Connect with us


It’s a trip within a trip when it comes to psychedelic therapy music.



“Turn on, tune in, drop out” was Timothy Leary’s famous LSD evangelist motto in the 1960s counterculture revolution. It also applies to many individuals’ sense of confinement. Certainly, dropping out was unavoidable in certain sectors of society, which shut down; nevertheless, the United States is now experiencing something of a love affair with psychedelics, and quarantine has played a role. Psilocybin and other psychedelics are becoming increasingly accessible, and several states and cities have decriminalized them (Detroit did so earlier this month). Recent studies revealed an increase in psychedelic use among college students (and a rise in LSD-taking overall in the United States).

Of course, they require some music to enjoy on their journey. During a period of lockdown, English artist and producer Jon Hopkins, known for his emotional and sometimes spacey riffs on techno and house music, attempted to figure out what was going on in his head. In January, he was heartbroken over a split between him and his significant other while wrapping up his beatless album, which was inspired by worldwide and internal excursions. The product of these sessions is Music for Psychedelic Therapy, which was released last month. According to a recent Zoom, Hopkins described the work as “not so much a piece of music as it is a series of locations or varieties of energy you pass through.”

According to Hopkins, his prior psychedelic of choice, DMT, supplied him the knowledge he needed to go far off the grid with an LP totally unlike his typical quantized dance music. The ethereal atmosphere of Therapy was “liberating,” according to Hopkins. There are no tempos, time signatures, or grids in Therapy; and this was quite freeing. “Taking away that just left all of this space for creativity with layers of sound and waves of complexity and simplicity, as well as more emotional content that I can’t get through programming drums.” It was ketamine, rather than DMT, that had the biggest impact on the album: he cut DMT out in 2019 because of growing anxiety prior to drug intake, and he’d been using it since (though he’s quick to point out that he does it maybe once a month). Therapy has an hour-and-a-half duration, which is the average length of a ketamine experience.

To reiterate, Hopkins is not a doctor nor does he act as one on TV, and the fact that his name sounds similar to the well-known Baltimore university/hospital Johns Hopkins is just a coincidence. “I’m just kind of following my own path, and I’m doing it as a shaman would do so in a ceremony.” Then, for psychedelic therapy, Music For Psychedelic Therapy is a proposition rather than a prescription. Hopkins explained that the title came to him while he was tripping, after he’d completed at least half of the album. “It was literally almost written in front of me at the end of this trip,” he added. “And it was just like, ‘There’s no alternative. You have to call it now.’” He likes it because the name pays homage to Brian Eno’s Music for Airports, a groundbreaking 1978 album that effectively defined ambient music while also establishing a thrillingly high bar for the music genre.

After reading Michael Pollan’s How to Change Your Mind, a sort of Intro to Psychonautics for the layperson, and learning how crucial music can be for the two pillars of successful trips—set and setting (that is: you’re more likely to avoid a bad trip if your attitude going into it is positive and unburdened, and your surroundings are comfortable) — Hopkins did not adhere to any standard layout when laying out his musical journey experience. There are examples of them—for example, Johns Hopkins researchers developed a playlist “to express the sweeping arc of the typical medium- or high-dose psilocybin session,” according to their website—but this group was more concerned with the title as “a contribution to the conversation about music within this context and its importance.”

“While I don’t pretend to know what’s best for individuals in that situation, I went out of my way to make it feel both warm and secure,” he added. “It doesn’t imply that it isn’t full of tense situations. It’s intended to be played at a high volume, and you’re supposed to feel the sub-bass rumble in your bones. But I wanted it to leave you in a position where you feel safe exploring some aspect of yourself, or perhaps be enthralled by nature’s majesty, for example, in the cave segment. It’s something I’ve been interested in for a long time. The recurring motif of field recordings that incorporate natural sounds is really just the stuff I wanted to experience first-hand while in those locations.”

The second half of the record, which comprises a three-track suite in the cave section, includes ambient sounds recorded in Ecuador’s Tayos Caves. The bard added, “My trip there in 2018 gave me the idea for Music for Psychedelic Therapy. It’s rather appropriate that the origin of this album was deep underground in the Amazon, whereas every other record began in a room in London or Los Angeles with sounds played around,” he explained. The English woodlands near where Hopkins experienced his DMT experiences provide the source for additional field recordings. In any case, the record was composed and mixed with Ableton, which is known for its music-making capabilities. Other sounds come from his Moog synth and piano (albeit heavily processed), while the song’s tone was formed by the music software. “A lot of things stem from manipulating sounds that are already there,” he added. “I explore what they’re saying until they sound like what I’m searching for. Until I find it, I have no idea what I’m looking for frequently. It’s like putting together a puzzle, but you don’t know what the completed picture is supposed to look like until it’s finished. It’s really quite cerebral, and it doesn’t require much technical ability.”

I’d been doing Music for Psychedelic Therapy while sober for weeks (I like listening to ambient/drone while I’m meditating since it provides me with something tangible to focus my thoughts on). The next day, after taking a modest dose of psilocybin to immerse myself in the music as intended, I had one of the most strange days of my life. It was an experience beyond words.

The bells on the opening track begin with a series of bends before seemingly whoosh up into and past outer space—my eyes covered, my thoughts tumbling visual pathways as the sound reverberated in my ears. Finally, scraping noises on “Love Flows Over Us in Prismatic Waves” etched thin patterns into my mental vision, and the feeling of racing in “Deep in the Glowing Heart” put what felt like G force on my body. I felt trapped and protected while listening to the “Tayos Caves, Ecuador” suite. I questioned how he knew how to score my perceptions before realizing that what I was seeing was visual scoring to his sound. I’m not sure whether the music aided therapy, but it was lovely to have as a cushion for the day’s journey (ambient music is my favorite soundtrack for a trip). The sounds are frequently soft and beautiful since life is also. I wept throughout both plays of the final song, “Sit Around the Fire,” which features Ram Dass’ words. “There once was a fire in each of us, and for some of us, there appear to be only ashes now,” says Dass in an audio clip that East Forest sent to Hopkins’ collaborator. “But when we dig in the ashes, we find one ember, and very carefully fan that ember. Blow on it; it brightens… The ember grows stronger, the flame flickers a little, and soon you realize that all we’ll do for eternity is sit around the fire.”

Although he was brought up as an atheist, his psychedelic encounters have cause him to adopt a more combative approach. “There’s no way to convey the DMT experience in words. It’s beyond description, save for suggesting that you’re in the presence of ultimate reality or some form of God. And I don’t mean a creature when I say “God.” I’m talking about an intelligence that is limitless and lies behind everything, this self-organizing aspect of the cosmos or whatever you want to call it, the origin of all things,” he explained. “To feel that and to go, ‘Oh, well, that’s just the structure of the brain,’ it’s just as valid to say that in order to say, ‘That’s a thing that we’re all intricately linked with,’ which is my conclusion.”

During our interview, he was similarly deep regarding the ties that run through his work.

“It feels like a weird superpower to be able to just sit there and create noises. You can enter those sounds as though they were a location via the psychedelic experience, and then you may visit them,” he said. “What I’m proposing isn’t just some new world. That’s what we’re talking about when we talk about creating your own universe. I’m actually building the locations I desire to see and then offering them to everyone by releasing it. When people tell you that what you’re doing is wonderful, it’s much more difficult to believe them when they explain how important this work is. The feelings of elation and accomplishment I experienced when creating this were unlike anything I’ve ever known. It was fantastic.”

Continue Reading
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply


What Louis Tomlinson Thinks About A Possible One Direction Reunion



After breaking out in the media with hits such as “What Makes You Beautiful,” “Story Of My Life,” “Best Song Ever,” and more, 1D took the world by storm (via Digital Spy). However, in 2015, the boy band shocked their devoted followers when they announced that they will be taking a break. According to E! News, the group shocked their fans by announcing that they would go on hiatus in 2015. After Zayn Malik announced his intentions to leave 1D, the band decided to disband in order to focus on their own solo projects.

“They are great friends and fully support one another,” a source said of the group. “They are very aware that they are able to work on their own stuff as well as remain together. This is an exciting time for them creatively and as a group.” However, it appears that at least one member of One Direction was in opposition to the split.

Before the break, Tomlinson told The Guardian that he was feeling optimistic about the band. “In the last year of One Direction, I was probably the most confident I ever was,” he said. “And then it was: ‘OK, hiatus!'” He acknowledged that he struggled against it, but ultimately lost.

Since then, One Direction has yet to record any new music. The group’s future, on the other hand, appears promising.

Did Louis Tomlinson hint at a possible 1D reunion?

According to Cheat Sheet, since announcing the group’s hiatus in 2015, One Direction members have been working on their solo careers and other activities like beginning families. Louis Tomlinson recently spoke out about a possible reunion and left fans wondering if there could be hope for the group in the future, despite Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, and Zayn Malik all remaining quiet on the subject of a reunion.

