Sunday 25 July 1999
The noise problem is inflationary. As one bar turns up its volume, the people talk louder, the noise gets louder and the bar next door has to be even louder. But what effect is all this hubbub having on our sacred aura? Our inner silence, the knowing beat of the primordial drum that one relies on to maintain an equilibrium? You know the one. No? Then you're a noise victim.
While we are busy moaning about personal stereos and pneumatic drills, the much derided tie-dye world of complementary therapy is actually doing something about it. It's called sound healing. Sarida Brown, editor of the healing journal Caduceus says: "The task is to evolve ourselves as instruments, to tune ourselves, finely. In Hindu and Sufi cosmologies, the universe is created out of sounds." Illness is about rebalancing energy and music is just the thing.
Ancient Greeks believed that blowing the right note could cure disease. Peter Culshaw, writing in Caduceus says "Part of the West's amnesia about the magical power of music is the vast amount of noise modern man is confronted with - an inevitable desensitivity takes place."
He does not make sound therapy sound all that tempting. "The Dagar brothers are dynastic master musicians who have for at least 14 generations been refining this style [songs to the divine and beauty of nature]. The concert began with at least an hour of singing what seemed to be one note over a tampura drone. Eventually it seemed the entire audience was enchanted." (Is he sure they weren't asleep?)
This produces apparently, a sensation of huge energy and bliss which should last for days, transcending petty everyday concerns. The reason this works, and half an ear on Radio 1 doesn't, is down to personal involvement. Sound therapy should be about connecting, concentrating and exploring your inner self - good and bad - through the sound. You need time and repetition. That's why Gregorian chants and Bach might do the trick but the three-minute pop song won't. Maybe I should try harder with the busker. He's been playing "Stairway to Heaven" for at least half an hour.
1. Don't turn on the TV or radio as soon as you get home. Really listen, or dance in time to music with your eyes closed your eyes (having removed furniture).
2. Start humming, not a tune you know, just something that appeals. Be a composer, not a fan.
3. Wear earmuffs and carry a stick for knocking unconscious offensive noise makers.
Life & Style blogs
Childcare 'not just a women's issue,' says shadow minister as she sets out her 'dadifesto'
Who is Teresa Fidalgo? Debunking the fake ghost story that's got Instagram spooked
The 10 Best juicers
Grim second life of the 'breastaurant': The oft-loathed sector is booming in the States thanks to Hooters, Twin Peaks and Tilted Kilt
The 10 Best food processors
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 3 Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
- 4 UK weather: 'Coldest night of the year' tonight as freezing temperatures plummet to -10C
- 5 Game of Thrones is most-pirated TV show of 2014
£32000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Manager is required ...
£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...
£25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...