Music for Meditation and Relaxation: Dr. Hummingbird to the Rescuesam
‘Photographing’ sonic mysteries
By April White
Have you ever experienced a magical moment during which you felt suspended outside of time and space, and then you immediately wondered whether you had just imagined it?
Maybe the cynical part of you convinced yourself you had made it up or created it in your mind. But another part of you knew it was real—maybe more real than any other moment—and this part of you knew better than take credit for it or dismiss it.
This was my journey and struggle with Dr. Hummingbird, my new album of ambient, instrumental soundscapes that was inspired by moments such as these.
Each song seemed to blow into my consciousness like a soothing breeze and briefly land on my ear just long enough for me to take a sonic picture of it before it floated off again like a butterfly. And each time I almost couldn’t believe what I had heard. But there it was, recorded into a song that I could revisit whenever I wanted to hear that it was, indeed, real.
To this day, every time I listen to the album, a part of me stands back in astonishment, knowing better than to take credit for the songs, but merely for having heard and captured them in notes and sounds.
Some of the songs came to me through the creatures in my care, my cherished parakeets and bunnies: Cornelia, Buckminster, Evangeline, Cletus, and June. I wrote
“Evangeline, My Queen” to comfort my baby bunny when she was facing near-and-almost-certain death. She loved the song and listened to it with upturned ear each day, as if she knew it was written for her. And, miracle of all miracles, she survived!
I like to say that “Love Birds” was actually written by my two very musical parakeets, Cornelia and Buckminster, because they guided the melody with their cheering chirps of approval as I played the piano next to them. And “Buckminster Blue” was written the day after he suddenly passed; as I struggled to find joy above sorrow for the time he spent with us.
I consider many of the songs to be soundtracks that accompanied the creatures outside our house in Los Angeles. “Dr. Hummingbird” was inspired by the ruby-throated hummingbirds outside our window that always prescribe joy and wonderment. “Sunning Lizard” was written while watching the little lizard outside our window sunbathe fearlessly on the retaining wall. And “Elemental Cavalry” is a song about asking for reinforcement, expecting an army of angels to be sent, and instead being rescued by tiny but mighty dragonflies and butterflies that simply shifted my perspective away from myself and back onto the universe at large.
Some of the songs were written as illustrations of concepts or images I was pondering or processing. “Erasing Angles” is about the hope of erasing harsh, misguided or broken lines that violate sacred geometry through love. “Fixing Dolly” was written to sonically illustrate an image of a crestfallen little girl bringing her broken dolly to mommy and handing it over reluctantly when she realizes she can’t fix it herself. Finally, “Veer-Zaara Love” was inspired by the incredible love depicted in the Indian romantic drama “Veer-Zaara,” which is best summed up in a line of the film’s dialogue: “Are they human pretending to be God, or are they God disguised as humans?”
While I like to say that Dr. Hummingbird takes listeners on a “tinkly” journey through a lush, internal landscape that reminds us there’s magic in the world, all I really know is that it takes me on one. I can only hope that others will hear a glimpse of the same comfort and joy it brought me to capture these songs in this series of sonic photographs.
Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like me to share music with you in the future.
About the Author – April White (iamaprilwhite.com) is a Los Angeles-based composer, producer and singer. Her musical journey began at age 4, when she learned to play the piano through the Suzuki Method. She is also a member of the indie electropop trio Tiny Machines, (tinymachinesmusic.com).