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Dissonance & Drones - A Spiritual Experience?

Perspectives from early 20th Century music and beyond


“Music is perpetual, and only the hearing is intermittent.”                                                                                                                          

 Henry David Thoreau


There is something primevally grounding and simultaneously mystical about the penetrating

hum of a drone - whether it be Tibetan deep chant, Japanese gagaku, Scottish pibroch

piping, Aboriginal didgeridoo, or Hindustani classical music. [1]  A lot of this music has spiritual

connotations and uses.  The Classical Indian tradition and Eastern spiritual philosophy

and music had a steering influence over a group of European and American composers

that emerged from the 1900s who were labelled as modernist, avante garde, atonal,

serialist, dissonant, and minimalist.

Deeply concerned with the implications of the advancing technological world and affected by

the impact of World War and the great Depression, they began to ask questions about

music; its nature, structure and purpose.  These artists particularly set out to shake the

foundations of formal musical structure.  Their music was mostly dissonant, chaotic, and deconstructed.  Its purpose for them was much less about entertainment and more about consciously finding something which was profound and purposeful.

This paper aims to explore the use of drones and dissonance in relation to a small selection

of these composers; Dane Rudhyar, John Cage, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Ruth Crawford,

Arvo Part, and David Hykes.  It also aims to look at their interest in Eastern philosophy and

to enquire into the nature of drones and dissonance to see whether they might have some

kind of ability to induce a profound or spiritual experience. It poses to raise the question of

what makes music spiritual and to look at whether dissonant drones have a particular quality

about them that can induce a spiritual experience.

Drones and the tabula rasa

Lloyd Whitesell, in his article White Noise: Race and Erasure in the Cultural Avante Guarde

depicts very well the one important theme that connects all of these composers - the tabula

rasa. He looks at their attempts to find a way to create music from a clean slate; in an

environment where the music can arise from the void of ‘nothingness’.  Many mystics have

taught that through meditation a person can transcend the ordinary levels of noise to a more

profound level of silence where they can begin to hear the deeper, more subtle sounds of

their body, the earth and the planets.  Drones and chants have long been used to bring

adherents of spiritual practices to this void of silence and to ‘the space between’.  Some

people believe the ‘Music of the Spherescan then be heard.  Sufi mystic Hazrat Inayat

Khan (18821927) expresses how he hears this music in his book, The Music of Life. [2] [3]

         With the music of the Absolute the bass, the undertone, is going on continuously. But

         on the surface, beneath the various keys of all the instruments of nature’s music, the

         undertone is hidden and subdued. Every being with life comes to the surface and

again returns whence it came, as each note has its return to the ocean of sound. The undertone of this existence is the loudest and the softest, the highest and the lowest; it overwhelms all instruments of soft or loud, high or low, until all gradually merge in it; this undertone always is, and always will be.[4]           

The undertone here can be likened to the drone. Can these dissonant drones actually help place the composer, musician or listener into this empty space or void?  There are many people who believe this.  The drone of the tanpura which accompanies Indian Classical music is used for this. For example, in his book Discovering Indian Music Raghava Menon says the tanpura

…creates a delicate hallucinary condition into which, once entered, the performer somehow lapses into his music. A part of his subconscious watches and waits, while the other performs….. It is by far the most important single instrument in India and also among the oldest. It is said of it that its function lies beyond the notes right at the creative fount and inspiration of music, the source from which, it is believed music emerges embodied as a raga.” [5]

Classical Indian music has a strong spiritual philosophy which is integral not only to the

music and its connection to their ancient Vedic sacred texts, but also to the actual method of

learning.  It was a source of inspiration for many of the Western artists of the 1900’s such as

Alan Hovhaness, Dane Rudhyar, La Monte Young, Henry Cowell and John Cage.  Rudhyar

(1885 –1985) explores the build up of resonant dissonance in his piano piece Tetragram

no. 8: Primavera (1928) through the use of thick chords and sustain pedal and was

interested in the effect it had on the consciousness of the listener.  His interest in the natural

and mathematical properties of sound from a spiritual perspective led to the article he wrote

in 1927 where he spoke about The Law of Sound - The Harmonic Series - as being the

true musical absolute.  In the 1920s Rudhyar also influenced other composers with his

studies in theosophy. [6]  Rudhyar seemed to instinctively know that there was a profound

quality inherent in sound, but eventually realised that trying to express this through

his music was verging on the impossible, so instead devoted his time to writing.  Listening to

Rudhyar’s piece, the question that arises is this.  Do the dissonant drones in this piece

mean anything to the uninitiated?  Can they bring the listener to a spiritual or deeper, more

reflective state, in tune with the magical properties of sound which Rudhyar explored?

