no matter the muster
that moves the leaves
continues to blow,
no matter the bluster,
waving to greet you
and welcome you home
no matter the yearning,
to summer's night sky,
stars keep their distance:
upon charcoal slate
and cosmic canvas,
a comic display
twinkles and glints,
she already knows that
the show must go on --
with nowhere to go,
and no hurry to find
a faucet to bottle
nature's home remedy
to soothe a bruised soul.
It appears to be a form of universal intuition that sound can deeply affect our physiological and emotional states. We see this in the meditative trance state induced by the chants of Buddhist monks. One could claim that far removed from spiritual practice, we can hear that one tune dropped in the club which instantly fills up the dance-floor and forces you to jack your body -- although I would say the presence or lack of spirituality here is up for debate. The takeaway is that music is a universal language understood by all. Consider the tired mother singing her baby a lullaby or the high pitched whistle inserted by John Lennon to irritate dogs at the end of 'Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band' – this effect of sound even extends from young to old and even beyond humans as a species. In my own experience I’ve always found a particular piece of music to find solace in while navigating the choppier waters of this life.
One group decided to take this idea to it’s logical extreme – and so it is my pleasure to introduce Marconi Union – a three-piece electronic outfit from Manchester, England. They decided to create music that could confirm our intuition and vindicate the knowledge already attained by experts in the field of sound healing. This desire manifested itself in the group’s 2011 track 'Weightless', created in collaboration with the British Academy of Sound Therapy.
Listen to Weightless here. :)
When you first listen to 'Weightless', you may become conscious of an instant change in your mental and physiological state. This is no coincidence but a pre-meditated scientifically studied sum of causes. 'Weightless' is the result of a set of carefully composed rhythmic structures, non-repeating melody and field recordings engineered to create a lush, sprawling 8-minute musical voyage.
This thoughtful composition has been shown to slow the listener’s heart rate, reduce blood pressure and even lower our levels of cortisol (commonly referred to as the ‘stress hormone’). Leading expert Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson of Mindlab International, the institution which carried out the research, came to the conclusion that listening to 'Weightless' could reduce anxiety by up to 65%, in addition to a 35% reduction in the test subjects’ standard physiological resting rates.
When we hear chart hits, being able to predict the next note of a track is the rule rather than the exception. This creates engaging hooks that lodge in our brains and keep you up at night as ‘Baby Shark’ plays on repeat, having infiltrated your very psyche. A quick tip for those suffering from an endlessly looping track in their end is to listen to the song right through to the end… and voila, the glitch in your brain can be fixed: your life is no longer buffering.
You see: our brains are essentially lazy. Our mind is constantly looking for shortcuts and will eventually drift off when we can no longer predict what is coming next in a musical piece. Like the rain following the plough, our bodies react in accordance. Rhythms compel us to act: sometimes the physical urge will give way to the mental and vice-versa, but it stems from our mind's interpretation of sound. Psychedelic pioneers Funkadelic hit the nail on the head all the way back in 1970 when they urged listeners to "Free your mind and your ass will follow". So when study participants were listening to tracks such as Weightless, they were instructed to complete puzzles which would increase stress levels. The participants were connected to sensors to allow for measurement of stress indicators, and were played different compositions. 'Weightless' emerged as the clear winner -- a testament to the power of sound and its mysterious ability to change our state of consciousness.
If you enjoyed this piece, I would recommend listening to Kelly Lee Owen's eponymous debut LP. Kelly Lee Owen's relaxed electronica draws from her own time spent working in a lung cancer ward -- and her subsequent realisation of the healing power of music. If you do listen to 'Weightless', I would love to hear your thoughts! Read more about KLO here, and don't forget support the artists! ;)
darling do you realise,
the mist that swirls inside your eyes?
in the evening time, stretched wide to house the moon,
you grin and check my vital signs,
then trace the course of my palm-lines,
etched paths twist and turn, converge, and all return to you,
was it the tracing of your finger?
at certain times you seem to linger,
longer in my mind’s eye than the credit you’ve been due,
was it the moss upon my stone?
the present you so clearly own,
the dye that had been cast is past: ‘now’s’ new dice to roll,
our time upon this earth is short,
our future is an afterthought,
i’m stuck with pins; it must be your voodoo,
and your black magic gypsy hex,
tickling the nape of my neck,
honored hairs all arise, standing to salute,
your holy gaze and aureole,
never caught you in this light before,
you’re fixing up; I know you’re bound to shoot,
but for now, let's just recline,
on this sofa outside space and time,
and bask serene in low-lights, beaming down the avenue.
rorschach blotter soaked into bitter spittle,
ink loaded heavy in my pen -
and clumsy on the outlet,
thoughts drowned quicker than bricks inside a bag of kittens,
bound and tossed swiftly into winter's murky river,
shattered squid attacks straight-shafted the first draft,
redacted all detail of what it means to be a quitter.
