Streams of Consciousness – Archetypes – Volume I

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Percussion: daf, tar, bodhran, bendir, riqq, darbukas, congas, djembes, udongo, cajon, bells, chekere, shakers, cymbals, surdo, toms, cymbals, gongs) – Julian Douglas

Original scaffold developed in collaboration with Edward Cosla

Written, arranged, performed, recorded and produced by Julian Douglas

Recorded at Resonantmind Studios, Bloomington. IN

Additional gong recordings at Prana Yoga Studio Sarasota, FL by Edward Cosla

Mastered by Oz Fritz

Copyright: 2022 Resonantmind (BMI)

Julian Douglas 2022 Release - Streams of Consciousness - Archetypes Volume I

Excerpt - Chapter 4

by Julian Douglas | Streams of Consciousness - Archetypes Volume I

Excerpt - Chapter 7

by Julian Douglas | Streams of Consciousness - Archetypes Volume I

A one-hour multilayered dynamic world percussion meditation. The richly textured soundscape beckons full engagement with the body through movement as it carries the listener along on a journey of rhythmic moods from contemplative to sensual to euphoric. 

This recording arose from a Zoom session I was doing with sound designer and my friend Edward Cosla. He was in Florida and I had just moved to Bloomington, Indiana a few months prior. It was the first Spring of the COVID-19 pandemic and artists were looking for ways to create while in physical isolation.

We improvised for about an hour and found that the recording had a lot of moments that invited further development. While I maintained the original scaffold (time signature, tempo, and atmosphere) I’ve layered a number of one hour recorded improvisational percussion meditations to produce something that weaves together a lot of different kinds of drums, textures, and rhythmic influences.

What I’m sharing with you is an hour long meditation on the flow of rhythm. Most of the time as a composer my aim is to guide the listener through the experience I want you to have. I’m intentional about the mood, the setting, and I try to provide a focal point to take you from the beginning to the end. In this case, I’ve deliberately chosen to leave the focal point out. In this case, I hope you, the listener, will help me complete the work. I want you to become the focal point. Dancers will know what I mean.

The territory I’m exploring is Archetypes (defined as: a recurrent symbol or motif in literature, art, or mythology.) Carl Jung talked a lot about Archetypes in the psyche that suggested a connection to the collective unconscious, this idea that on some level, maybe because of brain anatomy, maybe for more spiritual reasons, we all have variations on these symbols in our minds and our dreams. At least in this unconscious or dream space we are connected to one another. As a student of global rhythm traditions, I’ve identified a number of archetypes, or rhythmic themes/ideas that show up in disparate cultures and serve similar purpose are all over the world, and I think they serve a similar function or have a similar source to Jung’s symbolic archetypes in our psyche.

I work with these archetypes all the time, but usually when I’m composing for percussion ensemble they aren’t as directly identifiable.

I also love to work with the archetypes in a more pure form where the focus is inspire and co-create with dancers. I play for dancers a lot in live settings but that music rarely gets recorded. For those that have only heard my recordings and watched my videos, this is a dimension of my playing that you haven’t encountered before. These Archetypes recordings are an effort to document a focus more grounded in intuition.

This recording also acknowledges my roots and spiritual practice. For thousands of years all over the world people have used rhythm, drums, and dance as a practice to produce altered states of awareness. These practices are used in meditations, ceremonies, rituals, and spiritual journeys to this day in various traditions. I believe we are physiologically wired to be able to respond to cyclical rhythmic music and movement in a way that enables us to experience connections; connections to a deeper part of ourselves (maybe that collective unconscious?), to one another having these shared experiences, and to something that feels like it transcends and includes us – giving rise to a sense that we are all part of something so much bigger than we are. These connections provide an opportunity to have an experience of immanent and transcendent love – which is at the root of all spiritual and religious experiences. I don’t believe it’s possible to capture that kind of experience in a recording, but there are aspects of it that motivated this production.

This recording is about 60 minutes of percussion music that passes through several movements. The transitions are generally gradual. There are no solos and no focal point. My aim while recording it was to get deeply into the rhythm and feel the subtle changes as they emerge. It’s a journey and a meditation starting from silence and returning to it. My hope is that you may find that as a listener you can get deeply into the rhythm and become the focal point for a while.

— Julian Douglas