John Cage (1912-1992) began towards the end of the first half of the century to be

interested in Eastern philosophies, especially in Zen Buddhism, from which he gained the

idea of making music non-intentional and starting from an empty mind.  He first did this by

means of the Magic Square, and later used the I Ching, using coin tosses to determine

events (Music of Changes for piano, 1951).  Perhaps he was on the right track when

presenting his audience with his famous ‘silent’ piece, 4”33’.  However, this smacks of a

a statement and an attempt to shock rather than an attempt to bring the audience to a place

of appreciating the sounds in silence. Cage once said “I have nothing to say, and I am

saying it”. [7]  In response, it could be said that this is still externalising Nothingness.  If some

kind of music can bring us to the spiritual ‘All or Nothing’ on the inside, then it has

succeeded in giving us something.  Is this something music can bring?  This element of

trying to be nothing of course is impossible.  Music composed spontaneously from this

space of Nothingness, which perhaps is the birthright of all great composers and musicians,

could be argued to be more valid than Cage’s attempt at enforcing silence upon his audience.  

Cage appears to attempt to teach the audience something, but did he succeed?  

 He himself admitted that the audience missed the point.[8]

Does the Classical Indian and other more traditional and ancient music convey more closely

what these artists are trying to do?  From their perspective, the practice of contemplation

and silence and musical study go hand in hand, and the music is created from this space,

along with the fruits of hard labour of learning the stylistic techniques and rhythmic and

melodic frameworks.  A student of this spiritual art might be able to meet Cage’s music from

a deeper place, by their own work on finding their inner silence.

Ruth Crawford's (1901 – 1953) interests in Theosophy, Eastern religions, and American

transcendentalism developed when she came into contact with Henry Cowell and Rudhyar,

which encouraged her exploration of dissonant sounds and atonal structures.  The

dissonance found in Crawford’s Nine Piano Preludes (1924-1928) is slightly more palatable

perhaps due to the overall delicate nature of the music, making the fundamental tones less

dominant and allowing the mystical to come forth from the drifting nature of the dissonance.[9]

The eerie deep chord clusters followed by walking rhythmic dissonant intervals take the

mind constantly into unknown territory.  The pauses, in which the sustain pedal holds the

dissonance, act on the consciousness like a drone, hypnotising and removing the listener

from familiar ground and sitting them on some kind of metaphysical fence.

Let’s look at this from a spiritual perspective.  Bringing a mixture of Eastern spiritual

teachings to the West G.I. Gurdjieff spoke of the triadic law of yes, no and reconciling.[10]

When one listens to this music, one is confronted with a pulling of opposite poles.  The yes

is in the listening of the music, the no is in rejecting it in favour of the desire for tonality and

familiarity and the reconciling is the unifying or neutralising force that, with some personal

effort places us where it can be heard objectively, neither rejecting or accepting.  The

question that arises is this - can this dissonant music bring a person to this place or can one

arrive there only through personal desire and effort?

Estonian born composer Arvo Part (1935), explores the void slightly differently.

Geographically removed from the experimental Americans he nonetheless discovered and

explored serialism.  His approach to finding the spiritual in his music was of a more personal

nature, through exploring the beauty in simplicity.  Part’s approach to music is perhaps

closer to that of the approach of the Indian Classical tradition.  His piece Cantus In Memory

of Benjamin Britten with its simple repetitive slow moving string lines, subtle dissonances

and underlying deep notes takes the listener to a place of mystery and contemplation.  

There is more tonality and more of an emotional pull which differentiates Part’s expression

of the spiritual from Crawford, Rudhyar and Cage.  The feeling one gets is that his music

comes out of the silence because he was there. His composing life was peppered with

several retreats of self imposed silence.  He eventually developed his own style, calling the

ringing nature of his simple triadic structures ‘tintinnabuli.’ As a result of this, he said "I

have discovered that it is enough when a single note is beautifully played. This one note, or

a silent beat, or a moment of silence, comforts me…” [11]  This brings up one of the most

important debates around the issues of this paper.  What kind of music brings us closer to

an objective spiritual place?  One could say that tonality itself brings in subjectivity, which

could support the battle cry of the more dissonant compositions.  On the other hand it could

be said that due to the very limited nature of our being, and indeed in celebration of our

unique differences as humans, the most spiritual thing is to celebrate who we are and to

focus on allowing the silence within to dictate the sound that is created.  The simplicity of

Part’s music, in the author’s opinion does allow something of this mystery to flow through.

