I grew up on a small farm in the coastal town Salisbury, Massachusetts. One of my earliest memories is of laying on a hammock in the sun on a warm spring or summer day, I was quite young, not exactly sure how old I was. During the summertime we would often have small cessna aircraft that flew over our property regularly towing giant advertisement signs behind them as they traveled past us to fly down to the coast where there were lots of people enjoying their day at the beach to advertise to. I remember listening to the sound of the droning plane engine and how comforting that sound was. I remember traveling into the sound, into a space that was probably the most comforting, familiar space I had ever been in. This is my first conscious memory of achieving an altered state of consciousness through sound and traveling within that state of being.
This has always been a significant memory from my childhood. This simple act of laying on a hammock listening to the sound of a plane engine droning was a major event for me, an event that started me on a path of seeking awakening and transcendental experiences. This seemingly benign event provided some kind of deeper awareness within myself that helped me to remember that I am here to work with sound.
At some point after that experience I started sleeping with the sound of a fan in my bedroom because it reminded me of this extremely comforting experience. I would lay in bed each night before falling asleep, entraining to the sound of that droning fan, sometimes humming along. I would travel inwards into a universe of millions of lights, an internal deep space exploration. I traveled inwards through different galactic formations, and experienced different energetic clouds of light, free from the weight of a body I flew across vast spaces in an instant. It was always a very blissful experience.
This wasn't something that was weird to me, it wasn't something that scared me, or something profound, or mind blowing, this was just something I did every night...not necessarily mundane, I remember looking forward to it, but commonplace. I never talked about this with anyone, in the same way I never talked about the fact that I brushed my teeth before bed, or stretched my body when first waking up, it was just something that I did.
Sound has always worked as a mode of transport for me which is probably why I was called to make sounds of my own from a young age, starting with anything that I could get my hands on, or with just my voice. Eventually I moved up to learning different instruments as I got older and convinced my parents to indulge me. I never spent a lot of time learning songs, I was always more interested creating my own sounds.
This is how I ended up with career of making sounds in one way or another for the past 20 years, at first getting roped into the traditional 'acceptable' ways of making sounds. I worked on songs, getting radio airplay, and worked my way up to becoming Universal recording artist, releasing many albums with multiple projects, and become fairly successful at all of this. I was living out the version of being a successful musician that had been sociologically ingrained into my psyche, this was the accepted format for being a successful musician...writing hit songs, endless touring, living the lifestyle that accompanied that. Ultimately it was never completely fulfilling, although it certainly was an adventure and a source of major confidence building.
Now in this present day it seems I've moved away from writing songs. I've moved back into my first and most important musical inspiration, sound as a mode of transport. I am currently recording music that is ethereal and without words and I am currently facilitating Sound Healing Journeywork where I work with guiding groups of people, and sometimes individuals, through an energetic and sonic exploration of shifting consciousness...a means of re-connection through sound.
(There is a story of a pivotal moment when I was gently nudged to make that shift away from working with music thinking in terms of songs, and started moving towards working with music as a modality of healing and transport, but that is a story for another day.)
The act of using sound as a mode of achieving altered states of consciousness and conscious transport is probably older than humanity itself. There is something familiar about entraining to the sound of a drone, as though it reminds us on some deeper level of forgotten parts of ourselves that are timeless and infinite, and reminds us of where we come from before we come into this physical reality, before we come here and are assimilated into whatever cultural beliefs we are born into and take on as our truths and our way of living...while forgetting the truth of our infinite nature.
Working with the sound of musical drones is something that I am doing a lot these days in my Sound Healing Journeywork workshops. In music, a drone is an extended harmonic or monophonic accompaniment where a note (or a chord) is continuously sounded throughout a piece of music. Crystal singing bowls function quite perfectly as drones when they are played in a way that allows their tones to ring out continuously, which is why I believe so many people love the sound of singing bowls and love the experience of a meditation accompanied by them. This type of sound and it's effects on us are familiar, it itches at that hidden part of ourselves, the deepest essence of who we truly are, the part of us left hidden behind the veil as we've entered into this 'physical reality' hologram.
There are many mysteries to this state of being that we find ourselves in. I've been asked to share my stories, because we all have our own stories. We all have experiences that don't quite fit in with what we've been taught a conscious mind and a physical existence should look and feel like. We need to open up to each other. This is important. We need to realize that our similarities are much, much greater in numbers and significance than our differences. I've been asked to share this work with sound. This way of opening consciousness and pushing back our internal boundaries is important to our planetary awakening at this time. I will take this around the world if I can. I will bring this to as many people as I can.. So yes, I am currently acting on this expanding quite a bit.
This is a time of great awakening on this planet. This world is changing...we are changing as well, as we are intimately connected with this world. It's time to awaken from our past programming, from our dreams of separation, from our limiting belief systems. It's time for us to become something greater. I'm doing my best to help with that. Hopefully that will call many others into my life that are doing their best at this work as well...in many different forms, not just sound work. Hopefully together we will inspire others to start on this path of awakening as well. Together we can change this world.
I've been asked repeatedly about making an album of just the singing bowls that I use in my workshops. I've been working on such an album recently. I'm happy to say that this album is almost finished and will be arriving shortly. If you would like to pre-order a copy of this album, or to pick up one of my previous pieces of music you can do so here. Every bit of support I receive on this journey helps immensely and brings me great gratitude. Thank you.
released June 10, 2017
All music recorded & performed by Ben Carroll
Photography by Jeannine Burgess
Graphic design by Ben Carroll