The Holotropic Breathwork Community

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Sound TRACKS Column: Music for Holotropic Breathwork (November 2000)

by Sarah Burdge
Edited and posted by Alysson Troffer, The Inner Door Editor, InnerDoor (at) ahbi.org

[Editor's Note: This lightly edited Sound TRACKS column was originally published in The Inner Door in November 2000. Links to amazon.com are provided. We plan to republish these columns on an ongoing basis. See these suggestions about how to sample music online.]

I am honored to have the opportunity to write the Sound Tracks column for The Inner Door. Music has always been part of my passionate call to Holotropic Breathwork. I find that music moves me on a cellular level and is a very important part of my process as a breather. I have been collecting breathwork music for years and love compiling music for workshops and feeling how the energy in the room is affected by the music.

A little about my music background: I have none. I feel the music in my bones and feel how it affects my consciousness to determine if it is a usable piece for a session. Then, when I am mixing sets, I feel for a trajectory that creates opening. I will do my best to describe the feeling quality in the CDs I chose to present in this column.

I will present these CDs in the order they might be used in a session. The first CD is The Dark Frontier by Stephan Baer. I like cuts 2–7. His music is a combination of percussion, individual voice, small cuts of choral chanting, and deep expansive synthesized rhythms. I feel his music to be full and expansive. Cuts 3 and 6 could be used during the first hour, and the remainder would work anywhere in the second hour. Many of the cuts have an expansive but happy quality.

Also by Stephan Baer is Across Distant Lands. All the cuts in this CD are usable. My favorites are 7, 8, and 9. I would place them all in the beginning or middle of the second hour. This CD has a more trance-like expansive quality than The Dark Frontier.

If you are a fan of the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, then you will love Sacrifice to Love by Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali. The band members are great-nephews of Nusrat and clearly inherited his musical talent at creating ecstatic Sufi devotional music. This album has only four cuts, so they are all long. I like cut 2 best, but they are all usable in the second hour or possibly even in the first hour.

One of my favorite finds is dj Cheb I Sabbah’s CD called Shri Durga. Cuts 1–6 are usable and are long. Several of the cuts have a Jai Uttal-like quality, and others bring in more of a techno sound combined with the Indian rhythms. I particularly like cuts 5 and 6, but in general, I think this is an awesome CD all around!

If you like Tibetan chanting, then check out Cho by Choying Drolma and Steve Tibbetts). All these cuts were recorded in a Buddhist nunnery in the foothills of the Himalayas. They are all musical interpretations of sacred texts. They would be beautiful placed in the beginning of the third hour. My favorite cuts are 2, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 13.

Shanay Mystic Trance by Shastro has only two long cuts, which will beautifully carry your breathers through the middle of the third hour. This is also awesome music to just listen to if you need a little cellular expansion at the end of your day. I especially love the second cut.

And to end a session, try Hollow Bell by Ray Brooks. This CD is just pure bamboo flute music. It is very earthy and spiritual and is great to play at the very end of a session.

So add a little African drumming in the beginning and a breakthrough piece at the end of the second hour, and you have a set! As always, if you find a CD you are wondering about using, feel free to contact me via email, and I would be happy to give you my 2 cents worth!

Sarah Burdge (www.sarahburdgephd.com) is a licensed psychologist with a private practice in Menlo Park, California. She also teaches at Sofia University (formerly ITP).

 

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