People being people the best are not content with always doing the same thing, so they will experiment and move away, following other influences. The drumming may become great in other ways but not great in the way of inducing trance states the way it once way.
Just my theory on why it might be that an old recording is better for inducing trance than a newer one might be.
This is from the 50s-60s.
In my experience with trying to meditate to rhythms it takes fifteen minutes to half an hour before you really notice a significant difference to meditation without it.
Also, "should" is not really the right word to use here - I would go with "might".
What I mean with that is that this isn't like a pill whose are chemicals will do its on their own after consumption, with or without thinking about them. It's an effect that is produced through a sensory interaction with the brain. As a result, how one consciously attends to that interaction has a huge impact on the effectiveness.
Give it your entire attention.
But I will say this is just genuinely good music.
I'm definitely interested in seeing what can be done to without the aid of drugs. As someone who had some bad trips that gave me 6 months of anxiety, a non drug induced altered state sounds preferable.
That being said, even something as seemingly benign as meditation can lead to intensely challenging experiences in certain situations. But overall, not relying on drugs seems generally safer.
I have had generalized anxiety, and some other acute anxiety issues for about 30 years now. I experimented with LSD among many other psychedelics through my 20's and 30's.
For LSD, to avoid a bad trip, you need a good road map. I would advise some counseling to identify your personal problems with an impartial third party, beforehand. Naming your issues will help you to identify if you are spiraling into them. Second, take it in a comfortable setting, surrounded by things that are important to you. Music helps immensely, but focus on something without too much of a political/social/religious message, just in case. Having a trip sitter who has experience with psychedelics cannot be stressed enough. Having someone clear headed to keep you focused on your good feelings is really helpful.
Also, if you are concerned about an anxiety response before taking it, you will experience anxiety. Your mind is a wonderful tool, in that, it is almost constantly making your experience self-fulfilling prophecies.
The only other note I would add is, if you do experience anxiety, or a bad trip, take notes. Generally, the things you experience are based on your life's "pinch points" and are the things that are bothering you deep down.
For me, I experienced severe anxiety spirals regarding whether or not my friends were really my friends, and whether or not I was a good spouse and parent. When I finally started writing down my spirals, and evaluating them for themes later, I realized that I was trying to tell myself to be less distracted, less selfish, more giving, more caring, and more present for the people around me. Oh, and to do the damned dishes every now and again.
If you take a low dose and follow harm reduction practices you should be fine. Just make sure you do your research ahead of time, and go in knowing the risks. If you have underlying mental health issues, then be careful, and maybe consider alternatives that don't require drugs.
LSD / Weed can induce severe nasty reactions in people and no one quite knows why. I do find the "you have to be prepared to face the truth" mentality of some people who take drugs to be a bit dangerous. (Note: I experimented with pretty much every drug before so I'm aware of the effects).
"The authors discuss the Tibetan Book of the Dead and use the process of death and rebirth presented in it as a metaphor for the experience of ego death or depersonalization that is commonly experienced under the influence of psychedelic drugs. Similar to how the intended function of the Tibetan Book of the Dead is to be used as a guide for death and rebirth, The Psychedelic Experience is meant to be used as a guide on how to properly handle experiences of ego death while undergoing the psychedelic experience
The book discusses the various phases of ego death that can occur on psychedelics and gives specific instructions on how one should regard them and act during each of these different phases. In addition to containing more general advice for the readers on how to use psychedelics, the book also includes selections of writing presented with the intent for them to be read aloud during events where groups of people take psychedelic drugs together".*
The recommendations in the book can be adapted to work with one other individual, someone who has experience with the different possible states that might be encountered through the trip.
Your state of mind, and the surrounding environment are crucial to realizing an optimal experience. If you go into a psychedelic experience with a lot of anxiety over having a "bad trip", it can end up being a self fulfilling influence.
Following the guidance in this book requires a mindful preparation, often spread out over a few weeks. I think this level of intent is helpful in raising up the overall experience.
"This manual is divided into four parts. The first part is introductory. The second is a step-by-step description of a psychedelic experience based directly on the Tibetan Book of the Dead. The third part contains practical suggestions on how to prepare for and conduct a psychedelic session.
The fourth part contains instructive passages adapted from the Bardo Thodol, which may be read to the voyager during this session, to facilitate the movement of consciousness."
Here’s an audio recording of the authors reading from the book:
The book is available as a free pdf on Timothy Leary's website:
On the other hand when trying to calm my mind after a busy day there is nothing better.
Maybe try "We Are" on Asymmetry by Karnivool as well. I find the drums quite mesmerising, i've heard it's not quite as complex as it sounds.
In fact, that's often why I listen to Tool!
I followed your trance recipe to the letter and soon entered a state of mind that on this day was novel to me. It seriously made me happy to be alive and to be human. However, that feeling didn't linger. Now I'm back to my usual miserable self, a blob of cells that all try but mostly they fail to communicate with each other in a way that is pleasant for the vessel, me. I don't think I was in a trance. Perhaps I should have danced.
