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In the Service of Sound Additional Images and Final Comments from the Chairperson

The first 24 hours of the conference prey much set the tone of where this ambitious program was going to go. First up was Sami Abu Shumays and the Maqam Rast, long ignored in every sound program ever offered in this country, the Maqam is the root of microtonal music and the pentatonic musical scale. You cannot begin to explore the therapeutic effects of music without a knowledge of the Maqam Rast, and the very fact that sound healing conferences don’t touch this subject is a mis-­‐‑justice. Mr. Shumays is Harvard educated, and maintains an academic website on the Maqam Rast on the internet. He presented a workshop that featured a call and response with the students, a valuable first hand experience indeed. Later he picked up his violin and was joined by Rami El Aasser on dumbek, to finish off our first evening of studies. The following morning, Warren Senders, a gifted American vocalist, who lived and studied in India, was joined by Amit Kavthekar on tabla. Amit is on the faculty of the New England School of Music. Warren sang a early morning Khyal and played tambura. Khyal is the devotional song of the Hindustani form of Indian classical music. A very hypnotizing way to start the day, but already, the conference had taken important steps in showcasing the Maqam and Raga right from the start. Next up was Introduction to Sonic Theology, Mitch Nur’s 40 year search of the roots of sound therapy, a powerpoint presentation which showed a philosophical timeline of the history of sound therapy from Lin Yun’s 12 Sounds, through Pythagoras, the 3 Hakims, Constantine the African, the Tutinama Manuscript, and dropped us off right back at Rolling Ridge. Where Rami El Aasser was waiting to take us into the world of Middle Eastern Drumming. This program was held out of doors, under the tall shade trees of Rolling Ridge. After lunch, we began our exploration of sound through voice with Kimberlee Moore, and segued into Vibro Energy Tuning, a recently developed system from Russia that combines Qi Gong, Cosmic Energetic and deep sound mediations. This was the first time that Vibro Energetic Tuning was featured at a sound conference in the USA. And the first full day was capped off with a live concert by Petroglyph. Big Gongs, Big Didj’s and ceremonial sound instruments -­‐‑ quite a 24 hour period!

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