Sound’s story. 6) Life forms, Harmonics & Ecological vulnerability

I don’t know if I consider sound to be primordial, that feels somehow unbalanced to me, not enough of the story. I do see it as creating form and structure and also meaning, but it cannot do it alone. I feel that sound could not exist without matter, just as it seems that matter would likely not exist without sound or vibration. Which came first? As I see it, with regards to sound and matter, it is more useful to acknowledge that they somehow came together, each describing, releasing, informing, the other. There is no need for hierarchy or for even complete understanding, but I feel there is a need for some kind of relationship to ourselves as being somehow embedded and resultant of an organizing field of vibration.

As a trained Reiki Practitioner (the emphasis in this system of Practice is on moving energy through the endocrine system, with a view to facilitating the release of toxins in the body), I became very aware of the fact that we have an electromagnetic field which we work with when we give healings to clients. As McClellan puts it:

Emerging from the dense physical body and extending about three inches beyond is a web of energy that completely surrounds us…The etheric field is an electro-magnetic vibrational field that shields and energizes the dense physical body and integrates it with the Earth’s energy fields. It fluctuates continually in response to vibrational waves with which it comes into contact. (p.43)

The exploration into and mapping out of this realm of the electromagnetic, as it relates to humans, was carried out by “Professor Harold Saxon Burr, a neuro-anatomist, and for 43 years a faculty member of the Yale University School of Medicine”.(p.43)

We are modeled on the earth. When I read about the electromagnetic field that protects the earth from radiation, that emanates through space, and influences all of our communication systems, I am utterly captivated. I am the result of music and the result of physics. If the universe hadn’t given birth to itself and all its own laws of being, I couldn’t have been born. There are other elements here that I haven’t even gone into yet, about how the planets orbit that makes me fall in love with it all over again. In Nadha Brahma, Berendt speaks to this miracle of symmetry:

Kepler was the first to suppose that the orbits of the planets were elliptical. Only in this way did it become apparent how precise the harmonical structure of our solar system is. According to Kepler, God was master of the cosmic sounds, causing the planets to leave their initially inherent circular orbits and to adopt the conspicuously complicated elliptical orbit in order to produce even more beautiful sounds. The fact that the planets move in elliptical orbits is indeed remarkable but even more remarkable is the fact that from an unlimited wealth of possible orbits they have chosen precisely those which oscillate and sound in the proportions of undivided numbers [harmonic ladder] prevalent in our “earthbound” music…The overtone scale that is produced when a valveless horn in C is blown or when one listens to the flageolet tones of a viola’s C-string corresponds to certain properties in the planetary orbits. (NB p.60)

I mentioned earlier on in this paper that I felt that Whales were ‘up to something’. I’d like to try and expand on that. I have noticed that all creatures create sound, to varying degrees and at varying pitches, through various mediums. This activity seems to create a vivid web of sound, some heard by us (which qualifies as sound in the human realm), some felt and some perhaps simply intuited. At some level though, sound is being experienced by all creatures at wavelengths that I cannot even speak to. I do not let that limit me in my thinking. Twice I have seen dolphins moving up the Californian coastline as if on some kind of mission. Strange as that may sound, my imagination and my felt experience was that they were doing something with sound. Some kind of sonic sweeping. There was thinking going on, a certain deep concentration that was absolutely palpable – indeed it stopped me in my tracks from trying to go out and play with them, as they were obviously busy. I should qualify this by saying that I do not see imaginary people (unless you are one of them) and do not hear strange voices in my head. In other words, I believe I am relatively down to earth, and yet I have noticed things that would not necessarily qualify as such to even my own preferred logic. Such are the challenges of treading in new territory.

Earlier on, I brought up the subject of noise pollution. I wish to refer back to that as it was not a subject introduced casually. Given that we have seen through the work of Chladni and Jenny that sound creates form, and knowing how little we are able to expound on that subject at this time, I am aware of a concern I have that has everything to do with the fact that we are a multi-sonic, harmonic universe based on a ‘solid’ structure that repeats out into the universe. For instance, chemistry, rainbows, the human body, earth nutrients; these things refer to, and are absolutely based on, a repetition of harmonic structure, cross-platform. Kepler, as was mentioned earlier saw harmonic structure in the planets.

McClellan referred to it in the human body, in all our organs, and even our atoms. What if, not only with noise pollution, but with all the mass extinctions that are going on, we are ridding ourselves of the innate structure that this planet, this cosmos needs in order to not only sustain itself, but to hold its actual form? We’re not just talking about beauty here, we’re talking about life. I believe there is a unity in sound and in vibration. I believe that unity is characterized by the various frequencies that each living component brings into existence with its own. I believe that as we destroy life, we destroy more than our resources, we could possibly be destroying the capacity to grow them again, from an etheric and vibrational point of view.

