2017 YEARLY NEWSLETTER - Debbie Danbrook - Healing Music
Dear Friends of Healing Music,
Dear Friends of Healing Music,Welcome to 2017!!! The words and feelings I have for this coming year are: GRATITUDE and ARRIVAL. I am so grateful to be here with so many wonderful beings who are consciously carrying the Light! And more and more beings are joining in this great gathering of Love and Light!!! We have been working towards this gathering for many many lifetimes and I have a feeling of Arrival and Celebration. I feel a wonderful shift, in myself, in family and friends, and in groups around the globe. Please stay extra grounded; deepen your spiritual practice; take special care of yourself; have fun and of course listen to lots and lots of Healing Music!!!
Here are some stories and events from my 2016. It was an amazing year for me!
To start off there is the photo collage at the top of the newsletter - created by my friends Joe and Leo at Orbital Arts! Some of my favourite memories! Me in Japan at my Temple Hozanji (photo taken by my niece, Claire). Playing at a Cathedral in New York for a Sacred Dance Event. (photo taken by Mayumi). Two pictures taken by Alfred D’Sa for my Ambient World CD. And in the middle a powerful Lioness with powerful energy to help carry me and my music through the coming years!!!! This collage is a gift from Steve to celebrate my birthday!!! Thank you Thank you Thank you, I love it!
I released 3 big projects this year: the Sacred Sounds trilogy, the new USB sticks with the Healing Music library and also the Sleep Program.
The Sacred Sounds trilogy has 3 of my favourite recordings: Sacred Sounds for Sleep, Sacred Sounds for the Spa and Sacred Sounds for the Soul. http://healingmusic.com/frame-catalogue.htm The beautiful packaging designed by Sharon Lockwood, www.zayzayshop.com
The USB sticks are a brand new idea to help get the whole Healing Music catalogue out to listeners: http://healingmusic.com/frame-catalogue.htmThere are 3 versions and the complete catalogue includes some of Steve’s magical piano recordings that were only available before in Japan.
The other release for 2016 was the Sleep Program that I have been working on for years. I am really happy with the end result and I hope that this program will help many listeners - including people suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Thanks to all who helped with the program! And as this is a ‘by donation’ project special thanks to all who have donated at the Sleep Program website - much appreciated. And please keep sending your suggestions about who to pass this program on to. Thanks!
It was a busy and fun year, playing at many wonderful events.
I started off the year playing at the beautiful home of my friend Sue - our annual ‘Bring in the Energy for the New Year’ event. It was sublime and grounding and healing as it always is!
A lovely Fairy Altar from my Ceremony at Akasha's Den:
Thanks to my lovely friend Mark Daniel who plays Tibetan and Crystal bowls. We played together almost monthly at wonderful spaces: Esther Myers Yoga Studio in Toronto, Akasha’s Den in Ottawa, Adi Shakti in Ottawa, Kalyana Yoga Shala in Ottawa and Raven's Ridge near Orrilia.
Thanks to Andrea Gerhardt for her beautiful vocals and harp playing at both house concerts and at Esther Myers Yoga Studio.
Thanks to Chris Gartner for his amazing bass soundscapes - we have played at Esther Myers many many times and each Music Meditation is a soul journey! Plus we played at a wonderful outdoor event that I'll mention later in my newsletter.
I also offered solo Music Meditations at Akasha’s Den, Orbital Arts gallery and store, at events hosted by the Sacred Dance Guild (www.sacreddanceguild.org), and at an Edgar Cayce study group event. Always such lovely groups to play for!
I travelled to Grail Springs in Bancroft twice this year - one of the most beautiful places I have ever played at! Thank you Madeleine Marentette for the love you have poured into this space!
There are some lovely videos from Grail Springs coming with my music as the soundscape. I will send them all in a future newsletter!!! Exciting!
MORE AMAZING EVENTS:
I played at one my all time favourite events ever for the Mindfulness Conference here in Toronto on May 13. The event was held in one of the best venues in the world - Koerner Hall. The acoustics in the hall are incredibly wonderful - my flute sound washed over me like honey!! This was also due to the amazing energy of the group - around 500 people who are all conscious beings working with mindfulness meditation on their spiritual journeys. In the wings, waiting to go on, I was blessed to be in the presence of Thupten Jinpa, the translator for the Dalai Lama. Special thanks to Michael Appolo for inviting me to play at this event and for all his work in organizing this amazing conference.
June took me to Raven’s Ridge near Orrilia for a Soulstice Celebration!! A beautiful weekend event of Healing Music in the Labyrinth, the Medicine Wheel and nestled in front of the pond playing with Mark. Thank you Catherine Jenereaux for organizing this beautiful event!!!
Here is one of my favourite pictures - me and Mark playing in Narnia!
In July my wonderful friend Wendy Morrell hosted a CD ‘PreLaunch’ event at her beautiful home! A lovely group gathered in the back yard to listen and dance and do tai chi to the new recording I am working on with Chris Gartner! This was a fundraiser to help with the recording costs. We had champagne and strawberry shortcake and it was a fabulous night! Thank you so much Wendy for all your love and support!
August was incredible! I offered my yearly Shakuhachi Playday for my students at the lovely Camellia Teas space. Thank you to all my students for their diligence and beautiful playing! And big thanks to Rebecca and Matthew for inviting us again into their beautiful place. www.camelliateas.net
We offered our yearly concert the day after the Playday, a gorgeous event! Thanks to everyone who played including Ian Hepburn with his beautiful harp music. Rebecca Cragg did live Japanese painting during the concert, wow! Lucky audience members got to take home these incredible works of art!!!