I'm very intrigued, though, by the idea of rhythm being a protagonist ingredient of "flow". I'm a programmer, musician only by heart, but on Wednesdays instead of instruments I play the rhythmic game of tennis. One time me and my brother, two racket-throwing outwards-acting tennis brats in need of anger management therapy both entered "flow" at the same time and it lasted a good hour and a half. In the middle of our match a large group of youngsters, perhaps thirty individuals, entered the yard and became our audience. They started to discuss our game. They correctly dismissed us as being "not top notch". They chit-chatted. They said this and that. They were merely meters away from us but acted like they were watching TV and that e could not possibly hear them. After the game we both said: were you ever bothered by the ruckus? We concluded that no, we weren't but that we could still paraphrase almost all of the comments we've heard from the audience. But during the game it seemed to us that nothing could get us out of the state of flow. In fact, neither of us understood we were in the flow state until the ruckus began.
This was an out-of-mind, out-of-body and out-of-this-world experience for me that I have not been able to reproduce since. I was untouchable and I loved it.
Regarding music and the mind, the synchronisation/entrainment method of audio driving/sonic driving has been addressed in the book 'Music, Science and the Rhythmic Mind' by Berger and Turow. Research that looks at aligning not just the rate (tempo) of the music to brainwaves, but varieties of rhythm has been done by Jeff Strong, founder of Rhythmic Entrainment Intervention (some of his YouTube videos talk about specifics). Jeff has studies Vodou music AFAIK.
Regarding altering states of mind through meditation, Jeff Tarrent's NeuroMeditation Institute has some interesting work and regarding altering states with psychedelics, the work of Andrew Gallimore's (Alien Insect's) work is also very interesting. Andrew in his YouTube video series talks about how connections in the brain change when exposed to psychedelics - I would be interested to see correlation between the way 'trance' music (without drugs) and 'psychedelics' (drugs:) create these states.
Some of our work:
Zombie-mania has been in the US for a while now, but in Haiti it, at least in part, originally referred to when you zone out going through rote day-to-day actions without thinking.
Can’t remember where you parked your car? You were a zombie when you did it.
Etymologically it’s interesting as well, to be taken (literally “mounted”) by a lwa or spirit.
In a "zombie" state, you may not really be focusing on anything at all, least of all what you're doing.
Usually that happens when I'm thinking about something else. Also, the visual input walking away from your care is totally different from the scene you see walking towards your car.
From a different side of the world, Wardruna has a few 'trancey' tracks; here's one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F67VZblDrQg
Beat me by 38 minutes :D
Here’s an article that came up when searching for it with a link to the video, which gives some context: https://www.wilderutopia.com/performance/film/maya-deren-div...
It also is on YouTube: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4cusCpzg6tY
I'm a musician, but I don't see why the answer is obviously a "yes".
I think it's also interesting you indicate listeners, rather than the drummers getting into that state - my memories of learning bata drumming are largely of going into a hyper-focused state that I wouldn't describe as trancelike, but also very different than the mindset I was in playing something like orchestral music.
Edit: This comment is intended to contribute to the discussion as well as be in jest. It’s a legitimate issue: if music can have drug-like effects, should some music be classed as a drug and controlled as such?
If that is the case (and I'm not saying it is, just noting the potential path here) then it would suggest you could use a biofeedback system to tune the rhythm of your thinking to achieve this state without drugs.
As someone very interested in Transcendental Meditation but unsure where to begin, any pointers?
When I was very much younger I was really curious about the claims of "mind over matter" types who claimed that the laws of physics could be changed to suit one's desires. A friend of mine had done the TM thing and she was enthusiastic and helped fund the intro / level 1 class for me (it was like $100 at the time and I considered that a LOT of money).
For me, the primary benefit of meditation is to quiet all of the 'noise' in my head. Some of my best engineering designs have emerged after spending a couple of days alternately meditating and reading.
 Apparently some people don't have an inner dialog going on in their head, others are like me with a entire congress of competing dialogs all trying to be heard :-)
I've never accomplished this while meditating (and I'm not the type to experiment with drugs) but I did have this type of experience while volunteering as a test subject for a sensory deprivation experiment at UNLV. In that experience I got out of the tank (without opening it which was weird), walked out of the lab and got in my car (again by just sort of being outside of my car and then inside the car). I was thinking about how I could start the car without my keys when I realized I was completely naked and in that realization the experience stopped and I was back in the tank.
People are known to hallucinate in such tanks, it is expected, I found the experience very unlike dreaming and much more like I was more literally conscious the entire time.
From Wikipedia: a Pakistani vocalist, musician and music director primarily a singer of Qawwali, a form of Sufi Islamic devotional music. Widely considered one of the greatest voices ever recorded, he possessed an extraordinary range of vocal abilities and could perform at a high level of intensity for several hours.
These performances, in tents with everyone sitting on the floor and sometimes smoking copious amounts of hash in chillums is something I wish I could have attended.
