This recording is the result of a quest to find meditation music that gently helps the listener to easily and naturally, achieve a deep state of meditation. There are numerous CD’s that will in various ways, guide one into that deep experience. While they all manage to deliver results, a large percentage of them have a subtle flaw in that they often jolt one out of the meditative state due to sudden changes in volume or sound. This can be quite frustrating for someone attempting to remain in that state without interruption for thirty minutes to an hour. The goal of meditation is to quiet the mind and let consciousness expand outwardly or introspectively. In this chaotic world, it is often difficult to attain that level on a regular basis. Once there, it is a very tentative state that can very easily be truncated by even the tiniest of distractions. It is with this in mind that I have created this recording.
The guiding principle behind this recording is that consciousness can be compared to the white light that shines through the film in a movie projector, or the light shining through a stained glass window. In both instances, the light is that which allows us to perceive the images on the screen, or the colors in the window. In the same way, consciousness is the faculty that allows us to perceive our selves and the world around us. The continuous sounds on this recording can be regarded as the pure white light of consciousness that shines through all things, omnipresent and eternal. We as individual beings, are the windows through which divine consciousness shines and experiences creation.
The title, “Continuum: Steady State Meditation”, means exactly what its name implies. It is a steady, continuous flow of sound on which the mind can rest and drift into that wonderful state of bliss that is deep meditation. This time honored practice is centered on one very important skill, quieting the mind. One of the most effective ways of accomplishing this is to give your mind something very simple on which to focus attention. The most common of these approaches is to sit comfortably, close your eyes, and simply watch your breath. Another is to listen to the ambient sound of water in a stream or gentle surf. Some people like to stare at a candle flame or other simple object. And of course, listening to soft music has also been an excellent method for many people. The idea is that as your mind gently focuses attention in such a way, all the noise, tension, cares and worries of the day, etc., begin to fade into the background and allow one to simply be in the moment. If done regularly, the practice of meditation has a powerful, rejuvenating effect that restores balance and most importantly raises one’s level of consciousness.
There is a specific tuning for these tracks that contribute to the overall effect, specifically called Just Intonation. Just Intonation is not a particular scale, nor is it tied to any particular musical style. It is, rather, a set of principles that can be used to create a virtually infinite variety of intervals, scales, and chords, which are applicable to any style of tonal music. Just Intonation is a method for understanding and navigating through the boundless reaches of the pitch continuum—a method that transcends the musical practices of any particular culture. It has depth and breadth, the most important aspect of which is that intervals and chords take on a pure radiant quality that is hard to describe in words. It relies on the natural harmonics of sound, which propagate through whole numbered ratios and you have to hear it to appreciate its beauty. For this recording, I applied these principles in two areas. In the first track Gateway, it was applied to the scale steps or movement between notes. At first the listener may perceive it as being “out of tune” when in fact, just the opposite is true. For that reason, the long sustained notes allow the ear to adjust to the difference. In the second track Journey, the chords were tuned with Just Intonation while the scale steps were played in the traditional manner.
A few comments about the two tracks are in order. First, both tracks fade in very gradually from nothingness. Try not to adjust the volume until 30 seconds or so after they start. The listener’s preference for playback volume is of course an individual choice. In the case of this recording and its continuous sound, a low volume setting is recommended. Headphones are not required to benefit from the sound. However, since the stereo field is quite expanded and is an integral part of the sound design, the use of headphones is highly recommended to achieve the maximum effect.
Gateway is as its name implies, an entryway into the experience. The first six minutes or so are devoted to a single sound that moves slowly down in pitch. One can think of it as the sonic version of a single candle flame. From there it expands and slowly meanders through a series of pitches and chords, eventually settling down into a low pitch register and fading away.
Journey is tonally more complex, but ultimately retains the continuity of light. It can also be thought of as moving through the spectrum of colors that constitute that white light. In contrast to Gateway, the end of the sequence gradually rises in steps to the upper most pitch register and leaves one feeling almost weightless.
While each track can be used individually, it is recommended that they both be listened to in order. Gateway gradually prepares the listener for the expansiveness of Journey. It is hoped that together they will result in a deep meditation experience for the listener that defies verbal attempts to describe it.
Since 1973, Charlie Balogh has had a long career as a theater organist, performing on the marvelous pipe organs that were installed in the grand movie palaces of the silent film era. He has many successful recordings to his credit and has performed on nearly every major theater pipe organ installation in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, and Australia. In the year 2000, he was voted “Theater Organist of the Year” by the American Theater Organ Society.
During the last ten years he has become involved in electronic music, primarily in the Ambient, New Age genre. Perfect Fifth Productions is an outgrowth of that work and while he has contributed to projects by other musicians, this recording marks his first solo project in this medium.