About the Album
Wah! speaks guided visualizations set to favorite songs and brand new music by Wah! These beautifully spoken visualisations are a journey into relaxation, brain wave health, and physical and emotional wellbeing. Perfect for sleepless nights, pre-surgery, post-surgery, rehab, chemotherapy, or for anyone who wants to rest but can’t figure out how to relax. Also suitable for yoga class, massage, spa, healing and meditation. Lyrics from Wah!’s book Healing: A Vibrational Exchange. 2 CDs, 150 minutes.
You can buy a real 2-CD product from www.cdbaby.com.
These tracks, both their content and their longer length, are not suitable for streaming. Segmented portions are available through iTunes BeatsMusic, Spotify, Rdio, Rhapsody, Pandora, Slacker, etc. EXTENDED MIXES as full-length tracks (50 minutes) are available through Wah! Music (includes pdf booklet) for $15. Email Wah (wah [at] wahmusic.com) and please indicate if you want mp3 (120MB) or wav (700MB) format. Thank you!
“Healing Visualisations is beautiful on every level, the words, the music and its vibration.”
PEGGY HUDDLESTON, AUTHOR
“PREPARE FOR SURGERY, HEAL FASTER: A GUIDE OF MIND-BODY TECHNIQUES”
The Story Behind Healing Visualisations
No grid, no auto-tune, no plan. That might not sound like a big leap for someone who doesn’t work in the music industry, but I assure you it is a big leap in an industry governed by metronomes, beats per minute, pitch correcting and beat synchronization with software like Ableton Live, Traktor Pro and Virtual DJ.I had written 9 guided visualizations for my book Healing: A Vibrational Exchange. I had put one of them to music, included in the CD in the back of the book. My friend Lynn said, “Oh you should do ALL the visualizations. People would love to hear you speak.” To myself I thought, “Oh sure, easy for YOU to say…” I know exactly how much work is involved in a CD project. And so it began as it often begins: a friend asks for something…
I am a singer by trade but after publishing two books (Healing: A Vibrational Exchange and Dedicating Your Life to Spirit), I had to give lectures, bookstore talks and book signings. Not only did I have to use my voice to dispense information and inspiration at lectures, I also had to learn how to guide people into relaxation, known in the industry as “voiceover” – speaking scripts into a microphone. Not everyone is aware of this part of the entertainment industry, but it is woven into everything, whether you are aware of it or not. It’s how you are convinced to buy a product; it is the voice telling you about upcoming TV episodes (“Next week on ‘Scrubs’…), concerts, events; it’s the person narrating a documentary. It is not all that easy to speak convincingly and clearly, and there are schools which train people in voiceover. For my project I had to find a way to speak the words in a way which was both compassionate and commanding – if I was too involved in the process (everyone hold hands and visualize whirled peas), it became boring or sappy; if I was too commanding (relax NOW!), it became harsh and unsoothing. It was a learning curve… and fun to learn!
The structure of the songs on this project was conceived as an initial introduction voiceover followed by music, and ending with voiceover. I needed background music… hmmm…. Where was I going to find background music? Ah! My savasana CDs. Simple! Not so simple, apparently. The first savasana CD was recorded on 1″ multitrack tape and the vocals and harmonium were recorded at the same time, making the tracks inseparable. Using a harmonium track meant we could hear bleed from the singer, and vice versa. Savasana2 was done the same way, improvising voice and harmonium simultaneously, recorded together. Savasana 3 had some clean keyboard tracks but not all songs had the feel I was looking for. We decided to use some tracks from Savasana 2 (Sacred Circle) working around the bleed, and some tracks from Savasana 3 (Heart Garden, Sunlight) taking them off the grid if they were on one, and randomizing the tracks so they were no longer enslaved to a metronome.
Many of my songs are 7-10 minutes long and we needed 20 minutes or longer. We looped music randomly. It didn’t always work; you can’t just add music to other music and expect it to flow. It had to be sculpted. We looped things using the insight of the visual cues on the computer, indicating sections of music. Once we had the tracks mapped out, we needed environments for all of them, preferably in nature. Recorded nature sounds are not clean (that is to say, you can’t record one sound in nature without all the others), and many of these pre-recorded nature sounds are ill-advised for the purpose of relaxation. Rain and ocean recordings can easily sound like white noise, indistinguishable as nature, sounding more like static on a radio. Birds can easily be too loud, too noisy, too many of them. Cicadas – ai yai yai! Some nature sounds we used – a wonderful clean recording of crickets, a few ocean waves. Some nature sounds we created as imaginative representations – vocal waves, vocal birds (whistling). Because imagination is part of the brain process in theta wave state, it became important to represent things in both real and imaginative forms, and mix them in such a way as to trigger the slower theta brain wave state.
The loops and repeating sequences of nature sounds, foghorns, bass notes, tones, breathing patterns, birds, waves, crickets were carefully balanced and randomized to bring the listener into a deeper state of relaxation. It was part science and part intuition, with my musical training right there to support it.
I worked with Paul Hollman in Los Angeles, we have been working together since 2003. I spent many years doing studio work in Los Angeles, while I raised my daughter there. After she graduated, I left LA and worked with Paul in 2-3 week sessions, in between tours, getting airplane tickets and a rental cars and going to LA to work in the studio. It was not convenient but it worked. I arrived at the studio, closed my eyes and tried to direct the pace of the voiceover (the speech), the music, and how fast or slow we needed the information to be in order to conjure up imaginative pictures in the brain. Getting the pace of these tracks probably took 2 years. That may sound unbelievable to you, but that’s how long it would take anyone if they were lying down on the floor in the studio listening, then getting up and making changes, then closing the eyes and listening again. Two completely different sides of the brain, trying to work together. Most people edit music by looking at a computer screen and cleaning up, moving, copying, arranging the music visually. I had to close my eyes. Paul had his eyes open but how was he supposed to know which track I was telling him to move if I wasn’t seeing the screen? He was not getting precise information (which would have been “move the yellow track, change the singer called Harmony Vocal”); he was getting general information (“no that’s too soon, the guitar came in too soon, move the bass note to land with the voiceover on that word”). Paul and I have worked many years together but I think this project was a stretch even for him. We found the pace for the voiceover and we found a pace for the music. It was life off the grid (without a metronome) and I have to say my life is much the better for it.
In 2014, after two years working on this in the studio, I decided the project was a failure. I flew to LA one last time to pick up the tracks, my hard drives, and go home. The music was too performed, still too on the grid, still not relaxing enough. Bass notes were being played as a chord chart. Singers were singing instead of accompanying. It seemed that my efforts had not achieved what I wanted: deep relaxation. I don’t know what happened that week, I don’t really remember what we did in the studio, but something changed. Everything I had learned doing the Healing Concert for 3 years was funneled into the project, and new sounds, new loops, new approaches were instituted. And it worked. The project was saved and brought forward in a way that was authentically relaxing.
My friend, Walter, a painter, listened to one of the tracks and said he liked it very much. “But really Wah!, if I’m going to lie down and relax, I’m not going down for 15 minutes. I need 30-45 minute relaxation naps in the afternoon. Can you make a 45 minute track?” … And so it began as it always begins: a friend asked me for something…
Thank you for supporting my work by opening and expanding your life,