Welcome to this series of interviews originally aired in April of 2020.
It's a treasure trove of wisdom and inspiration from 30 brilliant musicians, scientists, improvisers, and ritual leaders exploring the value of improvising with sound for learning to navigate the unknown.
I'm glad you're here and I appreciate your interest and curiosity!
If you'd like to watch these interviews on your own time, you can get anytime access to all of them here on this page.
Enjoy! and blessings onward...
Your Music, Your Way
Explore the powerful path of sound improvisation for accessing innate genius and liberating your essential gifts.
Below, you can learn more about our speakers, their interview topics and their free gifts to you.
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Monday, April 6
Navigating the Unknown by
Improvising with Sound
Transforming the world, Transforming the Self: Art and Spirit, Music and Spirit
Songlines: Tracking the footprints & heartbeats of your souls calling into a life of memory and belonging through ceremony & ritual.
Lisa Lichtig, MD
Listening - A sound basis for healthy relationships
The Drum: Voice of the Village
Tuesday, April 7
Sound is the ground of consciousness.
Cultivating Your Sound Signature: "Creating Your World From Within"
Music as a Connecting Tool to the Greater Self and Cosmos (or, Music as a Connection to the Greater Self and Cosmos)
Sound is primarily the Art of Listening
Loving The Void: the journey to potent duetting with the unknown
Wednesday, April 8
John Stuart Reid
Music Medicine: how music triggers healing at the cellular level
Ancient Wisdom and Advanced Sound Technology
Groove Elixir: The Medicine of Rhythm
Using Sound as a vehicle to Freedom and Empowerment
Thursday, April 9
Listening: The Heart of Presence
“We’re seeing it all the time when of course political things and things in the environment change, and sometimes they change very very quickly, we can waste valuable time wishing they weren’t happening. For those of us who think about improvising and are able to engage in it regularly, we know that saying yes to what’s happening around us is, you know, the significant key in really listening.”
Tapping into Your Creative Genius Through the Transformative Power of Music Improvisation
“I’ve always been a ‘yes and’ person.. it came easier for me and when I stand in front of a group of corporate engineers that somebody thought it would be a great idea to do a drum circle and movement, they weren’t in it! like WHAT?!? A$&(#*??? I have to remember that what’s comfortable to me is likely not comfortable at all to them and I’m asking them to do something that’s very brave and very scary.”
Why Music? Making Music as the Architecture of Quantum Listening
Awakening to the Holy Now:
Harnessing the Power of Improvisation to Cultivate Trust, Flow, and Presence in Your Life (and Your Music)
Friday, April 10
How to Wire Your Brain for Amplification
Maureen McCarthy - Maureen is one of the most amazing people I've ever known, not only because of her brilliance, creativity and love of life, but also because of the fact that her body is wracked with high levels of pain on an ongoing basis, she's had a migraine at a pretty high level for 25 years going, she has 10% of her lung capacity and was given 3 years to live 25 years ago. But you would never detect any of this from talking to her other than her oxygen support.
She has taken her situation and been stunningly creative with it, developing innovative ways to explore and redesign our relationships with ourselves and others. Her more recent work entails doing a deep dive into our minds to redesign our approaches to situations and experiences, and find new ways to celebrate every moment, even as we don't know how many we have left.
9 Principles To Support People With Presence
(This is take 3 on this paragraph...) I'm inclined to go on and on here... What it boils down to is... WATCH THIS VIDEO. It'll give you a sense of the high level of integration Jerry has developed to facilitate effective and enduring personal transformation. It involves deep listening and high levels of presence and it is this type of consciousness and engagement that effective improvisers also practice.
Developing such high levels of compassionate awareness for various aspects of ourselves gives us tools and emotional grounding for navigating challenging relationships with others as well.
"Stepping back and seeing that we're all just trying to do what we want and hold true to our values helps me calm down from trying to change them, keeps me connected to their humanity and I don't have to demonize them to put forth my different strategy. You know I can speak to them on a strategy level in a calm way without demonizing."
