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The World Is Sound: Nada Brahma: Music and the Landscape of Consciousness

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Scientists have only recently learned that the particles of an oxygen atom vibrate in a major key and that blades of grass ‘sing.” Europe’s foremost jazz producer takes the reader on an exhilarating journey through Asia, Europe, Africa, and Latin America, exploring the musical traditions of diverse cultures and reaffirming what the ancients have always known--the world is Scientists have only recently learned that the particles of an oxygen atom vibrate in a major key and that blades of grass ‘sing.” Europe’s foremost jazz producer takes the reader on an exhilarating journey through Asia, Europe, Africa, and Latin America, exploring the musical traditions of diverse cultures and reaffirming what the ancients have always known--the world is sound, rhythm, and vibration. Berendt’s book is alive with his experiences--living in Bali, studying at a Zen monastery in Kyoto, and encountering budding jazz stars in Indonesia, Japan, Europe, and the United States. Drawing from his friendships with composers and performers as well as his knowledge of new physics and Tantra, cybernetics, Sufism, and the works of Hermann Hesse, he reveals the importance of sound in shaping cultural and spiritual life worldwide. A tribute to the work of many of the greatest figures of our age--including Hans Kayser, Jean Gebser, Sufi Hazrat lnayat Khan, musicians John Coltrane and Ravi Shankar--Berendt’s book suggests that hearing, rather than seeing, is the key to a more spiritual experience of consciousness. His discussion of sound in relation to mathematics, logic, sacred geometry, myth, and sexuality is practical as well as theoretical, offering readers a variety of techniques for developing the ear as an organ of spiritual perception.


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Scientists have only recently learned that the particles of an oxygen atom vibrate in a major key and that blades of grass ‘sing.” Europe’s foremost jazz producer takes the reader on an exhilarating journey through Asia, Europe, Africa, and Latin America, exploring the musical traditions of diverse cultures and reaffirming what the ancients have always known--the world is Scientists have only recently learned that the particles of an oxygen atom vibrate in a major key and that blades of grass ‘sing.” Europe’s foremost jazz producer takes the reader on an exhilarating journey through Asia, Europe, Africa, and Latin America, exploring the musical traditions of diverse cultures and reaffirming what the ancients have always known--the world is sound, rhythm, and vibration. Berendt’s book is alive with his experiences--living in Bali, studying at a Zen monastery in Kyoto, and encountering budding jazz stars in Indonesia, Japan, Europe, and the United States. Drawing from his friendships with composers and performers as well as his knowledge of new physics and Tantra, cybernetics, Sufism, and the works of Hermann Hesse, he reveals the importance of sound in shaping cultural and spiritual life worldwide. A tribute to the work of many of the greatest figures of our age--including Hans Kayser, Jean Gebser, Sufi Hazrat lnayat Khan, musicians John Coltrane and Ravi Shankar--Berendt’s book suggests that hearing, rather than seeing, is the key to a more spiritual experience of consciousness. His discussion of sound in relation to mathematics, logic, sacred geometry, myth, and sexuality is practical as well as theoretical, offering readers a variety of techniques for developing the ear as an organ of spiritual perception.

56 review for The World Is Sound: Nada Brahma: Music and the Landscape of Consciousness

