Sandara Yoga Studio, Brunswick
Mar. 2, 2019
by Christopher Hyde
The healing power of music, like that of art and poetry, has been known for thousands of years.
Saturday evening at Brunswick’s Sundara Yoga Studio, the power of art and music came together in “Sacred Equilibrium” by musician and sound healer Shirsten Lundblad, in a gallery of visionary drawings by June Atkin and her late “Artner,” Timothy Wyllie (1940-2017).
The two modalities complemented each other very well
Shirsten, a massage therapist and Master of Divinity (Harvard), presided over our wedding here on the farm some 20 years ago. I have written earlier about her experiments with “the music of the spheres” in healing and restoring balance.. Saturday she brought a large gong tuned to Neptune, which was quite spectacular in its volume and complexity of overtones, giving everyone attending a “gong bath.” For some reason or other (suggestion?), the sound evoked images of the watery planet singing its way through space.
The hour-and-a-half program featured diverse sounds made by Native American-style frame drum, a steel drum shaped like a gigantic clam, many “singing bowls,” which produce a sound like that of a wineglass rubbed with a wet finger, a xylophone, rattles, bells and a ukulele, which Shirsten used to accompany herself in a Tibetan Bhuddhist chant to the goddess of music.
After an audience exploration of the sung vowel sounds related to each chakra, the various instruments were shared. What began as cacophony eventually migrated to a form of harmony , which was surprising. I have seen the same effect with the human voice, as each modifies pitch slightly to match someone else’s production; I don’t see how it can happen with fixed pitch instruments, but it did.
If you would like to learn more about sound healing, you might want to visit Shirsten in Freeport, or explore the books on musical healing by the late Maine composer Kaye Gardner.
The gallery display will be open to the public once more on Friday, March 15, from 4:30 to 7:30. The drawings, which are both visionary and highly detailed (in Prismacolor Pencil), are well worth seeing.
Christopher Hyde is a writer and musician who lives in Pownal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.