Mystical Studies in Music

Mystical studies in music

by Frank Perry

For some eleven years past I have been developing specifically the art of musical improvisation. This has meant working within a group context exploring collective, free-form, spontaneous musical creativity. However, I feel that here the true potential hasn’t yet been tapped and cannot be until the creative artists can unite in a more one-pointed manner on the inner spiritual planes.

The original involvement with the techniques of improvisation arose from both a technical and a spiritual need: At the age of sixteen I found that I had the ability and the opportunity to develop trance mediumship and for this I collaborated with my father who had done the same, up until seven years previous to this time, for about eleven years previous to that. This created a new need in my music. For I instinctively sought to express the qualities of the experiences gained from communion with these members of the White Brotherhood through my music. It was soon found that this was only possible within solo performances where alone I could function on several planes simultaneously and thus integrate and synthesise the spiritual forces at work along with the form that the material side of the music took. Immediately I was impressed by the tremendous unity between colour and sound that I had witnessed on such occasions. My interest was aroused well and truly. Shortly after this time a spirit ‘helper’ was drawn to me by virtue of the colours which I generated on the inner planes whilst improvising. He was a Shamanistic Tibetan. His clothing and degree of consciousness showed that he was upon earth several thousand years ago before Buddhism came to Tibet. We had been together then in that life. He assisted me greatly in the development of a deeper understanding of my instruments and talent with regard to their potential use in drawing the power of inspiration closer to the earth. We didn’t converse through the language of words. Rather was it that I would improvise and he would help me to clairvoyantly observe what the effects of the sounds were in the mental and astral worlds. At this time also I did a few experiments with a friend who possessed a degree of clairvoyance in order to see how the sounds affected her. The results were most promising and were also in the affirmative. Unfortunately circumstances didn’t permit of extensive studies along these lines and so it was left to the Tibetan and myself to continue what we could of this area.

The “music of thought” and the “living word” have always been of profound significance to me in my path of spiritual unfoldment. The instruction and help which I received from my Tibetan friend was primarily concerned with the effect of sound in connection with Mantra. Yet I had and have read very little about this subject although his teaching was more concerned with vibrations and frequencies in their relation to states of consciousness and to the inner-world Neptunian “music of thought”, rather than in the rhythmic or cyclic repetition of certain sounds. He was more interested in effecting changes in levels of consciousness through a gradual process of combinations of silence and sound; pitch and timbre, and melody and harmony. Although this was obviously not of the Western or orthodox type nor strictly of the East but rather a blend of the two sources.

This was most beneficial to my work and I am deeply indebted to the aid of countless souls not incarnated in physical bodies and those who are for their help and encouragement during my development.

The qualities of the instruments help greatly too regarding frequencies because several have a long sustain lasting up to a minute in some cases. This in parallel to my affinity with the Seventh Ray of Ritual and Ceremonial has lead to an interest in the study of vibration. So that now the improvised musical form, and construction of the equipment utilises astrological, numerological and metaphysical knowledge. Alongside all these is the study of various types of colour correspondences.

An example of how the instruments have been collected is found a few years ago when a Yogi from Tibet contacted me asking if I was interested in receiving a Tibetan meditation cymbal that he had been advised to pass on to me. This happened to be the day before my 25th birthday upon which latter day it arrived. It is one of my most treasured musical pieces and it was made by a master of the Nyingmapa Sect who lived in a cave and handed it on to the Yogi thence to me, or so I was informed. This was in answer to a prayer that something might represent my past lives in Tibet in my musical equipment which up until then had Chinese, Japanese, Burmese and Indian temple percussion pieces thus representing other past connections.

Whilst performing in Cornwall with a group called “Jazz Roots” we had played at a few concerts to raise funds for the East Penrith Arts Centre. It transpired that one of the organisers happened to be an occultist who owned an antique shop. I mentioned my interest I gongs and two weeks later a horizontal Chinese Temple gong appeared weighing about seventy pounds with a wonderful sound. This was the start.

Whilst playing in Edinburgh I visited Silver St. to hunt for more gems. In a violin shop my attention was drawn by the owner to his unusual door bell. In fact a Chinese bell-tree of five bells hung one inside the other. This he kindly offered me for the price which he had paid and I then sought for a suitable replacement for his door!

Whilst talking to a friend it turned out that he knew of a guitarist friend called Peter Bearacroft whose Grandmother had been presented with some Burmese Temple instruments by a visiting Easterner in the early part of this century and these are now on permanent loan to me.

When discussing with a friend my musical direction I mentioned my NEED for some gongs of specific pitch in order to continue my studies and I asked him for a loan. He advised me to order all that I needed and this being done informed me that they were to be my Christmas present from him.#

Whilst working for a friend in the Chelsea Antiquarius I discovered a very rare pair of old Chinese Cymbals used by the monks which are of a fine quality.

One weekend an inner “voice” advised me to visit Portobello Rd as there were some “bells” there. I went and on a crockery stall to the side of my eye I spied what appeared to be wooden bells. They were in fact three Densho bells from a Japanese Temple called Do-Myo and were ranging from 300-400 years old. I also found at this time a Ming Dynasty Chinese Temple bell and some Zen “Resting Bells”. I borrowed some money from a friend and purchased the same. However, there were three Resting Bells two of which I bought. The third cost £100, so I saved for one year and when I returned it was still waiting so I figured we were destined for one another. So much of the kit is grouped in threes.

For some five years now I have been exploring the potential use of my instruments and the improvised musical forms in regard to their uses for meditation, relaxation and healing. The time available for this has been very restricted owing to my duties in the world and the need of financial support so that actual “scientific” studies; statistics etc, has not evolved but rather an intuitive and inner development beyond outer time and space has been the harvest so far.

At present I am still experimenting with various pitches and their relatedness to certain constellations and have been very satisfied with the results so far.

The present musical creations involve the synthesising of the correspondences between pitches and constellations, and with numerals and planets alongside colours and Rays finding expression as the cyclic and vibrational use of certain pitches and frequencies. To this is added the results of my research into the potential use of these percussive instruments with regard to their ability to stimulate visual images within the mind of the listener, and also their affinity with certain chakras, thus raising the consciousness of the listener / participant towards any chosen objective. Each piece usually evolves from a meditational theme or reading particularly along esoteric Christian lines. This is the foundation stone in the work of rebuilding my musical vocabulary; so creating a closer unity between intention and result; also of aligning myself with the origin of inspiration; and through consciously unfolding a more spiritual use of sound and structure, hopefully transcending the world of three dimensions.

The eventual aim is to provide a bridge between the angelic messengers and man through inspirational and spontaneous improvised music attuned to the astrological and so evolutional needs of any one particular point in time and place. At the same time I am also trying to develop my ability to compose certain pieces of music which contain a more general energy and so far I have completed five such pieces, although some are frequently being revised. I have recorded two of these which are now obtainable in cassette “Music for Meditation”.

The titles of my composed pieces of music (1976).

Kei of a Tree

Mountain Angel from Venus

Amethyst Gold and Royal Blue, My Way of Saying Thankyou.

Encircling Peaks.

Mountain Sunrise.

Community – I Am in Your Heart.

Golden Pathway to the Star Peak.

The Heart of the Rose.

Temple of the Silence.

Christ-Mass Bell Tree.

The Land of the Golden Rain.

An Improvised Hymn to my Father.

 

(NB. The current list of titles now runs into around four hundred!)

 

Taken from NEW LIFE Vol. 1 No. 5 (Christmas- 1977)

© Copyright by Frank Perry 1975. All rights reserved. Revised 1977  

 

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Permission@frankperry.co.uk

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