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nura Melissa

    The first six chapters are very fun, a capricious romp through "Music and the Landscape of Consciousness." But, oh, dear god, what happened to the editor?? After chapter six, the book goes off the rails with ridiculous accusations about the domination of the visual sense over the hearing sense being the root of all that is wrong with the world today. It is quite a contortionist stretch to get from the lack of harmony in the body causing cancer to the "cancerlike spread of cities and suburbs". (C The first six chapters are very fun, a capricious romp through "Music and the Landscape of Consciousness." But, oh, dear god, what happened to the editor?? After chapter six, the book goes off the rails with ridiculous accusations about the domination of the visual sense over the hearing sense being the root of all that is wrong with the world today. It is quite a contortionist stretch to get from the lack of harmony in the body causing cancer to the "cancerlike spread of cities and suburbs". (Cue Pete Seeger's "Little Boxes".) He even alludes to nonsense like children becoming psychotic from watching television. Come on. My favorite quote from the book: "The person who gives first priority to the ears among the senses, who is primarily a hearing and listening individual, this person—we may logically conclude—will be much less aggressive than someone who perceives the world primarily and initially through the eyes. For that reason, the modern television culture is a breeding ground for aggressiveness. Day after day, in millions of middle-class living rooms, aggressions are being bred—with all the “nest warmth” that is necessary for breeding Good grief. Never does Berendt consider the perspective or even the existence of a deaf or hearing-impaired person. If sound IS life, what is the deaf person-- the walking dead? Also: the ruling eye-people are trying to divert our weakened glance from the simple conclusive realization that arms lead to war and he quotes: "The eyes have become an Adolf Hitler" Paranoid much? I'm just going to go poke my eyeballs out with a tuning fork. An interesting book until he starts his vulgar ranting about the evils of modern life. It cheapens the book and makes the author look just plain silly. Excuse me while I stumble back to my warm middle-class nest of aggression. In my cancerlike suburb. P.S. "Epitome" is repeatedly spelled "Epitomy" in the book. I guess it works better as an audio book. (See what I did there?)

  2. 5 out of 5

    bertrand

    A mind blowing compendium of Philosophy, Metaphysics, Quantuum Mechanics,Maths, the physics of Sound and omnipresent Harmonic proportions. Written by a musician practicing Buddhism, this book offers an experience as well as a powerful platform to revise our perception of Time and Space and Harmony. The end is a lecture in details about the fusion of Jazz and Music from India and the spiritual aspects of that phenomena.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Pradeep Ullal

    amazing as expected

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sanjeev

    One of my favorites. It's a book I'm going to read over and over to get the most out of, but I can say this is one of them that allowed me to think about the world through sound, proportion, and unity as opposed to the conventional fragmented way we currently approach it. One of my favorites. It's a book I'm going to read over and over to get the most out of, but I can say this is one of them that allowed me to think about the world through sound, proportion, and unity as opposed to the conventional fragmented way we currently approach it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    My second reading of this challenging book. I was a bit lost in the science, but the spirituality and religion parts I get. Music is everything; it is religion and god. My music listening has become richer and deeper and varied due to this book. The chapters end with listening recommendations from which I created a Nada Brahma playlist of jazz (mostly Coltrane especially the compilation titled Spiritual)and Indian Classical.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Fernando Mortara

    I read the Portuguese translation, and probably it already did some damage to the text. I could not get the line of thought of the author, reaching to conclusions after making arbitrary explanations of meaning of words in different languages. Also, there is no clear narrative, with some ideas just dropped in the middle of nowhere.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Abha Aggarwal

    Easily one of my favourite reading experiences.

  8. 5 out of 5

    T.S. Gibson

    One of those rare books that changes everything...as a Musician, I assumed I was a good listener. I didn't know the half of it. So thankful to have found this book! One of those rare books that changes everything...as a Musician, I assumed I was a good listener. I didn't know the half of it. So thankful to have found this book!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Filip

    Absolutely astonishing book. Diving into the roots of sound and the origins of language, the author underlies the importance of its existence.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Silvio

