My new album Beyond Dreams – Pathways to Deep Relaxation has just been released and the response has been fantastic. The album can now be heard on over 100 radio stations, and is available for purchase online and at select music retailers. I’m particularly excited to have released this album because of its real potential to make a difference in people’s lives, beyond providing mere listening pleasure. Over the years, I’ve received many letters and emails from fans and friends that have experienced positive change in their quality of life after listening to my music during tough times, so I’ve always been aware of the stress relieving and healing powers that music can have. But this album is different, as it is, in many senses, designed from the ground up to help people with specific problems.
Beyond Dreams is an album of what is called ‘brain entrainment music’ or ‘rhythmic brain entrainment’ and it also incorporates something called ’binaural beats’ – I like to call it “Music Medicine”. This is music that incorporates certain sounds, structured in such a way that they ’stimulate’ frequencies in the brain that are naturally prevalent in states such as deep relaxation and sleep, thereby promoting or enhancing those states. What I like about brain entrainment is that I can incorporate its principles in my songs, without them sounding any different from the music we are used to listening to. Therefore, this album contains songs that can be used for relaxation, stress relief, healing, yoga and meditation, and also as background music while performing day to day tasks.
Beyond Dreams is not my first brain entrainment project, but rather a followup to earlier albums that I composed and recorded in collaboration with leading Music and Health expert Dr. Lee Bartel, Founding Director of the Music and Health Research Collaboratory at the University of Toronto, Canada. It’s a well known fact that music such as this has the power to facilitate states of deep relaxation, provide an enhanced environment for self-exploration and promote sleep. But this type of auditory stimulation, also called ‘rhythmic entrainment’, has also been shown to improve the condition of people suffering from life threatening diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Fibromyalgia. Dr. Lee Bartel has spent decades studying the medical effects of music, and has done studies that have produced positive results. Working closely with Dr. Bartel gave me the opportunity to explore and understand, and to truly appreciate the power of brain entrainment music. Dr. Lee Bartel, who contributed to the liner notes for Beyond Dreams, said this about the benefits of listening to the rhythmic brainwave entrainment music found on the album:
“Beyond Dreams is beautiful music that has effects beyond music – it features precisely crafted sonic effects based on scientific research to enhance your body and brain response. The body is rhythmic – from foundational rhythms like the 11 second feedback loop between brainstem and heart, to the heartbeat, to brainwaves – we pulse with rhythmic energy. As music is rhythmic, it can subtly synchronize and regulate body rhythms. In this album, carefully designed sound supports the regularity of the brain-heart connection, serves to slow the heart rate to transcend stress, and nudges brainwaves into a state of deep relaxation, meditation, or even sleep. In this album, musical elements of melodic motion entrain brainwave response at theta and delta frequencies to allow a deep relaxed state. The flow of the naturally relaxing, de-stressing, sleepy music is underpinned with a foundation of potent low frequency sound in the gamma range of brain activity.Gamma brain frequency in the 30 – 40Hz range has recently been shown to be crucially responsible for brain connectivity to support internal circuits responsible for emotion, movement, consciousness and cognition, and memory. This album features strong pulsations in the 30 – 40Hz range to support those key brain functions and is best experienced with a vibroacoustic device. So sit back and listen as this powerful music takes you to a place of deep rejuvenating calm.
Dr. Lee Bartel is the Scientific Designer of 25 music medicine albums including the highly successful Hennie Bekker albums, Music to Promote Sleep and Natural Stress Relief II.