FRANK PERRY INTERVIEW
This informal and somewhat hurried interview took place in the staircase of the Royal Horticultural Halls London in-between a performance and a workshop at the Festival of Mind, Body and Spirit during the summer of 1993. It was printed in Cuerpomente magazine in Issue No. 22 February 1994. The interviewee read from the agenda of a prepared list of questions whilst I tried, via my answers, to inject some spontaneity into the exchange! What follows is a version arranged into English of their interpretation from the tape recording and sent to me for my comments prior to publishing.
What was first in your life, music or healing?
What kind of Tibetan apprenticeship did you do?
You mean training? Well, I taught myself. I didn’t train with anybody regarding my musical work.
How and where did you learn Tibetan music?
In previous lifetimes. And that’s true.
How did you discover the healing dimension of music, chanting and sound?
I trained as a spiritual healer in 1970, and then I was already making music, and so then I
would study the effects of my sounds upon the human being – the Personality Triad – with
healing in mind and I studied what books there were available.
Which is the ancient sacred use of chanting and singing?
They used it for meditation and healing and white magic. Healing is to restore harmony,
and that harmony has to do with sound and musical resonance, to alter consciousness.
They also used it to work with the spirit worlds, working with invisible worlds. For instance, in Tibet the sound… (Frank produces the vocal sound)… called Mahakala. This is a deity in Tibetan Buddhism, it is not just a sound or noise; it is the sound of Mahakala Himself!
But on a piano, for example, you may say “give me a middle C”, but this is just a name for a note in a sequence or a number of cycles per second which is not meant as a living being but is more abstract in nature. Whereas in sacred sound, to put it crudely, it is like ringing on a doorbell for an angel; you make the sound and the angel comes. In this system every sound is the voice of a being.
So these are sacred instruments. Whilst there are not many instruments, if any, that we could call sacred in the West. Some sacred instruments are very powerful and I don’t use these much in public unless the conditions required for their manifestation are met with, because you have to be very responsible with such powerful sounds. You have asked these angelic energies to come. You must use them. These instruments are not toys to play tricks with.
Who is your Master?
I have two Masters. The master Jesus and the Comte de St Germain. Plus a link with the
Mahatma Khoot Hoomi Lal Singh.
What is the nature of chanting and music and what is beyond the sound?
Spirit is beyond sound. It rides the physical sound like a surfer rides the ocean waves. Fundamental nature of music is harmony. The nature of chanting is self-development. You see, you have to understand that as human beings we unfold this physical body, then our emotional body, then our mental body, and then nature – providing we’re living in-tune with Nature – leads us to other bodies to unfold that we call ‘spiritual’.
But some people ignore this. But if we want to work; if we want to bring about this growth sooner than by nature, then we use chanting and it’ll change our thinking, change the mind. So it acts as a form of concentration to change the energy within your mind.
In some prisons in India, they give prisoners the choice. Chant for a few hours or, let’s say, smash rocks instead. And those who had chanted, when they come out, they don’t do crime any more. Mantra. MAN comes from the Sanskrit, which in India means Thinking and TRA means protection.
So. You are affecting your thinking. You’re taking control instead of having thoughts just
coming through your head all day. With mantras, you’re making a decision. So for example,
you want to wear certain colours – and this feeds your soul; certain words (books); or certain
music, these certain sounds feed your soul, etc….
So, if I take a very simple mantra/affirmation like “I Am divine Peace” and say that all of
my lifetime; then I will become very peaceful. But here the ‘I Am’ is not the ego. It is one’s
God-Self; one’s Spiritual or Divine Self. It is like there is a Cosmic Christ and a human Christ.
The established Church is losing lots of original teaching/ancient wisdom, they just worship one
human being and called Him the ‘only son of god’, and this is a misunderstanding of Jesus’
The Son of God is something far deeper. It is to do with Light; the Christ Light, and this
is in everybody. And Jesus said that “The Kingdom of heaven is within you” and “What I do,
you can do also.” We can become like Him eventually. We can become one with Christ (at-
ONE-ment) as He was and is: One with Christ. He is a great master.