Being the Drone – the voice.

In his article ‘Going Back’ In Music – To Where? Dane Rudhyar wrote:

Scales and the way they are used, instruments and the manner in which they mould the substance of music, the approach to music itself change from race to race, civilization to civilization, continent to continent. But one thing remains, CHANGELESS, unaffected by human reaction: Sound. The Law of Sound is the musical absolute. This Law is, to use the ordinary and rather misleading term, the Harmonic Series. The Harmonic Series is the only thing which can be considered as an absolute canon of musical Proportions.” [12]

The work of David Hykes and Karlheinz Stockhausen explores the harmonic series with the

voice in an attempt to connect to some universal truth in sound.  The Indians believed that

the voice was the supreme instrument.  To continue in the words of Raghava Menon:

For, in the voice, it was believed, lay the quintessence of all instruments. Exercising it to subserve the search for this realisation directly and without the mediation of an instrument was believed to transform the singer more completely and securely than if he interposed an instrument between him and his effort.[13]

By using the voice as the drone and expressing pure sound and harmonics unfettered by

lyrics or melodies, the singer can experience its effect more directly than any other musician.  Karlheinz Stockhausen used the voice to explore harmonic overtones on the album, Stimmung, which takes a group of vocalists  through several semi improvised short pieces focused on one chord and certain parts of the harmonic series each time, using vowels or using magical words or names.   Although Stimmung hits close to the mark of a more direct experience of the magic of sound through the voice, it seems often comedic and lacks the indefinable spiritual substance that comes through the vocal work of David Hykes[14].   His approach is similar to Stockhausen’s on Stimmung, but where Stockausen left off to explore other realms, Hykes continues to develop his work with the Harmonic Choir, and gives the impression that for him, it is an ongoing journey.  Hykes also uses dissonance in the Harmonic Choir and it is through the dominant presence of the overtones and unique use of the voice that brings one to a sense of the mystical and spiritual.  Listening to the vocals on his album Harmonic Meetings one gets a feeling of the intent of the sounds, and the mystical comes alive amongst the slow moving interlaced vocal drones.  In “Foregather in the Name” from 8”30’ to the end of the piece the drones hold for prolonged times at

semitone intervals giving a strong dissonance, and accentuated harmonics.  The sound is

compelling and is thick with information and sonic content.

Tibetan Deep Chant achieves a similar rich effect, but the vocalist, through intense initiation

and training, learns to create three distinct tones; the fundamental, a shifting upper overtone

and a lower undertone.  When listening to ‘Tara’ by Tibetan Master Chanter Lama Tashi in

the ‘mono-tony’ the rich vocal drone clearly exposes aspects of the overtone or ‘harmonic

series’.[15]  This theme is a prevalent and relevant issue in relation to all drones and

dissonance, and may well be the link that connects this music to the more objective state of

consciousness and the cosmos.

The physical and psychological effects of Drone.

Can drones be used as a path to greater consciousness?  Gurdjieff’s main teaching

principles are based on the belief that man is essentially “asleep” but does not realise this.[16]

Scientists have made it common knowledge that we use a very small part of our brain’s

potential.  Is there something in dissonant tones and drones that does offer some

psychological experience or even real physical change to the listener or performer?  Many

sound therapists believe the answer is yes.

Dr Hans Berger, a German physiologist, was the first to measure brain electrical activity in

man in 1924.  We now know of four specific brainwaves, beta, alpha, theta and delta.  Alpha

waves range between 7-12 Hz.  At this level, it has been found through scientific study that

our ordinary mind is disengaged and we are in a relaxed but alert state and able to open up

as a channel for creative thought and artistic work.  Theta and Delta waves take us even

deeper, eventually to a place of regenerative sleep.

The idea of working with drones as a tool for healing is not a new concept.  Sharry Edwards,

(whose system of BioAcoustics the author has studied personally), has found through

research that everything vibrates and gives out its own signature frequency.[17]  BioAcoustic

therapy involves delivery of low frequency analogue tone pairs in the beta brain wave area.  

These tone pairs give off harmonic frequencies which are the sum and difference between

the two tones, delivering to the listener these deeper alpha, theta and delta waves.  The

information uncovered from studies in sound healing similar to Sharry Edward’s work in

BioAcoustics and the use of binaural beats[18] in brain entrainment software do indicate that it

is reasonable to conclude that there is definite potential in dissonant drones to have an

altering effect on the listener’s state, creating their own set of binaural beats and potentially

healing harmonics.

