Category Archives: Giving Back

Peace Through Music

Gift of Music Keeps Giving

Music is the gift that keeps on giving all year long. A CD is a small item, but it fills your whole home with peaceful vibrations. When you purchase a full album for yourself or as a gift for friend or family member, you are directly supporting the artist who created it. We thank you deeply for supporting independent musicians.

As you may know, Dean Evenson and I (Dudley) founded Soundings of the Planet to share our peaceful music almost four decades ago. We have grown with each change of technology. We began in 1979 making cassettes. Then in the late ‘80s, we started making compact discs. Then, file sharing came in and thankfully, Apple founder, Steve Jobs, invented digital downloads so people could pay a small amount to deliver music to their computer.

Now, there are new delivery systems such as streaming services like Pandora, Spotify, YouTube, Spa Channel, etc. There, you can create your own Dean Evenson, Dudley Evenson, Tom Barabas, Scott Huckabay or Soundings Ensemble channel or station. We receive a small fee each time you listen so we do benefit somewhat. But the best way to support the musician is by purchasing an actual CD of the music.

In our case, we spend a lot of time putting together a flow of the music, so there is a much greater benefit to owning a whole album versus just listening to one or two songs in random order. Our music is different from Top 40 songs because people use our music for healing and relaxation. We want you to stay in that mood and have no big surprises in the midst of your listening experience.

We are extremely grateful to you for supporting our mission of Peace Through Music.  May your holidays be filled with joy and peace. Remember, when you comment on our blog at soundings.com we will send you a free mp3 track of our music in appreciation. Seasons blessings to you and yours! Take advantage of holiday special.

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Peace Music Nature

Peace Through Music & Nature

Dean Evenson has loved nature from his early days as a bird watcher, an Eagle Scout and camping with his family. His peace music began with flute at 10 years old, so as he grew up, the idea of combining nature and music together became a natural course of his life path. In 1979, Dean was one of the first musicians to combine the sounds of nature with his peaceful music and in the process, he helped birth a whole new genre of relaxation and meditation music.

Another influence on his work has been his contact with Native American wisdom that teaches about nature perceiving the Earth as a living being which provides for our physical sustenance. The indigenous people call her Mother Earth and it is this concept that has caught the attention of Dean and Dudley who have dedicated their lives to bringing awareness to the importance of respecting nature. They see nature, not just as a resource for human development, but as having value in itself, for itself. Humans benefit greatly from healthy, natural ecosystems. When nature is out of balance, human populations are affected, not just the animals and plants. It is in all our best interests to do what we can to protect nature and give back to the Earth.

We hope you enjoy this short video of Dean Evenson discussing his philosophy about nature, music and peace.

“When we can relax ourselves into nature and experience the beauty and complexity of the natural world around us, we began to see how we do fit into this amazing system. We realize our responsibility to care for the life that is around us, knowing that life gives back multifold to an energy that’s given into it. You put a seed in the ground, add water and light, and that one little seed grows into a big plant. Some of the plants even have fruits and vegetables that are shareable as food. The natural world is a support system for all life and especially the human population so that we can evolve into greater things. It gives us immense pleasure to be part this beautiful, living system”
~ Dean Evenson

To these ideas of music and nature, Dean adds the concept of peace – both inner and outer peace. For almost four decades, people have been using Dean’s music to support their meditation and healing process. The gentle tones of flute, joined with nature sounds, create a perfect environment of Peace Through Music. When a person experiences inner peace, they will be a peaceful influence on the world around them. Everyone benefits from one individual living in harmony with themselves and their environment.

Thank you for watching and sharing. When you comment on our blog, we will send you a free mp3 track of our music as a thank you. We send you blessings of Peace Through Music!

Celebrate Earth Day – You Can Make a Difference

DID YOU KNOW….?
That less than 5% of our nation’s virgin forests remain?!
40% of our forestland is clearcut for paper products?!
Over 50% of our nation’s landfills is paper waste?!

 YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE

1)  Use post-consumer recycled paper or alternative paper sources, and encourage governments and businesses to recycle and use post-consumer recycled paper.

2)  Support ecologically responsible forestry practices as well as the labor-intensive renewal and restoration of destroyed forests to create jobs.

3)  Educate yourself and others about natural forest ecosystems.

4)  Communicate with lawmakers, timber industries, paper manufacturers, neighbors, etc., who decide the fate of forest lands.

5)  Support legislation to preserve ALL remaining ancient forests.

6)  Contribute time, energy, and money to an environmental group working on forest issues.

7)  Support a ban on raw log exports so that domestic industries can benefit by processing timber into finished wood products.

8)  Support programs that retrain displaced loggers.

9) Plant trees or support a tree planting organization.

10) Consume less and encourage environmentally-friendly at practices at work, home and in the classroom (discourage use of paper towels, paper cups, products with wasteful packaging, disposable items).

 Let’s stop killing the forest for the trees

Human well-being ultimately depends on the well-being of the complex ecosystem that is the forest.  Forests don’t need people; they have existed long before humans appeared on Earth.  However, humans can benefit from the forests in a variety of ways as long as we don’t take more than the forest can naturally provide.
Continue reading Celebrate Earth Day – You Can Make a Difference

Honoring Mother Earth and our Native Communities

We love nature! Ever since we were young, Dean Evenson and I have enjoyed camping, hiking and just being in nature. Dean was an avid bird watcher and even achieved the honor of becoming an Eagle Scout with its associated merit badges. I used to explore the trails in the woods behind my house, imagining the Indians who walked there in a long ago age before cities, suburbs and super highways.

Dudley Dean mt lakeIt seems that time has only increased our love of the natural world and it doesn’t take much to get us out into wilderness areas. Last week, on a warm sunny day, we found ourselves high up on Mt. Baker near our home doing what we love to do – photographing, videotaping and sitting quietly on the mountainside with its vast vistas and sense of peaceful stillness.

It was our early exposure to the philosophy of Native American cultures that inspired us to consider the planet as a living body, our Mother Earth. In 1972, a couple years after the very first Earth Day, we attended the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment and met 15 Native Americans who had been sent over by Stewart Brand, founder of the Whole Earth Catalog.2 UN Earth SummitsHe had arranged for them to offer their influence on diplomats and environmentalists, to share their wisdom about Mother Earth. Dean and I videotaped them and were profoundly impressed with their powerful message, so different from the others at the conference.

This week, four decades after that first exposure, we were honored to participate in the Indigenous People’s Day celebration at the Lummi Indian Nation, a nearby Native American tribe. 

It was inspiring to see how far our Native brothers and sisters have come back to their traditional ways and how proudly they carry the message of the Earth. This beautiful mother planet that we all share was the initial impetus for the music Dean and I create through our label Soundings of the Planet. Nature was our first inspiration and many of our recordings include the sounds of the natural world. May we learn to care for this Earth, our living home, and find ways to give back to the planet and to the original people and all who struggle here.

Thanks for reading and I welcome your comments and thoughts. When you comment here I will send you are free mp3 music track!

And please check out these albums and DVDs on sale at soundings.com.
Native Healing
4 Earth CD

4 Earth DVD
2 U.N. Earth Summits: 1972 & 1992

 

Peace Through Music Helps Local Vets

Dudley Evenson dogtags

Recently I was invited to do a presentation for veterans at the Bellingham Vet Center. Several years ago, Dean and I had visited there and dropped off some of our music and videos and it turns out they had been showing our Eagle River DVD at their gatherings and potlucks where people really enjoyed the relaxation effect of the images of nature and the peaceful music. Eagle River was actually created after our first visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington, DC where we did a presentation on music and healing to the patients, many of whom were wounded in combat or suffering from PTSD . We received feedback from the commanding officers that they really needed that video of eagles and nature along the Nooksack River as it would help people dealing with their flashbacks and nightmares from the trauma related to their combat experiences. PTSD stands for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder which is what many people suffer after extreme combat situations.
Walter Reed dog tags 2These are the dog tags the chaplain at Walter Reed gave us when we visited there a few years ago.

