by Ahly Titchener
The Golden Ratio of our nervous system
I don’t suppose many people review an album by talking about their nervous system, but it’s where I need to begin to give even half-justice to the new album that Maneesh de Moor put out mid last year: Golden Ratio.
So we all know about our fight/flight response (the sympathetic nervous system response) that is triggered by a perceived threat (eg: “I am not safe”). And most of us know about our parasympathetic nervous system of rest and digest.
In my nervous system 101 understanding; there is a sweet spot to reside within our autonomic nervous system, that is our ventral vagus nervous system; It is a subtle regulator that allows us to self-regulate, or to be co-regulated, moving from the activated fight or flight response, to regulate, and bring online the rest-digest process.
No new information or nourishment can assimilate until we are in our ventral vagus nervous system, or to put it in reverse; we can’t take anything new in while we are stressed.
Our job is bring our ventral vagus nervous system on line. When we inhabit it, we receive signals of ‘I am safe’; ‘I can relax’ and ‘I am open to something new’. We feel open and curious about this moment, we are in harmony with this moment, and it ripples out so that we can engage productively and compassionately with others.
So how do we inhabit this sweet spot?
Make it a practice
During the upheaval of 2020, I took up the practice of mindful observing of my nervous system. It’s essentially a self-reflection practice. During the day I would ‘check in’ with myself and ask a simple question: am I open and curious to this experience?
- Yes? Great! Go and engage!
- No? I need to resource myself.
That was it. The practice involves discerning between these different states of being, and to respond accordingly.
How do I resource myself?
This may be new terminology for you. To resource yourself simply means, to do the thing that’s going to bring you back into connection with your self and others.
The practice of discerning when I’m feeling ‘off’ and how to be back online with myself again, means I am noticing the different energetic signals that aid or hinder this process.
Music for example: it is an amplification of a state of being; and if I’m wanting to amplify harmony and equanimity, then the music needs to be of that signature also.
And this is why I especially want to feature Maneesh de Moor’s latest album, Golden Ratio.
I have listened to it many many times and love it – not only for its musical beauty, but I literally feel the harmonics and the soundscape soothing my nervous system – it settles me to sleep when my mind is too busy to let go of the day, it is the background for work when I need to concentrate, and it can even reset me from ruminating over a disagreeable interaction. It’s one of my easiest go-to’s for resourcing and regulating my self.
I wrote to Maneesh telling him his soundscapes are working for me.
“That’s the idea of the album,” he replied. “In these bizarre covid times (the isolation is much worse in Europe than in Oceania!) It is something to help, connecting with our inner worlds”.
“By the way” he added, “a flute made by Southern Cross Flutes features on the third track! It is an African Rosewood E flat minor in 432 Hz. As 136.1 Hz is actually C# in 432 Hz and C#is the relative Major if the tonic is E flat. (What would Bach say!) So I’m using ‘minor notes’ on the Native American Flute, but it sounds like Major because the tonic is shifted by a minor third”
Each song on the track is a half hour long multilayered immersion into harmonics designed by the natural world.
Below is an excerpt that Maneesh has written for his listener to better understand the intention behind his music. I have copied it verbatim below with his permission.
Welcome to my world of visionary sound.
Sit back, relax, and close your eyes, while listening to these immersive sonic textures, and find out for yourself, what they have to offer to you.
The Golden Ratio
My intention with this record was to take ‘sound healing’ to the next level. There is some theory behind all this that I won’t go too much into detail with, but long story short, all this that you hear, is played and recorded in what is called ‘Pure Intonation’. Pure Intonation or Just Intonation is a way of dividing the intervals and notes in a scale. The commonly used western tuning system is called ‘equal temperament’. This means that all the notes have equal distances to each other. This makes it easy to play chord progressions or change the fundamental during a piece of music, and has contributed to the magnificent multitude of different styles in our musical cosmos. However, ‘equal temperament’ does not resonate with the natural harmonics, also called ‘overtones’ that are present in every sound we hear. It is these harmonics that are spaced according to the Golden Ratio aka Fibonacci Spiral, hence the name of the album.
This means that almost all the music we are exposed to is slightly out of tune. Our brain fixes this, we accept the out of tune-ness as a sacrifice for the versatility we get back in musical composition.
I took the challenge and wrote music solely in Pure Intonation. Every interval you hear, every harmonic, every sound, is perfectly fitting in the spectrum of natural harmonics. In the Golden Ratio. This has an amazingly healing and inspiring effect.
Also, I chose fundamental frequencies that hold certain properties.
I enjoyed working with the frequencies 111 Hz (or A in 444), 90 Hz (F# in 426 Hz) and 136.1 Hz (C# in when A=432Hz)
These three resonant frequencies have some special properties.
For me, 111Hz, I got to know in a session with a great osteopath, who used a tuning fork resonating in 111Hz on my joints, and it felt really good and deep. I dedicate my version of 111Hz to Nature. I feel this frequency is the one that rejuvenates, supports physical healing, relaxes tensions, good for the body-spirit. Hence I called it 111Hz Breath of Life. I’m closing this track with a field recording of my last journey to Peru where I diet and work with the plants… This singing & kalimba was recorded right in the medicine room, on a lazy afternoon, after a strong night… with the crickets chirping, and the birds birding….
I want to thank my brothers Nick Wallaki (didgeridoo) and Dar Pan (overtones) for their beautiful sonic contribution to this track.
To me, 90 Hz has the properties of cosmic alignment, this is the number that has all sacred geometry hidden in its frequency, like the Merkaba shape on the front of this album. 90 Hz has the corners of a square, the circle in it, the triangles, and so on. I feel this frequency has to do with the balance of the solar system, how all things are balanced with each other and work together as One Godly Structure. Divine Connection.
The falsetto chant I am channeling just came out of nowhere at 5 AM one morning.. I had the music already done, and I woke up with these words in my head and just sang them as they flowed out.
What I felt while I chanted these (mostly) Sanskrit words was a true connection with Grace from within… I am also singing praise to the Frequency itself, to the Big Om, and I am singing ‘Siddhi’ , which means to be empowered… Through Sadhana, through spiritual practice… Om Siddhi-hum Rama Om.
It has been said that 136.1Hz or C# in 432Hz is the ultimate frequency to chant Om in, maybe that is the reason a lot of classical Indian music is played in this key? This track has the ‘Shanti Mantra’ in it… Loka Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu…. लोकः समस्ताः सुखिनो भवन्तु A perfect mantra to close your yoga practice or classes with.
Feel for Yourself what is Real. Do not take my word for it, try these sounds, and see what they mean for yourself. You can meditate with this music, use it for healing sessions, all things sacred, all things shamanic, whole worlds can be opened with these pure frequencies and strong intent intonations.
Use it for yoga and breath work and for dreaming. For birthing and creating. Please leave a comment with the album page if it helped you and tell the world what this music does for you, I am very curious about that. And I am grateful, grateful for the gift of music, for the Creator, and grateful for YOU! Thank you for supporting me. Aho…
Released July 12, 2020
Maneesh plays: Vocals & vocal sounds, flutes, vintage synthesizers & effects, bells & bowls, crystal glasses, harmonium, xylophone, tubular bells, kalimba, mini-handpan, field recordings.
This album contains NO digital sounds, or samples, only handmade, real, recorded things.
Dar Pan: Overtone on 111Hz Breath of Life @ www.darpan.com
Nick Wallaki: Didgeridoo on 111Hz Breath of Life
Art design by Shane Beresford @ shaneberesford.com
Mastering by Streaky @ streaky.com
Kindly understand: Do not sample or remix any of my sounds without written permission. _/\_ Appreciating the respect.