Saturday, May 24, 2008

Brain Waves, the Dreamachine, and Music


Brion Gysin's brainchild.

Some general info:

Make your own:

Online Dreamachines:
(Both work well, I might add)


And a brainwave generator. Anyone wanna try it?


"Recently I tried cd's that produce alpha, beta, theta, and delta brain waves (they use wave frequencies and Hertz to help you meditate). I got a very similar result by listening to these. The good ones aren’t music, they are like a 'humming' noise."

Haven't tried 'em, but would like to. Anyone tried, or would recommend any?

I know that parts of Throbbing Gristle's album Heathen Earth are meant to mimic the frequencies of the dreamachine (particularly the first half). There is even a track called "Dreamachine". (The album is supposed to be completely untitled, but when the CD is put into a computer, it comes up with track titles...Title or no title, the track I'm referring to is number five).

I've found that not only does listening to music greatly heighten meditation, use of the dreamachine, and other transcendental experiences - that's a given - but that music that consists of dense blocks of uninterrupted sound seem to work best - musical Rothkos or Newmans, if you will. La Monte Young works great. Lately I've been using a 30 minute track called "Chopped Optigan" from the 11th CD of the LAFMS compilation. I experience strong synesthesia (and therefore experience music differently to a certain degree, I think) so the effect may not be the same to others. (For example, a dense block of sound would also put what I'm visually percieving in the back of my mind as a dense flat block too, since for me sound and vision are connected...if that makes sense). But I get the feeling that the "uninterruptedness", if you will, creates a nice, steady state, blocking out noise from your head and from your surroundings, being dull enough to not catch your attention (and for me, blocking out the synesthesia as well). Gaps, beats, and sections of silence will draw my attention away from what I'm focusing on and to the music itself.
Music with steady, rhythmic beats works well too, but not as well as these "musical Rothkos". Lately I've been using the track "Western Mantra" by Cabaret Voltaire - for some reason, it works well for me. I would imagine Brian Eno (his ambient stuff, of course) would work great too, or works by Steve Reich.

Using the dreamachine in combination with meditation seems to work better than either individually for me, and I'm going to start practicing with this now. Someone (I think it may have been Gysin himself) explained with a certain degree of seriousness that the dreamachine gives exactly the same state as meditation does, without the work. That I'm not sure I can agree on, as to me they're a bit different. The dreamachine involves more CEV's, for one, and the very fact that meditation takes practice reveals another reward that dreamachine use does not offer - discipline of mind, which to me is becoming very valuable.

I remember reading once (again, I wish I could remember where!) that repeated use of the dreamachine could result in 360 degree vision (while the eyes were closed and using the dreamachine). Talk about cool, but how possible is that? Anyone know what I'm talking about?


wassonii said...

The field of "inner" vision takes on 360 degrees, for sure. I built one out of sonotube once. (I think I spelled that correctly. It's heavyduty cardboard tube, in this case I think it was 18-24 inch diameter. Don't remember exactly. Got it to kind of work with a fan motor, as it was too heavy for a turntable.
In the RE/Search issue with Burroughs, Gysin, and TG, Gysun definitely enjoyed the effect of Heathen Earth on Dream Machine viewing.
I wasn't aware of the online DM, so thank you very much. I don't kno about that generator:)
I haven't meditated much in some time, let alone used a dream machine.
More later. Please keep us posted and informed.

wassonii said...

p.s. I think the 360 infos, too were in that RE/Search #4/5. yes. i have it in front of me now.
"R/S: What's happening with the Dreamachine?...
Brion: ... I think it scares people ... Because of the fact that it deals with that area if interior vision which has never been tapped before...."
He goes on to talk about historical occurences of people in places of relative power, such as Nostradumus and apparently Peter the Great had a seer whom would, as part of their means of acquiring visions, sit atop a tower or similar high place, close their eyes and with their hands between them and the sun, would use their fingers to cause a flicker effect, initiating "visions" of sorts. He then goes on to say the experience can be pushed further "... into an area which is like real dreams."
He gives a comparison of the experience to films.
He refers to various stages he's experienced, including " then gets into an area where all vision is as in a complete circle of 360 degrees, and one is plunged into a dream situation that's occurring all around one..." and culminating in an experience of "all imagery".
Hope that helps:)

thunderperfectmind said...

re/search! that's where i heard about the 360 degrees thing, and about heathen earth. that was bothering me. thank you. i need to get ahold of that book again; all of that is very interesting...

i may just be too enthusiastic, but i think i've gotten to the point where i'm experiencing the beginnings of a wider field of vision. i already have some notes on it written down for if i make another dreamachine post.

from your experience, does the online one work as well a genuine machine you build yourself? i regret to say i've never used anything other than those two online ones. (the downloadable one has been around for years).

Anonymous said...

Try Coils 'time machine' cd if you have them-i find that they are 'outstanding' for O-B-E type experiance with or without drugs-try them in pitch blackness -eyes open !-I'm a newcomer to this and related blogs and am very impressed- thanxalot justinstinkt

thunderperfectmind said...

i used to have it, but now for some reason i don't. (which makes me wonder what else i have missing...)

i'll have to try it. what an appropriate album though. all the titles are named after tryptamines after all.

come to think of it, nww's soliloquy for lilith or alvin lucier's music on a long thin wire would work great too. maybe?

Blog Walles said...

This is a link to iDoser that I found on Vice magazine's blog. iDoser is a program that generates sounds meant to induce everything from lucid dreaming to certain moods as well as simulating the experience of certain drugs:

There are various "doses" which are named after drugs or for their intended purpose. They absolutely do not match the experience of the drugs they are named for, but do have a sort of hypnotic effect with lingering results.

Also, does anyone know what effect marijuana has on the dreamachine experience?

robes said...

actually, the hafler trio & the temple ov psychick youth did an album called "present Brion Gysin's Dreamachine." it comes with an actual dreamachine on black heavy paper that you can cut out (god forbid) and a whole booklet with assloads of stuff, writing, etc in there. i paid an ungodly amount of money many years ago for it, so i can't imagine now... it is sweet tho.

here is an online version of the sound:

entrainment, and studies of the relationships of brain waves to the Schumann resonance make for a good time too. i can't find it anymore, but there was a crazy dude who studies ELF's (extremely Low Freq) who was building ELF simulator helmets, and studied effects of submarine sonar on whales... the helmets were available for purchase. i can't remember his name... anyone???