Music, Meditation and Throat Singing

Hi guys,

It is Alessandro here. I wanted to take this opportunity to share a bit about one of my passions; music.

I began to experience music as a small child. My parents loved to sing in family reunions, my mother used to sing in a choir with her sister and with the sister of my dad. Singing has been (and still is) for them a moment to release tension, to let emotions flow and to feel a “oneness” with the other singers. As an only child I was encouraged to learn traditional Sardinian songs and to sing them out loud standing up on a chair at the end of family meals at my grandmother’s house. This is how I made a living during my childhood ;).

As a teenager I was in love with my electric guitar, I wrote songs with my cousin and two neighbours, who became my band for 5 years. We did rock gigs in and around Cagliari, my hometown, and happily ruined our hearing. Sorradile was our fountain of inspiration, where we gathered in front of the big fireplace at my grandmothers house and spend days in the nature surrounding the little village. These moments we spend off stage and outside of the rehearsal room made us more connected on stage. I realised for the first time how powerful nature and connection were as a source of inspiration.

The band stopped when I started traveling. On my journeys and travels  I only brought my acoustic guitar with me, which permitted me to explore gentler notes and voices. During this period I didn’t compose music or write songs, but I collected and listened to as much music as I liked, from as many different people, origins and countries as I could. More and more I started seeing the connection between seemingly very different music styles from different corners of the world. I collected instruments with which sounds I felt strongly connected. I love the rooting penetrating vibration of the didgeridoo and the spacey repetitiveness of the hand pan.

At that time electronic music played a marginal role in the styles that I listened to and liked. Later though, I actually discovered that some of my favourite albums had made great use of sampling. This caused a shift in my perception that made me put electronic music on the same level as instrumental/non electronic music.

Then I moved to Sorradile, here I am alone with the songs that are born in my head and all of my instruments. It is this little village of my youth where I find the peace and time to bring it all together. My daily yoga and meditation practise brings clarity and calmness. Before I was too nomadic to translate my inner landscape into music, wandering physically and mentally. I was living my life being caught up by the motions, feeling and dancing to its rhythm. But now there is a sense of settling down, long enough anyway to express what wants to unfold.

My newest discovery is the looping station and looping all of the sudden has become the best way to have my own band (perfect for an only child, I wish I had one when I was 10!) and to jam by myself. Now I am able to reproduce the recollections and memories of my travels and journeys layer by layer.

 

Throat Singing

Throat singing is a style of singing that is found in many regions of the world.
In this singing style, the voice is manipulated to imitate the sounds of nature creating harmonics and overtones. Think about how light becomes a rainbow of colours when it falls through a prism. Now imagine the throat being the prism for sound. The nature of light is also the nature of human voice. They both are a spectrum of frequencies, that can be associated to a colour or sound. The throat can be used to highlight certain frequencies of the voice and mute other ones. In throat singing a fundamental note is sang through the whole song, while overtones (harmonics) change in tonality.

In animistic traditions, the several ways nature manifests itself are considered to be more than their physical conformation and place. They are thought to have a spirit, and the sound they create is a part of their spirit. By mimicking these sounds, is said that humans can harness the power of the spirits of nature.

I got inspired to explore throat singing when listening to tuvan khoomei, the style of a remote region of Mongolia, Tuva. Listening to the whistles of the voices of the Mongolian people, I realised that I grew up with the throat sounds of Sardinia. I too, find inspiration in nature and this is where I borrow the atmospheres that I give back to the air through my music.

 

Yoga and Meditation

Currently I am working on combining my soundscape with another of my other passions; that of yoga. I am exploring how I can support, inspire and guide the practise of asana and meditation. I like to create a sound that brings the listener into my world, into my perception. Because my perception consists of all the music and sound that I have encountered in my life until now. I am influenced and inspired by many styles, instruments and musicians all over this world. And the beauty of music is that even though I create with the intention to share my perception, every listener will be on his or her own journey.

 

 

 

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