I joined the white Eagle Lodge in 1970…. (no more – so, apparently of no interest to them!)
Which are Tibetan healing techniques and methods that are used directly in music and sound?
Meditation. Plus a basic connection through the Tibetan Tantric Elements and then Far Eastern Alchemical teachings. There are seven metals for the seven planets, but with different mixtures. These seven planets are connected with the soul, different deities, aspects of the psyche, and different elements as in Acupuncture: – there is Fire, Earth, Water, Air and Space. In other words, there are different areas of your nature you are working upon. Accordingly, you will you need different help… So in Water this is Anger and you have to find a way to resolve and to raise that anger. Not to suppress it; neither to kill somebody, but to change the energy. And this is also what healing is about. It is to do with union – oneness of Male and Female energies within ourselves. Female and Male – Sun and Moon – gold and silver. So, for instance, we find some bowls, which have more silver and others more gold. And those, which have more silver, resonate with the energies of Moon and are then used for cleansing (the hearing, the thinking, or all of you).
They also unfold the chakras……. Say somebody is singing “OOO” (who) this makes you feel that there is a circle around you and so you feel safe and secure. If somebody sounds an “AAA” (Say) then this sound is felt differently having more of a raising quality, or of wanting to move upwards. So sounds affect the body in various ways whilst also creating changes in the area of will, mind, emotions, and our spiritual nature whilst some sounds are specific and others are more general.
How does music heal, then?
It is basically very functional. It provides an outer echo of our inner experience and so resonates with our psychic state. So there are different types of music and often each person making music is actually healing himself or herself. And the music that they make is often the best way for them and for others with a similar need. Whereas, if I try to heal another person, who is in the habit of listening to a certain other type of music, with my sounds it will take longer. Sound heals because of the fundamental law of music, which is Resonance.
In healing, if part of your body is asleep/unconscious, and I find the sound for this, it starts singing, waking up, and begins to vibrate in harmony with its true sound……. And you may not like the sound…… you cannot resonate to it… maybe there is something that you must let go of… that you don’t want to know or be reminded about… you are maybe sad about something and the sound calls this part of you back to life…
What is the range in this use of music for healing which would be its limitations?
I don’t think there are any limitations. Because if there is even someone who’s deaf – they can’t hear – but the sound vibration still reaches the body: it’s quite physical, you know.
I’ll give you an example. When my first son was being born, he was a 28 hour labour!, at 20 hours the cervix was not dilated. But from the spirit world I was given a sound to make; not a sound you can actually produce or hear in this world. I made this inner-world inaudible sound and half an hour later the cervix was fully dilated! So. I wasn’t even making an audible sound. I understood that this was because the elemental that should have moved the muscles was asleep and I must wake him up with this special sound and then he will do his work! And this is a gift; a gift from my son to me. He teaches me this trick with sound at his birth.
How differently does the vocal sound affect the body, brain, and etheric fields respect the instrumental music?
There is a more direct link between consciousness and the voice. It’s more immediate than trying to project it through an instrument. The human voice is the natural language of the human soul, or psyche, and so spirit. One can make all sorts of subtle adjustments in the vocal sound in order to resonate with the patient. With instrumental sound we are working with more vegetable, mineral, and animal forces/substances and so it is more abstract.
Which traditional Tibetan musical instruments, and which are those you prefer in your healing work?
I use many different types of bowls, Tibetan bells, and Tibetan cymbals (Ting-shag and Drilbu), whilst in my sound healing I use only certain selected Tibetan singing bowls.
We are specially interest in Tibetan bowls, because they create a very pure waveform. But how would you characterise this particular sound of the Tibetan bowls?
I characterise it as “The many are in the one, and the one is in the many.”
What kind of therapy could we do playing the sacred bowls?
