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056: Refreshing Music Called ‘Flow State: Healing With Nature’ Released by Above & Beyond

podcast Jun 25, 2021

I am a huge proponent of music and nature as triggers for accessing flow, that’s why this new release sort of hits home.  

 If you aren’t familiar with Above and Beyond they are a British progressive trance and electronica group. I love a wide variety of music from hip-hop to traditional Japanese music, but I’ve come to find that when I’m getting into my early morning writing sessions I rely on more instrumental trap and electronica to get that continuous beat going in the background.  

Although Above and Beyond titled it ‘Flow State,’ they’ve created this album with a slightly different intent. After the Grammy-nominated DJ trio took a break from the busy world of dance music, they created ‘Flow State’: 17 which was primarily ambient piano music. They described their new album as “music tools for yoga, mindfulness, and mental fitness.” 

This was back in 2019 when this first came about, and Paavo Siljamäki of Above & Beyond told RaveJungle: 

 I began recording the sounds of nature at different times of the day and in different weather. I found these recordings healing, inspiring and calming. Taking them to the studio, I wanted to share this feeling with the world. So, we made these meditation tools to help others connect with nature, even those of us living a more urban lifestyle. 

I had done the exact same thing 20 years ago in Japan with my shakuhachi bamboo flute duo called Kurofune, Black Ships. My partner Izukawa Hedefumi and I would go into nature in different parts of Japan and in different seasons and record the ambient sounds, and he would then work them into our traditional and original bamboo sounds.  

Two years later Above and Beyond followed up their album with the complementary ‘Flow State: Healing With Nature.’ This is a new pack of meditation tools with ambient sounds as well as famous New York-based yogi Elena Brower adding some spoken word. She is describing the process of meditation and the group has improvised to it.  

Relaxation and calm are the moods that they are striving for on this album. With soundscapes having been recorded in the forests of Finland, the goal is to transport you to mother nature for a short time.  

After the original ‘Flow State: 17’ album was released, yoga sessions were done in collaboration with Elena Brower and the DAYBREAKER community across 17 cities around the world.  

As I mentioned earlier, music and nature are huge flow triggers, but music and flow are also highly personal. Music can both connect people across cultures and it can also turn off people in the same room as you.  

What helps me get into a flow state may be very different from what gets you there. It’s the same with your flow activities, you are just drawn to certain things that interest you or provide that unique challenge/skills balance that keep you coming back for more.  

And our individuality is a beautiful thing. Timing also plays an important role in allowing the music to affect us. Their goal with the album was to create a meditation tool that brings about peace and calm. The tempo does change throughout the album and the various songs, but I’m not sure it has enough of an up-beat for me to add it to my morning writing flow playlists.  

It’s there for now, as I want to give it a chance and experience it in different ways, but my initial feeling is that it goes better with my Tai Chi practice than when I need motivational beats to write. A time and a place for everything.  

I encourage you to check it out on Spotify, you can find it there. And spend some time with it and see if it gets added to your flow playlist. 

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