BERNHARD HOLLINGER – HEALING MUSIC (SELF-RELEASED, 2020)

Solfeggio frequencies, according to its proponents, propose that the frequencies that make up the 6 tone scale are thought to contain properties that heal and align the heart, body and mind. At each frequency the vibrations are said to detune or unlock a path of spiritual blockage holding us back from our true potential. For example 396hz is used for liberating guilt and fear while 639hz can be used for connecting/relationships.  Found in Gregorian chants, these tones are said to be traced back to a Medieval hymn to John the Baptist and is rooted in both numerology and the Pythagorean theorem.

Using the Solfeggio frequencies as his tonal center, the Berlin-based musician has crafted an album that explores the potential of these frequencies for healing. If one didn’t know anything about this philosophy of tonal vibration, you would still get an album that is full of long, sustained tones and tiny, microtonal passages that create bilateral tunnels of sound through stereo-panning effects. Needless to say, this comes with a heavy “Headphones Required” caveat.  “Bells of Wonder” is the standout track here. Sustained tones are pulled along and bleed into each other, creating a nice contrast to the single note holds of most of the album. Compositionally variant, these tones are marshaled by a gentle percussion and noise gates that flutter and pop, appear suddenly reach a stutter-step conclusion and then sink back into the ether. A beautiful mircotonal bouquet that rewards close listening. 

I believe that a lot of what you get out of this album comes down to whether or not you believe in the healing qualities of the Solfeggio Frequencies. Regardless of that as a practice, Bernhard Hollinger has created a compelling album that explores sustained and microtonal passages that remain compelling throughout the album’s run time. 

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