Alan Watts, Boreta, Superposition: ”Listen, Dream” 12” (superposition.world)
As I’ve mentioned before, Dominic has this habit of pulling things out of our bargain bin and handing them to me saying, “I think you might like this.” This is one he didn’t know much about, but had trouble pricing because of the lack information available online. Knowing I was into meditation, he thought it might be an interesting listen. Boy was he right!
This LP, as far as I can tell, takes a guided meditation recorded by Alan Watts in 1971 and gives it musical accompaniment, a swirl of Tangerine Dream-esque spaced-out synth noises. As I mentioned in a previous staff pick, I’ve been meditating for a while now, but I’ve been using the Headspace app. That app is very much like other meditation techniques I’ve used, which focuses on mindfulness and feels very modern and science-y rather than new age-y. Watts’ guided meditation has no problem drifting into new age-iness. First he has you focus on your breath and slow down, much like the meditations I’m familiar with, then he breaks down your ego, pointing out that what you refer to as your “self” is a mental construction, an abstraction. His voice is gentle but authoritative, and his accent makes me think of the kindly, elderly narrators on old British children’s TV programs. There may or may not have been mind-expanding substances helping the process along, but listening to this LP while lying on my couch in the dark, I had a full-on psychedelic experience. It was awesome.
The musical accompaniment is great too. Much of Watts’ guided meditation focuses on processing sound, so having the ambient music underscores his point while remaining unobtrusive. The b-side of the records contains instrumental versions without Watts’ voice, and while I haven’t actually listened to that I’m sure it’s a fine listen as far as this very spaced-out ambient electronic music goes.
I’m not sure if it’s possible for anyone out there to buy this LP… it’s just one of those things that fell into my lap. But I had share because this was, by far, my most intense musical experience of this past week.