Music projects

studioPlenty of activity in the studio at the moment – I’m about about a third of the way into a new ambient instrumental album, with another couple of instrumental pieces on the back burner. Where’s a lottery win when you need to buy more time?

Music has the edge for relaxation

guitarVerbally led relaxation exercises are a good way to achieve a relaxed state of mind and a healthy state of body – which is why they are often used in situations such as antenatal classes. According toresearch in the German Medical Association’s journal Deutsches Ärzteblatt International, however, music therapy has been found to be even more effective in improving the health of palliative care patients. Medical Daily cites that music of all sorts was reported by patients as boosting levels of relaxation and well-being. The self-reports were corroborated by researchers using physiological measurements in a double-blind trial.

Do miserable Androids dream of segmented sleep?

Proponents of hainvg two sleeps a night with a period of wakefulness between, say it’s a great way of getting things done – everything from writing a bestseller, to learning a language, making babies or getting closer to your God.

One of the problems of this segmented sleep approach, though, is that you have to go to bed earlier and will probably end up rising later. There may not be enough hours in the day (or night). If you end up cutting your total sleep-time you’ll not only build up sleep-debt, but you’ll also end up interrupting what sleep you do get, and that leads to all sorts of problems, chief among which according to new research is the dampening of feelings of positive emotions.

YouTube post: Ska’d Midlands (Für H)

Hot from the iTunes visualizer window: The latest YouTube music video is posted here. It’s also available on SoundCloud in higher quality audio.

What’s it about? It was a commission for a birthday present. On SoundCloud it’s described as: Take a dash of Ska rhythmic structure, season with variations of Beethoven’s Für Elise, add some Two Tone West Midlands homage, top with selected character traits and you have a piece written for and about someone for their birthday.

On YouTube it’s described thusly: A bit of Beethoven, a sprinkling of Ska structure, seasoned with the essence of a real person – Happy Birthday H. Cooked with Logic Pro X instruments, Alchemy, Native Instruments and Roland Integra-7.


Meditation, music & grey matter

Everyone likes to think they have plenty of grey matter, as it correlates with heightened abilities in many skills, and it seems that being a practising musician or meditator will build that stuff in your brain. Science.Mic cites Massachusetts General Hospital research which suggests that while nothing is a universal panacea “Meditation is like a super-vitamin for your brain. It targets and boosts the parts that are already strong, and improves their functionality to make them even stronger.” As an added bonus “when people began meditating, their amygdala got smaller. That is the area of the brain most closely associated with fear and aggression”

Binaural on the go

Intel is in the process of making smartphone chips that are binaural audio friendly. The Inquirer  reported: “We tested the technology in the form of some earphones that look like they had been worn by a million other people. Nevertheless, it revealed how a video comprising different actions, such as a hand clap, can manipulate your brain to think the sound is coming from the room you are in through this realistic Binaural audio technology.”

Could be useful for making binaural beat technology even more effective at altering brainwave frequencies. At the very least, it should make for more immersive soundscapes on the go, whether that’s for pure pleasure or as background for meditation.