There is such a thing as Kirlian photography which has the ability to take electromagnetic photographs of phantom leaves, of auras around living organisms. As far as I know, the etheric body doesn’t last all that long. If we destroy life too quickly, it will not be able to grow back and I don’t know how far back (into dimensions) we’d have to reach in order to touch upon that which created it all in the first place…would it be sound? Would it be something beyond the etheric?

Noise pollution is affecting us. It is affecting our health and well-being, both physically, mentally, and emotionally. We are being cut off from natural sounds. These sounds, whether we can hear them or not, are essential for our well-being. They nurture us in ways that we need to know about, apparently, in order to pay attention and stop. Sound has the capacity to heal. It also has the capacity to damage (for example, Navy Sonar, which blasts sounds at approximately 245/250db in the ocean, which houses creatures that generally don’t expect to hear beyond 150db).

I am aware of the probable cry of bio-technology that it doesn’t matter if we destroy the trees or our natural food resources, as we can genetically modify all of it… right? However, I feel fairly certain, that to try and recreate nature artificially and expect to get the same exponential quality of life, both known and unknown – i.e. the source of life that is inherent in our harmonically based system – is rather like the idea that we can enjoy the same level of nourishment from a keyboard as we can from a concert piano, or any acoustic piano. Although manufacturers can mathematically impose harmonics into the system of a keyboard, the result is not the same. I do not feel moved when I sit near a synthesizer, whether I am playing it or someone else is. I do, however, resonate with a piano – especially emotionally – even if just one note is being played. The music that it is playing is alive within itself, not merely simulated. The keyword there is resonance. This resonance has a value that is above aesthetics, it is a need beyond a reasonable doubt. Whilst resonance actually plays the strings, the synthetic merely describes it.

Part 7 is coming!


  • Kaku, Michio (1995). Beyond Einstein. New York: Doubleday Press.
  • Payne, Roger (1995). Among Whales. New York: Charles Scribner’s Books.
  • Jenny, Hans (1974). Cymatics. Germany: Basilius Presse.
  • Schafer, Murray (1994). Soundscape. Vermont: Destiny Books.
  • McClellan, Randall (2000). The Healing Forces of Music. Lincoln, NE: ToExcel.
  • Kruth, P./Stobart, H. (2000). Sound. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Briggs, J./Peat, D. (1989). Turbulent Mirror. New York: Harpers & Row.
  • Storr, A. (1992). Music and the Mind. New York: Ballentine Books.
  • Campbell, D. (1997). The Mozart Effect. New York: Avon Books.
  • Berendt, J-E. (1991). The World is Sound: Nada Brahma. Vermont: Destiny Books.
  • Godwin, J. (1989). Cosmic Music. Vermont: Inner Traditions.


  • Whittle, Mark. (06/01/2004) Primordial Sounds: Big Bang Acoustics. (Press Release for AAS meeting, Denver). University of Virginia. Retrieved June 15, 2004, from:

Web Pages:

*1 Retrieved June 14, 2004, from printed web page;*2 Retrieved June 14 2004 from web site:*3 Retrieved June 14 2004 from printed web page;*4 Visited sonic Bloom, June 22 2004 at web site:

Sonic Bloom:

It is important to look to actual lived experiences in order to gauge the value of ideas. I came across Sonic Bloom a number of years ago and went to their website today, June 22nd, 2004 in order to see how their idea is going. Dan Carlson invented a combination of birdsong recordings, at approximately 5000Hz. Alongside various recordings of classical music that had the most positive effect on the stomata of leaves. When this music is played, he sprays an organic growth enhancer (not a fertilizer, apparently!) on the leaves in conjunction with playing the music. Apparently, this has been having spectacular results. If interested, please visit the site for further details, as I do not wish to take up more of your time here! Some quotes from the web page follow:
To this oasis the birds had been attracted, not by a natural concert of their colleagues; but by a sonic diapason* closely resembling birdsong, which to human ears, incapable of distinguishing its varied harmonics, recalls the chirping of a chorus of outsized crickets.* (diapason: The full range of notes)
This sonic symphony was being emitted from a series of black loudspeaker boxes set atop twenty-foot poles, each resounding over an oval of about forty acres. Its purpose was not so much to attract birds as to increase the size and total yield of a crop of fruit, ‘hung’, as they say in Florida, on trees as if it were a collection of decorative balls at Christmas time.
And some questions were asked about the process:
A: The special sound is made up of harmonic frequencies which stimulate the tiny pores of plant leaves to open. When these pores, called stomata, are open, the plant is able to increase its uptake of Sonic Bloom Balanced Nutrient (an organic fertilizer) by over 700%.
Q: That is a big increase! The sound is obviously very important, but what about the Nutrient?
A: The Nutrient itself is really the important thing. It’s a combination of over 100 trace minerals, amino acids, and naturally occurring growth hormones. The sound is a tool to increase the effect of this organic foliar spray. 45 minutes minimum sound stimulation is necessary before and after the leaves are sprayed.

For further details visit the site:
Last visited 22 June, 2004.
SEITE \*Arabisch 22


copyright © Clare Hedin 2004, all rights reserved