Music for Resilience: Using music to move forward powerfully on goals
Pamela is a trained musician who, several years ago, listened to and acted on the call of her deeper yearnings. She left her career playing the harp and became a successful business coach helping others step into their power and pursue their dreams. She uses her musicality in her coaching seminars and events, and has a lot to say about the mood-altering substance of music as a useful and enjoyable tool to have in business and in life.
"There was also a discovery of musical patterns that delighted me. I remember the first time I did a certain pattern that's called a deceptive cadence, where you go to the 6 chord instead of a 1 chord as, it's like 'this is the most magical thing ever!'and of course you know it's very common, but to me there was this incredible discovery and that sort of parallels, I think, the discovery, the aha's that we have when we learn new things about ourselves or our world or our businesses, or how to effect our goals."
Music has always been the marker for every aspect of the lives of black Americans. When we don't have anything left to hold on to we hold on to the music in our Bodies.
Hum rocking to the internal songs in our head dancing singing.
It is our Resilience, our hope.
Alice Dixon - Alice has done a lot of deep listening. It has brought her to a place of deep compassion and also a powerful understanding of the struggles of people and the road that must be taken to stitch ourselves back together again as a family of human beings.
"It's the value of respect for another human being and helping another person find their humanity and empathy for other people... Everybody wants to be heard. and everybody has the right to be heard. because everybody has something to say about what they're feeling on the inside cause everybody's built differently."
Dr Toni Galardi
How to use LifeQuakes to Discover Your Soul Purpose and Dance to Your Own Rhythm
Dr. Toni Galardi - Toni has engaged with many of the leading lights of the human potential movement for decades. Her background as a psychotherapist and her study of astrology and sacred geometry, and three car accidents (that jolted her awake) led to her laying out her "Lifequake" framework. In it, she presents a process for how to navigate the shaky ground of change with a better sense of our natural place in the scheme of things.
"You said two words, "the unknown." To take that down to a very practical level, what that means is right here, right now, wherever you are in your life, whether it's that you're dealing with just your own personal dramas or global upheavals, it is about how can I be in relationship inside my own body with the unknown. And that's the practice is to go inside the body and find where the fear of the unknown is, because that is at the very core of the fear of change is the fear of the unknown."
Saturday, April 11
BRIDGING DIVIDES - using music to heal divisions in ourselves, our families, our communities and the world.
Billy has taken his natural creativity and deepened it so that he gets the most out of the ideas he generates. His approach captures his own genius along with that of anyone he’s collaborating with, and the consciousness he brings to it is a beautiful example of how extraordinary creativity is within all our reach.
“I’m Jewish and in the Jewish tradition there’s a prayer called the Sh’ma. Sh’ma, which means listen. In it’s deeper meaning it means “pay attention.” so you get to this point in the service and you all come in and you hear these prayers and you get to this one point where “shhh” you’re coming in and you say “time for the Sh’ma, Sh’ma, Listen up, all you people wrestling with this life, it is what it is, and everything’s connected.”
Tickle the epic
Mairi’s music and performances are steeped in ancient Celtic wisdom of Scotland, and she incorporates that tradition with her own visionary flair to create mesmerizing experiences for her listeners. This conversation takes you into Mairi’s thought processes around music, creativity and paths through old patterns that no longer serve.
“Sometimes if you just go into your internal system you can get looped in to your own patterns and reemphasize your emotional patterns, and I mean that’s a really interesting area, like our emotional body and what’s going on, the patterns that we find hard to break out of. It does show up very clearly in music, doesn’t it? And sometimes it’s by looking at another body that I’ll suddenly find there’s notes to be played that I wouldn’t normally be playing, but I want to do these ones. and so yeah, how do we break the patterns that we’re used to living in?”
Play Beautiful Music throughout Your Life!
Mark was a successful businessman, but he was troubled by his increasingly unhappy soul. He heard messages from various directions, including from those who cared about him the most.
But even when he wanted to listen, it was difficult to overcome his resistance to the unknown expansion he was being called to.
When he finally said yes to the calling to be more of who he really is, things opened up.
