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Beyond Dreams – Pathways to Deep Relaxation : Brain Entrainment Music for Deep Relaxation

Saturday, August 13th, 2016

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.

Spectrum wins ZMR 2011 Music Awards!

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

SpectrumSpectrum has won “Best Contemporary Instrumental Album” and “Best Electronic Album” in the ZMR 2011 Music Awards! See the winners on ZoneMusicReporter.com.

Spectrum is a new release by Hennie Bekker available on CD and as an album download. Spectrum is a celebration and showcase of Hennie Bekker’s remarkable strength as a multi-genre artist, featuring a colorful sequence of music from some of his most memorable albums, including the best selling Spring Rain, Summer Breeze, Temba and Reverie.

Spectrum unfolds with an uplifting array of Bekker’s musical footprints, inviting the listener on a peaceful instrumental journey through a lifetime of timeless musical expression, from echoing soundscapes of the ancient African jungle, to romantic piano and modern ambient sounds.

“Rarely have I heard a recording artist able to cover such diverse musical terrain and do it so well. From tender piano melodies, to dreamy ambient soundscapes and earthy African-influenced grooves, Hennie Bekker is a consummate composer and masterful musician.” ~Michael Diamond – Music and Media Focus

John. P Olsen of NewAgeMusicWorld.com has written a really nice article on the award winners – read the article here. You can also read his fantastic review of Spectrum here.

Preview and buy Spectrum on henniebekker.com, iTunes, as well as all other major CD and download stores.

Check back on the blog or subscribe to Hennie’s newsletter to be notified of related news including new videos and special offers.

Spectrum – New Album Available Now!

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

SpectrumSpectrum is a new release by Hennie Bekker available on CD and as an album download. Spectrum is a celebration and showcase of Hennie Bekker’s remarkable strength as a multi-genre artist, featuring a colorful sequence of music from some of his most memorable albums, including the best selling Spring Rain, Summer Breeze, Temba and Reverie.

Spectrum unfolds with an uplifting array of Bekker’s musical footprints, inviting the listener on a peaceful instrumental journey through a lifetime of timeless musical expression, from echoing soundscapes of the ancient African jungle, to romantic piano and modern ambient sounds.

“Rarely have I heard a recording artist able to cover such diverse musical terrain and do it so well. From tender piano melodies, to dreamy ambient soundscapes and earthy African-influenced grooves, Hennie Bekker is a consummate composer and masterful musician.” ~Michael Diamond – Music and Media Focus

Preview and buy the album on henniebekker.com, iTunes, as well as all other major CD and download stores.

Check back on the blog or subscribe to Hennie’s newsletter to be notified of related news including new videos and special offers.

Freefall – Live in Concert

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

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I’m really pleased to be posting this live video of “Freefall”, a track from my June 2010 album release Moving On. The video was recorded live at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts in Toronto, Canada in May 2009, and is the first video to be posted from the show. “Freefall” is somewhat of a departure from my more laid back material, but still incorporates a melodic approach.

Here are the musicians performing with me:

Russ Boswell: Bass – www.russboswell.com
Rob Gusevs: Keyboards
John Johnson: Woodwinds, EWI
Rick Shadrach Lazar: Percussion
Bruce Cassidy: Trumpet and EVI – www.brucecassidymusic.com
Greg Kavanagh: Guitars – www.gregkavanagh.com
Bob DiSalle: Drums

Stay tuned…more videos will be posted down the road…

Enjoy!

Hennie

Moving On – Album OUT NOW!

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Moving OnMOVING ON by Hennie Bekker is a new release available on CD and as an album download! Preview and order the album on henniebekker.com, iTunes, as well as all other major retailers. If you have a question about availability in your area, don’t hesitate to contact us. Check back on the blog or subscribe to Hennie’s newsletter to be notified of related news including new videos and special offers.

MOVING ON is a pure, creative exploration that crosses genres and styles. Best known for his world and relaxation sounds, Hennie Bekker has combined these sensibilities with his foundation in jazz and produced an album that truly represents his depth as an artist. Moving on from the strictly electronic albums of his past, Bekker uses acoustic drums, electronic wind instruments, guitars and the latest digital studio technology to create songs and melodies that are eclectic, inspiring and whimsical.

The “Freefall” euphoric trance remix

Friday, June 11th, 2010

Last week I returned to the dance music spotlight with the release of a euphoric trance remix by U.K. based producer Robbie Bronnimann, of the track “Freefall” from my upcoming album Moving On. In the weeks leading up to the production, Robbie said, “To me the direction is very clear that ‘Freefall’ has to be a big epic euphoric anthemic trance remix, that’s the scene that has the most synergy with your work.” I found myself asking why trance would have the most synergy with my work.

This wasn’t planned. I wasn’t actively looking to get my material remixed, in fact coincidence had a lot to do with it. It was actually the result of a chance meeting between my manager, Steven Saffer, and David Stopps (Howard Jones’ manager) during the MIDEM 2010 music conference in France, where they realized that there was mutual contact in Robbie, and in Miriam Stockley who I had the pleasure of working with on various sessions and projects in South Africa.  David had previously managed both Miriam and Robbie. The idea of Robbie remixing some of my work followed, and my manager reached out to him with the suggestion.

I discussed the project with my team, but it was only after listening to some of the remixes that Robbie had done for other artists that it all made sense. Firstly, I really liked Robbie’s style. Although the remixes were all very different, I found that in most of them, there was a lot of creative use of layering and reverbs. I think this was Robbie’s thing and not a ‘trance’ thing, and that really excited me because it’s something I like to do with my own material. Robbie also seemed to be using a lot of the same sounds. We did a video conference early on, at one point his five year old daughter Daisy was climbing all over him….even on his head!. “This has got to be the most informal business call I’ve ever had!” Robbie exclaimed. I just got a really nice vibe from him, and as it turned out we have much of the same gear….lots of soft synths (software based synthesizers that are basically computer programs running on a computer). This felt so comfortable and easy, I had to do it.

But…I had to give yet more thought to it. For one, I had to consider the fact that this was very different from what I’d done in the past, and I didn’t want this to look like a departure from my more new age and relaxation material, which it most definitely isn’t – I’m actually working on a new album now that I think is going to be one of my best albums for “wellness” – but I thought why not? I really enjoy exploring different directions and it would be interesting to see what feedback I would get. Anyhow, this wouldn’t be the first time I was doing something strictly electronic – I’ve been involved in the dance music scene before, in fact my history with electronic music goes back to the early 80’s when I was among the first composers to have and use a Synclavier for sample based recording. The BKS album ‘For Those About To Rave’, in the mid-90s was programmed and recorded on the Synclavier. I thought it would be interesting to see what Robbie could do with my material.

And as for Robbie’s credentials, well, he’s remixed under the dba name for the likes of Chicane, Ferry Corsten and Love Inc. (which was another coincidence as Love Inc. was Chris Sheppard and Simone Denny, who I’d worked with in the BKS days) while also working as co-writer and producer for Howard Jones, Sugababes and others. And he brings a super high standard of production as well as creating mixes that have all the correct drops & builds that DJ’s need to get the crowd onboard. It’s all about emotion & hooks!

The end result is a track that I love. I’m hoping it opens up my music to a whole new group of people and broadens the musical taste of my long time fans. The remix is available on iTunes and Beatport and there’s a preview on my website – hope you all enjoy it!