Hans Jenny’s work with Cymatics shows that sound, when passing through matter, creates

definite patterns which alter with pitch and volume.[19]  Traditionally, the Indians believe that

musical performances create invisible sound sculptures and that clapping after a

performance collapses them, so they wave their arms instead.  This is interesting when you

also consider the Chinese tradition of using firecrackers to ward off evil spirits and bad luck.

There have been a lot of interesting books written on sound healing.  The varied approaches and results seem to indicate that sounds work differently on different people.  Why is this?  In his book The Chemistry of Man Dr Bernard Jensen indicates that each person falls into a particular category of physical type with tendencies for certain chemical excess and deficiency. He says that these factors shape how we look, think and feel and what we like or dislike.  Perhaps this could explain why we are all drawn to different kinds of music.

If we consider the scientific fact that everything alive has a vibration, then states of

consciousness could also be vibrations, just at a higher rate.  To go one step further, we

could then say that they also have a fundamental harmonic basis, and a relationship to

vibrations in lower octaves, i.e. that of musical tones.  It would not be going too much further

to suggest that certain tones in lower octaves could produce certain sympathetic

resonations in the higher octaves and that harmonic resonances could also be stirred,

affecting our state of mind and body.  The spiritual qualities of music, like the concept of

God, may be too vast and too complex for us to grasp from our ordinary state of mind.  At

present, we are still left with our own personal experience of what sounds can take us

deeper into the void of the All and Everything.  Studies in this area are ongoing, and I

believe, will one day, lead to the healing music of the future.


How we listen

Raghava Menon tells us that Classican Indian music is firstly about knowledge and that

pleasure is considered a fortunate by product.  He highlights that what is important to them

is the search for the elusive, not in its finding.  This fundamental difference in approach is

educated into their culture but is foreign to the Western viewpoint.  Many of the Western

composers were drawn to this philosophy, but due to this fact perhaps attempts to use

drones and dissonance for inspiring people to seek knowledge is quite possibly going to fail. 

Maybe it would be more effective if we were trained to bring ourselves to a more receptive

state beforehand and that the answer lies in the basic concept behind contemporary

Quantum Theory -The 'Observer Effect'.  The research expounded in the recent cult docu-

movie, What the Bleep do we Know!? indicates that the state of the observer affects the

observed, and that there is a synergistic relationship between how we see and what we see.

From this perspective we could say that it is how we come to the experience of music, what

we are ready and willing to see, that affects what we get out of it. 

The drone then, without being practiced or listened to without a certain degree of education,

preparation, focus and attention, is potentially meaningless.  So where does that leave the

composers who strive to find a way to express sound and inform others through the

process?  Prolific American composer Alan Hovhaness, (1911 – 2000) said in an Interview

with CBC Vancouver in October 1968

Part of my music is easy to listen to, in a certain respect. One must penetrate beneath the surface of a certain kind of beauty - one must listen to it with a certain concentration and listen to it many times before it reveals all that you have to say. [20]  

Regardless of music’s intention, it must be the listener’s ability to absorb the information the

music contains that ultimately defines their experience.



The exploratory and challenging movement of composers that came out of the 1900s

certainly had something very interesting and important to say.  Similar to the deep Tibetan

voice drones or the tanpura drone in Classical Indian music, the dissonant tone clusters of

the Experimental American and European composers and the vocal harmonic drones of

Stockhausen and Hykes hint at some truth to be uncovered.  This is a vast area of

investigation and one that is an ongoing question amongst composers, philosophers,

scientists and sound therapists alike.

Dissonant music, like Hindustani Classical Indian music, puts the acquiring of knowledge

first, and entertainment or pleasure is seen as a by product.  Due to this fact, it may always

apply to the minority who seek the same; to those who have been educated to appreciate it

and those who have willingly chosen music as a path to connect with the mysteries of the

universe.  Music is just one stroke of God’s artist’s brush, and by bringing anything into

existence, it is by the very nature of its materiality, limited.  The true nature of who we are

and what the All and Everything is, perhaps cannot be defined by any kind of music. 

Many times the truth is overlooked purely because we have not the sufficient sensitivity to

see and hear.  However, dissonant drones just might be a useful tool for opening our ears,

minds and souls to help us along the way.

