Sometimes, as if the universe somehow just knows, an artist’s musical destiny can coincide with the dire needs of the planet and its people. In the late 2000s, Miami based Latin music engineer and producer Ivan Valles felt the higher calling to pursue wellness music, launching his artist brand Musical Spa with Love Making Music and the first in his Meditation Music series. He scarcely could have imagined how purposefully and essentially the fourth volume in that series (Meditation Music 4: Deep Theta) would meet our collective moment as we struggle with fear, divisiveness, anxiety and all the other emotional and spiritual roadblocks of 2020.
Enhancing his various keyboard driven atmospheric expansive dives with gently lilting sampled acoustic sounds (flute, piano) and live acoustic guitar (adding a soothing caress on “Namaste”), Ivan created the intensely immersive, 16 track, two and a half hour-plus collection with a greater purpose than mere chilling out and escapism in mind. His goal is to help induce deeper states of relaxation that lead to improved and more focused breathing, marked shifts to more meditative states of consciousness, reduction in stress (a definite need right now!) and, ultimately, overall improvement in our health (crucial anytime but particularly at this time).
Ivan impactfully achieves this by easing gracefully from the soft-spoken, sparkling eye-opener “Sunrise” and the mystical, “angel choir” kissed “Breathe” (which, ironically, could be the thematic anthem of 2020) through the mystical depths of the eighteen minute “Ocean Dreams” and the tender, hypnotic closer “Warm Embrace,” which artfully swirls orchestral splendor and elegant guitar.
Titles like “Mindfulness,” “Seeds of Wisdom” and “Searching for Paradise” might inspire listeners to bring their own imagery to the experience and build a narrative in their imaginative mind’s eye. Yet for ultimate relaxation of body and spirit, Deep Theta is truly best experienced as a singular lengthy, all the way through experience, supplanting thoughts of beginnings and endings with the reality of the now and its transcendent possibilities.
Not that science will ever be your primary reason for listening, but it’s notable for those who understand the importance of frequencies that Ivan recorded the album at 432Hz, which he believes is a more harmonious frequency for music because it’s a multiple of the earth’s heartbeat (8Hz).
“Subjectively,” he says, “playing at 432 feels like playing the music in alignment with our planet and nature. There is a coherence between everything around us, and also within us. When you tap into this potential, your heart falls in sync with your brain and your life can change for the better.”
This music for him is a way to engender a transformation of mankind amidst humanity’s – and the planet’s – greatest challenges. For us, with a whirlwind of events beyond our individual control jabbing for our attention these days and taking us so far from our truest essences, it’s a godsend we can turn to for soul sustenance and inner reflection every day. The one title Ivan did not use here is “Gratitude” – but that’s the piece our hearts and minds will be composing internally as we listen again and again.
Listen to Meditation Music 4: Deep Theta here: