Sound healing is one of the oldest forms of healing, believed to date all the way back to ancient Greece (Santos-Longhurst, 2020). It can be used to treat different disorders such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other behavioral and psychiatric disorders. It’s believed to also lower stress, decrease mood swings, improve sleep, and even lower cholesterol levels (Santos-Longhurst, 2020). As a musician, I have learned about the benefits of music therapy for anxiety levels and rehabilitation from brain injuries, but I have not really considered how it works.
This week I chose to research the sheep. My younger sister was born in the year of the sheep, so I was interested to see what I could learn about her zodiac sign. Just out of curiosity, I read about the sheep sign on the HOX website, and I learned that people under the sheep/goat sign are creative, delicate, shy about confrontation, and fond of nature. This aligns with my sister, who is a gifted musician and also despises urban life because of how far away it is from nature.
I never particularly liked being born in the year of the snake. Snakes are nowhere near as cool as dragons, they aren’t as fast as horses, as cute as bunnies, as popular as dogs, or as majestic as the tiger. As animals, people get creeped out or scared of snakes. In popular movies such as Harry Potter or The Jungle Book, snakes are seen as villains. If someone is a backstabber, we say that they are a “snake.” Since a young age, I’ve felt that the only benefit of being year of the snake is that snakes are easy to draw.
I had a hard time figuring out what audio to record for this blog. The concept of soundwaves is very complex, and as a musician, I rarely think of sound from a scientific perspective (except when I’m in physics class). Sound is everywhere, and if you really think about it, there is no such thing as silence. For instance, in John Cage’s famous 4’33”, the performer never touches a single key on the piano, yet the music produced from the piece is different every time.
I didn’t really expect much when I set out to find mushrooms. I live in Bakersfield, CA, and the climate here is extremely dry. We rarely get any rain, and when we do, it doesn’t last for more than an hour. Furthermore, my neighborhood is very developed, so there are no parks and very little nature. Everyone’s yards are constantly watered and maintained by gardeners, and the only pond that we have is artificial. I figured that even in the best-case scenario, I would only be able to find some nice flowers or interesting weeds.
I have always wanted to try baking bread myself but had never gotten the chance to, and this week I got the opportunity to make two types of bread! Because my family is Chinese, we rarely make baked bread, instead making a steamed bun called 馒头 (mantou). Its ingredients are very similar to that of bread, including flour, yeast, sugar, water, and salt. The recipe depends on the preferences of each province, but my family also likes to use a bit of baking powder and oil to help the mantou to be as fluffy as possible.
Since traveling is not much of an option right now, I chose my location based on randomization of coordinates within my neighborhood. For privacy reasons, I won’t share the exact coordinates of my location, but I essentially just found the coordinates of the borders of my neighborhood on Google Maps and used my calculator to pick two random integers within the limits that I found. Based on those coordinates, I went as close as possible as I could without trespassing on private property. This picture was the result: