I got my first crystal singing bowls yesterday. In addition to playing with them, and programming them with healing intentions for the highest good, I had to more thoroughly (and qualitatively) explore an interesting phenomenon I was hearing. They are tuned to ca. D (11″) and F# (8″). When played together, I heard a distinct and quite loud low E subtone. This is odd, since F# is part of the harmonic spectrum of the D bowl, and so I would think that any subtone I would be hearing would be a D of some sort. So, I recorded them, and did a spectral analysis of their sound together. And guess what? They are not producing that low E tone. A frequency of 82 Hz (E) simply is not present in the spectrum of the recorded sound. What does this mean? Well, since the sound is not present in the physical vibration of the bowls, it means that it is a psychoacoustic phenomenon (i.e. supplied by the mind as a difference tone).
I want to explore this more, but what is interesting to me is that after reading Rudolf Steiner mention that the interval of Atlantis (something that i’ve been spending a lot of time on lately and trying to compose), was the 7th. Not sure where he got this (something I also want to explore), but it is worth noting that the interval between the 82 Hz E phantom subtone, and the fundamental of the 11″ bowl in D, is a 7th (plus one octave).
Incidentally, this phenomenon of psychoacoustic tones is not new. The D string on the violin, for example, is like this too. It simply does not vibrate at the note we are hearing (i.e. that frequency is not present physically in the spectrum of the sound) because of the oddities of the string length and density, etc. It is our mind that is summing the harmonic spectrum (“adding together” the upper partials), and providing the D. Some things, after all is said and done…are only in our heads.
Two years ago, after returning from Rome, I signed on the bottom line and became the caretaker of this land. I found her online while in Rome. The realtor replied to my initial inquiry on the Spring Equinox of 2011-and that was a good indicator of how things would fall into place for me to move here. I visited every week in Sept that year, to walk the property, and on November 8th, I took the plunge. I got to know her first in the winter, and will always have a fondness for that season here. The woods are so lonesome-perfect company for an introverted recluse. I am a kid again, playing in the woods in Ohio, where I lived from age 7-13. It is as if everything I ever did on this 50 year journey leading here counts: music, carpentry, counseling, teaching, mountain climbing, amateur botany, hard work, hard play, and the list goes on. I have felt at home here since the first time I walked the land, and I am grateful she has accepted me.
My friend Tracy captured my feelings about being here really well…and that smile keeps growing!
So, in the lee of having to cut down living trees to extract my tractor…yesterday, I planted 8 hedge balls (Osage Orange) in the Harmony Medicine Wheel. My friend Christopher Spiritheart gave me the idea of using Osage Orange for building open air lodges, and even planting them intentionally to cultivate a growing lodge. They grow in such natural curvaceous half circles, so are perfectly suited for such a thing. I’ve been thinking of planting some living fences with the gnarly rose bushes that grow here (careful not to get caught…it can be as hard to get extracted as a tractor wedged around a tree…), and this idea fits right in! So, I planted these hedge balls, given from a tree that faces my upper “Medicine Bow” (a new ceremonial space i’m working on up on the open prairie…but more on that later), amongst the circle of living trees that already mark the current Medicine Wheel. This lodge will come to fruition in a few generations, and is intended to be around for at least 7. Someone else will have to see it to fruition. I plan to live 177, but that still won’t see this to its full blossoming around the open air Sipapu that’s already there. It’s time for making more of these 7 Generation decisions, and I’m all in.
The forest is very forgiving. She knows that I am learning, and sometimes make mistakes. Yesterday, I wrapped my tractor around a tree. With the mud…and trying to get out of a jam, I got the tractor in a position, against a beautiful 18′ sycamore tree, and I literally couldn’t budge an inch forward or backwards. So…I had to cut three trees down to get Johnny out. I blessed the trees, thanked them for all they have brought to the forest, and assured them that the ending of their lives was not in vain. They will heat my house next winter and keep me, and all those who come here warm. Their upper branches will go back to the beginning of the circle of life, and give to the young trees that are just making their starts. So, the circle of life continues here as every day, something lives on Harmony Farm, and something dies. And forest begins to go to sleep for winter.
I our giving to each other, the Forest and I are learning to live together in peace and harmony, even when things do not go as planned.