Rebirthing, past-life regression, and sound acupuncture. You can do therapy especially
for musicians. They really need to Listen to one sound – and it’s most important – then you
hear what is living there; the whole universe in One sound! Here you have one simple, very pure
and simple sound and then you begin to hear the spiritual sound; the spiritual music, and it is
much easier with these instruments than with any other instruments. So. Musicians need it
especially. Or, if they are playing their own instruments, just play one note at a time – to
meditate on one note until you really know what it is saying to you in that note or sound. New
way of hearing. It might take one minute, or it might take them one month. They should work
with the instrument until they know what that sound is. Not just with the head. But in the heart –
the soul. In the west, we are very egotistical. We ‘play’ on this thing. It is there to serve our
ego. To do what we tell it to do. But playing the bowls you have to let go. You have to follow
the bowl. It’s a more Yin way; Eastern way. You have to sacrifice the ego and follow the bowl.
Where does it want to take me? – you must ask yourself…..
It can be used for anything depending upon ‘where’ the individual bowl takes you. But
also for people with problems of the mind who have some difficult attitude, and if they are
needing peace. It is very important for each of us to find peace and to find our inner Self. And
so reconnect with the pure harmony of our higher Self. We can cause our own sickness. It
begins as inharmony in our own soul and then at the end it comes right down into the body. But
it starts up there and the bowl can reach this source. But it takes time.
What is your comment about crystal quartz bowls?
I don’t like them. It is powdered crystal. I don’t like the shape – it’s like a saucepan and
it’s not hammered. It’s a crystal bowl made in a factory. It’s very different. There is not the
special energy in the instrument already, and then the shape doesn’t give good overtones and it
can break very easily.
Tell us about your future projects and your actual work in the field of music?
I continue to do workshops about the Tibetan bowls and audio-visuals using the
paintings of Russian artist Nicholas Roerich.
My fourth solo album (1980) was called DEEP PEACE and it contains all of my instruments – I don’t just use bowls. I have big gongs and many bells from Japanese, Chinese and Burmese temples, plus instruments which I have invented and built myself. NEW ATLANTIS was the next album (1983), on Side B I use just Tibetan instruments, whilst on Side A I use Petalumines – one of the instruments I’ve invented. There was an angel who came to me just prior to recording and I made the colours and shapes into the musical form/structure (both now available as a double CD) – and then after this came several albums. There is STAR PEACE (CD) or the alternative version ZODIAC and that has to do with the 12 signs of the zodiac and I made music for 12 of Roerich’s paintings having linked them with each of the sings of the zodiac. Then there are two albums, which work deeply with specific Tibetan bowls in a meditative, way – very tuned-in to what the bowl creates within you, and dedicated to world peace. The first of these is called INFINITE PEACE – it has Tibetan bowls, gongs, and Mongolian-style overtone singing on Side B, and Tibetan bowls and other Burmese gongs on Side A. the second of these is called PEACE ETERNAL. This has Chinese flutes and a special Tibetan bowl on Side A and on Side B just antique Chinese and Japanese bells. This piece of music was inspired by a prayer of St. Francis of Assisi “Lord, Make Me an Instrument of Thy Peace.” Taking this prayer, as spoken, and then transferring this speech-melody onto the bells as a melody and then meditating and improvising with these bell melodies. It has a very beautiful and stilling sound.
My very latest CDs are titled BELOVODYE Volume 1 (The Illumined road) and BELOVODYE Volume 2. Volume 1 uses all of the equipment plus a piece for Yidaki (dijeridu)/Tibetan bells/Mongolian overtone singing, and another for cello and big bamboo flute. It’s to do with the 6 planets. Volume 2 is the sun but in 5 parts for the planets: – Uranus, Vulcan, Pluto, Neptune and Proserpine. Excellently recorded earlier this year.
About 3 years ago now I made a record with David Sylvian, who was the singer in the pop-rock group ‘Japan.’ This is for an installation in Tokyo and comes with a book.
My basic work has always been to create musical forms, which reflect my inner-life experiences, over a 29-year period now, of spiritual unfoldment – not gained through drugs! To create music out of studying the effects which my instruments have upon the various bodies of human nature – therefore, my music is designed to do something; to create a sacred space within the soul of the listener for the Divine Spirit to grow and unfold; to prepare the way for this Second Coming of Christ – in some small way.