i'm dipping my toes into the waters of music production once more -- take a listen if you're a fan of Madvillain, MF DOOM or just have ears and a couple of minutes to kill ;)
you can check it out here!
props to youtuber Redcomet_ for the acapella.
too much to digest: time’s up for mastication,
noob meet rubix cube; more mental masturbation,
mark it with an ‘x’ like some kind of destination,
saw god reflected in the mirror at the train station,
slipped discs, backs out: big risk,
stay in; go fish --
could’ve split the last dish,
feeling bait like the fly on the hook,
reeling? still shook — belly empty tonight,
front to back muscles still all twisted and tight,
sealing up my creased brain — leaking ingrates;
cockroaches scurry when exposed under light,
most favour curried knows it’s lacking in spice.
swanning down soft focus lantern-lit streets --
full of sleep -- under night's blanket thrown,
god's finger raised to his lips in a hushing pose,
staggering silence sat upon its golden throne,
ambled aimlessly around now for one too many summers,
yet still; never lingered quite long enough to simmer,
fawned in the shimmering headlights of the oncoming,
overawed in the presence of life's ongoing glimmer,
in this moment:
the ancient holy dance of playful particle vibration resonates…
recalling; in this moment:
the dust which we will all return to; flickers in reflection at the eyes of recognition,
synchronicity is speaking… insistently and softly.
you don't have to answer -- dear witness: only listen.
The importance of mental health is often underestimated and is often not even acknowledged. A decline in mental health can lead to depression, insomnia, paranoia, psychosis, and agoraphobia to name just a few conditions. It is of course, also intrinsically linked to our physical health. This is one element of our lives in which prevention is infinitely better than a cure. I'd like to share some ti...
Due to yours truly having severe laptop-related technical difficulties, I've been finding it difficult to complete the pieces I had been working on beforehand.
In the meantime I'd like to share something raw. It's nostalgia for me but I hope you can find something to dig on. Expression via a one-minute improvised acoustic guitar track with some additional instrumentation added afterwards. The ex...
have you popped your balloon my love? my dear, did it ruin your day? rain falls in cadence.
tap on my window pane, i tear back the curtain; lightning - the jagged cosmic dance. yes lawd!
you're stood on that familiar corner again - what a way life has of returning our present to our past, held hostage to comfy routine.
i want to sink in - and be f...
Happy new year everybody!
I've been off the platform for a little while. There is a lot more content to come but for now I thought I could tickle some brains out there.
I will follow and read the output of the first person to respond with the correct answer to this riddle. There is more than one acceptable answer so get thinking my honest friends ;)
A man decides to take his own life by ju...
I first heard about Bitcoin all the way back in 2013. I was attending a conference on medical cannabinoid research when a well-informed friend told me about this new store of value. Back then I was younger (obviously), inexperienced and couldn’t quite grasp the potential of this new magical internet money. My mind was frazzled in an attempt to understand the idea of solving the double-spending pro...
Some original musical content for the honest.cash fam.
In which Björk Guðmundsdóttir explains her fascination with television on her very first visit to Planet Earth in 1988. She also warns us about Icelandic poets, who are notoriously dodgy....
Grant me some patience,
I've sat fingering frets,
Lingering over regrets,
Stubbing out cigarettes;
Ask where my faith went,
It's here and it's hefty,
Put it to the test,
Back down on the bench;
Lifting a spirit is a much bigger ask,
It can't be raised up with cash:
That's all gone in a dash;
The weight of tomorrow's promise is nada,
In hushed tones it whispers "mañana, mañana", ...
“Talent borrows; genius steals” - conrad_murkins
The idea of the musical ‘mash-up’ has its roots deep in the sampling culture of early hip-hop, but there is an even further removed connection going all the way back to 1967. As the 'Summer of Love' was winding down, what can be considered the first mash-up/medley was created by Harry Nilsson. Nilsson’s track was comprised of a series of songs by...
“I would say that life understood is life lived. But the paradoxes bug me, and I can learn to love and make love to the paradoxes that bug me. And on really romantic evenings of self, I go salsa dancing with my confusion.” – Timothy “Speed” Levitch
Part I: Origins – What Is Motivation? Where Does It Come From?
What’s your motivation to move?
Love, hate, fear, fulfilment? A deadline? Spite? ...
We hadn’t heard from “ultra-worker and student of life” Thebe Neruda Kgositsile (Better known by the pseudonym Earl Sweatshirt) in a hot minute. Earl’s previous album 'I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside: An Album By Earl Sweatshirt' released in 2015, was a tough listen at times, both sonically and lyrically. It painted a visceral image of a young man who grew up in the spotlight, struggling to ...