October 21, 2010

The Score (Part Two)

by Cherry Trifle

The journey music takes from the time it enters through the ears to when it arrives between the thighs is informed by factors of both culture and physiology. (Yeah, we knew there had to be a reason why only the few and the kinky have sex to the tune of "Jive Talkin'"...)

Medicinal Music

Disciples of the Coltrane Church tell a true story about a young girl who lay dying in a hospital bed after being terribly abused at the hands of her father. The parishioners slapped a poster of Coltrane on the wall, lined musicians around the bed and played. The girl, burned over more than half her body, survived. And they believe it was the music, the vibrations from the music, that healed her.

Says Jonathan Goldman, musician, teacher, director of the Sound Healers Association and author of The 7 Secrets of Sound Healing. “Music can heal.” In fact, Goldman believes that music can have profound physiological effects on the body.

“Most people just think of music as energy that they hear,” he says. “It goes into their ears and that’s as far as they get. But the reality is that it goes into our ears and then into our brain and it affects our nervous system—our heartbeat, our respiration, our brainwaves.”

For example, very loud music, he says, not only accelerates all these things, but also stimulates the production of adrenaline. “But an adolescent’s body is different than an adult’s,” he points out. “Whereas an older person may be annoyed or disrupted by excessively loud, fast music, it works more in tune with a person who is going through the hormonal changes of a teenager.”

Could the music of Coltrane heal burns? Goldman can’t say, but he does believe there is something very real and effective in the ancient practice of sound healing. Studies are few (don’t hold your breath waiting for GlaxoSmithKline) however he does cite research showing the effects of sound on hemoglobin cells.

“The note C would be struck and a Kirlian (electrographic) photograph would be taken and you could see major changes within the cell.” Sounds can balance and align all of the major energy centers (chakras) within the body, he says. And this sort of therapy can be done alone or with a partner.

To this end, Goldman and his wife produced The Tantra of Sound Harmonizer. “It’s the first recording created that balances out your brainwaves using psychoacoustics ... I perceive that the sexual experience can be extraordinarily enhanced as we incorporate more and more of the chakras using sound—listening to sound and then, ultimately, making self-created sounds together.”

Goldman has been teaching vowels sounds to resonate the chakras for two decades. “If you make these sounds, you’ll feel them resonating in your body. It helps the flow of energy, and can stimulate that which may have been asleep, such as the kundalini, or sexual energy.”

The Stones—Mick, in particular—have a staggering effect on my kundalini, but that doesn’t mean there’s no room at the inn for Otis Redding. Or Jay-Z. Or AC/DC. They can put their love into me anytime they like. Or at least, inspire me to let someone else do it.

Dr. Baham connects with Jimi Hendrix: “If Jimi wanted to take you underwater in some fantasy of his, he could do that.” Singer/songwriter Camille finds herself into Tom Waits these days. “I didn’t like him six years ago, but somehow he’s grown on me—like Guinness or oysters. He’s an acquired taste I can’t live without.”

“I can’t fuck to disco,” says 41-year-old Lila, a self-described rocker, with a detectable level of disgust. “I mean, who can?”

For Lila, Bee Gee sex is impossible; incontrovertible fact you can’t debate. It would be like selling the Jehovah’s Witness who rang your bell on the merits of organ donation. Our love of music—of loving to music—inspires zealotry so pure, it’s beautiful.