Musical Quotations

‘Tetragram no. 8: Primavera’ Dane Rudhyar (1928) (American Ultramodernists, performed

by Steffen Schleiermacher on piano, 1920-1950, MDG 2005)

‘No. 6 Andante Mystico’,  Ruth Crawford Preludes, (American Ultramodernists,  performed

by Steffen Schleiermacher on piano, 1920-1950, © MDG 2005)

‘Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten’ : Arvo Part, (Performed by Bergen Philharmonic

Orchestra, Neeme Jarvi)

Stimmung, Stockhausen: (Hyperion Records 1983)

‘Foregather in The Name’, David Hykes, HARMONIC MEETINGS, label: Celestial

Harmonies (1986) (vocalists David Hykes, Michelle Hykes and Timothy Hill)

‘Tara’, Tibetan Master Chants: Lama Tashi (Spirit Music 2004)



Discovering Indian Music: Menon, Raghava R. (Published in UK by Abacus Press 1973)

Conversing With Cage: Kostelanetz, Richard  (Limelight Editions, 1988)

Four Musical Minimalists: Potter, Keith (Cambridge University Press, 2000)

Form, Sound, Colour and Healing: Gimbel, Theo, (C.W. Daniel, 1987)

Healing with the Voice: D’Angelo, James (Thorsons, 2000)

Millennium: Maybury-Lewis, David (Viking Penguin, USA, 1992)

The Chemistry Of Man:  Jensen, Bernard Ph.D, Bernard Jensen International 1983)

The Music of India: Massey, Reginald & Jamila. (Stanmore Press Ltd, 1976)

The Music of Life: Khan, Hazrat Inayat. (Omega Publications Inc, NY, 1983)

The Ragas of North Indian Music: Jairazbhoy, N.A. (Faber and Faber Ltd, 1971)

In Search Of the Miraculous: P.D. Ouspensky (Originally published by Harcourt music 1949)

Sacred Sounds: Ted Andrews (Llewellyn Publications, 1993)

The Mystery of the Seven Vowels: Jocelyn Godwin (Phanes Press, 1991)



The Drone : Marcus Boone, (Undercurrents: The hidden wiring of modern music, ed. Rob

Young, Continuum Books, 2003)

White Noise: Race and Erasure in the Cultural Avante Guarde: Lloyd Whitesell, (American

Music, 2001) From Jstor

Dane Rudhyar’s Vision of American Dissonance: Carol J.Oja, (American Music, Vol 17, no.2

Summer 1999, pp 129-145) From Jstor

La Monte Young’s The Well Tuned Piano: Kyle Gann, (Perspectives of New Music, Vol. 31,

no.1, Winter 1993, pp 134-162) From Jstor

Sound in Mind & Body: By Jill Purce (Resurgence no.115, March/April 1986)

La Monte Young on record: Edwin Pouncey surveys La Monte Young's recorded legacy

(The Wire, issue 178, December 1998)


Sound Insights: Jeff Volk, (Kindred Spirit, issue 60, Autumn 2002)


‘Going Back’ In Music - To Where?: Dane Rudhyar (Pro Musica Quarterley March 1927)


Ruth Crawford Seeger's Contributions to Musical Modernism: Joseph N. Straus, (ISAM

Newsletter,Fall 2001 Volume XXXI, No. 1)


AboneCroneDrone: Sheila Chandra, label: Real World (1996)

American Ultramodernists: (MDG 2005)

A Gregorian Chant, Celebration, (Music Collection International 1995)

De Profundis: Arvo Part (Harmonia Mundi 1997)

Harmonic Meetings: David Hykes label: Celestial Harmonies (1986)

Harmonic Worlds: David Hykes & the Harmonic Choir (2000-2006)

John Cage: The Piano Works 2, Sonatas and Interludes for prepared piano(Mode Records1996)

Music of the Body: Dr Linda Long, (Molecular Music 2002)

Night Song:  Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Michael Brook, (Real World Records 1995)

Passio,  Arvo Part: Tonus Peregrinus (Naxos Regular 2003)

Spiegel Im Spiegel, Arvo Part: Cantus In Memory of Benjamin Britten (BIS 2005)

Stimmung, Stockhausen: (Hyperion Records 1983)

Tibetan Master Chants: Lama Tashi, (Spirit Music Inc. 2004)

Tone Magic :Michael Ormiston with Candida Valentino, (Amina 2002)

True To the Times: David Hykes with Bruno Caillat and Peter Biffin, (New Albion 1993)

