‘Voice Of Life’ Invites Listeners to Add Their Voices to the Music to Promote Healing
Healing music is hardly new. Type “healing music” into the iTunes search engine and it generates pages of icons of miniaturized album covers representing everything from birdcalls to Gregorian chants. However, rarely are healing albums produced for listener participation—until now.
On December 11, music producers David Ari Leon and Peter Wolff will unveil “Voice of Life,” a compilation of 10 melodic and rhythmic tracks designed for people interested in exploring the healing properties of their own voice.
According to Leon, “Voice of Life,” represents a unique category of music. “The design of the album, by definition, is a new way to think about music for our culture,” Leon said. “It’s not New Age music, but it’s no-age music. It’s what music is meant for—interaction.”
It just so happens that using one’s own voice can also be healing. According to Wolff, who came to the project after spending eight months studying Indian Classical music in Varanasi, there’s a huge difference between listening to an album and participating in it. “When we sing, we’re creating a vibration that resonates throughout the entire body to increase coherence, enhance energy flow and free blockages,” said Wolff, adding that such full-bodied participation is what makes us feel whole.
Leon, who is known for the soundscapes behind many popular films, video games, albums and TV shows, couldn’t agree more. “Music is not a spectator sport,” he said. “We are made to participate. It’s part of what it means to be human, and science is moving in the direction of making this clearer everyday.”
In fact, healing is what lies behind Leon and Wolff’s decision to create the album four years ago. According to Leon, despite the fact that he was already working in Hollywood as a successful composer, a personal tragedy catalyzed a sudden passion for the healing power of music. “It really felt like a calling,” Leon said. “I had this vision for creating an album combining sacred Eastern music with a Western aesthetic for the purpose of soothing our over-stimulated culture.”
This call for inner connection and culture soothing has come in the form of 10 exquisitely produced tracks, created with the help of such acclaimed artists and vocalists as Lisbeth Scott whose voice is known throughout the world for her ethereal vocals featured in 20th Century Fox’s “Avatar.”
Other artists featured on the album include Suzanne Sterling, Donna De Lory, Dave Stringer, Ben Leinbach, Gina Sala, Troy Lush, Kataka Gara, Roxanne Morganstern, Mattia De Luca, Prajna Vieira and Vernon Bush. Sterling was attracted to the healing aspect of the project. Said Sterling, “My goal is to give people empirical evidence of the power of sound.”
While, from a scientific perspective, the jury is still out as to whether or not “Voice of Life” can serve as an instrument of healing, both Leon and Wolff are committed to finding out. Wolff, who is currently pursuing a master’s degree in integrative health at the California Institute of Integral Studies, said, “Research into mind-body medicine, including meditation, yoga, and conscious breathing, shows reduced negative effects of chronic stress, mood improvement and enhanced immune function. These studies lay the foundation for measuring the health effects of vocalizing with music.”
Leon and Wolff hope that “Voice of Life” will be incorporated into mainstream medicine. In practice, this would involve “prescribing” the album to patients who could benefit from its healing tones. An informal study conducted by physician Chris Marasco, M.D., showed that both patients who solely listened to the album and those who used the album as a backdrop to their own vocals benefited from it. “I found that when providing ‘Voice of Life’ music to patients, positive feedback included lower blood pressure levels as well as regulated breathing,” Dr. Marasco said.
Upon listening to the album for the first time, one patient reported automatically beginning to sway to the music and feeling the vibration throughout her body as soon as she added an ‘ah’ sound. According to the patient, adding her voice made the experience even better. “I actually began to cry! My mom passed away a year ago and the emotions just starting flowing and it felt so good.”