In a career spanning more than 20 years, Steven Halpern has pursued a unique path as a
musician, composer, and producer. Hailed by Keyboard magazine as "one of the twelve essential artists who changed the way we play and listen to music today," and by The New York Times as
a "New Age superstar," he has embraced a vision that sees music as far more than
entertainment. For Halpern, music conveys a vibrational essence with important implications
for health and healing.
In this interview with Dr. Daniel Redwood, Halpern elaborates his view of music as a
vehicle for self-empowerment and spiritual well-being, one found in the traditions of
many cultures but often ignored in contemporary societies. He discusses the phenomenon
of entrainment, in which the human heart involuntarily synchronizes its beat to the rhythm
supplied by external stimuli, and emphasizes the importance of having a "balanced music diet,"
one not overloaded with harsh, disruptive rhythms and sounds.
Halpern has over 50 albums to his credit, including the classic Spectrum Suite, Radiance,
Ancient Echoes, Higher Ground , and Afro-Desia. His recordings have sold over two million
copies, an especially impressive figure considering that Halpern's music is produced by his own independent label. About half of Halpern's catalog consists of his SOUNDWAVE 2000 subliminal self-help series, recordings that use the music on his other albums along with positive, healing subliminal messages.
Halpern has colloborated with flutist Paul Horn, ethereal harpist Georgia Kelley, Nigerian
drummer Suru Eksh, and world music guitarist Jai Utal. He has also collaborated with
non-musicians, among them John Bradshaw. His music has been heard on many TV shows,
including Oprah, America's Talking, John Bradshaw's two PBS series, ABC's 20/20, and CBS's 48 hours.
For further information:
Steven Halpern's Peace Music
P.O. Box 2644
San Anselmo, CA 94979-2644
Phone: (800) 909-0707
Steven Halpern Interview
DANIEL REDWOOD: Years ago I heard the folksinger Odetta say that music has a healing power. That was my first exposure to the idea. What first led you to connect music with healing?
STEVEN HALPERN: My recollection is that when I was in high school, I read in a magazine about Edgar Cayce speaking of the healing power of music. At college in Buffalo around 1965, I started hearing people talking about the healing power of music, and the fact that there is a long tradition of music as a ceremonial and almost magical healing power. I started researching this, and found books about Pythagoras and the ancient healing practices in Greece and Egypt. The problem was„there were no recordings to let me know what that music really sounded like.
DR: So what path did you pursue to try to re-create some of those ancient traditions?
SH: I read everything I could get my hands on. I got into dust-covered books in the far corners of certain libraries. I checked out and apprenticed myself to individuals who said they had certain information. I also did a lot of inner work with prayer and meditation, asking that I might be opened up and allowed to hear the kind of music from this tradition that would be tuned in to 20th century living. In other words, the music that might have worked in ancient Greece, where there was no music to be heard on a daily basis, except at religious ceremonies, might be very different from what is needed today when we are surrounded in a sea of sound, between radio and TV and commercials.