Relationship of Sound, Music,Culture & Spirituality – Lawson Malnory, Ethnomusicologist

Sonic driving plays a key role in the ritual used by the Cuyamungue Institute, and in rituals around the world. Traditional cultures around the world use the rhythmic sounds of percussion instruments—drumming, rattling, tapping a stick, and even rhythmic chanting—to draw them into trance.

Laura Lee writes: Sound is relayed through the stirring of molecules, of pressure waves flow through the air and into our ears, processed by our brain. And certain sound, with ’sonic driving’ we are nudged to process in way that delivers us into an altered state. I used to think that I was ‘imprinted’ to the particular quality of sound, hard to describe, that ‘swish’ of our gourd rattle, the reverb of our native drum. What ethnomusicologist Lawson Malnory presents is a compelling evidence that we are all tuned to this same ’timbre’, our physiology is tuned to the nuances, patterns, and rhythms of Nature’s voice, and our ancestors designed a range of instruments to echo, to imitate, to celebrate the songs of Mother Earth. Lawson makes his case with a widely sourced range of audible samples, digital imagery of sound analysis, neurological research, and personal experience, going far beyond the more readily accessible beat-per-minute, rhythm, and monotone, we’ll discern the subtleties of sound’s pull on our psyche, the inner doors it pries open, it’s transcendent power.

Lawson, a member of our CI Community, returns with more on his MA thesis at Arizona State University with his research into the role of timbre in the ability of sound to support altered states of consciousness. He will also identify relevant implications of this work in our understanding of the relationship between sound, music, culture, and spirituality

Hosted by Laura Lee and Paul Robear. Conversation4Exploration, Conversation 4 Exploration, Conversation for Exploration, Cuyamungue: Felicitas D. Goodman Institute, The Laura Lee Show