THE VESICA MASSAGE
The Vesica Massage may come as something of a surprise to people who know my work. Up to now, my music has always had lyrics, and most of it has been quite fast in tempo. The Vesica Massage is different. It's an instrumental album, and the tempo is definitely slow.
I composed The Vesica Massage as a musical accompaniment to Therapeutic Massage, in consultation with Holistic Therapist Fiona Lindsay MA(Ed.), ICHT, FHT, RBFP. I enjoy massage, and Fiona is a very talented masseuse. We were both aware, however, that there is a great shortage of high-quality contemporary music that is suitable for playing during a massage session. Neither of us has a high opinion of the vast majority of 'New Age' or 'Relaxation' music that is currently available, and I became intrigued with her challenge to me to do something better.
My brief was to develop music that would induce a deep relaxation in the client. However, the real test was to create music that would also contain enough interest, variety and depth to make repeated listenings a real pleasure for the Therapist.
The Vesica Massage is the result of a long process of composition that has been as challenging and rewarding for me as anything I have ever attempted. A massage session has its own structure and dynamics, and I tried to echo these in the composition. Massage also has its own rhythms, which I equate with the relaxing, peaceful pulse of the lullaby and barcarole. The tempo never strays beyond the range of the relaxed human pulse-rate, and in terms of development, each piece relaxes within itself, so that the fullest musical statements come towards the beginning of each track, with the music gradually becoming simpler and more elemental. The fundamental key of the work, G Major, is traditionally associated with peace, calm and happiness.
For the first time since Dome Of Discovery in 1993, I played and programmed all the instruments myself.
As each movement was completed, it was tested on Fiona's clients, so, although this is its first release, The Vesica Massage has already been extensively tested in professional practice, and its music does appear to be particularly effective in reinforcing the relaxing effects of Therapeutic Massage. It has also been chosen for use during Music Therapy sessions at a major London hospital.
The completed work was Mixed and Mastered by David Lord, who did the same job on Curly's Airships. In recent years, he has made rather a specialty of this kind of music, and has produced several Stars of the New Age firmament. I am frankly delighted with the result.
Though written for therapists, The Vesica Massage has an appeal beyond the Treatment Room, and I believe that anyone who loves melodic music with the accent on deep relaxation will find much to like on this 76 minute CD.
And for those of you who are understandably wary of 'Relaxation Music', I can promise you there are no endless drones, and no pan-pipes, didgeridoos, tribal chanting, sounds-of-the-rain-forest, or whales.