Next was the annual performance at Remic Rapids with the fantastic Rock Sculptures of John Ceprano. Stunningly beautiful setting. My students and friends played with me, much thanks for their strong flute/drum/harp performance and much thanks to the Sacred Dancers led by Wendy Morrell. Always a photographers dream playing at this site. Thank you John for all your wonderful work: www.jfceprano.com
The fall was an amazing time for me for new Sacred Ceremonies. I am grateful to new friends David Deschambault and Eric Reynolds for their support and love with my ordinations as a Deaconess and a Reverend. Thank you so much. I look forward to offering more healing energy through the ceremonies I will be offering - Weddings, Memorials and Celebration of Life Ceremonies.
MUSIC CAN HEAL:
Our Palliative Care Association has had a busy year - doing lots of events and helping to spread the word about the healing benefits of music for hospice and palliative care. Thanks to our leader Talia Wooldridge for all her incredible efforts! I played at several benefit concerts and awareness raising events including events at Array Music (beautiful space), Kensington Market, Royal Conservatory of Music and at the gorgeous Earl Bales Park. Here I am playing with Chris Gartner:
I went to my most favourite ballet ever!!! La Sylphide - a ballet about Scottish Fairies!!!! I went with my great niece Stephanie and we had a magical time!!! Big thanks to my friend Janice Mawhinney for our front row seats!!! And another thanks to Janice for all her help with editing my writing, much appreciated!
I had so many lovely little trips travelling to events throughout Ontario - what a beautiful place we live in! Also had two amazing trips out of the country, one to Mexico and the other to Japan.
I love this story - my friend Sue and I were trying and trying to find a time to get together, no luck. Then she mentioned that she was going to Mexico and I said me too. Then she told me Puerto Vallarta and I said me too. Then her dates - we were going at the same time!!! When I got there my brother took me down to the beach and pointed out Sue’s hotel just a few buildings away!!!! So we had a whole day to hang out and explore beautiful places in Puerto Vallarta!
Here is a lovely picture of us:
The Japan Cherry Blossom Tour was incredible!!! Thanks to the folks who joined us this trip! I so love showing my favourite places and Temples to the group. Here I am at my Temple Hozanji:
I love teaching and I am so grateful to my shakuhachi students who play so beautifully on this amazing but difficult instrument! I also have some Native American Flute and vocal students who benefit from the breath work incorporated into the shakuhachi playing. I love you all!!!
I offered so many workshops and did so many ceremonies this year, including ‘Mantra Meditations’ (create your own Mantra) and ‘Inviting in Light Ceremonies’ (for homes or work places).
Here is a link to our Healing Music website that tells you more about my offerings:
New Recording: I am continuing to record pieces for the new recording with Chris Gartner. This is a beautiful collaboration that has some songs with words - a new endeavour for me!!! I am loving the music and I can’t wait to release this recording! We already have a music video finished and the artwork ready to go….
Another New Recording: We are adding some new parts on the recording I am doing with Celina Carroll. This is a powerful celebration of music for Ceremony, lovely for walking meditation and gentle movement. Stay tuned for more updates!
Meditation Recordings: The Guided Meditations with David Price Francis are coming along nicely! We will be releasing more of the meditations for our event this year in April. Here are the ones we have released so far: http://www.energyworlds.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/HaloMeditation.jpg
And big hugs to Katee for her excellent help with all my website updates and newsletters!
Whew, I need a cup of tea, that was quite a year! I hope you have enjoyed reading about my adventures! I look forward to seeing you this year at an upcoming event!
I hope you have a wonderful, healing, creative, lovely and fun 2017!!!!
fairy hugs, love, debrina
Breathe in Love
Breathe out Light
NEWSLETTER - January 2015
of Healing Music
to my January
After announcing this at my first Music Meditation for the year I had a friend come up to me and say that the United Nations had decreed this The Year of Light! Wow! This is a funny little aside, but when I arrived home that night the outdoor light that has been broken for maybe 7 years was fixed!!! Let there be light!!! yes
Each year I am amazed at how quickly the year has
passed and I'm also amazed at how many adventures I pack into the year!
Here are some of the highlights from my 2014.
*** Travel ***
I'll start with the biggest trip, a wild and wonderful whirl through Japan, Palau, Guam and then back to Japan. I started the Japan trip off with Steve, visiting our 'framily' (friends who have become family), trips to our amazing healer Nishimoto-sensei and, of course, visits to my Sacred Hozanji Temple.
Next to Palau. To get there you travel the four hour flight from Japan to Guam and then another two hour flight west and south, right by the equator. Palau is amazing – a bit like the Galapagos Islands in that there are fish and birds and fauna that are only found in Palau. It is a little Paradise! I had two incredible experiences while there. The first was playing at monuments that are 2,000 years old. When I was walking towards an ancient standing vessel, I was physically held away by the energy emanating from it. I tried another approach, and this time I starting playing my Shakuhachi. I felt a path opening up for me and I followed it through to the centre of these amazing monuments.
The next amazing Palau adventure was swimming with jellyfish!!! Don't panic, these are very special jellyfish – they don't sting! They are tucked away in a secluded lake (quite a journey to get to it) and because there are no predators in the lake these jellyfish have lost their sting! They don't have those long tentacles. Isn't that an amazing analogy for humans – no predators – no sting needed!!! It was one of the most amazing experiences in nature I have ever had, right up there with hanging out with the Gorillas in Rwanda! And it gets better – the jellyfish float right into your hands and they pulse a bright white cross of light – this is their heart beating!!! The littles were soooooo adorable. Thousands of them floating all around.....
Aren't these jellyfish adorable?
to Guam to play at my friend's wedding. The chapel overlooked the ocean,
I am offering a Music Meditation at my Temple.
Here we are having a lovely day in Nara
another wonderful New York City trip this year, I just love it there!
There is so much energy in that area that wants to transform into light and I felt incredibly supported while I created the music that day.
Lovely working/playing with the Sacred Dancers for our performance.
Always a pleasure.
Here is one of my favourite pictures from that day.
