Meditations on the Angels has been described by listeners as original, powerful, beautiful and unique. Composed and performed by Richard Irwin, it is an album of seven contemplative pieces suitable for individual meditation and for healing.
The meditations were written with the intention of providing healing and have been successfully used for this purpose, but only for a limited number of subjects. One therapist indicated that the music seemed to connect well with autistic children. The music was inspired by the concept of Western concept of angel voices, combined with Eastern ideas about the benefits of meditation for health, balance and spiritual enlightenment. Each movement uses one of seven different ancient modal scales designed to harmonise with the seven Chakras. Unlike most meditation music, the effect is designed to engage the emotions.
Each Chakra meditation is written in a different ancient modal scale that is related to vibrational base of the Chakra – which is often heard as a drone in the music. The ancient modal scales were defined by the Greek Philosopher, Aristoxenus of Tarentum in his Elements of Harmony dating from the 4th Century BCE, but were used in ancient music long before this.
Writing modal music imposes a particular discipline on the composer, denying them the use of many more familiar harmonic progressions available in modern western music and excludes the use of sharps and flats! Modal music was used in early Christian Church music, but the final mode, Locrian, was banned by Church authorities. The Locrian mode has neither a major nor minor triad, the fifth note being diminished. It also has no natural resolution.
As to listening, the clue is in the use of the word Meditation! Best listened to with headphone on, with eyes closed and with focussed breathing.
- Muladhara, Base or Root Chakra – Ionian Mode (5:09)
- Swadhisthana, Sacral Chakra – Dorian Mode (2.53)
- Manipura, Solar Plexus Chakra – Phrygian Mode (6.07)
- Anahata, Heart Chakra, Lydian Mode, (5.49)
- Vishuddha, Throat Chakra – Mixolydian Mode (5.28)
- Ajna, Third Eye Chakra – Aeolian Mode (10.51)
- Sahasrara, Crown Chakra – Locrian Mode (7:30)