I was pleasantly surprised when I got a call a few weeks ago requesting a presentation about music for one of the local PTSD men’s groups.  I wasn’t sure what to expect but found a group of older Viet Nam era vets as well as some younger ones from more recent wars who were ready to work on dealing with their issues. As the leader said later, the men appreciated being able to step out of their comfort zone. I actually had them breathing, toning, singing a mantra and doing ‘I am’ affirmations. I also shared the RELAXATION TRAINING GUIDE we created for Walter Reed so they would have an overview of how to use music in their process.

Then a few weeks later I was invited back to work with a group of women dealing with PTSD, either as veterans themselves, or because of being married to a veteran who was suffering form PTSD. I found this group of women very open to what I was teaching them and much more able to express themselves through the singing, toning and affirmations I had them doing. It is interesting to me that what I am actually teaching these military folks is based on the yoga of sound and it really seems to work. The women want me to come back and go deeper into the process so I am excited to be able to share what Dean Evenson and I have been learning and teaching all these years about the healing power of sound and music, meditation and self-expression.

Here’s a link to the Eagle River DVD and also to Healing Sanctuary, an album we created after 911 to help people deal with trauma. Both of these were among several of our albums used at Walter Reed and given out by the chaplain there to the wounded.

Please add your thoughts about this important issue and especially if you have or know of anyone dealing with PTSD and I will send a free mp3 healing music track to those who comment.

What do David Suzuki and Pope Francis have in common?

Image converted using ifftoany
Image converted using ifftoany

What do David Suzuki and Pope Francis have in common? It turns out they both care deeply about the fate of the planet and have some strong words for those who will listen.  Just the other day we heard renowned author, scientist and television host of The Nature of Things, Dr. David Suzuki, speak to a packed hall about the crises our destructive human behaviors are causing to the planet.  And today we hear that the new Pope Francis is issuing a Papal Encyclical about the unprecedented destruction of “God’s Creation” if we don’t change our consumptive ways.

This is so relevant to Dean Evenson and me as we have been looking at ways we can considerably reduce our ‘carbon footprint’ and tread more lightly on the Earth. We want to look at the energy we use and make concerted efforts to reduce it by measurable results.  We hope to engage others in taking a personal look at how much energy we use, where it comes from, and how we can switch to renewable energy in most of our areas of use.

Here are some relevant excerpts to give you an idea of the depth of the Pope’s commitment to get some traction on this very important issue:
“Humanity is called to take note of the need for changes in lifestyle and changes in methods of production and consumption to combat this warming, or at least the human causes that produce and accentuate it,” he wrote in the draft. “Numerous scientific studies indicate that the greater part of the global warming in recent decades is due to the great concentration of greenhouse gases … given off above all because of human activity.”

The pope will also single out those obstructing solutions. In an apparent reference to climate-change deniers, the draft states: “The attitudes that stand in the way of a solution, even among believers, range from negation of the problem, to indifference, to convenient resignation or blind faith in technical solutions.”

Mother Earth, Mother Nature, God’s Creation, whatever you want to call it – there is no doubt that the health of the planet forms the foundation of our own health.  So consider each of your actions, everything you consume or use, how it affects the overall eco system of the planet.  It’s a lot to ask, but then again, nature gives so much, it’s the least we can do.

If you are interested or have experience in doing this, please let us know.  I welcome your comments and ideas on the subject (and will send you a free music track to those who post comments). This will take more that a village to make the necessary changes to really make a difference.  Stay tuned!

Click here for some of Soundings of the Planet albums that include natural sounds. It’s our way of honoring the Earth.

