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
Britain's kitchens so filthy that they present a health risk, says new research
Fashion Revolution Day: wear your clothes inside out and ask #whomademyclothes to support worker welfare
The world's first edible garden of cake
KickassTorrents down: new Isle of Man domain taken offline just hours after launch
How to turn off/stop 'seen by' on Facebook: Disable it to make your chats seem less passive aggressive
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
Rupert Murdoch berated Sun journalists for not doing enough to attack Ed Miliband and stop him winning the general election
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
- 1 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 2 How to turn off/stop 'seen by' on Facebook: Disable it to make your chats seem less passive aggressive
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 'We're not heroes, just tourists': Swedish police officers on holiday stop vicious assault on New York subway
- 5 Buckingham Palace guard who attacked passers-by in 'most most violent piece of CCTV footage' police officer had seen walks free
£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...
Voluntary: Cancer Research UK: We’re looking for someone to support our award ...
£70000 - £90000 per annum + bonus + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: H...