For those who are fresh to the soulful and ambient soothing sonic energies of Chuck Wild’s Liquid Mind album series, it seems like fortuitous timing that the prolific composer chose mid-2021 to release a Liquid Mind: Musical Healthcare®, a collection of seven songs from previous collections (spanning 2004-2019) and one new track, the hopeful, soaring and divinely symphonic “Healing Hands”).
As in all new age and ambient music, a hand-selected compilation is the most effective way to connect with an artist’s overall flow and intention – and after a mentally, physically and spiritually challenging pandemic year-plus, where fear, loss and anxiety all too often replace our sense of sanity and inner balance, the healing beauty of Wild’s ambient, sweeping and richly textured compositions meet our collective moment perfectly.
Though from personal experience, I believe the music of Liquid Mind is best immersed in with eyes closed and a relaxed, meditational mindset, it can also work as free-flowing background atmosphere that can keep one calm while engaging in work or other daily activities. The collection is also the perfect soundtrack to put on as you read ahead for a deep dive into Wild’s history and what continues to motivate him to heal through his very unique brand of music.
So starting with the dreamy, ethereal and hypnotic embrace of “Surrender to Love” (from Liquid Mind XII: Peace), let the most compelling results of his unique journey engage your senses as your understanding of his mission takes hold.
His dear friend, recording artist J S “Jeff” Kingfisher referred Wild to his counselor, who suggested that he write music that represented the way he wanted to feel. After a process of letting go after many weeks of the high energy music he was used to writing for TV, he had an epiphany one day while sitting on some rocks in Laguna Beach, CA. Noticing that the sound of the ocean was calming his mind, he came up with the notion of “Liquid Mind” and set out to create a musical representation of that vibe. He wrote a 30 minute piece called “Zero Degrees Zero” and gave cassette copies of it to sick friends, their families and those comforting others in hospices.
Wild’s original mission was simply self-healing and healing friends through relaxation. The last thing he could have imagined then was creating a series – but of course Liquid Mind quite literally gelled as a commercial concept with the release of Ambience Minimus in 1994. “I attribute its popularity then and now to the fact that the world needs slowing down,” says Wild, who develops his tracks along with his co-producer Jonathan Marozik.
“Everything has changed since 1987. Technology has made the pace of life much faster and distractions far more numerous. Along with this increased pace of life sometimes goes anxiety, i.e., when people are rushed, they sometimes become anxious. Hopefully Liquid Mind helps others to disconnect a bit, to relax, to focus, and set themselves up for sleep. One thing that helps is listening to relaxing music 30 minutes prior to sleep.”
To that end, Wild has compiled a list of well-researched sleep tips here: https://liquidmindmusic.com/sleeptips2.html
The titles of his 17 albums – of which a total of six are represented on the Musical Healthcare® collection – represent his own path to healing and the process of changing his life to more accurately represent the values he cherishes. He explains Ambience Minimus as simplifying and slowing down his life, while Slow World represents the continuing of that process. His 1999 set Liquid Mind III: Balance was about eliminating things in his life that were working against me. The titular theme of every subsequent album – from Unity (2000) through Mindfulness (2020) comes from a likewise personal place.
Likewise, we’ve all been at moments in our lives where “Letting Go” (a sweeping mystical journey from Liquid Mind: Lullaby) and surrendering to the Universe/God is the only way to experience freedom. And we can bring our own beliefs, experiences and self and universal awareness to three lilting tracks full of emotional ebb and flow whose titles seem to reference the divine: “Breathe In Me” (from Liquid Mind: Sleep), “In the Stillness” (from Liquid Mind: Reflection) and “Oneness” (from Liquid Mind: Peace). Though this splendid 70 minute immersion is divided into eight tracks (concluding with the expansive, beautifully caressing newcomer “Healing Hands”), Musical Healthcare® is best experienced as a lengthy single free-flowing piece.
Encapsulating his ongoing mission, Wild says, “I truly believe that ALL music is healing to someone. A growing body of research now confirms that many different styles of music are useful and effective in healthcare and therapeutic settings. Music therapists have for decades used music that is researched and proven to have certain health benefits. The American Music Therapy Association is a non-profit umbrella organization whose mission is to raise public awareness of the benefits of music therapy and increase access to high quality music therapy. Music has always been therapeutic and functional to people who use it (practically everyone on the planet), so in a sense it's nothing new, but in our uber-connected COVID world, we are more aware of the need for healing our collective wounds.”
Listen to Liquid Mind: Musical Healthcare here:
Check out the digital booklet here: