Sunday, 27 September 2009

Music for airports

I've been doing the relaxation/hypnotherapy for a week or so now. So far, so good. What has been really interesting to me is that it is something you have to work at. Maybe 'work' isn't exactly the right word. Put it this way: it is not something that happens to you. I have not ever had anything like hypnotherapy before and I think I was expecting to 'play the tape' as it were (er, initiate the mp3?) and go into some sort of trance or zone. The first time I listened I waited for the lovely-wife to go out for the evening (there is an inextricable part of every true-blooded englishman that screams (internally, of course) whenever one is forced to participate in anything that could possible be deemed 'whacky', but is in all likeliness just a little left-field, and an inevitable shroud of embarrassment/defensiveness/denial descends). So, despite the fact she has witnessed pretty much all there is to witness when it comes to the embarrassing aspects of my life, be they UC related or otherwise, it seemed unthinkable to tune in with an audience. I realise this is a deplorably negative start to preceedings, but, well, lets call it teething trouble. Off she went and away I went. It was difficult. I worked really hard to not feel a berk, and succeeded in allaying those feelings. But, I was apprehensive. There's alot riding on this for one thing, but my bigger fear was the ridiculous notion that she would come home to find me sat glassy-eyed in the dark, or in knee-hugging psychosis in the corner of the lounge. (If you're scoffing at these nonesensical qualms, let me tell you I did pay full regard to the voice of no-reason-whatsoever in my head that postulated the idea that in fact Guy is a meglomaniac of Bondesque proportions whose master plan is to hypnotise people into being sleeper agents, unknowingly of course, ready to be thrust into action at some predesignated doomsday hour... the manchurian congregation if you will... I should clearly state here that this is ABSOLUTELY NOT THE CASE, just groundless anxiety of a novice in the world of the truly broadminded). Naturally this was not the case, but I think the level of anxiety I achieved was such that I was not relaxed enough to take full advantage of the session. I had real difficulty in focusing on the suggestions and using my imagination where required - my brain repeatedly over-rode the tape and kept thinking of other stuff. Stupid brain.

The second time was better. Knowing what was coming helped. And I no longer felt the need to listen in secret. It reminds of the time I had counselling, about 8 or 9 years ago. I was lucky, I had a very good, very patient counsellor. If I'm jaded, cynical, and narrow-minded now, back then I was utterly imprisoned in the idea that it was me against the world - what could some guy called Bob conceivably do that I couldn't do myself? Of course he didn't do anything, he just let me figure it out for myself... the first session was spent in almost complete silence - I don't know if I was trying to psych him out or what. I think I was expecting the old 'lie on the couch and tell me about your father' routine, but he just sat smiling and waiting. By the third session I was spilling my guts and really all Bob did was to guide me through the fog of my own thinking - he never once told me what he thought, just helped me pick apart and sort out my own thoughts... And so I realised I don't just sit and listen; I have to be involved, albeit in a very very relaxed open-minded kind of way. Unfortunately, I left my bedroom window open and someone was being noisy outside and this kept creeping into my brain and knocking it off track. Stupid brain.

Anyhoo, I persevered, and third time out I had a break-through. I was really relaxed, and I was really focused. Relaxed and focused. Yep. Felt good.

And time number four was a revelation! For me, music is life. So much of what has happened to me is hung on one song or another. I always come back to music for uplift or come-down. So I tried something and it worked. The utter oneness that can be achieved in the relaxation therapy can be prolonged and, may I even suggest, heightened by following it directly with track 1/1 from Brian Eno's Ambient 1: music for airports.

He is said to have written it:
with the intent to defuse the tense, anxious atmosphere of an airport terminal. Eno conceived this idea while being stuck at Cologne Bonn Airport in Germany in the mid 70s. He had to spend several hours there and was extremely annoyed by the uninspired sound atmosphere
I'm not sure how effective it would be in airport, but combined with the hypnotherapy/relaxation session it has conspired to create one of the calmist, most assured and healthy weeks I can remember for at least a year. If nothing more comes of this, I would thank Guy, Geoffery and Brian for that.


Skinny Girl said...

Now are you sure you are not a sleeper agent? What if there was subliminal messaging? :)

Glad to hear it is going so well. Listened to the Music for Airports, that is relaxing.

It isn't just the true-blooded englishman that don't like to have witnesses. I'm right there too.

Rich said...

Now you mention it i did find myself outside the Grand Hotel in Brighton with no memory of how or why I got there... (explanatory note for overseas friends: the British Political Parties are in conference season, Labour (current govt) are in Brighton)... Just kidding MI5.

Yeah it's weird - I'll tell any old body about my UC, but have been suprisingly reticent about my current approach to treatment. Still WHEN it works I'll shout from the rooftops.

Keep on with the Eno - its goodstuff.

Paula said...

ah Rich, that is so well put :D ... have you let your wife listen to the recording yet? I haven't been able to do anything for 2 weeks now as I have visitors and honestly I can't be bothered with the "why are you doing that", "how long do you think you'll be", and the "Paula, where are you?" It worse than having kids home on the school holidays!...I did a post a few days ago about music you remember Tony Hart, the artist?..he used to do a kids show and part of it was to show the stuff the kids sent it...I'm older than you so you might not remember "Vision On"..and I can't remember if the tune came into the next show...that was when Morph appeared..anyway..they played music when they showed the kids stuff and your music kind of reminded me about it :D .... I use it over here in the check-out queue at the supermarket when I have no idea what people are saying :D ... actually I use it to tune out quite a lot in France when I can't be arsed :D

Rich said...

Hey Paula

Firstly, I must apologise - I have not checked out your blog yet, I will do asap.

Secondly, are you kidding?! Of course I remember tony hart! He was one of my childhood idols (him and morph). That said I am a little young for vision on, but Take Hart was a must. I believe the gallery music for vision on was
'Marguerite' by bob morgan, but I'm much more familiar with 'Leftbank2' by the noveltones:

Both pretty groovy!

As for the hypno-stuff, it is quite difficult finding a good undisturbed time to do it isn't it. I'm not suprised you haven't managed to with visitors. I've been waiting for the kids to go to bed - you could guarentee they would be banging on the door the minute the headphones went in...