And here I am with my friend Sylvia in rural New York at the home of a blacksmith. I wanted to go out to say hi to the cows but realized this cow was a bull and he was coming at us quite quickly!!! So I just started dancing and Sylvia did too. This calmed the bull down so much that he peed all over Sylvia.
Just another Sacred Dance adventure!
some lovely local trips – one to Montreal with my friend Eva.
*** Music Meditations ***
My Music Meditations are one of my most favourite things that I do here on planet Earth! I can open my heart and invite in my angels, guides and fairies to play through me, offering a magical, mystical, musical experience for all who are there and for all beings of light connecting with this energy. I see/feel a huge web of LIGHT all around the globe and each Music Meditation helps to light this amazing web of love, light, energy. I of course love to play for the participants who attend, but if you see a Music Meditation coming up and you can't join us physically please take the time to sit back and relax during the meditation and allow the energy to flow to/through you.
year I have settled into two beautiful, spiritual locations for the
The Meditations also take me to many wonderful locations.
will mention some that I played at in 2014.
This just starts the year off right and invites in new and healing energies for all. Thanks Sue for inviting me to play again this year.
I played at a beautiful Tree Ceremony held at Guildwood. So many trees died during the big Toronto storm and many more had to be cut down. It was bitterly cold and there aren't many things that would inspire me to play outside in the icy conditions but I LOVE TREES and I was very grateful to be a part of this lovely ceremony.
Catherine's gorgeous Raven's Ridge retreat in Orillia, complete with
Medicine Wheel, pond and a beautiful Labyrinth. I was the first to play
music in the Labyrinth and the lighting was just divine – fireflies
sitting in the trees all around us!!!!!
and I enjoyed playing at Paula's beautiful Glen Garden. It was a magical
love the way the energy of the music and the movement intertwingle
I have been playing at the Esther Yoga studio for many, many years, and each event is unique and lovely!
played at a Multifaith Service at the Koffler Centre. This was wonderful
– A Buddhist Monk led the participants on a walking meditation through
the building. I played in the central open space and the music filled
the entire building! Magical.
Thanks to my 'band' of students and a lovely gaggle of Sacred Dancers,
*** Teaching, House Clearings, Healing and Mantra Sessions ***
I have been doing more and more of my Mantra Sessions - some of them on Skype. I love them! Everyone has a wonderful time creating their own, special Mantra and I love facilitating and adding the mantra music. I even did a wee video about the Mantra sessions:
continue with my Shakuhachi teaching, also doing some of these lessons
on Skype. Shakuhachi is difficult but for all who carry on it is truly
transformational. Congrats to all my wonderful students!!
*** Interviews ***
two lovely interviews this year. Thank you Ann Gelsheimer and Dzintar
*** Retreats ***
continue my wonderful retreats at Grail Springs, one of the most
gorgeous, spiritual and healing locations I have ever played at. I was
there three times this year! Thanks to Madeleine for all her wonderful
work at this very special place.
*** Benefit Events ***
continue on the Board of Directors for the Palliative Association:
continue to raise funds for the Japan cultural Foundation I stared with
my friend Rebecca.
Andrews Church near Bancroft.
*** New Projects ***
I am thrilled to announce that David Price Francis and I have completed our first Guided Meditation together! We are working on a set of meditations and I will be sending out information on this first one. Thanks David, it is wonderful working with you on these. www.energyworlds.com
I have two CD recordings on the go, one with Chris Gartner and the other with Celina Carroll. I will keep you posted!!
have two new videos, big thanks to Chris Gartner for his creative
vision. We are also looking for a techno person to help in the creation
of a Healing Music App. If you have anyone in your circle who does this,
please do let me know - thanks!
*** Final Words for 2014 ***
Well, I must say 2014 was an exciting year!!! So much going on, so many adventures, new friends, new experiences. And also some lovely settling in, the Music Meditations really taking root. A year of expansion, big shifts. And so many opportunities to invite in more and more light for 2015!
BIG THANKS to all of you who have helped in so many ways in the past year... Helping to set up events, to drive me around and schlepping all my bags of instruments.... Helping with the recordings, videos, newsletters/website. Thanks for all the lovely sleepovers at your homes.... Thanks to all for attending the events and for buying my CD's. Thanks for the love and support and hugs!!!! Love you all!!!!
To end, here is a lovely, lovely moment captured in time.
While in Niagara Falls I had the 'BESTEST' (fairy word) picture ever taken with a darling little blue fairy/pixie behind my right shoulder and if you look very carefully you will see a beautiful Angel of Light over my left shoulder (between the greenery). Isn't this amazing!!!! I know that I am always surrounded and supported by my Angels and my Fairies (I am, after all, Debrina, Queen of the Pixies) but it is quite something to see them show up in a picture! Please feel free to send this photo (or any of the photos/videos) to your friends!
LIGHT FROM THE SUPER EARTH
We are delighted
to announce the
release of our
Light From the Super Earth is a soundscape of the galaxy, a captivating musical collage inspired by the unprecedented detection of light on a Super Earth, a planet twice the width of our own earth, 41 light years away. Imagine that light travelling through space to earth, inviting everyone here to receive light from the Super Earth, and to be connected by the light like a great human DNA chain.
Light From the Super Earth offers that invitation, from the imaginations of four master musicians including shakuhachi artist Debbie Danbrook, and from gifted producer Steve Raiman, the two who originated the vision. These intriguing, exciting and captivating sounds are what they believe the light would feel like as music.
The journey of creation began with a chance meeting in Toronto between Debbie (shakuhachi flute and voice) and Grammy winner David Darling (cello and voice.) The musical outcome, blending the mysterious sounds of the shakuhachi with the soulful resonance of the cello, combines earth harmonies and healing tones in a spellbinding union.
The recording started in Toronto at Noble Studios with live off the floor improvisations engineered by George Seara. Additional tracks were added by Debbie and David in Boulder, Colorado at Immersive Studios, tracked by Mike Yach. Debbie’s collaboration with Chris Gartner (electric bass and atmospheres) created another dynamic element, as the bass waves added a haunting power to the music. In London, Neal Wilkinson (drums and percussion) added compelling tribal rhythms to connect our earth with the Super Earth. The drum sessions were recorded by Jon Kelly at Cake Studios. In Los Angeles, violinist Jim Sitterly, famous for his work on 'Lost', created the introduction for the title track. Back in Toronto at Kensington Sound, Ben Pelchat and Steve Raiman shaped the music into the Super Earth soundtrack. Next, the tracks were brilliantly mixed by award winning engineer Jeff Wolpert in Toronto at Desert Fish Studios. The recording returned to England for mastering by Tim Young at Metropolis. Tim is the Grammy winner for his mastering of the Beatles' Love CD.
The resulting music is both ethereal and grounding.
The 11 tracks, each with diverse elements integrating beautifully, include moments of great intensity, and moments of profound peace. There are pieces with voluptuous, primal rhythms, and others with a dreamy and delightful sense of letting go. These musically eloquent works have a mysterious power, sometimes to engage the emotions, and other times to suspend them.
“We are here on our planet now for a critical reason --- to transform our energy into the vibration of light and love,” Debbie says. “The light from this Super Earth is a beautiful new light source for us to absorb into our hearts and souls, to radiate outwards. With almost 7 billion on earth right now, what an incredible web of light we can weave together.”
“This group of
recording at a
critical time in
says. “If we are
going to live in
peace, we need
to shift our
light. Music is
Breathe in love
Light From the
The Light From the Super Earth CD will be manufactured later this year and we will send out a e-mail to let you know when.
Thanks to all
in the making of
Light From the
Super Earth and
thanks to all
who listen to
and embrace this
new music in
their hearts and
So, you first heard the shakuhachi in Vancouver?
Yes, I heard the shakuhachi in Vancouver and just right away after that first note I knew it was my flute and within a couple weeks I was in Japan and I lived there for almost 3 years and studied with a master.
Growing up before discovering the shakuhachi, what were some instruments you played?
I started on piano when I was a kid, then silver flute through high school and university, so I did the whole classical thing and then I got into really wild performance arts, doing really interesting theatre and dance, music and dance. And just became right into the whole jazz, but once I got into the shakuhachi, that was my true love.
Learning western instruments earlier in your life, did you find there were any kind of clashes as you were learning this traditional eastern, Japanese instrument?
Clashes? Well, it was quite a journey to find a teacher, but to me it was fulfilling something from my past life because I knew all the music, it was about remembering not learning. And then I found my tempo, and my heart is at that tempo in Japan; even though physically I left Japan, a big part of me is always there and in my tempo.
Now, you were the first woman to master the shakuhachi, why is that? Why weren’t there more women playing earlier in the instruments history? Is it cultural…historical?
It’s partly cultural because shakuhachi was played only by monks and so only by men and as it started to be played as a classical instrument and played in classical music, it was just men that carried on the tradition. But shakuhachi is extremely difficult and it could take months for someone to get even their first sound so there is just this feeling that women aren’t strong enough to be able to play shakuhachi and obviously that is a complete fallacy. It has nothing to do with physical strength, it is strength of energy field.
And what do you mean by energy field?
Do you know about the charkas and energy field?
Kind of, yeah.
So we have an electrical field, it’s a scientific thing; we have a field around us. So with the shakuhachi, what you are actually doing is you’re connected to the earth, you’re drawing up the earth’s energy – the chi is the earth – we hold it in our field and that is what we are playing through the shakuhachi. So the more coherent your field is the stronger it is and the more energy it can hold and then that is translated into the playing of the flute.
And now you also teach?
Yes, I teach shakuhachi. I have students in Toronto, Ottawa, Guelph, and I also teach on Skype!
What is the biggest challenge for students?
As I mentioned it can take months to get a sound, so just that alone is quite amazing of watching someone go through that process. And there are two groups of students. A lot of students they love shakuhachi, they want to learn it, but it’s not the true love of their heart, and so once they realize how hard it is they give up in the first few months.
The people that stick with it, it’s something they love so much they’re really committed to it. So, it’s not like a lot of instruments where you can pick away and get a tune…it’s a challenge to just get a note for the shakuhachi and for some people that is a bit daunting and that’s fine it’s just not going to be their path.
And considering the type of music, I suppose, more so than other instruments, it really, really becomes part of their lifestyle?
Yeah, it’s Zen so it’s not a musical instrument, but a spiritual path.
And in this world we live in, with globalization, do you think we’re starting to see a change in how the shakuhachi is being played?
What do you mean?
Well, the shakuhachi, I guess you could say it’s a very individualistic more than playing for the collective, you know—it’s rooted in Japanese tradition, Zen and all…
But now you see it expanding to the western world, and people are starting to put their own spin on it, you see the younger generation adding a pop twist to the shakuhachi. Do you find that’s becoming truer with people experimenting with new sounds with the shakuhachi?
Well, it’s true for all world instruments. These are instruments that a hundred years ago people would never have heard of them, with the extent of travel and recording we have a wealth of instruments we never would have had in the past. So for example last night at the music meditation I played, my friend played berimbau which is a Brazilian instrument originally brought over from Africa, so that’s an instrument I played with and used on quite a few of my recordings too. There’s a world of music movement that is just quite phenomenal when you think of the mix of instruments – the last CD I used, and the different things on it – so yeah, there’s an amazing mix culturally, but also an amazing mix with instruments.
You mentioned your CD. You have 20 of them I read?
When was the release of your most recent on?
