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Welcome to Meru Foundation's Meeting Tent

Meru Foundation presents
FIRST SOUND™: The Music of Genesis

FIRST SOUND™: The Music of Genesis  First Release: Rev 1.0
Music that brings Genesis into your Heart
".....And there was Light."

First Sound™ The Music of Genesis
First Sound: The Music of Genesis

An Introduction by Stan Tenen

Much has been made of millennialism, most of it controversial at best.  But there is something to the idea that humankind grows in stages, and given our current world-wide informational and scientific "golden age" - there is good reason for us to be attentive to real, new-in-our-time advances in human consciousness.

We have all seen our small, blue-green planet from the new perspective of a higher orbit, above - a modern "heavenly view."

But much as we would like to be one world, we speak many languages, and we know in many different ways. There is one exception: music is universal.  Music bypasses our cynical, analytic, separating mind, and our cultural prejudices.  Music doesn't care about education, class, or religion; music goes directly to our heart.  If there is One God (or One Nothingness, or one scientific Theory of Everything), then that is the song all of our hearts can sing together.

There are many candidates for this One Song.  It may be that the great composers of all times have heard this Song, or part of it, and "drawn it down" and recorded it for us.  It's not hard to think that something like this inspired a Mozart, or a Mendelssohn.  And of course, the Great One is great, and all-inclusive, because the Whole includes all of its parts, all of its variations, and all of its projections, regardless of our point of view.

In the course of researching the possibility of letter-patterning in the root document of Western civilization, the Hebrew text of Genesis, it became obvious that patterning would only be important if it was extended throughout the text, and not just limited to the very beginning, or one or two odd corners.  But, how to tell if the patterns at the beginning of Genesis continued, without a priori knowledge of what to look for?  The simplest, quickest way to get a sense of pattern is to look or listen.  Looking at a text of thousands of letters, and seeing it all as a coherent pattern, or containing a coherent pattern, is just not feasible.  But listening to a sequence of musical tones (chords and developments of tones) that accurately represents the sequence of letters of the text could bring out patterning by the presence or absence of musical structure that could be felt directly by careful listening.

The Hebrew text of Genesis has been translated in literally hundreds of different ways, each based on a different tradition or different needs.  While these translations are valuable and valued, they don't bring us together, because they require a particular cultural view - and we're just not all that familiar with each others' cultures.  The Hebrew text of Genesis is traditionally chanted (a form of singing).  But this chanting is based on the Hebrew words, and the tradition of chanting is both varied and, of course, subject to interpretation and thus controversy.

If the Hebrew text of Genesis is a record of creation, perhaps its sequence of letters, expressed as tones, is in fact FIRST SOUND™: The Music of Genesis.  When we hear the sequences of tones that represent the creation process in Genesis, letter by letter, this process directly enters our hearts, where we can feel it for ourselves.  Interpretation and translation are not necessary.

The story of the text of Genesis takes us from nothing (but God) and no-life, to life.  It's the ultimate path of self-organization and growth.  This is the "hero's journey" in all faiths, because it archetypally recapitulates our own embryonic experience as our experience in/on this womb we call Earth.  When we tune ourselves to the sound of creation, we grow naturally towards the Source of creation.  Whether we see this as God, or Nothingness, or a scientific Theory of Everything, whether we see it as embryology or mythology, when it enters our hearts, it encourages and guides our growth.

There is no way to tell whether what we learn from others can be trusted, or not.  After all, even experts are rarely right all the time.  But when we hear with our own heart, and trust with our own heart, we can feel truth and beauty for ourselves.

FIRST SOUND™: The Music of Genesis is a new experience.

The Creation Overture is a symphonic work.  It requires a different ear than the Music of Genesis, which is based on simpler letter-tone relationships.  The simpler tones, played softly, may be helpful as a quiet background for meditation and healing.

It is also possible to follow the Hebrew text letter-by-letter, and to make the hand-gestures that form the letters in time with the music.  Thus, The Creation Overture and The Music of Genesis also become The Dance of Creation.  (Live performance and animation will be available soon.)

