Psychedelic Sangha has announced 'Sounds from the Bardo, Vol. II (Live from Judson Memorial Church) featuring the first (and currently only) recording of the fully improvised trio of Tony Leone (percussion), Scott Metzger (guitar) and Jeff Hill (bass)—to be released exclusively via Bandcamp on Friday, February 5. Recorded live in New York City on November 10, 2020, the multi-media collection also includes guided meditations by Jessica Angima and video of the full length original light show produced by Bubba Ayoub.
'Sounds from the Bardo' is Psychedelic Sangha's album-based series of immersive journeys into liminal states of consciousness, also known as the bardo. The listener is invited to "turn on" with a short "Going Out" meditation, followed by 60 minutes of mind altering music, before gently returning via a "Coming Back" meditation.
"We approached the music knowing that people would be meditating, so we wanted the music to be conducive to that," Leone says. "We also hoped to lead the meditators on a sonic journey. The same way a dance band inspires its listener to dance, we wanted to invite our meditators to a “mind dance."
The only parameters the band talked about in advance were that they wanted to:
• Keep the music to a whisper dynamically
• Keep the music constant throughout the meditation
• Keep the music moving rhythmically, maintaining a sense of forward motion
"What was great about performing in this context is that the audience was all meditating, ie, practicing stillness," Leone adds. "The only sense being used was their sense of hearing. In a setting so quiet, and with an audience so quiet and NOT sitting and staring at us, it allowed us to really keep our ears and consciousness open to whatever was happening in the moment. It allowed for listening by all on a pretty deep level."
Included as bonus tracks are two improvisations recorded during the trio's soundcheck.
"Although we've known each other many years and have played in different situations together, the soundcheck was the first time we had ever set up as a trio and just started playing free, reacting to whatever the other guys were laying down," Leone says. "There is a certain openness and looseness to the soundchecks and we thought it was important to include them. Once the meditators were there, it brought more of a self-consciousness to the trio. Not necessarily a hindrance, but more of a consideration of the sonic space we were occupying, individually and as a group."
All purchases of music presented by Psychedelic Sangha enables the NYC-based collective to continue to offer free psychedelic integration and harm reduction services to the public via their Gathering at Judson Memorial Church and online through their Global Gathering series.
In the words of Psychedelic Sangha founders Chris "Doc" Kelley and Ethan Covey: "Enter the psychedelic realm of the Misfit Seeker — welcome, friends!"
Sounds From The Bardo, Vol. II
1. Live from Judson Memorial Church (meditation)
2. Live from Judson Memorial Church (instrumental)
3. Soundcheck Jam I
4. Soundcheck Jam II
5. Live From Judson Memorial Church (full length light show video)
Psychedelic Sangha on Bandcamp: psychedelicsangha.bandcamp.com