Arpita presents her latest album – music for relaxation and sessions.
Available on Bandcamp:
I had wanted to make a recording with just the monochord and swarmandal ever since I got the monochord in January 2020. The moment I played that monochord I realized there were spaces opening up that I had never had available before. It is just an amazing instrument. In this dialogue between the two instruments, the monochord is providing the roots and the swarmandal is the wings taking it high, a real marriage made in heaven. It made sense to call the CD, Inner Bliss.
I’d like to focus for a moment on the monochord, since it doesn’t get a lot of attention as an instrument usually. The monochord produces a sound like a drill going down into the earth. It is grounding the whole sound-meditation experience. Like any instrument it is also carrying the consciousness of the musician playing it. When I play the monochord I am going into a deep meditative state, and that monochord is creating the room where this meditation lives and breathes. If the person hearing this is open to slowing down and going in, then the room for this meditation is what is on offer. It’s like a home and at the same time an invitation to come home.
The art of the monochord is that it’s expressing the paradox of relaxing and waking up. Listening to the monochord the parasympathetic nervous system is enhanced, and comes to the fore. It is a deep induction. One could imagine that it is the instrumental version of singing the mantra OM. OM is the universal building block of consciousness… in terms of sound. And the monochord is the most basic direct experience of that, coming from an instrument. One might argue that the tambura is the instrument most directly related to the OM experience. But I think it is the monochord.
What is also fascinating for me every time I play the instrument is that it carries a message to the consciousness: “Wake up. Come here. Come out of thought, and into the now.” It goes against logic because logically one would expect more alertness – with music that is changing, or has highs and lows, and is very exciting. And the monochord is clearly not providing that. It doesn’t provide entertainment. It’s not an instrument that offers the entertainment value that can be there in music. Music for entertainment has within it an invitation to go out and become involved in the outer, to get lost in the outer. Which can be beautiful also, it can be inspiring, it can be a reminder of how deeply we can feel. Good entertainment makes us feel deeply. But it is all linked to the world, it all happens on the stage of the world. The inner world has nothing to do with entertainment. The monochord has within its sound an invitation to go in and leave the world behind.
And the monochord alone is not going to provide the experience of meditation – that is an expression of the depths of my heart. For that the swarmandal must be added. The swarmandal is literally the heart strings. I put my finger to the strings and it is my heart singing. If the monochord is drilling down into the earth, the swarmandal is soaring in a very light way in the heavens above. It is a heavenly instrument. And it contains an element of spontaneity, unpredictability, surprise, freedom… and the joy that comes with moving into the unknown – the freedom of the unknown. That is the domain of the swarmandal.
So the end result of the two playing together is a powerfully transformative agent that can be added to any space for a deeper meditation, for an experience of the joy of meditation.
Finally, after I had made the recording, I enjoyed it myself as a meditative journey; and I also tested it out in the session environment – very easy to do since I am working every week offering sessions. And it works. I’m very happy to say it is creating a wonderful support for a session: meditative, relaxing, supportive of alertness, and the magical extra touch of those heart-strings flying high.
The overflowing of a marriage made in heaven.
Arpita – firstname.lastname@example.org
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