicine.

Lately, there's been an increasing amount of interest in the area of using sound and music to get your brain 'dialed in' to specific rates of activity. If you're new to this field, you might read what Wikipedia has to say. You might also read what some other sound healers have to say.

I just did both. I must say, it seems clear to me that they really don't know, from experience, what they're talking about.

For starters, brainwave entrainment or brainwave synchronization is NOT a 'practice'. It is a physical phenomenon, in which a stronger rhythmic stimulus (or oscillating system) causes a weaker system to synchronize to its rhythm. In music, it explains why the beat of the drummer overrides your internal drummer (heartbeat). Your heart does not have a choice. It's a matter of physics and biology.

Similarly, with brainwaves, our internal state can be modulated by an external source.  The man who really put this concept on the map was Itzhak Bentov with his classic book, Stalking the Wild Pendulum. I highly recommend reading it. I had the honor and privilege of being mentored by him during my early research days. His perspective on our body's natural predilection for balance and harmony helped form the foundation of my approach to healing music.

Entrainment is not a new discovery. Long before 'recorded' history, our ancestors entrained their brains with the flickering flames of their fires, or with drumming.  Shamanic healers used entraining sounds and visuals to put their patients into trance to promote healing of body, mind and spirit.

I've always been fascinated by stories of European royalty who unexpectedly fell into trance as their horse-drawn carriage travelled down the tree-lined approach to their palace. Apparently, if the angle of the sun nearing sundown and the speed of the carriage was just right, the flicker factor would work its magic. However, since they were caught unawares, it was more like a bad trip for them.

On the other hand, you can intentionally search out such naturally occurring circumstances.  Back in college, several of my colleagues and I used to do our own version of this, intentionally driving our car across a bridge or down a tree-lined road to take advantage of this free and legal way to alter our consciousness.

Healing Music and Brainwave Synchronization on National TV (48 Hours)

Beginning in 1980, I've produced a few soundtracks utilizing this technology, but for a variety of reasons didn't release many entire albums until recently. In 1991, a major breakthrough almost happened when I was being filmed by the crew of CBS-TV's 48 Hours.  They accompanied me to the recording studio, where I proceeded to demonstrate how I spontaneously compose and arrange an entirely new composition that included brainwave entrainment technology.

They were so blown away by its power that I thought that would be the time to take the work public. Alas, when the head producer was replaced, most of the incredible footage wound up on the cutting room floor. I did, however, commemorate that amazing day by including that song, not surprisingly titled "48 HOURS" on the album HIGHER GROUND that I released later that year. Listen to a sample or buy the track at www.innerpeacemusic.com/higherground.

In the studio, I demonstrated to the producer, host and film crew how easily and effectively I could control the depth of their experience by either including or omitting the brainwave entraining matrix of 8 cycles per second that I had chosen.  Of course, the music itself was relaxing....but the addition of the entrainment took it to another level.  I call that the 'industrial strength' music mix.

At that point in time, the public was denied the opportunity to discover the benefits for themselves, at least through mainstream media.  In the past few years, however, a large and growing demographic and psychographic has found their niche on the internet.

I felt like it was time to revisit and expand upon my earlier work. I heard a lot of variation from other producers. It was clear that not all entrainment music was created equal.

It was also clear that there was not a lot of useful research available. For instance, I wondered: If the 'theta' range is from 4-7 cycles per second /cps (and some sources don't even agree on that), is there a difference between what one would experience tuned in to 7 cps vs 6, or 5, or 4 cps?

And if so, what might those differences be?  Could I tell the difference?

Well, as I soon discovered, there was a HUGE difference, at least for me.  And I couldn't wait to share what I had come up with my audience.

High Coherence Soundscapes for Meditation and Healing

The market for my research-ready versions, in which I took the same piece of music (to keep that variable constant) and changed the brainwave frequency, was enthusiastic but limited in numbers.

But the heightened levels of inspiration and creativity that occurred in the recording studio resulted in several albums' worth of new music. That was when it became obvious that I needed to combine the artistic world with the research world.

And that was how my HIGH COHERENCE Brainwave Synchronization series really took shape.

Several years in development and testing, DEEP THETA was completed last year, as was SLEEPSCAPE DELTA. DEEP ALPHA is the latest installment. DEEP ALPHA differs from DEEP THETA in that every song on this album is tuned to precisely 8 Hz, the most significant frequency in the alpha brainwave range. This creates a natural entrainment with the fundamental harmonic of the earth itself. And that's a good thing, especially for healing, prayers, affirmations and world peace meditations like the Global Coherence Initiative.

Yours for sound health and inner peace,

Steven Halpern