Seth Misterka and Jenny Deveau from Dynasty Electrik perform sound baths that incorporate traditional sound healing instruments including singing bowls, gongs and Native American flute and drum, along with electronic tones and theremin to transport you into a state of deep meditation and relaxation. In this interview they share insights of their discovery and the benefits of this practice.
Where did your passion for music stems from and how did this evolve into incorporating sound healing into your work?
We were both always interested in music from an early age. In university I studied with a jazz musician named Anthony Braxton. He invited me one day to perform an improvisation with him which was a bit out of the blue. I was very nervous, although I was playing music at the time, I did not consider myself very advanced at that moment. At the session, what happened was a telepathic, spiritual breakthrough for me that I had never before experienced, all of a sudden music was flowing through me that I had never practiced or heard before. By being open in this improvisation setting all this psychic information was channeling through me, it was almost an out of body experience where I was watching myself perform and hearing myself play these things which I had never practiced or attempted to perform. This experience really opened up my inner ear, my inner auditory experience and opened up the whole mystical side of music, the inner spiritual dimension of music for me. It really changed my life, it was that experience that inspired me to pursue music more seriously and on a professional level.
Whilst we were pursuing music professionally in New York City we met a sound healer, Lisa Ishwari Murphy. We knew that music had a healing and spiritual quality, but she was the first person that was practicing this as a profession. She was healing people from MS, cancer, heart disease, depression and other ailments that are difficult for traditional medicine to treat and was having tremendous results with her music and her energy medicine practice. Lisa hired us to produce a series of albums of her work, which was undocumented at that time, and in the process, we ended up becoming her students. The experience was so profound that we decided to completely transform and dedicate our musical practice to sound healing and to helping people achieve greater health, wellness and relaxation through music. That was in 2012 and since then we have been dedicated to sound healing and sound baths.
Could you tell us more about what a sound bath is?
A sound bath is a type of concert experience whereas opposed to watching the musicians and performers with open eyes and being in a traditional setting, we close our eyes, lay down and we allow the music to just wash over us. As opposed to the outer experience of watching the musicians, the crowd and the lights instead we become focused on our internal experience of the music. This is the key distinction along with the music, rather than being energizing and exciting being tranquil, meditative and relaxing.
And what benefits does this offer?
The primary benefit is relaxation and by simply moving into the sound we can reduce our anxiety, our stress and our depression. By listening to certain relaxing and harmonious music it allows our natural immune system and immune response to be more effective. In this sense rather than the western model of attacking a disease with drugs or surgery, sound healing music promotes a general harmony or wellness of the being. When that harmony is achieved between our physical, mental and energetic bodies, healing can naturally occur. It is no longer impeded by discordant thoughts or discordant energy inside of our body. In this sense music can potentially treat or alleviate any condition since it’s not specifically attacking a certain condition but promoting healing and wellness in general.
If disease is on a cellular, molecular level, things are out of balance – out of a cohesive pattern. If we are all vibrations the sound can come in and we entrain with the harmonious vibrational patterns of the different sounds. As a preventative measure sound can penetrate our vibrational field even before it hits the physical body, our mental fields, thoughts and emotions and it can balance those before something gets lodged in the body as a physical ailment or disease.
You offer a range of live virtual events, has this been due to the current pandemic we are facing and what has the response been from fans?
We were performing a weekly Friday night series at Mystic Journey Crystal Gallery for over 2 years with a magnificent setting of crystals and geodes but as soon as the pandemic shut everything down, we immediately shifted to virtual events. We continued right through and the series has evolved to the point where we are now presenting on YouTube live stream every Friday. We are overwhelmed by the response, people are receiving so much benefit even though it is not in person, what we are doing energetically is able to be transmitted over time and space to where everyone is. It has been really amazing that it has been helpful to people even in this form.
