Got some exciting news today of a project from spiritual-arts programming collective Psychedelic Sangha. The NYC based group has been offering meditative psychedelic experiences, sound bath transmissions, and gatherings dedicated to sharing encounters with other states of consciousness. Notably a few of their Happenings from last year featured RSTB favorites Wet Tuna, M. Geddes Gengras, Sarah Louise, and Garcia Peoples, a series I was sad to miss being too far upstate. One of the group’s key experiences in addition to the Happenings is the Bardo Bath — a guided meditation paired with live music set to vibrate the mind beyond the edges of reality. The sound baths are inspired by the 1966 recording The Psychedelic Experience, an album designed to be used as an audio guide for navigating the inner space of the bardo. The recording was created by Drs. Richard Alpert, Timothy Leary, and Ralph Metzner and has served as a talisman for many who wish to break tethers with the body and enter a pure hypnogogic state.
With in-person experiences shut down due to safety concerns, Psychedelic Sangha has devised a way to bring the Bardo to you, at home. The first in a series, Sounds from the Bardo entitled “Born in the Kali Yuga” is being released today via the group’s Bandcamp. The first Bardo features longtime RSTB favorite Prana Crafter providing the musical component, lending his own unique strain of otherworldly float create a cocoon for the listener to enter via synth drones and a languid drip of guitar, eventually bursting forth into distorted pools of ozone-fried amp fry. The guided meditation here is provided by esteemed psychedelic scholar Erik Davis, author of High Weirdness, Techgnosis, and The Visionary State among other works.
As the project has attempted to subvert the traditional approach to the concept of sound baths in their residency so far, the home version continues that tradition, providing more than one way for the artist to experience the piece. Each piece in the series will also come along with a visual companion that allows the listener an alternative to the traditional eyed-closed Bardo experience, a nod to the group’s immersive light shows in their Happenings series. This first installment comes with hypnotic visuals by Aubrey Nehring that can alter the Bardo experience. Having listened through “Born in the Kali Yuga,” the series lives up to the high expectations placed on such amazing collaborators. As the group profess themselves — “Enter the psychedelic realm of the Misfit Seeker — welcome, friends.”
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