“So, in essence, I started using music as this tool to be able to get the energy work that I do out into the world.
...and the beauty of it is that it bypasses that whole left brain critical thinking ego mind stuff that’s the cause of all our troubles in the world today and it allows the ability to create the space for change and transformation without even getting that aspect involved and it allows us to be able to optimize our energy, and we are energetic beings.”
The Balance Between Skill and Flow
Wah has been creating, recording, touring and teaching for many years and she brings her perspective borne of those experiences to this interview. She talks about the power of music to touch people, and about the essential feature of music being the way it conveys feeling and emotion, musician to listener.
“music is a medicine, it just communicates a certain feeling… for me, improvisation is accessing the feeling of that particular song and then going deeper within that feeling and that’s how you know what to play rather than which notes and what key are we in and which chord are we going to, it’s like how can I go deeper into that feeling and express that feeling, how can we flesh that out?”
Sunday, April 12
Let Your Creative Voice Discover You
Jim Navé has been teaching people about creativity for an entire career. He co-created Artists’ Way Creativity Camps with Julia Cameron from 1995-2003, and I can tell you, his creativity workshops are a blast! I’ve also known him as the coordinator of the poetry slam at the Lake Eden Arts Festival in Black Mountain NC and as a good friend who has supported and guided me along my own creative journey over the past 20 years.
“You can’t make something without really screwing up all along the way because the mistakes are essential for the construction of the project and only after years of practice do you learn how to appreciate your mistakes.”
My Life Flows On In Endless Song: Gratitude, Abundance and Synchronicity
Gary Phillips is so much more than just a poet, preacher, political activist, former Chatham County Commissioner, longtime land-loving real estate agent (and best man at my wedding!). Gary and I, along with Carrie Bolton (also a summit speaker) were part of the Chatham Political Reform Group, a multi-racial group of 12-14 which met monthly throughout the 1990’s. Gary’s wisdom, courage and kindness springing from his deep roots in land and family come through clearly in this interview where we explore authenticity, improvisation and making a positive difference.
“My best self knows that in that moment I need to slow down. Right? So part of what this process has taught me and other poets and other writers, too, is that this is a process where you get to actually listen to your words, not just throw them out onto the universe. And that’s a very, very different process. It’s a deeper process for everybody.”
Why we must always have a song
Rev. Carrie Bolton was a powerful, inspiring and well-loved member of the Chatham Political Reform Group in the 1990s.
Through the churches she has pastored and the political speeches she has made in the streets and in halls of power, she has motivated many a citizen activist and silenced many who tried to oppose her.
Carrie was an inspiring influence for Dr. William Barber when he was in school and is still a friend. And John McCain once expressed his reticence at having to follow one of her speeches at a rally on campaign finance reform.
In this interview, Carrie connects dots, people and power, and her words on the power of music for bringing people together and helping her heal from a stroke are worth pondering.
“Music, music, music is the thing… and Johnny Price who was my musician at the time… he had a way that he could just chime in to wherever I was in terms of my sermons and delivery. He would play the music and he chimed in in a way that made me do what I wouldn’t do, it was really something.”
"Yes, and...": How to orient yourself amidst the unexpected
Hannah Fox has an especially unusual history and an especially unusual gig. Her parents created Playback Theatre, which is a potent theatrical form that takes input and stories from audience members and “plays it back” then and there.
Having been in the Asheville Playback Theatre company for over 10 years, I have a deep appreciation for the beauty and transformative capacity of this art form that marries improvisation with honoring deeply the stories shared by audience members.
Hannah teaches this form, which is not only fun and engaging, but also brings deep healing to participants and observers, to individuals and communities.
“…trusting one’s intuition as you step out into that unknown space which is improvisation because we all can tap into infinite wisdom, it’s right there, and as long as we can get out of our own way, there’s that self-consciousness thing that we need to wrestle with and let go of…”
This is a unique collection of talks from some of today’s most cutting-edge thought leaders in the area of sound, sound healing, and the use of sound improvisation for navigating the unknown.
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Copyright 2020 - Daniel Barber, I Am Sound, LLC