In person it is a very powerful experience but we were pleasantly surprised to see how profound and transformative it can be electronically as well. People have been very appreciative that we have continued to offer our music in this new format, as so many of us have been stuck at home, feeling anxious and stressed during this time. It has personally been a very heartwarming experience for us, as a sound healer you also receive benefits from your work, when other people are feeling better as a result of the music.
We have also been charting and following the moon cycles and the astrological transits of this year and it has been such a powerful year so tying that into the sound bath experience and providing a point of reference for people to meditate and move into the experience and allow them to release what is no longer viable or no longer in existence and create space for some new energies to come in.
Another pleasant surprise of this time is that we were limited to the Los Angeles area, Southern California before the pandemic where now we have been able to reach across the United States and international borders with our music. It has been wonderful to open our practice to others who would not have been able to experience it in person.
For someone that has never experienced a sound bath what can they expect from attending a session?
It is as simple as closing our eyes and allowing the sounds to wash over our bodies and minds. Once that occurs there tends to be an inner visionary experience that people have where we tend to enter into a state between waking and dreaming. When we enter that state people will frequently experience inner visions of either colours, fantastic landscapes or fantastic beings that they may encounter. It can be as simple as closing our eyes, listening to soothing music and relaxing or it could potentially be as profound as having a beautiful spiritual experience.
How often do you recommend someone attend a sound bath?
It is perfectly safe to practice as often as one desires and as often as one finds it beneficial. Some people practice sound baths every day, a lot of people chose right before bed as it is so relaxing, a perfect prelude to sleep as you are entering into the zone between waking and sleeping, but it really can be done anytime of day. We find a lot of our fans attend once a week for an emotional and physical reset. Another aspect of it is if you lay down in Shavasana, which is our recommended pose for listening to a sound bath, laying down in the most relaxing yoga pose you can really extend that session out where you end up practicing Shavasana for up to an hour. Normally in a yoga class you may practice this pose at the end of a class for 5 to 10 minutes to relax but the deep relaxation you experience from an hour of this is extremely beneficial for physical and emotional health.
When it comes to health and wellness are there any other practices you use personally to maintain your self-care?
We practice yoga and meditation regularly on a daily basis. We also believe that our diet is very important, we practice a vegetarian diet, eating as many fresh fruit and vegetables as possible. We love hiking and spending time in nature for both the exercise and physical aspect but also the spiritual and mental aspects of communing with the forest, trees and natural environment we find to be so holistic. In these times where there has been a lot of anxiety and stress, we have found a solace in the forest where we live. We consider the human being as a musical instrument, for example the beating of our heart, rhythm of our circulatory system, the melody of our thoughts and words. Music is one way to help tune our systems, sound baths along with the other techniques described as well as spending time with loved ones, communicating with loved ones are all ways that we can keep ourselves in tune. When we are in tune, we are able to create music with our lives instead of just noise. We surround ourselves with crystals too and incorporate these in our sacred space where we do our sound bath.
Lastly do you have any advice to give someone trying to develop a richer connection with themselves?
Music really is a wonderful tool for this, music is a easy gateway to inner dimensions of consciousness as opposed to advanced meditation techniques which may require many years of practice and are difficult for beginners to experience the full richness of the inner experience. Music has the ability to directly transport us to higher states of consciousness, not all music does but certain music can. What I would suggest for someone looking to use music as a tool in developing your inner experience and getting to know yourself better, is to explore various recordings and find that music that takes you to that place. I would certainly recommend the music that we practice but there are lots of examples of it. Some of the music that I find takes me to this place is the work of an artist named Deuter, or the works of Ravi Shankar or Alice Coltrane. When we find that music that takes us to this spiritual dimension inside of ourselves by simply listening to this music and allowing it to transport us inwards, we can unlock this higher state of consciousness which is normally esoteric and difficult to achieve.
To experience an inner journey with Dynasty Electrik tune in to their weekly live virtual events every Friday at 7pm PST / 10pm EST on www.youtube.com/dynastyelectrik