MUSIC AS MEDICINE: DAVID PHIPPS

You had mentioned how you've met these older acupuncturists who had been doing that [acupuncture] all their lives and then found Tama-Do and they are learning from it and continuing their path. Do you think that this is part of your path in life?

For sure.

When you started getting into music was that something you thought about consciously?


By Ian Stone
Not consciously, but you know I just played piano. Since I was three years old and my brother did too, and my mom played piano and my dad sings so it was never really a career until some shit went down at school and I got spun around and spit out the other side. And finding these boys, and being in Sector 9 pulled me out of the deepest funk you could possibly be in, and it saved my life. So on that level, music is healing. Because it brought me out of some deep darkness.

And that speaks for musician or fan, you know for most of my friends and myself included music has been our religion for as long as I can remember. And I've found a lot of inspiration through people and music, encounters, and I think whether it's a conscious thought process or not the pull is there.

So how were you able to incorporate Fabien into the Winter Soulstice Healing Concert?

I just kind of threw it out there, almost in a lofty kind of a way. I just asked him if we got musicians practicing this mode and kids understanding these fundamental concepts, Cycle of Fifths, elements, elements supporting or hindering: water putting out fire, these basic things, and then bring it down to preschoolers so that when they learn shapes and colors they also learn the music and then that's the beginning of the shift. It happens practically like that. Bring it to the people and then to the kids.

You gotta start there.

You gotta start with the children. So he was like yeah, let's do a concert.

So have you been practicing?

Yeah I've been practicing really hard. We sent out invitations to musicians and we've got responses back from almost 35 people. So I'm working on the package to send out of what Fabien has outlined for the concert. Information on the modes, the concert format and what to expect.

So will you all rehearse the same parts and will you ever get together before the concert?

Yeah, the Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday before the concert we're having an all-day workshop for those three days. Saturday off to focus and Sunday is the concert.

Now I'm curious--do you bring these concepts to Sector 9's music as well?

Since I've started taking the workshops it's really evident in Seasons: 01, there are some Tama-Do modes in there. A lot of the stuff that I do in between songs, those little piano things are Tama-Do related and a lot of times before I end the show I'll play the Cycle of Fifths to clear space. And especially if it's been kind of a rough show for me, I don't want to leave my frustration as the last thing, both for me and the people. And Sector 9 is it's own thing, it's not a Tama-Do concert, it's not a healing concert, beyond what you take from it. We're using digital gear; we're using sound effects and doing what I call "space music." And I think there's a place for space music and there's a place for earth music and for sky music and so it's not like I'm ever going to stop being the keyboard player for Sector 9 and put on a white shirt and run off.

I also recall reading or hearing that Sector 9 tunes their instruments to the key of the day, right?


Tama-Do treatment
Yeah, that was like the very beginning of this whole journey. And that's related to the 13 Moon Calendar. There are 13 tones and 13 modes. And that's where it ends; there are 13 tones and 13 modes but why is tone number one C? Where does it really start? Maybe it is, it's hard to say. But there is nothing to check it against, and that is what Fabien holds for me is that it [Tama-Do] reinforces itself and draws circles that connect, instead of "take it or leave it." And I understand the concept that there is a wave from the center of the galaxy that is cycling and you would get a different frequency at different points. But what is tone one? What is the frequency to that? And if you could figure that out, and add it to Tama-Do then it's like a whole different chapter to the math book.

I was also reading about how the vibrations affect cells, and I'm curious if you think that has to do with the euphoric feeling people get at concerts, whether it be Sector 9 or whatever. Is that part of what we are feeling?


STS9 crowd by Liz O'Keeffe
For sure. I think it's probably one of the most powerful things you can do to your body. And part of that healing... I don't know if it's healing, well of course it's healing because it's love, it's based on love. I think we're all aware, everyone in the band is aware that if you are angry and you play your instrument it will translate and it will make someone else angry. And there's a place for that, to release that anger. And in that way that music is healing. So I guess what feels so good at a Sector 9 show is that we are aware of that. We don't want to make people feel angry or lonely, or like they can't do anything about the world around them, or it just sucks. Because that was where I was coming from when I got in the band and I thought, "this is great." So that's the tone of it for me all the time. So it's hard for me to use my band to be angry. But at the same time a lot of our newer songs are darker, and it's healing in that I can get over my girlfriend or I can make changes in my life or whatever.

And I think music like any art is a reflection of where the artist is, and life is not all roses and fairy wings, it's just never going to be. There are going to be dark times. And I think for a listener who devotes a great deal of time to any band they need to be able to explore all those feelings.

And it's a good time to be angry about a lot of shit.

Yeah, you're right. If you're not angry you might not be paying attention. So moving back to Tama-Do and acupuncture, how do the two really tie into one another?


Acupuncture using shu points
Well in the Level One workshop we learned about tuning forks on the shu points, which are the command points of the noble organs. So the idea is that, as opposed to the Western point of view where you would apply the sound directly to where you think the organ is, you take the Chinese point of view that the best way to enter that organ is through the meridian. And each meridian has a command point, or the strongest point that relates to that organ. So he's worked out through 20 years of research and his own guided intuition what frequencies go with those shu points. So it's pretty simple, there's no abracadabra, you just learn where those points are and the tuning forks to use and physics takes care of the rest.

How do you apply the tuning fork? You just put it where you would put the needle per se?


Crystal Balls
Yeah pretty much. The tip of the tuning fork is where the needle would go. And the amazing thing is that with the tuning fork you are stimulating the physical body but the tail of the tuning fork is extending out into the ethereal, into the astro-bodies. So instead of just a stimulus on the surface of the skin, which is huge, you are actually making a spiral of energy all the way out, and addressing that problem on higher psychological, or preventative levels, where it's really coming from. It's a core concept that disease starts outside of the body and you bring it in through various stresses, etc. But the core cause can be traced back to emotional issues, or even an emotional issue that has been handed down to you through trauma and can come back later in life to affect you.


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