One day, I was inspired to record the ocean. I went with my boombox, set it down on the beach,
and recorded 45 minutes of waves crashing in stereo. When I got home and listened to the tape on headphones, I was astonished at the effect. The stereo recording had augmented the sounds of the waves, and I heard waves crashing from left to right, right to left, and down the middle. The aural patterns were intricate, fascinating, and mesmerizing, and I easily entered an Alpha state.

I tried to analyze why the tape was so effective in relaxing me. It seemed that the timing of the waves was important and that I was listening to a sort of regular chaos. I concluded, both through assumption and observation, that there were regular patterns of wave cycles of different lengths. The regular patterns would interact at random points in time, creating a continually changing, completely organic composition.
I reasoned that the unexpectedness of the random combinations of regular patterns was what created the relaxing effect. Unlike conventional music with an ordered sense of time, these sounds had no time basis, and seemed to throw my mind out of its tendency to expect and to look forward to the next occurrence. I was then drawn naturally into the moment, and the deep relaxation.

I decided to try composing some music based on the same principles. These pieces, therefore, consist mostly of "loops" or circles of sounds, with the circle, or repeat time, of each sound being a different length. There are also repeating sounds of varying intervals. In addition, the circle for me is an appropriate metaphor for the completeness of my experience, both the light and the dark, and the need to embrace both.
The slowness of the music, as in the sounds of the ocean, is also an important element. I find that the slowness works on my sense of time, and slows me right down as well. I feel like I enter a new time zone.
Please listen to this tape directly with full attention or obliquely as ambient background for deep relaxation, meditation, bodywork, or being intimate. I hope you find the same pleasure it gave me in creating it, and if you need to hear the ocean for 45 minutes, put track 8 on repeat.

Peace and Love,

John Ruskan


Desert Dawn © 1997, 2005 John Ruskan, Twenty-Two Records
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