    I 100% agree with the 2-star top comment by Melissa. Apart from that, very interesting, but really overwhelming, like mixing all existing spices together and creating a masterwork of... messiness. No real structure, and I am very open-minded with esoteric opinions, but this was just too much cherrypicking. Maybe all of his claims and coherences are true, but I was not impressed nor convinced by his explanations. Nevertheless, the topics are super interesting and this book opened me up to many new I 100% agree with the 2-star top comment by Melissa. Apart from that, very interesting, but really overwhelming, like mixing all existing spices together and creating a masterwork of... messiness. No real structure, and I am very open-minded with esoteric opinions, but this was just too much cherrypicking. Maybe all of his claims and coherences are true, but I was not impressed nor convinced by his explanations. Nevertheless, the topics are super interesting and this book opened me up to many new ideas (I was googling something every few minutes), which I appreciate. Maybe I just wasn't ready for the book yet. I will probably read it again some time.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    The interesting fact about this book is that it is also available as the first of three 13 hour radio program / CD's with numerous, beautiful sound examples. All are available at zweitausendeins.de as CD's (German only). Amazing musical examples, Berendt is narrating himself though and his voice is a little unpleasant. The interesting fact about this book is that it is also available as the first of three 13 hour radio program / CD's with numerous, beautiful sound examples. All are available at zweitausendeins.de as CD's (German only). Amazing musical examples, Berendt is narrating himself though and his voice is a little unpleasant.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jürgen De blonde

    Just excellent. Amazing insights into the nature of music, the nature of nature and the cosmos. Extensive thoughts on how everything is vibration thus sound and how that interacts with our being and thus consciousness. How all this leads to communcition and links to improvisation. Great thoughts. Interesting names. Quite unique.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Grig

    This is exceptionally well written and contains enough inspiration for a lifetime! I need to read it again! After I finished this, I wanted more, so I read more, but no other book on the esoteric perspective of music really satisfied me like this did.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jean

    It was a difficult read for me. I am very much interested in mantras and sacred sounds from shintoism meditation practices and I was hoping that this book would have shed some light in some areas that I had questions. It didn't !!!! Never the less it was a good read. It was a difficult read for me. I am very much interested in mantras and sacred sounds from shintoism meditation practices and I was hoping that this book would have shed some light in some areas that I had questions. It didn't !!!! Never the less it was a good read.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tony

    Reading this very closely for a long time: needs digesting. Phenomenally good.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Clivemichael

    Amazing, opened my eyes and ears to myriad of possibilities.It has taken me on a journey of discovery that continues. Thank goodness for Inter-Library loans who made it possible to borrow a copy.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Robin Boudreaux

    great book, sweeping in scope, truly a world music perspective without the marketing hype and assumptions...

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rhett Palmer

  19. 4 out of 5

    Justin K

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cees Onderwater

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lois Eure

  22. 5 out of 5

    Alberto Martinez

  23. 5 out of 5

    Balthazar

  24. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Jung

  25. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Ackermann

  26. 5 out of 5

    Gregory De Brauwer

  27. 4 out of 5

    Michael J. Flynn

  28. 5 out of 5

    Louis Johnson

  29. 4 out of 5

    Andreas

  30. 5 out of 5

    Pierre Bennu

  31. 5 out of 5

    Yalda

  32. 4 out of 5

    Quakerhouse

  33. 4 out of 5

    Dave

  34. 4 out of 5

    Dax Monson

  35. 4 out of 5

    Michael

  36. 5 out of 5

    Mary Ellen Wessels

  37. 5 out of 5

    Sam

  38. 4 out of 5

    5 Track

  39. 5 out of 5

    Tim

  40. 4 out of 5

    Joel

  41. 5 out of 5

    Michael A. Sherbon

  42. 4 out of 5

    Rez

  43. 4 out of 5

    Ann

  44. 5 out of 5

    Anastasia

  45. 5 out of 5

    Courtney

  46. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

  47. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

  48. 5 out of 5

    Teacherhuman

  49. 5 out of 5

    Carina Grajales Veerkamp

  50. 4 out of 5

    Sashenka

  51. 5 out of 5

    Blaine

  52. 5 out of 5

    MPA

  53. 4 out of 5

    Katie

  54. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Moon

  55. 4 out of 5

    Janko

  56. 4 out of 5

    Kaushalendra Kukkoo

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