Mickey Hart, the enigmatic percussionist for the Grateful Dead, has teamed up with longtime collaborator and tabla master Zakir Hussain to launch Sound Consciousness: Drones for Sonic Bathing.
The ten-part audiovisual experience, available now via online course platform Commune, aims to “transport the mind somewhere it has never been before” and marks the self-proclaimed culmination of Hart’s decades-long rhythmic experimentations the Dead phenomenon of “Drums/Space”.
Sound Consciousness: Drones for Sonic Bathing invites participants to go on a ten-day journey, setting aside fifteen minutes per day to leave their usual plane of awareness and “travel through the vastness of their mindspace, gently landing back on earth relaxed, renewed, and with a radically revised sense of self.”
Mickey Hart has long been vocal in his belief that the complex sonic architecture of drones is the key to connecting people to different veins of existence and to the fundamental physics of existence. “We need tools for self-exploration,” he explains. “The drone allows us to rediscover our lighter, softer side in an, often hostile world. It promotes happiness, compassion, and it generates love. Drones are a uniting force, enhancing the health of body and soul. … A drone is a sonic miniature of the workings of the entire universe”
Each track on Sound Consciousness: Drones for Sonic Bathing mixes musical techniques old and new, from traditional musical instruments like the tabla to digitized rhythms of natural phenomena to sounds from Hart’s extensive collection of global recordings. At the center of these myriad sounds is The Beam, the amplified Pythagorean monochord that Hart has been refining for more than 40 years.
Hart and his Drones For Sonic Bathing collaborator, Zakir Hussain, have maintained a longstanding creative relationship. Hussain appeared on Hart’s Planet Drum (1991) and the collaborative Global Drum Project (2008), both of which received Grammy awards in the World Music category. He has also sat in on live “Drums/Space” explorations with Dead & Company. The renowned tabla player has also contributed to the soundtracks of several films and in 2017 was honored with SF Jazz’s Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his “unparalleled contribution to the world of music.”
The visual portion of Drones for Sonic Bathing is equally connected to Hart’s longtime exploration of the vibration of the universe. The paintings featured in each video were literally drummed and vibrated into existence using techniques Hart developed in his studio in Northern California. Each painting was then animated to the music.
“This is a sonic wonderland that gets you into the moment, into the now,” Hart adds. “It gets you to connect to the very center of you, the vibratory center of you.”
The first five segments of the ten-day Sound Consciousness: Drones for Sonic Bathing experience from Mickey Hart and Zakir Hussain are now available for free here.
Watch Hart’s preview and explanation of the Sound Consciousness experience below.
Drones For Sonic Bathing with Mickey Hart and Zakir Hussain – Preview Video
Commune is a course platform for personal and societal well-being. They create video courses with the world’s leading teachers across personal development, yoga and fitness, mindfulness, food and health, sustainability, and civic engagement. Commune courses are designed for people to learn together, connect, and bring their best selves into the world. Since their founding in 2018, they have brought wellness courses to more than 2.5 million students. Learn more here.