In September at the Jazz bistro. So it’s got a real jazz feeling to it, some of the pieces are very ethereal and then some of them are very energetic. Most energetic than most of the CD’s, it’s called Lights From the Super Earth. You can look at it’s website www.lightfromthesuperearth.com it has it’s own website because it’s a special CD and there’s a video on there under the media button – it’s one of my favourite videos.
Okay, I will check that out for sure. Are you working on any other projects?
Yes, 4 CD’s right now.
4 CD's?! Okay
Well, you know little by little on this, and because different players are in different parts of the world and we usually mix them over in England, so it’s a process to get them done.
mastered it, Tim
mastered some of
the Beatles, he
won a Grammy for
the Beatles Love
CD, and the
sound he gets is
so unique, it’s
he did Lights
from the Super
Earth and the
cellist on it
won a Grammy,
and he is one of
the world. So,
I have returned from a sorrowful but also uplifting trip to Japan. The atmosphere is very subdued, Japan has never been this quiet. The airports were almost empty and with dimmed lights in the long corridors it was very surreal.
My friends are all well and it was very emotional meeting with them. I am so grateful to have been able to see them all and they were very grateful I had come to visit them.
I went to my temple three times and I am sending you a photo of one of my favourite statues there. I always stand in front of his outstretched hand, so beautiful, so healing. Just before I took this photo he was given a polishing by one of the monks and he just glowed with healing energy.
The Healing Music Benefit Concert in Nagoya went very well. Everyone was so appreciative that Steve and I had travelled there to offer our healing music. The concert also included a Japanese dancer who had choreographed a traditional dance depicting the earthquake and tsunami and a wonderful Shamisen player (Japanese three stringed instrument, very ancient and powerful).
I had offered a benefit music/yoga event here in Toronto with my friend Joanne Lowe. Also, friends have been sending donations and we were able to donate over $2,000. One of my friends in Japan, Masato Shibuya, is a doctor and the head of a hospital. He is in the disaster area right now helping to supervise the volunteers from his hospital.
I will be continuing to fundraise for Japan and will be sending the money to Dr. Shibuya and if you would like to help please e-mail me and I will send more details, thank you (firstname.lastname@example.org). I will be listing donators (if they agree) on our Japan benefit page
Please join me in sending healing energy to all the people, animals, land and water of Japan, thank you.
Lots of Love,
NEWSLETTER - MARCH 23, 2011
This is Hozanji, my temple
in Japan. I will be going to Japan in 7 days to offer my Healing Music
at this sacred temple. I will also be playing a Benefit Concert in
Nagoya. Please join me in sending light through your heart to this
temple, to the land of Japan, to all who are suffering.
I am also offering a Healing Music/Yoga benefit event today, March 23 here in Toronto. Please go to www.bigstretchyoga.com for reservations.
I will be taking donated funds this trip and also in the future to my friend in Japan who is a doctor and runs a hospital in Nagoya. He will be sending donations directly to a hospital in Sendai to support the relief effort. Please contact: email@example.com for information about the donations.
NEWSLETTER - DECEMBER 30, 2010
Happy end of the year newsletter. Wow, it has been the most amazing year of wild energetic shifting. I hope that you are all well and are having a lovely wee rest this week.
I would like to share some of my adventures from this incredible year with you starting with the auspicious event that happened on my birthday yesterday. I was standing at the edge of Lake Ontario in the direct line of the sun blazing down onto the water. I was almost blinded by the shimmering water and down this corridor of light a beautiful swan floated right up to me.
The brilliant light, the gently lapping sounds of the water, the beautiful swan, all wove a mantle of peace around me. This event marks the end of this year's energy for me, the Year of Power. (Every year I have a theme and 2010 was The Year of Power).
I have felt powerful shifts in the balancing of the Female and Male energies this year. I hope that each and every one of you have felt some profound balancing of Ying/Yang energies in yourself, in those around you and in our delicate balance with the earth, the animals, the moon, the stars....
I will start my remembering with three things that have changed my life this year. An event, a person, a place.
I¹ll start with the event. There were many, many deaths this year and a very sad one in my personal life but I am so grateful for this experience - each walk with grief is as unique as the being we knew and loved. This grief literally took me through the veil and the whole left side of my field was transported to the other side. I am so grateful to my friends/healers who were there to help me through this powerful, beautiful, heartbreaking time.
Of course I returned but profoundly changed. As always, my temple in Japan was a place/energy that sustained me during this difficult time. I visit my temple each day in meditation and this spring I will travel there again to mark the year end of this death in a ceremony of music and love.
I felt so blessed during this time to receive some Tibetan Buddhist teachings about dying from Zasep Rinpoche. Wonderful wisdom.
The person that again touched my heart so profoundly was Don Miguel Ruiz - he wrote one of my favourite books, The Four Agreements. I first met and played for him years ago at a Wellness Conference in Galveston. His heart energy is the most beautiful, powerful, and encompassing I have ever felt from a healer. I was so happy to play for him again here in Toronto and when I finished playing he again imprinted his heart into my mine. Thank you Don Miguel.
The place that has touched my heart so much this year is actually two places, each an interesting mix of female and male energies. It felt so right for me to be playing at these special locations at events that have helped to balance the energies of Ying and Yang. One of these lovely places is Grail Springs in Bancroft. I have been there to play three times this year and have three events planned for the new year. For me this lovely place has hooked into the energy of the Chalice Well at Glastonbury. I have met some wonderful folks there and have had some quite amazing experiences including this one I will share with you. I was walking/playing on the Labyrinth with my new friend Madeleine and I could hear the sound of a horse walking with us. I knew that I would encounter a horse there at the Grail and the next visit I was invited on a ride. I am a great rider, I used to jump bareback! and I have never fallen from a horse. Well, on my ride the saddle slipped sideways and I fell off, flat on my back. I was O.K. but it was an abrupt lesson in being grounded! This is funny, the horse¹s name was Grace and so I have now fallen from Grace!!
