The Music Trance

I came down ill last night, and spent the day in bed trying to get over it. Not usually much fun but it was worth it today as I spent the afternoon in one of the deepest music trances I’ve ever experience.

A music trance is my own form of meditation. It’s impossible to entirely put into words, but I’ll try. It generally involves lying in bed, with headphones on, in the sleeping position listening to a song with enough layers and textures to get sink deep into it. The right headphones are key as I’m a side sleeper, and headphones hurting your ear from being pressed into the pillow simply won’t do. A good pair of earbuds that are small enough to sink into the ear canal without pressing against the outer ear are needed. Next is the right song. Generally something atmospheric and comforting works for me. Today it was “Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space” by Spiritualized with its simple refrain of “All I want in life’s a little bit of love to take the pain away…”

You put that single song on repeat and just listen to it, like you’re trying to fall asleep. You sink into the song until you’re at that special place where you’re awake but just barely, the closest thing to an out of body experience I’ve ever had where you’re just wrapped around the song, where each note and instrument can be picked out and isolated. You start daydreaming with the song as your background music, reimagine the song as you go, place the song as a theme for your thoughts. You don’t want to move as that will break the spell, the magic of being wrapped in a song that feels hundreds of miles deep. Anxiety, fear and pain wash away for a while, because all you feel is that song.

The right song is key, but you also need to have that level of being able to space out, or rather space in to the song. You have to be able to stop thinking and let yourself go. It’s difficult to do on cue, but when it works it works. I listened to that song non-stop for six hours, drifting in and out of sleep and thoughts. You don’t want to be asleep, you don’t want to be awake. You want to find that equilibrium between the two.

My record? About two days, but that was over two albums and broken up a bit obviously. If that was straight, that wouldn’t be a trance, that would be a coma.  And I’ve never managed to sink into an album that long before or since.

6 Responses to “The Music Trance”

  1. i’ll bring you some chicken soup!

  2. That sounds amazingly awesome wow, and I can imagine Radiohead or Sigur Ros being really good for this.

  3. hey i’ve done that before! i thought i was the only freak that can spazz out on a song for hours, although my longest time is like three hours, nowhere near to your record!

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