In 2021, Tomlinson took part in the WIRED Google autocomplete challenge, answering queries about himself that fans most search for on the internet. He went through his tattoos, color of his hair, eye color, and more before finally getting to One Direction. When asked about the group he replied, “Good time in my life. Hopefully, we come back.” The return of an iconic logo inspired fans to believe that perhaps, just maybe, the band was reuniting. Fans also noticed that when Tomlinson referred to 1D as the band he “is” in before correcting himself to say “was,” he made a minor slip of the tongue.

Could Harry’s comments be hinting at a One Direction reunion? Despite the fact that it appears improbable for now, fans have not stopped hoping for the group to reunite and create new music in the future.

Continue Reading


This Is How Elton John Got His Name



Elton John is one of the most famous names in modern music, with his distinctive appearance and voice, as well as instantly-recognizable songs. It’s difficult to find many individuals who haven’t heard Elton John, better known as “The Rocketman,” thanks to his signature song of the same name. In fact, the Elton John biopic film released in 2019 was called “Rocketman” because the word is so easily identifiable with John (via IMDb).

However, prior to his career as “The Rocketman” and even before he earned the moniker “Elton John,” he was known by a different name. He actually went by his birth name, Reginald Kenneth Dwight, and dropped out of school at the age of 17 to pursue a music career (via Biography). He eventually changed his name because he was becoming more successful, however even the film documenting his life didn’t get his change of name right.

Elton John chose a new name on the fly

The film “Rocketman” tells audiences that Reginald Kenneth Dwight changed his name to Elton John after meeting John Lennon, the famous Beatle. Lennon, on the other hand, had nothing to do with how Elton John got his name. Another singer known as John also existed.

According to a 1991 interview with Rowan Atkinson, Reginald Dwight was a member of the group “Bluesology” and decided to go it alone, hence the name change. He said he chose the name Elton after a saxophone player in the group because he wanted to branch out on his own. In a 1990 interview conducted after the release of his CD box set entitled “To Be Continued…”

“I was in Bluesology, and we were coming back from a Long John Baldry gig somewhere, and we got a bus from London airport to London and someone said, ‘We’ve made it now, so what are you going to call yourself?'” John said (via The Wrap). “The saxophone player in the band was called Elton Dean, a very good jazz sax player, and the only other Elton I could think of was Elton Hayes, who recorded the song ‘The Owl and the Pussycat.’ So I took ‘Elton’ from Elton Dean and ‘John’ from Long John Baldry. I wanted to choose a name that nobody had, and it was as quick as that.”

Continue Reading


Fans Think Britney Spears Is Pregnant According to Them



When Britney Spears updated her Instagram Story, she may have started a rumour about herself. The singer and her partner Sam Asghari are relaxing on Maui, Hawaii at present. While posing for photos with her adoring public, Spears revealed that lately she hasn’t felt too well (via Fox News).

“I think I have a small bug … the only thing that is similar to this feeling is when I was pregnant…” the star wrote as a caption to the clip. She continued, “it’s the nausea that is the worst … It’s like I can’t wake up so I go to the gym trying to wake my system up !!!”

Spears continued her post by writing, “It’s like clockwork … I break my first sweat then I go to the bathroom and throw up… it’s absolutely horrible but then I stay at the gym because I don’t want to go home and lay sick in bed …. I keep going and [at] night I go dancing and my system starts to get clarity … Dude … this has been going on for a month and if someone has this you’re not alone !!!”

Following her return to Instagram, fans immediately started speculating about whether she is expecting again, with one user writing, “She’s pregnant again.” “Awwww baby on the way.” “Morning sickness my dear,” echoed another fan.

More Spears fans were reacting to her tweet about pregnancy on Twitter.

She has confirmed that she wants to conceive again

The celebrity’s message about being sick for a month caused Twitter to go wild. “Britney girl…your nausea has lasted for a month and the only other time you felt like this was when you were pregnant???? who’s gonna tell her?” asked one fan. “I think it’s time to get a pregnancy test PLS,” someone else tweeted.

The rumor mill was still in operation, with another individual adding, “Girls Britney is pregnant. Throwing up every morning for a month…. And she even said herself she’s never felt like this except when pregnant….”

Although she enjoyed her first title, Spears is still determined to have another kid. As the whole world heard during her conservatorship hearing as she tried to terminate it, Spears, who is a mother of two adolescent sons, wants to conceive another child. “I want to be able to get married and have a baby. I was told right now in the conservatorship, I’m not able to get married or have a baby. I have an IUD inside of myself right now so I don’t get pregnant,” the pop star testified. “I wanted to take the IUD out so I could start trying to have another baby. But this so-called team won’t let me go to the doctor to take it out because they don’t want me to have any more children,” she said (via Billboard).


Continue Reading