The other new place in my
life this year is a lovely performance
I also offered Eckhart Tolle meditations at this space with its founder Rob. These were fun and gentle teachings that went on for about nine months but I think that they were part of the birthing energy of the new space and they have now ended.
I played at a interesting symposium called Awakening the Dreamer. From the energy of this event I have started a new workshop that incorporates many of the things I love - Shakuhachi Meditations, Labyrinths, Trees and of course Tea! I have offered this workshop in several cities and will continue these in the new year. So much fun.
I continue to play at Labyrinth events wherever I go. I so love the energy of the Labyrinth and how it weaves us all together in its web of light and 'interconnectedness'. Thanks to Deb and Nancy for inviting me to play again at their wonderful Labyrinths on their Healing Grounds.
I returned to both the University of Toronto campus downtown and the Scarborough campus to offer lectures, meditations and workshops. I was also up at York University again for a lecture/demonstration. Both old stomping grounds were I have studied and taught over the years.
I am so grateful to have found a wonderful class of Qigong led by Andrew of the Gitche M¹Qua Centre. I played there last year to mark the Solstice and I felt so at home I joined! They have been playing my music for years and so it was like arriving at another home when I first walked in. I mark the changing of the seasons by playing at each Solstice and Equinox class. I love the energy of this group.
I returned to play at the annual Edgar Cayce conference in Kingston. A wonderful time and wonderful folks. At the conference I was introduced to the gorgeous paintings of Alma Rumball and later I went up to Huntsville to play in the energy of the original paintings.
This is something new and fun. I have been playing for beautiful candelit Yoga classes led by powerful and graceful gals. Thanks to Joanne and Cathy for inviting me.
There were some wonderful summer events. I played several times in Ottawa at Remic Rapids in front of and around the beautiful rock sculptures of John Ceprano. So gorgeous playing there.
I played at my third Sacred Dance Festival, this one again down in Connecticut. Wonderful folks - I love to play for these dancers. We did a Flash Mob Dance in the town of New London and I don¹t think we will ever be forgotten!!
I continue to play at all the Memorial Services at Sunnybrook Hospital. These are very special Memorials and I am honoured to be a part of them. Thank you to all the Chaplains that work so hard and do such healing work at the hospital.
I continue to teach Shakuhachi in Toronto, Guelph and Ottawa. This year we had our Fifth Annual Shakuhachi Playday!! Thanks to all my wonderful students, I love you!
I am also continuing my Healing Sessions for individuals at churches and homes and also my Music Meditations - playing in as many Sacred Sites as I can. I played for the first time in Niagara Falls at the Temple with 10,000 Buddhas. My favourite place to play at this Temple was in front of the Quan Yin statue. As I played I felt her energy focus down into my heart and her music played through me to the group and out to the Falls. One of the listeners felt her arms embrace me as I played. So beautiful.
I also offered a workshop in Niagara Falls at a friend¹s beautiful Labyrinth and we continued the workshop out at the Niagara Gorge. Thanks to Kassandra and Kim for their work in holding and healing the water energy there.
I have been doing regular clearings at homes and workplaces - including a six storey building. Whew!! This is work I do everyday at home and it feels so lovely to expand this energy outward...
I played at another benefit concert with my friend Mark for the Pegasus drop in centre. This was at Hallowe¹en and we dressed up, I was the Moon Spirit and Mark was the Autumn River Spirit. A really fun night and a great fundraiser too.
This was a magical evening - I played at a Haiku Reading and Music Event at the Japanese Embassy in Ottawa with one of my students, Catriona. I love doing these events. Beautiful poetry and the wildest combination of instruments you could imagine including Shakuhachi and accordian!
I played more this year then I have ever done in the past. I am feeling more grounded (I am smiling as I write this) but really, this ability to play at so many events and travel so much is something I couldn¹t have done years ago and so I am grateful for this shift.
A special thanks to Steve and all my friends and family who travelled through this wild and wonderful year with me. I am looking forward to another year of transformation, healing, joy and fun. Next year will be the Year of Bliss......
I hope that you have a wonderful 2011.
Lots of Love,
Welcome to another year end newsletter. I hope this letter finds you all well and happy. Whew, time has really flown since I last wrote. Here are some of the events I participated in this past year.
2008 began for me with a
profoundly moving experience when I was asked to play my flute at the
Sri Chinmoy Memorial Service here in Toronto. For those of you not
familiar with Sri Chinmoy he was an amazing spiritual leader and also a
wonderful writer, painter and musician. I played a song that he had
written for one of his visits to Japan and as the music flowed through
me I was filled with the deepest feeling of peace I have ever felt. I
even look like a bit like him in the picture taken while I played. I
would like to offer my thanks to Sri Chinmoy for the wonderful radiant
peace he left behind for us all.
There will come a time when
this world of ours
Soon after this beautiful Memorial I had a gig playing for a modern day Tea Ceremony. The artist, Amy Barbour, had built an entire installation made out of tea soaked fabric. The lucky participants basked in a cocoon of complete sensory delight. I had the wonderful job of playing Shakuhachi for them all.
In April I offered a Healing Music Benefit Concert in Ottawa with Steve on piano and Ian Hepburn on harp. This year the benefit was for Ottawa Friends of Tibet to help them raise funds for the retirement home they are building in India for Tibetans living in exile. The land there was donated by the office of the Dalai Lama. It was a fantastic evening and we had a sell out crowd of 350. $7,000 was raised between the ticket sales and the market of Tibetan arts and crafts. I wish them well with the building.
I played at several Edgar Cayce events this year. The highlight for me was playing at the May conference in Kingston - their 25th anniversary event. I wove my music throughout the weekend and rarely have I felt such a clarity of light in the energy field of a large group of listeners. There were so many big angels there, what a joy and a privilege it was to play in their midst.
