I’ve written about why a warm bath is so darned good and why meditation is scientifically proven to be beneficial. With that in mind, I set about creating our own guided meditations, with the help of our BathCalm talent. BathCalm’s blend wouldn’t be half the product they are without the beautiful music and meditations. It’s what sets our product apart from others.
I was fortunate enough to be able to call upon dear friends of mine to realise this aspect of our BathCalm blends. Sondrine, to compose the music, and Adam and Julia, to write and narrate the meditations. They have been friends of mine for over thirty years now. I’ve watched them nurture and expand their talents and skills. Sondrine was writing music even before I met her back in grade 8, and Adam and Julia have both practiced meditation and yoga for over 20 years. Both of them taught me yoga at some point, and they sure know how to make you raise a sweat!
A lot of time and effort was spent making these meditations. In order to share what went into the process with you, I interviewed the talent team. I started with composer Sondrine.
Caroline: What were your initial thoughts when I asked you to compose music for the meditations?
Sondrine: I thought you’d never ask!! [laughs] I knew that I could do something, but wasn’t sure how much in the genre I had to be; how “new agey” it had to be. But when I heard your concept for the BathCalm product and the experience you were aiming to give, it was easy to trust myself and go with the process. I understood the philosophy behind it. In many ways, it’s no different to writing for a film brief, where you’re writing to the narrative.
C: Did explaining the ethos for each blend help to inspire you? For example, Tranquility to relax and unwind?
S: I guess… just luck too. It was a case of just putting my fingers on the keys and testing the sound to fit the palette that I wanted to use. Literally the first thing I played was those first two chords for Tranquility. I had to be conscious about Tranquility; slowing and lengthening the breath, playing with the BPM [beats per minute for the uninitiated], and making sure the music reflected the physical and mental state that we were wanting to achieve. Actually, it’s not just about reflecting, but directing too. The music guides you to get to that state of meditation and be active that way.
What else did it take?
The next thing for Tranquility was finding a sound like breath or the ocean. As soon as the wave surges it implies the ocean and breathing. It was easy to finish off the track with the cello. It didn’t need much more. There are a lot of open spaces between the music in the Tranquility track. There aren’t too many instruments at once. It’s not as dense as the Performance track musically. Tranquility has a lot more room in it. Performance is more crowded musically with all the different thoughts, emotions and anxieties that might be associated with wanting to achieve something; trying to do stuff. Something to achieve. And hopefully, musically it works to resolve the anxieties and help sustain effort to support that achievement.
C: What is your process around composing, does it vary?
S: Mostly it starts with a piano or keyboard. Because my fingers aren’t very disciplined they’ll end up doing stuff I don’t expect. It’s a process of tripping over that and being creative within the limitations that brings. I think that not being technically dexterous is good for composing because I’m not showing off technique. It’s more about just bringing in good notes and passes at the right time. You do need to have enough discipline to be able to translate what you’re thinking. But you don’t have to be a technical monkey [laughs].
C: What do you love about what you’ve composed?
S: I like that each piece does different things – they’re similar, but different harmonically. Performance has a certain logic to it; my experience with running and long term study…it’s an endless disciplined long term struggle and I wanted that reflected in the music. D minor goes to G major, with D minor 7 representing the struggle, the training; the discipline to get to the outcome – the outcome is the G major chord representing success, achievement after endurance and struggle. The 3 / 4 time in Performance made sense to me, working with the metaphor of exercising as it reminded me of the rhythm I tend to adopt with my breathing when I’m running. The music needed an element of sustained discipline before you see the reward, and I wanted that reflected musically.
Where to Next?
That pretty much sums it up about the BathCalm meditation music tracks that Sondrine has created; they may have the same parentage, but like all kids they have very different personalities and are distinctly beautiful. It’s abundantly clear that significant consideration – and talent, I might add – has gone into producing music that will help you get the best relaxation experience out of your bath.
Continuing on with delving into our our BathCalm talent, I spoke with Adam first and started with why he practices meditation and yoga in the first place.
Caroline: You’ve been practicing meditation and yoga for many years now. How do these practices help you in your daily life?
Adam: They keep me calm and focused; in control of my fears and anxiety. It’s great in my every-day life; it helps me to tap into a lot of my inner wisdom and intuition.
C: When I gave you the ethos – the meaning for each blend, did that inspire where you would go with your meditations?
A: Yes, definitely. The titles of the product gave me inspiration too. I thought about what sort of meditation would go well with that particular blend and the music definitely helped as well.
C: How did you go about writing the meditations?
A: I literally hopped in the bath, put in the blend in, put on some music and went with my intuition too see what inspired me. The Tranquility track inspired me but I also improvised [Sondrine was still in the process of composing]; it was about getting in touch with my inner wisdom. The fragrances of each blend also helped inspire me. I probably like the Performance blend the most though; it’s the Buddha Wood!
C: What type of people would benefit from BathCalm products?
A: Everyone. It’s for everyone who just needs to take a few minutes out of their day, chill out and de-stress.
C: How will BathCalm products help people?
A: They give you the space and time to have for yourself. It encourages you to take that time to indulge yourself and have a bath and to actually stay there for 15 minutes; it’s not about getting out quickly. It keeps you in the bath and the guided meditation helps you to relax. The guided meditation is perfect for people who struggle with the whole meditation concept; of quieting their mind. In yoga as well, the guided meditations make it easier to meditate.
Ahhh, yep, I can personally attest to that because I’m a shocker for trying to meditate without any guidance, my mind wanders all over the place. Guided meditation is the way to go for me and Adam’s voice is just liquid velvet.
The Guided Meditations – Female
Speaking of beautiful voices, I finally caught up with Julia and asked her what her process was.
Caroline: What were your initial thoughts when I discussed creating the guided meditations concept with you??
Julia: I thought the concept was great! As a child growing up in Wales, it was cold. I loved being in the bath and quite often when I was in the bath, unbeknownst to me, I was sitting with myself and my inner thoughts and feelings. I had no idea of spirituality back then. So the idea that you could combine that level of relaxation and self-focus with a meditation was beautiful.
C: What was your inspiration for writing the meditations? Was it the music? The description I gave you for each blend?
J: The title of the blend. I investigated what those words meant to me; I looked up the literal meanings of the words, and when I was ready, I spoke the meditations out to the music which brought my connection to the words to the surface; so it was a combination of both really.
C: What was your goal for writing the meditations? What did you have in mind for the listener?
J: That they take from it a deeper sense of themselves; that they connect with their innermost workings at a deeper level. Also, that people have a more loving sense of themselves, more self-acceptance and more recognition of who we are as individuals.
The whole purpose of meditation for me personally, is to develop a deeper self-love, and if people can come to that in themselves through listening to anything I say, that’s just a blessing for me.
What else can I say; this is why these people are my friends, thoughtful, caring and articulate. I’m blessed to have them in my life, creating our guided meditations and I’m so happy to share their talents with you!