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chronicle # 4: August 26, 2010

The Artist's Ear

We were sitting in the valley, eyes closed, listening. A 360 degree symphony swirled around us: cicada rattles, bursting quail flocks, and the wind moving through the branches. The flat boulder we were sitting upon showed rubbed areas that had been used for grinding.

Mystic Archeologists "see" much more then grinding stones, much more then depressions and holes created by mashing acorns and berries with stone pestle and stone mortar. They "see" that the ritual of hammering and stirring would naturally produce a textured Soundscape. The human ear is genetically drawn to an organized patterning of rhythm. A group of people intent on continuing their food preparation, would eventually construct an organized beat, develop a sound composition, that in turn would become a remembered pattern, a ritual as important for communal unity as the beat of their own human hearts.

Long ago these shamanic musicians were arranged in this concentric circle, facing one another, creating a vortex of sound, directed toward the center from their six positions on the outer ring. Someone in need of healing or ready for apprenticeship into astral travel, would lie down in the center, and be projected into deep Dreaming, following the beating cadence as a Sound Guide. The Six Players used long yucca branches or stone hammers to activate the echo cavities into a vibrating bed of sound .

Wind began to build in the surrounding desert, alerting sage and creosote tree, building quickly into a large Dust Devil, throwing stick and stone across the chaparral... a storm of Sound Magic.

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