Well known as a "musical magician," Steven Halpern has led the vanguard of so-called "new age" music since the early 70's. Steven relates, "We were all writing articles about calling it healing music, but back then there was an FDA issue, and you couldn't use the words 'sound therapy,' 'sound medicine,' let alone 'healing music.' So we didn't, and where people played this and where people heard this was at the 'New Age Festivals.' Thus was born the name...Just call it New Age. We were some of the first to be working with synthesizers. And then, anyone else who played any kind of instrumental music, either called it 'new age,' or was called that by the retailers who didn't have anyplace to put instrumental music. So if you weren't classical, you were 'new age.' But what's funny now, in some Borders stores there are now sections with 'relaxation music,' and sometimes 'healing music.' After 1994, for whatever reason, it became okay to use those words, which was a huge breakthrough."
Halpern's often improvised compositions seem to be direct communications from the angels, capable of soothing body, mind and spirit, and bringing about a new harmony within the listener. Many times, Halpern's audiences have experienced spontaneous healings during his concerts, and millions of listeners worldwide have spent quality, healing time with his outstanding recordings.
A distinction must be made between Halpern's creations and the general "new age" music field, and it is what prompted him to trademark what he does in his music as "The Halpern Effect," distinguishing it from other music in this crowded genre. Steven said the term "Halpern Effect" was used back in early days of New Age music as a qualifier, that his music does more for the listener than just create a gentle mood. "It's not just the notes of what comes through," Steven explains. Part of what is in the music is his own personal imprinting, but he also will include artificially created oscillations, imperceptible to the listener, but definitely noticeable as a relaxing effect. "I will have your brain in the palm of my hand at four or eight or twelve cycles per second," says Steven offhandedly. "When I was doing a film for [the TV show] "48 Hours," I had a song that had this in it, and then I showed them the same song without it, and they were just flipped out. We could really feel the difference! What do you call that? Well, the Halpern Effect, sonic entrainment."
Steven made the correlation between what he does and the Subtle Energy Products we offer at Pure Energy Rx. "At one time I was trying to explain my music and its effect using the term 'subtle energy,' but at my speaking events I was getting quizzical looks." When Steven attempted to apply the term to music he said people got confused, saying, You mean music that's subtle? Subtle music? What's so subtle about it? The term ended up being too esoteric to use in a musical context.
Yet, the territory covered by both Halpern and SES is the same: the intention to enhance energy levels and thus consciousness in order to bring about well-being and harmony in people using "subtle energy" frequencies.
Halpern sees a great future in healing music, but bemoans the pervasive sonic wash perpetrated by the media. "It's amazing how many people use sound as blanket, as a sound conditioner--just wallpaper," Steven points out. "The problem is that anything that's on all the time, you pay less attention to. It dulls the senses. I don't have music playing a lot of time for that reason."
In the September/October 2002 issue of Innerwords Magazine, Steven wrote, "For thousands of years, the healing powers of sound and music have been known and revered by virtually every culture, most noticeably ancient Egypt and Greece. Music is also an integral part of many spiritual traditions.
"Over the past 500 years, however, music devolved from its primary role in the healing arts to be relegated to the realm of entertainment. Recently, there's been a profound revival of interest in the therapeutic potential of vibrational energy frequencies we perceive as sound."
Halpern goes on to lay out what he calls Three Keys to Sound Health...
- 1. Your body is a self-healing instrument. We all share some universal realities with respect to our response to music. We also have our unique, personal expressions and manifestations; what works for one person may not necessarily work for someone else.
- 2. Your body heals itself most effectively in a state of deep relaxation.
- 3. Using music to evoke your relaxation response is easy and enjoyable--but you must choose the right music for this purpose. The style, speed, tone, complexity and intention of the composer, and performer are all important considerations.
Visit Steven Halpern's website, www.stevenhalpern.com
, to hear sound clips from his extensive library of recordings, and find your own way to relaxation and healing!