Going slightly tangential: There was a Bollywood song he did with Shreya Ghoshal (an angel in her own right). I kept listening to that song repeatedly for some reason; often on repeat. A month or two later I decided I had to wean myself off it - I actually felt it was affecting me in some way and I was not sure it was good or bad. Recently I came across another song which ended up on loop and I had to stop listening to. Not as powerful as the first. Early on, I did look at the singers - they were the same two. So perhaps it was not a trance state - just a combination of singers that appealed to my senses. Those two have my number. I know I listen to it at a reduced level of comprehension since I know very little Urdu/Hindi; so I rely entirely on the audio aspect with little brain devoted to language comprehension.
> JAD: Because if we're unconsciously speeding up slow beats and slowing down fast beats, well, there's got to be ...
MATTHEW GUERRIERI: Some particular point ...
JAD: ... right in the middle ...
MATTHEW GUERRIERI: ... where our judgment of time actually syncs up with actual time.
JAD: Where in other words, we guess the tempo correctly.
MATTHEW GUERRIERI: Yeah, and it's called the indifference point.
JAD: I don't know why it's called that, but according to most research that point falls somewhere around this tempo.
MATTHEW GUERRIERI: 94, 96 beats per minute.
JAD: If you give people four beats of this tempo and then ask them to guess the fifth, they usually get it right.
MATTHEW GUERRIERI: Yep.
JAD: That's human time.
Delta wave – (0.5 – 3 Hz)
Theta wave – (4 – 7 Hz)
Alpha wave – (7 – 15 Hz)
Mu wave – (7.5 – 12.5 Hz)
SMR wave – (12.5 – 15.5 Hz)
Beta wave – (15 – 30 Hz)
Gamma wave – (>30 Hz)
There's definitely some interesting cognitive science in what makes a good tune though. I sketched out some informal ideas here
I used to write the odd bit of psytrance back when I had enough time in my life, hope it's not too rude to link some here :) https://oscillicraft.bandcamp.com/album/dreampsyker
Nothing at all to do with music or the auditory system.
13 years later, I'm probably somewhat more open to the idea, after spending a decent amount of time meditating and experimenting with a few psychedelics. (Not in a mystical sense, just in a "maybe sound can help induce certain altered states of consciousness".)
Now that I have some meditation experience I kind of want to go back and experiment with binaural beats again.
A lot were fairly humdrum but there was this one time that was incredibly intense and it made me feel as if I had died. I was afraid of ever doing that one again. It left a lasting impression on me that entrainment definitely is a thing.
I must revisit that and have another go.
From The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk, M.D., in a section about "Applied Neuroscience" as it pertains to resolving trauma. It seems that the wave properties of the brain have been under-valued since psychopharmacology really took off in the 70s.
Evolutionary biologists see both systems as inextricably linked. The Schwann cells that encase axons to provide myelinated insulation are separated by gaps in which ion channels gate the charged fluid flow which propagates electrical activity like a mexican wave in a football crowd.
> Brainwave entrainment, also referred to as brainwave synchronization and neural entrainment, refers to the hypothesized capacity of the brain to naturally synchronize its brainwave frequencies with the rhythm of periodic external stimuli, most commonly auditory, visual, or tactile.
> It is believed that patterns of neural firing, measured in Hz, correspond with states of alertness such as focused attention, deep sleep, etc. It is hypothesized that by listening to these beats of certain frequencies one can induce a desired state of consciousness.
Once I got a chance to visit an interior south Indian village and experience this firsthand. Having been there, I don't think all of it is intentional faking. The whole atmosphere, the music with its drum rhythms (Udukkai) and a raising crescendo are all designed to put a person into a sort of reverential trance. Even for me, it was a feeling unlike anything I experienced before. It is quite possible that brought up on that folklore and more sensitive to such triggers would experience an extra-corporeal sensation (like the one described in the article) and attribute it to divine presence. And at the culmination of event, when goddess is said to leave the body, the possessed person often faints after an epileptic fit. This was also mentioned in the report. To me, this is neurological programming perfected over generations... but to what avail I don't know.
Too long; didn't listen: same thing but related to Alzheimer's disease research where scientists would induce some frequency in the brain of mice and humans to help clean up some "gunk" in the brain that's associated with the disease.
None of them seemed to do anything perceptable to me, except one... (ignore the cheesy visuals and just listen to the sound). It made me feel indescribably weird, and I couldn't stand listening to it for long out of concern about what it might be doing to me.
This kind of experimentation has a lot of potential, but kind of like experimenting with newly designed drugs with which humans have had virtually no experience, it might be dangerous as the effects on the human brain are unknown.
 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-eTVW8VMRQ
Ancient mammals had access to natural drugs and, with drugs being drugs, used them. What may have started as a small upper eventually became a dissociation, as we sought more and more of the stuff. Fixing your life purpose in the process, to benefit the species, is certainly something that evolution may have selected.
examples that come to mind:
Zoviet France - Cycloptic Sub Alien: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVz2qCvjPDg
Zoviet France - Mohnomishe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsBD-pUO4GI
Laraaji - The Dance #1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hes0hRY9v8
Sitting In a Room - Alvin Lucier
With reader mode turned on that's all I need, thank you!
I feel it as a kind of time discontinuity, as if parts of my experience were running at different speeds. It's not very pleasant, but also not overpowering. Pretty rare, these days.
 Well, the only thing I know of, but I'm mostly ignorant on the subject