And since Father’s Day is coming up, we’re offering a super discount at soundings.com through June. Use code – FATHERSDAY15.  And check out Dudley’s photos on Soundings Facebook page – A Tribute to Dads & their Babies.

 

Yearning to Help This Troubled World

Drums Not GunsMy heart yearns to help this troubled world
All around I hear people crying out in pain
Calling for assistance and understanding
Of this crazy stirred up incredible world
Hurricanes, tsunamis, floods, earthquakes
Terrorist attacks Mudslides Unnecessary War
Death Homelessness Separation from Family

I don’t know if everyone feels this way but some are called
To feel the weight and wonder of the world on our shoulders
In our hearts to somehow see all sides and feel no separation
Praying for Resolution of the conflicts and the suffering
For Harmony among all people, of man with Nature
Praying for Peace to fill our hearts and heal our broken world

Oh please let me know how you reconcile living in the material plane.  How have you been able to help your neighbors, contribute to your world?  What have you seen others do that inspires you to do more.  I would love to hear from you (and I’ll send you a free music track in gratitude).

 

Soundings Music Helps Troops and Vets Relax

A few years ago Dean Evenson and I were privileged to be invited to present our music and sound healing workshop at Walter Reed Army Medical Center to help returning combat troops and those suffering from PTSD and wounds of war.
DeanEvenson-WalterReed
To support the visit we created a Relaxation Basic Training Guide that would help soldiers with the daunting task of unlearning their fight or flight syndrome and learn a new skill – relaxation.  Since we know how much music can help the relaxation process, we were glad to provide tools for people to unwind from their intensive military experience and begin to calm down their instincts and prepare to live in a world without the stresses of war.  In essence we were teaching them the yoga of sound and how to use breath, toning and affirmations to change their mental state and allow the body to calm down.  For years we had heard the phrase – Support the Troops – and although our motto is Peace Through Music and we have always been opposed to war in general, we still wanted to help those who are called upon to fight.  The challenge for many is the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that often appears after combat.  This can be an issue for anyone who has experienced a traumatic event (accident, loss, death of a loved one) so the information we compiled is relevant for those who haven’t been in war.

So if you or anyone you know is in need of overcoming PTSD or any stress related situation – you can click here to download the Relaxation Basic Training Manual.  And if you are interested – these are the CDs the chaplain would hand out to the wounded soldiers at Walter Reed – Sound Healing, Healing Waters, Healing Dreams, Eagle River, and Ocean Dreams.  We also created a DVD called Eagle River that was specifically designed to help those suffering from the stresses of war.

And don’t forget, I am giving away a free mp3 download for those who comment on my blog.  Thanks for sharing.

 

Mother Earth, Mother Nature, Mothers Everywhere

Curtis Print Comanche MothersThis picture of Comanche Mothers was taken in 1927 by E. S. Curtis and is an original print that was given to us many years ago in appreciation for our work. It was actually the negative holder for this wonderful image of mothers and their papooses, taken during a time when Native American traditions were still somewhat in tact.  We have much to learn from those traditional ways. All mothers everywhere have the same need – to care for their children.  And for mothers to be able to care for their families, they also need to be well cared for.

In 1972, my husband, Dean Evenson, and I attended as videographers the first United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm, Sweden.  I was five months pregnant with our first child but that didn’t stop me from hauling a backpack, tent, sleeping bag and our 35-pound video deck connected by a cable to an eight pound camera.  Of course Dean carried much of the heavy load and we managed to get around the conference, videotape and hitchhike throughout Sweden.

At the conference, we were fortunate to meet the 15 Native Americans who were sent over by Stewart Brand, the founder of the Whole Earth Catalog.  They were there to speak about Mother Earth and how the planet is a living being and how her human children are destroying her with their consumptive, polluting ways. This was the first time we had heard the phrase ‘Mother Earth’ and we were fascinated.