In May I also went to Utah to play at a workshop in the mountains there, so beautiful. I combined that trip with a visit to my friend Tim Landers in Las Angeles to do some work/play on a new recording. More news on this next year.
In June and October I was invited to Sunnybrook Hospital to play at the Memorial Services offered for the patients who have died and their families, friends, and the staff who have had the privilege to attend them. There is a very committed group of Chaplains working there at Sunnybrook and they do an amazing job of offering spiritual guidance for the 10,000 people (patients and staff) under their care.
I offered several ŒJourney to the Heart¹ workshops with my friends Lorraine Gane, Wendy Morrell and Jill Davey. One in Toronto and another in Guelph. Lorraine and I also had an Earth Prayers Solstice gathering in Toronto, dancing led by Moira MacDonald and guitarist Mark Battenburg joining the celebration.
In June I spent a week playing at the Sacred Dance Festival in Connecticut. It was the 50th anniversary and some of the original founders of the Sacred Dance Guild were there. It was one of most wonderful festivals I have ever attended. Dancers of all kinds from all over the world. I think I played the most I have ever played in one week! On our last day we had a trip to Jacob¹s Pillow, one of the first dance centres for modern dance. I saw three performances, all fabulous, and best of all I was so happy to spend the day with Carla DeSola. Carla is one of the founders of Sacred Dance and is an Angel of Dance. Thank you Carla for being here. Thanks also to Wendy Morrell, organizer extrordinaire for her excellent dance festival planning. Well done!
In November a British choreographer living now in North Carolina, Claire Elizabeth Barratt, came to Toronto to perform with me and friend Celina Carroll at the Gladstone Hotel. I met Claire at the Sacred Dance Festival, what a wonderful dancer. Claire and I then drove to Ottawa to offer a Sacred Dance workshop there - Phoenix Rising. The trip fell on the Remembrance Dance weekend and I was blessed by being able to attend the Memorial Service at the Cenotaph in downtown Ottawa. Very moving. Afterwards I went with Wendy and friends and drank beer and danced at the Legion. My life is always full of strange contrasts!
Back to Toronto to play an Autumn Trilogy concert with Steve and Mark. A lovely wee concert enjoyed by all.
The year had some really unique, fun events. I played at Kathy and Patrick¹s super fun wedding at one of the gorgeous estates at Sunnybrook. I had my Tarot read by Kathy out in the courtyard here under a mystical tree. Wow, it was an amazing story the Tarot had to tell. Ruth and I danced on a magical labyrinth woven through the woods somewhere in Almonte. There were lots and lots of fairies dancing with us.
As always the Labyrinth inspires and guides me, plus offers wildly fun opportunites for dance and frolic. Our Guelph workshop was held at the Jesuit Ignatius Centre and the outdoor Labyrinth offered us a sacred space where we were blessed by Sun, music, dance and festive scarves! At Toronto Island I danced on the beautiful red cedar chip Labyrinth that rings a wise old tree and had a huge revelation occur that day. One of my oddest Labyrinth workshops was held at the University of Toronto in a noisy common area - still the magic managed to flow through to the walkers and observers both.
I continue to play my Shakuhachi Meditations at a great variety of spiritual centres - some of my favourite being yoga centres. I also continue offering Shakuhachi lessons and Healing Sessions in Toronto, Ottawa and Guelph. I have such wonderful students, a joy to be with. We had our Third Shakuhachi Play Day - here in Toronto this year. I am planning a trip to Japan in the spring with some of these students and any new and old friends that wish to join us. Shakuhachi meditations under the cherry blossoms at my favourite temples.
I have met some wonderful new friends following the Sufi spiritual path and I will be finishing off the year joining them to play at a Festival of Lights gathering this month.
Sending you all LOTS of LOVE
and LIGHT for the coming year,
Listen to the sound
Click image for larger view...
Healing Music is pleased to announce the release of 'Sacred Sounds for the Soul', the final CD in the 'Sacred Sounds' trilogy. This is Debbie Danbrook's sixteenth CD and her most personal and intimate recording. This music features her angelic vocals with Shakuhachi flute, a new flute with a clear and light tone. The 'stardust' keyboards played by Steve Raiman and shimmering guitar tracks by Brian Hughes give this latest CD an exquisitely beautiful soundscape.
Debbie Danbrook is a
master of the Japanese Shakuhachi flute, an ancient instrument
originally played as a type of Zen. Her music has been embraced around
the globe for its healing properties. Steve Raiman is well known in
Japan for his expressive piano recordings and
The 'Sacred Sounds' trilogy consists of 'Sacred Sounds for the Spa', 'Sacred Sounds for the Soul' and 'Sacred Sounds for Sleep'. The Spa CD offers music for relaxation, the Sleep CD music to help listeners get a good night's sleep and the 'Sacred Sounds for the Soul' CD is music for inner reflection. Debbie offers the listener of the Soul CD a vibrational chord that will help in the journey of the Soul.
'Sacred Sounds for the Soul' - building the channel between the earth and the angels. Dedicated with great love and affection to Debbie's Dad, Milton Danbrook.
The CD is now available online or telephone 1-888-MUSIC-38 to order.
Sounds For Insomniacs
Debbie Danbrook and Steve
Raiman hope that listening to their latest CD
It's not that they record hour-long political speeches and engineers reading textbooks out loud in monotones.
Danbrook and Raiman have spent years exploring the field of making relaxation music. They've made 15 CDs together and sold more than 25,000 - not much of a number if you're a rock star looking for a hit but gratifying if you're a pair of Canadian musicians producing spiritual healing music.
The ultimate in relaxation, they figure, is sleep.
Like many people, Danbrook has had problems for years with insomnia. Their recently released CD, Sacred Sounds For Sleep, has put her to sleep, and kept her asleep for hours when she sets her player to repeat.
