MUSIC has a deep connection with our mind. Like the scent of a flower that fills an entire room, a simple tune or song can change our entire mood, lift our spirit and transform our thoughts. This month we travel to an ancient sacred forest in Meghalaya, India and experience the magic of nature’s music.
If trees had a voice how would they sound? If a forest could sing what would it sing of? Imagine yourself on a mountain, sitting in the middle of a dense forest. You are surrounded by moss covered stones that lay scattered in odd circles and patterns. A floating cloud descends upon you and you begin to hear this music:
Bah Kerios Wahlang is a folk music legend from a small village in Meghalaya. He lives in a log house surrounded by naughty grandchildren and a brood of temperamental hen. He creates his own songs and mostly sings about the sacred forest that lies close to his village. To know more about his village and the sacred forest, follow this link. If your footsteps ever take you to this corner of the planet, do pay him a visit. Ask anyone in the village and they will point you in the right direction.
Science of Music
It’s strange but true. Music only happens in your brain. Outside your brain, sound is simply air molecules moving. When these molecules vibrate your eardrums, this energy is converted into signals for your brain. Processing these elements involves almost every region of the brain.
Music activates the emotional parts of the brain as well as the rational parts and also induces mood enhancing chemicals. Just how different sequence of sounds produce different emotional reactions is still a mystery.
But studies by neuroscientists have shown that music can affect not just your mood and thoughts, but also alter your mental makeup and influence your behaviour and actions. For a more detailed write-up click here.
The Sacred Forest, Mawphlang
The sacred forest is a protected forest land that was used by the surrounding community for ancient customs and religious ceremonies. The peculiar stones that are found across the sacred forest are known as monoliths. They are often found laid out in fairy rings or odd angled benches or standing as solitary guardians – holding secrets and stories of times long forgotten.
Sacred groves of India are forest fragments of varying sizes, which are communally protected, and which usually have a significant religious connotation for the protecting community. Hunting and logging are usually strictly prohibited within these patches. Sacred groves are considered ecologically important hotspots of bio-diversity.
Have you ever heard the music of a sunrise?
Birdsong at first light. Wind rustling through tree leaves. The gentle gurgle of a flowing brook. Undoubtedly, some of the most beautiful music comes from nature. And as always, it’s absolutely free. But for those of you, caught up in work or unable to make it to the great outdoors, here are two places you can go to find your own song of nature:
asoftmurmur.com A website that let’s you pick and choose from various sounds of nature to create your own symphony.
Calm.com A free app for android as well as iphones. Calm features a wide range of soothing sounds from forests to oceans.
We hope you enjoyed this post. Do send us your thoughts and feedback in the comment box below. Next month we cover the science of sleep and how nature can influence it. To stay updated subscribe to our monthly blog update at this link.
May the music of the forest always be with you when you need it.
Please share this with people in your life who may need a moment of calm in their life.
I want to hear more about the music of the sacred forest.. please
Thank you for such an insightful read. We use music as therapy in our work with children with special needs. Loved your article!
Great work Vaishali. Wish you luck,