Making of Laguna Volume 1, Arrival with Richard Niles
‘Forgiveness and Permission’ is one of the seven tracks I recorded for the album LAGUNA – Arrival. Each track was approached as a single session with an intention and purpose behind the creative process, not dissimilar to a yoga session.
This song ‘Forgiveness and Permission’ was recorded using a variety of acoustic instruments including a bamboo xylophone, my last remaining guitar from a £100,000 guitar collection which is a custom Taylor Nylon (From the same 2005 issue as the one Yussuf Islam plays on his current musical outings) and a triangle retired from the London Philharmonic, now residing in the percussion box in my studio. Richards high strung 3/4 scale guitar provides a pleasing presence on the song.
The title of the song comes from a saying by Indian mystic Krishna Vardu Ghan who says “In the journey towards knowing yourself it is better to seek forgiveness than to ask permission.”
These recordings took place in my Studio here in Laguna Beach with Richard Niles, a lovely gifted musician and a great teacher with a life story that has inspired many along the way and will quite possibly be the subject of a Hollywood movie.
It has long been my belief that we are all learner souls on a journey in which some have more to learn than others and what better way to help share gratitude than with music. I met Richard for the first time as an old friend least year, (we have 192 mutual friends on facebook) and we soon found the common ground in our interest to make a recording of this type. Music for Wellness and Meditation.
Our approach to the composition was to limit the audio recordings to one session using only instruments present in the room at that moment. The compositional challenge is not approached from a conventional academic musical perspective, with musical form and melody following current popular music trends. It is instead our intuitive reaction to the moment and to the sounds we are able to generate from the instruments we place around a microphone in advance of the session. Our intention in this process is to create a sound that engages frequencies and cyclical elements that stimulate Alpha Wave brain activity in a manner inclined towards boosting relaxation and encouraging positive-thought vibration from the subconscious.
This type of music is sometimes referred to as ‘channeled‘ music because the source is inspirational. Not simply a formulaic recycling of an ingrained learning experience.
The production values are high as you would expect given Richards background working at the highest level over a forty year professional career with artists like Ray Charles, Paul McCartney and Pat Metheny as well as my own modest achievements working and recording with some of the worlds greatest musicians.
Most importantly, these sessions do not happen in the conventionally motivated professional manner which starts with a booking and leads to a recording made primarily for commercial gain. Our musical offering here is made with one intention in mind. An uplifting Zen experience for the listener.
We love making this assembly of sounds for the purpose of enabling a sonic atmosphere in which the listener can find a meditative place from which to dip a toe in the pool of wellness.
This is Richard’s first experience of this musical style and I hope we will soon start on our second. For me it is a seventh album of Wellness Music and if I am to reflect on the previous six in terms of their success, it has been in the many letters and messages I have had from people sharing with me their experience of wellness arising from listening to this music.
Here is the YouTube Channel
You can order LAGUNA here. Over one hour of music for Wellness and Meditation.
In fact, if you put this album on your iTunes and spend an hour walking in a quiet place, like a beach or a forest, listening to this as your soundtrack, I cannot imagine any scenario in which you will not feel markedly better for the experience.