The modern world in which we live is becoming increasingly full on, particularly here in London. Faced with skyrocketing rent and with the everyday cost of living forever on the up, we work hard and play harder. Left with no time to truly unwind and relax, more of us than ever are realising that we need to redress this imbalance and take better care of our mental health and well being.
An abundance of stress-busting and relaxation techniques are now available to us- from mediation apps on our smartphones, to yoga classes at a slew of centres across London.
EastLDN recently met with Fabio Garces, a man on a mission to help us. After studying music production at Point Blank, and researching the field of cymatics, Garces set up Sonic Enchantment. His classes in Shoreditch use sounds that he has created and set to frequencies that are proven to have healing and meditative properties. Using hardware such as Ableton Push and Livid to create these sounds as well as tuning forks, attendees to his classes can expect to be immersed in a cocoon of aural pleasure, going on a journey to get connect with their inner-self and, hopefully, reach a state of deep relaxation.
EastLDN- Where did the idea for Sonic Enchantment come from?
Fabio Garces- I’ve always had this connection with sound and music, but I think it was when I was in Costa Rica when I was exploring….in some ways with altered states and stuff and a lot of the things that come with dance culture…..you get this feeling that there’s something more that you’re tapping into…that you’re feeling things in a different way….if you can understand the energetics of that situation and also understand sound in a deeper way, then you can actually bring the potential for healing.
EL- How does sound help people with healing on a physical level?
FG- There’s a really interesting field of research called cymatics, [which] is the study of sound and its effect on matter. There’s all sorts of experiments [that run] frequencies through water, through sand, through salt and seeing what occurs and what geometry has been created- very specific [shapes] for specific sounds. The frequencies have a geometric pattern that they hold and when they come into contact with us, or maybe with the water in our cells. If you know about quantum physics everything is little vibrating strings of energy…..Our cells are 60-90% water, and if you can see that water can be affected by sound and vibration then it’s easy to see how…it’s creating an impact. A lot of the time, in terms of what I do, is create frequencies that help you ground, help you rebalance.
EL- How did you work out what frequencies ground people? Was it just trial and error?
FG- It’s a mixture. So basically things I’ve learnt, for example one powerful frequency I use is the Schumann resonance, which is a naturally occurring frequency around us. There’s a scientist named Winfried Otto Schumann [who] studied it, and he concluded from all of his research that this is a fundamental frequency that is around us and if we don’t have it we get ill. It’s connected [to] circadian rhythm (AKA our body clock- the cycle that tells our bodies when to sleep, rise, and eat) and sleep cycles. Because it’s something that happens naturally so I can’t just recreate it but I can learn what it is and use harmonics of it that are audible and then just experiment on how to bring it into [a Sonic Enchantment] journey.
Listen below to a sample from a Sonic Enchantment session (use headphones to hear the lower frequencies) :
EL- Do you plan your Sonic Enchantment sets?
FG- In some ways, yes. Because I’ve been doing this for quite a while now I have quite a clear idea of what I need to do and how I need to [take] people on that journey….but at the same time every single sound and element is individual……so I have to manipulate it…..There’s a structure but there’s also flexibility for reading what’s happening energetically and stuff.
EL- We lead such busy lives, especially here in London, how can someone fit in something like Sonic Enchantment or even just meditating in general?
FG- Well, for the sessions themselves it’s more about prioritising, and just giving some importance to your mental, and general, well-being. So if you understand that it is important [to feel] good and [to be] balanced then every so often just take an hour for yourself and just schedule it in- meditation practice and yoga or whatever. I find that even if you just set aside 15 minutes to begin with as often as you can….once you start to feel the benefit you’ll start to prioritise it more. I think it’s a little bit about educating yourself in a way that you start to see that it is important and it can have a lot of benefit. Especially if you live in an environment like London because it’s a constant bombardment of things like; stress, demands, and pressures, and parties, and substances and food that isn’t always so good for you so you’ve got to somehow help your system- whether that’s physical, but also mental and spiritual…..I want to do something positive with my work for the community that I’m in. So they way that I see it is that if I can help people connect with their intuition, go inward and see what it is that needs to be adjusted….and make those improvements, that’s the objective of Sonic for me. You know, help people get into that state where they can be more grounded, be more connected with their intuition, that’s huge.
EL- Speaking in terms of music and your background- what, or who, were your musical influences growing up?
FG- [My influences] were kind of mixed. I was influenced by my parents- all South American, Latin music like salsa. But also guitar stuff. My Dad played guitar. In the States I slowly got influenced by things like club music, but also hip-hop. [Then] eventually I moved down to Costa Rica and I had this interesting introduction to dance music and underground clubbing. [In Costa Rica] there are these amazing outdoor events. All the big names were getting brought down there. It was all quite intimate and it was all exclusive. There were a lot of huge parties in big houses and in nature as well…so I kind of got a sense then that there was this other element to music as well.
EL- Are you self-taught in sound healing then?
FG- This whole thing is something I’ve ben developing for the past eight years, but I learnt a lot of more specific things in terms of sound healing and frequencies from people that I worked with….Most of them were quite traditional sound healers. No one was using technology it was all gongs and bowls and that stuff, which is great. I brought in the whole music technology side of things and the production, and started developing it, experimenting with it and learning and practicing. [Then I started] creating audios for people for meditation, testing them on myself….At the beginning we would wire someone up with EEG software so we could read brainwave patterns and play sounds and see what [happens].
EL- Where do you see Sonic Enchantment going?
FG- I really want to expand it. I want it to be bigger, in bigger venues. I also have this side of it where I want to create this audio visual, immersive experience that has all the elements of Sonic, but also 360-degree projections. Something where you’re really immersed….with visuals that really compliment the sound….and also to develop the music that…can be brought more and more into the club culture.
Sonic Enchantment takes place at Vinaya House in Shoreditch every week. For more info, check out the Facebook page here.
You can also listen to a set from Fabio’s other project under the pseudonym of lu:sid, over on Soundcloud.
Written by Jennifer Wallis
Photography by Jennifer Wallis