Words by the ever erudite Adam Turner.
Richard Norris’ ambient and deep listening Music For Healing series began – and continues – as music specifically composed in response to stress and as a way to improve the listener’s life. It can be put on as background music too, as all ambient can, but the use of music as a therapeutic is a central part of it. Nina Walsh, the former partner of Andrew Weatherall and conspirator from his Boys Own and Sabres Of Paradise days, through to the more recent Woodleigh Research Facility, has been moving in a similar direction, and has just released a longform, forty-minute piece called Music To Fall Asleep To – Delta Waves.
This is music for insomniacs, music designed to induce deep sleep and hypnosis. There’s science behind it – the use of two concurrent but slightly differing frequencies to lull the mind into the titular delta waves, as the brain interprets the oscillations and links the conscious and subconscious. Music To Fall Asleep To was started several years ago and has been worked on at the various “Facilities” Nina and Andrew created for their music making purposes, recently being completed at the new Facility 5, out in the West Country.
Nina’s synths and oscillators set up the drones, everything flowing, fluid and calming. There is cello from Audrey Riley and viola from Franck Alba, added as layers, fading in and out, as if in a mist that falls and clears. There are shimmering soundwaves, echoes and static, science fiction emissions, and sonics that could have come from when TV stations used to shutdown late at night and you’d nod off, only to wake up with white noise buzzing from the box in the corner, the screen a blur of fuzz and snow. When the voices drift in – those of Nina and Anita Hurst – it’s magical, a gentle evocation, behind the dripping, rippling noises and long keening sounds. At forty minutes this is a relatively long journey to be undertaken, but one that’s well worth your time, as it washes over and surrounds you.
Nina Walsh`s Music To Fall Asleep To – Delta Waves is can be purchased directly from Bandcamp.
More fine words from Adam Turner can be found over at The Bagging Area.