On Ambient Music and Meditation and Finding Life Balance

Ogunquit Maine – Photo by Dan Steven Erickson

I don’t meditate, at least I don’t make a conscious effort to mediate. I do create and listen to ambient music. These active processes are meditative in nature.

I started composing ambient music as an exploration. I wanted to widen my pallet of musical art. I wanted to become a better musician. I’ve done both, but I’ve discovered so much more.

Creating ambient music, including drone and noise music, has served a good purpose for me. However, it can also be a weakness if I’m not careful.

I started composing music as Anderhill in the fall of 2018. In time, I began to see that creating ambient music worked a lot like meditation. It put me into a headspace where I was not thinking about anything else. There were no worries or concerns, no hopes or dreams, just the moment, the music.

Composing this kind of droning music has served me well. It’s helped me to stay relatively calm through some major life hardships and events. But like anything else, it can have a downside. As beautiful as it can be, the processes of composing and listening to ambient music can serve as an escape from reality.

I understand that sometimes we might need a short escape from reality and anything we can do to that effect can be a good thing. But going too deep might lead to ignoring your own needs or the needs of your loved ones. I might be guilty of that to a small extent.

This leads me to the idea of life balance. As a creator, I tend to get swept away with my work. Call it the muse. Composing ambient music may have helped me to get through some hard times, but it also might have kept me from facing some issues head on when they needed to be faced. The same goes for my work as a writer, a songwriter, and a poet.

However, out of all of the art I create, ambient music has the greatest ability to help me to stay calm, meditative, and centered. It can also pull me away from other work, work that might be more important.

I’m going to continue to make ambient and other forms electronic music, but maybe not at the same frequency and pace that I have in the past. For me, the act of creating ambient music is just one aspect to finding balance in life.

I hope you might find some sort of meditative process in your own lives. But I also encourage you to stay balanced. – dse

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Author: Dan Steven Erickson

Dan Steven Erickson is a great undiscovered American songwriter.