"We're doing the music for ourselves," says Raiman. "It's part of our own healing process."
Danbrook, 45, plays an ancient Japanese flute called the shakuhachi, traditionally reserved for the exclusive use of Japanese monks. She spent three years in Japan learning to play it in the traditional way, then came back to Canada and found her own way to play shakuhachi for healing and relaxation.
Raiman, 37, plays piano and is well known in Japan for music he has composed and performed. He has toured that country with his music 15 times in the last few years.
Both had their basic musical training at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.
Their music is heavily influenced by Eastern tradition, and also by nature. Danbrook enjoys playing her shakuhachi outdoors, and Raiman looks to nature for inspiration for his piano music and names his works accordingly.
Their North American CDs are marketed in Danbrook's name and produced by Raiman. They all feature shakuhachi music, sometimes blended with piano, sometimes guitar or cello, and other times with combinations of instruments and voices.
American lecturer and music expert Don Campbell, author of the 1997 bestseller The Mozart Effect, says he is familiar with their music, and appreciates it himself. After living seven years in Japan, he says he admires traditional shakuhachi music, but also enjoys the different effects that Danbrook creates with the ancient instrument.
"She makes an interesting bridge between traditional Japanese music and modern Western psychology," he says. "Her integrity is magnificent and her work has a real place in the well-being of our society. She's a bit of a muse."
Nobody taps a toe to Danbrook's and Raiman's music.
"It's not music you hum," acknowledges Danbrook. "It goes right through you. You feel it in your bones. This is experiential music. You don't listen to it with your ears - you listen with your heart. People respond to it from a different place."
They do respond - in numbers, as Judy Brake discovered to her surprise. Brake, senior producer of arts at Studio Two for TV Ontario, found herself almost overwhelmed with audience response after Danbrook played the shakuhachi on the program on two occasions.
"We've had Ben Heppner on the show, Jann Arden, Shirley Eikhart, some jazz greats, you name it, but the first time Debbie was on I was inundated with more calls and e-mails than for any of the others," Brake says. "I was getting e-mails for two or three weeks after the program, from people in North Bay, Thunder Bay, Sudbury, all over the province, wanting to know how to buy the CDs.
"People said they loved how soothing the music is, what a calming effect it has, a comforting feeling, like an oasis of calm."
Danbrook and Raman say they aim their music at helping people transcend the stresses of day-to-day life, including the difficulties of dealing with technology and constant noise.
"There always seem to be the sounds of machines, the hum of fluorescence, fans, computers, hard drive sounds, " says Raiman. "It's almost numbing after a while. The shakuhachi is the opposite to that. It helps to centre the mind."
Danbrook says playing the music grounds her, and she wants her music to have the same effect on listeners.
"All of that noise around us deadens us somehow," she suggests. "Healing music takes us back to our centre, to our core."
She was inspired to make the sleep CD after people told her about her earlier musical works, that they really liked the beginning of the CD. "I wondered what was wrong with the end," she says.
It turned out that people were dozing off to her music because it was so soothing, and they often didn't hear the end.
Then Danbrook and Raiman met American physician Pamela Peeke at a conference. Peeke, an occasional Oprah guest and an assistant professor at the University of Maryland medical school, also speaks on stress-related health issues. They talked together about how many people suffer from insomnia, and Peeke urged the pair to create a sleep-promoting CD.
"We live in a sleep-deprived society," suggests Danbrook. "We've cut back on our sleep and we are forcing ourselves to get by on an hour or two less each night than our ancestors got."
The healing qualities of sleep occurred to Danbrook after a car accident on the way to visit her family. She suffered whiplash but, in shock, made her way to her destination, stopping briefly for a bag of ice at a corner store.
"I sat with the ice on my neck and put my CD on to play, and all three of us fell asleep in our chairs," she recalls. "When I woke up, my neck had released and I was ready to go and get the medical help I needed."
She recorded the special sleep CD with a different shakuhachi than the usual one she plays, a longer one that makes deeper sounds. She found it four years ago at an international shakuhachi festival in Colorado. Of the 300 players performing, she was the only woman.
Only one shakuhachi maker was there, and it turned out to be the man who had made her instrument. He had this special long flute with him and Danbrook gladly spent $3,000 to buy it, relieved that her credit card limit had just been raised by that amount.
Raiman says he and Danbrook often record on special occasions and birthdays. They recorded the sleep CD last Boxing Day, Danbrook's birthday.
Peeke, who had helped to inspire the creation of the CD, says she is pleased any time Danbrook records a new one.
"I call it healing music," she says. "Debbie's music is constantly playing in the medical environments where I work. My patients find her flute soothing and calming as they work through their own trials and tribulations. It's such a welcome sound. It really touches your soul."
Toronto chiropractor and acupuncturist Hideki Kumagai says he believes that some of the health benefits from Danbrook's music result from the relaxation state produced when brainwaves match the rhythms of the sounds she makes with her shakuhachi.
"In this day and age of high anxiety, that is healthful," he says. "I've observed at performances that the music puts people into a relaxed state akin to meditation.
"Studies have shown the health benefits of a meditative state: it regularizes the heart and respiratory rates, the kidney, the liver and the blood flow. This is pretty obvious, watching people at a performance, and I expect that the same thing happens to people at home listening to a CD."
Health is not his own prime motive for listening to Danbrook's and Raiman's music, though, Kumagai admits.
"It's fun to listen to, and that's a simple fact," he says.
Raiman and Danbrook have worked together for 14 years.
They want their music to be a kind of mini retreat for listeners, the two say.
"How do you integrate the relaxation you need into your day-to-day life?" demands Danbrook. Everyone's always so busy. If you can't relax at a spa, at least you can stop for a few minutes in your own home, light a candle, have a cup of tea and listen to some healing music."
For more information, see Danbrook's and Raiman's Web site at www.healingmusic.com