I listened to an album from Indonesia with sun dance ritual music on it, and when I heard it, I absolutely fell in love. The sound transported me. It was serene, joyful, but also peaceful and tranquil. I thought, “Man, there’s some good stuff out there beyond what we’re being taught.” So I began my quest to learn more on my own.
You can’t just study the music, however. You have to study everything about the culture which produced the music, so my learning process over the past twenty years has been slow and all-encompassing. And I still know so little. But I have had a few teachers along the way and have done a lot of reading, listening, and experiencing. Apparently at the beginning of 2014 I was at the point that doing a chant album felt completely comfortable. So I did it.
I don’t believe I recorded this music for myself, though I thoroughly enjoyed the process. I believe I recorded it to give those who are open to hearing it the same feeling I received while creating it, and that feeling I can only describe as electricity. I was extremely focused and completely open to plucking the ideas which manifested as feelings from some source other than my imagination. It was as if I were receiving some kind of signal from the air, and all I had to do was translate it to a sound recording.
The resulting recording is earthy and organic. It is much the same sound as was vibrationally fossilized in our ancestors, yet it is as equally alive and inherent as genetic memory. The song forms and instruments I play have existed for thousands if not tens of thousands of years here on earth. Whatever information I received must be coded deep within our species.
The album is both practical and spiritual (which only makes perfect sense). It is meant to give focus both physically and spiritually. It is meant to calm and invigorate simultaneously. I believe it is work music, and by that I mean it is music that can be used the same way our ancestors used music while working: while harvesting, while rowing, and while grinding grain or seeds. Music has been used during innumerable tasks to help workers keep up a certain rhythm and energy while simultaneously evoking spirituality. I believe I somehow received the blueprint for that kind of music during my solitary recording retreat.
This is not new age music as our current genre system would have one believe. This is ancient and genetically interwoven music of the human spirit from many cultures on one living planet. This is music from the one collective source, which is both ancient and modern, and it is for every living being right now. I believe this work has come through me specifically to you. After all, I believe you have read this far for a reason.
John Emil Augustine