Over the four decades since then, we have been with and videotaped many Native brothers and sisters who echoed the same plea to save our precious Mother Earth, the only home we have.  The Earth is the source of all our physical beings and we are totally dependent on her for our survival.  Our very being depends on the health and wellbeing of our planet.  This message resonates even more strongly today as we witness the destruction brought on by climate change, extreme weather and carbon emissions from our overuse of fossil fuels.

So during this season of celebrating mother, we ask that you also consider the Earth and honor her sacred being by respecting her and finding ways to ‘give back’ what you have taken.  Consider switching to renewable energy, growing your own food or supporting organic, non-GMO farming and gardening and taking the time to educate your children, your grandchildren, and all those you come in contact with about this very important way of appreciating nature.  Mother Earth, Mother Nature, whatever you call this precious planet, our very lives depend on how we treat the Earth today.

Also for a limited time, I am giving away a free download of our nature music for those who comment on my blog about our music or about how you find ways to ‘give back to the Earth.’ And for those of you who would like to purchase some of Soundings of the Planet’s relaxing, nature-based music, we are having a super sale on all our CDs at only $9 through May 15.  Use this code at checkout to get the discount – MOTHERSDAY15.

Nature and Music: Healing People and the Planet

Published in Natural Awakenings Chattanooga, April 2015

Dean Evenson Native flute riverIn 1970, when sound-healing and video pioneers Dean and Dudley Evenson first became aware of the serious environmental issues threatening our world, they wanted to find a way to help educate people about the plight of the planet. They got that opportunity two years later, when they worked as videographers at the first United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm, Sweden.

“In Stockholm we met and were exposed to the wisdom of the fifteen Native Americans who were at the conference talking about Mother Earth,” recalls Dudley Evenson. “We documented this historic event with the new, portable Sony video camera that had just become available, and looked for ways to apply these new ideas.”

The next year, Dean Evenson was invited to Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota to help transmit television out of the occupied town. He stayed on the reservation a month, videotaping Lakota elders, activists and medicine men, who spoke strongly about the challenges facing the earth at that time. Again the Evensons contemplated this new information and tried to figure out a way to share what they were learning.

A few years later, now living in Tucson, Arizona, the Evensons decided to form a record label, Soundings of the Planet, to distribute  what Dean describes as “the music that was flowing through us.” He spent the night in a desert canyon, and as the sun rose, he used two stereo mikes to catch the sounds of the birds at dawn. The Evensons’ first album, Desert Dawn Song, included these sounds of dawn in the desert along with the couple’s calming music of flute, harp, cello and vocal tones.
Desert Dawn Song-SP-2223rgb

“This album was one of the very first to include meditative music along with field recordings of nature sounds, and it ushered in a whole new genre of music,” Dudley says. “This was our way of honoring the earth, and our vision was to get this nature-based music to people living in cities who made decisions about the fate of the planet.”

The Evensons have continued to create this special type of music, and over the past 35 years they have released more than 80 albums and videos dedicated to their vision of creating “peace through music.”

Dean has spent many hours next to flowing rivers or ocean beaches, and in wetlands, forests and mountain valleys, recording both audio and video. These “soundings of the planet” have found their way to a number of popular, award-winning albums and DVDs. The added bonus, Dudley says, is that the music seems to have a healing effect on listeners.

“Even though we didn’t start out trying to make healing music, that is exactly what happened,” she says.

The Evensons also added to their recordings the Earth Resonance Frequency (ERF) of 7.83 hz (cycles per second), which is the actual resonance of the planet’s atmospheric cavity, Dean explains. “This is also the same frequency that our brains emit when on the cusp of the alpha and theta brainwave states,” he says. “This tends to have a positive, healing effect on people, adding to the already peaceful state the music and nature sounds create.”

For more information on Dean and Dudley Evenson and their music and videos, visit Soundings.com; search “soundings of the planet” on Facebook or YouTube; visit their blog, HealthyLivingDreams.com; or call 800-93-PEACE (800-937-3223).

PS – I would love to hear how you have used our music.  And to those who comment, I’ll send you a free mp3 download!