It is strongly recommended that you listen through each of the tracks separately, three times.  First, the sounds may be new and unexpected.  Just let them in.  On second listening, they will begin to become musical, and you will begin to be able to follow the flow of harmonies and tones.  On the third listening, the deep pattern of the sound of creation should begin to emerge.  You may have heard these songs in the womb, at birth, or in a dream or meditation.

Follow your heart home.

(c)2002 Stan Tenen

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Liner Notes:

Meru Foundation research demonstrates the existence of geometric patterns in the Hebrew text of Genesis. The discovery of these patterns was based on a scientific examination of the sequence of letters in the text. This 35-year research study has developed a wide range of three dimensional models recognizable in physics, biology, and genetics as well as most religious traditions.

One research goal was to confirm that pattern existed by assigning musical tones to the letters and listening to the resulting sequence of tones. Meru Foundation research has been published for peer review in the Noetic Journal; reprints are posted on our research website at at www.meru.org. Copies of the Noetic Journal can be ordered through Meru Foundation's secure server at www.meetingtent.com.

1. The Creation Overture: A Musical Commentary on Genesis 1:1-3 (9:59)
©2002 Daniel S. Gil. All Rights Reserved
The Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, Karol Petocz, Conductor

Composer Daniel Gil received his B.A. from The Berklee School of Music in Boston in 1997. His Western music influences range from Gustav Mahler to Dmitri Shostakovich and Aaron Copeland. However, what distinguishes Gil’s work is that he is an heir to the Judaic tradition of ‘Holy Song’ passed down to him from the late Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. Gil also possesses a deep understanding of the Hebrew text acquired through lifelong study.

After assigning musical notes to each Hebrew letter, Gil then employed the architecture of harmonic structure (or chords) generally according to the standard rules and principles called ‘Common Practice’ (the methods by which most Western classical music is composed). Gil adds that in his Creation Overture, “the music itself is projecting and communicating Torah commentary in the literal sense.” (Torah is the Hebrew Bible).

For a one-minute sample of The Creation Overture, click here

2-3. The Music of Genesis by Stephen James Taylor, original concept by Stan Tenen
©1992, 1994 Stephen James Taylor, BMI, Kiba Dachi Music, BMI, Publisher; and Stan Tenen for the Meru Foundation.

Composer Stephen James Taylor is known for his fusion of blues, gospel, African tribal music and classical counterpoint into lyrical film scores. Among his credits are To Sleep with Anger, Why Do Fools Fall in Love, and A Question of Faith, as well as the acclaimed T.V. series I’ll Fly Away. The Music of Genesis, composed in 1992, renders the 27 Hebrew letters in a microtonal scale based on ascending and descending perfect fifths, with nine computer-generated instrumental voices assigned to the letters in groups of three as specified in Meru research.

This music is excellent as tonal background for meditation or healing. Two versions are presented here, each played through twice to provide approximately a half-hour of consistent music.

2. 2210 notes (Gen. 2:11), each note approximately 0.5 seconds long, played twice (19:10)
3. 252 notes (Gen. 1:7), each note approximately 1.5 seconds long, played twice (12:40)

4. Genesis 1:1-3 - A Chromatic Rendering
©1981, 2002 Levanah & Stan Tenen

This is a "raw" rendering of the first 104 Hebrew letters of Genesis using a chromatic scale (like a piano keyboard). Stan Tenen first used this simple means of turning the text-string into music in the early 1980's, in order to listen for possible patterns in the text. It is easier to hear patterning in a long, sequential string of data, than it is to see it. (He also explored various microtonal renderings, not reproduced here.) Even this raw text-string has musical qualities that intrigued the Tenens into exploring further.

This early chromatic rendering, covering exactly the same portion of the Hebrew letter-text as Gil's The Creation Overture, was reproduced by Levanah Tenen using computer software available here, on Meru Foundation website www.meetingtent.com, Music from the Torah, which allows the listener to experiment with the Hebrew-letter text using several pre-set chromatic and modal scales. (The Music from the Torah software is copyright to Kevin Acres, of Research Systems Ltd. in Australia.)

Meru Foundation is a non-profit educational and research foundation established in 1983. For research information please visit our website at www.meru.org.

 

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