The Seasons: John Cage (ECM Records, 2000)

A Chance Operation, The John Cage Tribute: Various Artists (Koch Classics 1993)

SwanSong: Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, (EMI music, 1998)

True To The Times: David Hykes, (New Albion Records, 1993)

Anthology of World Music: North Indian Classical Music: Various Artists, (Rounder, 1998)


Single Track downloads

‘Fur Alina’ : Arvo Part, (performed by Alexei Lubimov)

‘Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten’ : Arvo Part, (Performed by Bergen Philharmonic

Orchestra, Neeme Jarvi)

‘Passio’ I, II, III, and IV : Arvo Part, (Performed by Tonus Perengis)

‘Summa (Credo)’ : Arvo Part, (Performed by Paul Hillier and the Theatre of Voices)

Imaginary Landscape no. IV’ : John Cage

Sri Purandharadasar - Yadhavaraya’ : Dr M.L. Vasantha Kumari (Raga: Ragamalika, Tala:


‘Overture from The Wasps’: Vaughan Williams



Cymatics. Soundscapes and Bringing Matter To Life With Sound: Hans Jenny, (Compilation 2006 MACROmedia Publishing)



James D’angelo  (Jan2007)

Alan Hovhaness  (Jan 2007)

Dane Rudhyar Archival Project  (Jan 2007)

Binaural Beats  (Jan 2007)

Sharry Edwards: BioAcoustics   (Jan2007)

Lama Tashi (Tibetan Master Chants)   (Jan 2007)

New York Public Radio (Sheila Chandra Interview)  (Jan 2007)

Arvo Part biography   (Jan 2007)

David Hykes   (Jan 2007)

David Hykes    (Jan 2007)

Drone: Entry for EPMOW by Philip Tagg (2000) (Dec 2007)

[1] A drone, for the intents and purposes of this paper, will be defined as a low note or chord which is continuously sounded throughout much or all of a piece.


[2] An adherent of a Muslim mystical and pantheist sect, mainly in Persia. (Collins English Dictionary definition)

[3] The Music of the Spheres ca be described as the music of overtones, of proportions and multiplications which hold sway throughout the universe and govern all spatial and mathematical relationships.

[4] The Music of Life,  p. 57, 58

[5] Discovering Indian Music, Raghava.R.Menon, p10

[6] The Theosophical society was formed in New York in 1875 by Helena Blavatsky and others and it reached its peak in the 1920s.

[7] From article White Noise: Race and Erasure in the Cultural Avante Guarde, Lloyd Whitesell, p.172,173

[8] p.65 Conversing With Cage

[9] Judith Tick revealed in her biography of Crawford’s husband Charles Seeger that preludes no 6 and no. 9 were especially tied to the spiritual theories of Rudhyar.

[10] Georges Ivanovich Gurdjieff (1877-1949) was a well travelled Armenian philosopher whose cosmological and practical teachings were based on the belief that we are all in a state of waking sleep, and devised practical exercises to help man to awaken and realise his full potential.

[12] Appeared in Pro Musica Quarterley March 1927

[13] Discovering Indian Music, p.9

[14] Hykes has been influenced, among others, by the music of Tibet, medieval Gregorian chant, North Indian Raga music, and experimental Just Intonation composers La Monte Young and Terry Riley. He has written music for films such as Meetings with Remarkable Men, the story of Gurdjieff’s life and travels, Ghost and Dead Poet’s Society. He has also performed joint concerts with Tibetan monks and with the Dalai Lama.


[15] The term overtone series generally refers to a specific set of frequency components that appear above a musical tone. The related term harmonic series is a more precisely defined mathematical concept.

[16] Gurdjieff’s main teachings are exposed in P.D.Ouspensky’s book In Search of the Miraculous, considered by many to be a primer of mystical thought as expressed through the ‘Work’ - a combination of Eastern philosophies that had for centuries been passed on orally from teacher to student.

[17] Also known as Vibrational Retraining in the UK. For more information, see website The author has been personally trained in this therapy.

[18] Binaural beats were discovered in 1839 by a German experimenter, H. W. Dove. When pure, precise audio signals of different frequencies are delivered to the brain through stereo headphones, the two hemispheres of the brain function together to "hear" not the actual external sound signals, but a phantom third signal - a binaural beat.

[19] In 1967, Jenny published the first volume of Cymatics: The Study of Wave Phenomena. This book was a written and photographic documentation of the effects of sound vibrations on fluids, powders and liquid paste.

[20] Sourced from official website:

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