With the earth as our muse, Forma Terra was designed around a unique base of colloidal oat, aloe and kaolin clay powder that naturally infuse the water with minerals and nutrients to soothe and soften skin. But more than just a soak, we wanted to develop a truly immersive experience that provided deep and lasting relaxation. Truth is, we have become so accustomed to being overstimulated and disliked the idea of our community drawing a bath to unwind and then reaching for their mobile to scan social media. Forma Terra invites a moment to practice the art of listening and settle into stillness.
In addition to the natural bath soak, we spent months connecting and learning from various sound artists across North America to commission a 20 minute sound bath meditation audio to help facilitate deep relaxation for our audience. We worked closely with Faye Mallett, a Vancouver based sound artist, on the expansive harmonies and details of our meditation script to create a transformational experience, rooted in the art of slow beauty.
Today, we're sharing more from Faye and the inspiration behind our sound bath meditation.
What does mindfulness mean to you?
To me, mindfulness is about getting still and going beyond the surface of things. Taking a pause, a deep breath, not rushing into anything and taking a moment to connect with myself before responding to anything. When I’m able to get in a mindful space like this (emphasis on when I'm able to!), I find that I’m more understanding and compassionate towards others. I’m also more forgiving and accepting of myself. I’ve discovered that the practice of returning to my breath whenever I get distracted, as a way of accepting things as they are and to begin again when I need to, is crucial to my wellbeing.
How do you nurture your intuition?
Getting into a creative and receptive state of awareness helps nurture my intuition. There’s no real direct path to getting to this state, no formula to it. But I find that listening to and playing music, especially the singing bowls, will usually get me there. The sound of the singing bowl drones will place me in a state of deep listening, which opens the space to listen to my intuition and instincts in a way that’s personally relevant and meaningful. Meditation also does this. Being in nature does too. Especially the rainforests of the west coast of Canada, where I live, and being by moving water. Rivers and tides. These are all places that help nurture my intuition.
How did you initially discover sound baths?
I’ve known about music therapy and what it can do for many years, but sound baths have been a more recent discovery. A few years ago, I was asked by a friend to do live music for her yoga nidra events and she recommended I experience a singing bowl sound bath for inspiration. I got really lucky with my first experience as the quality was sublime. I was transported and felt layers of stress just melt away from me. You could also say I got hooked, as I felt strongly after my first session that this was something I was meant to do. I was fortunate to be able to train with Colin Hilstrom, a gifted sound healer who was living in Vancouver at the time. It was his very gentle and knowledgeable mentorship that gave me the confidence to purchase my first set of singing bowls, and from that point on I haven’t looked back.
What other rituals do you turn to for grounding?
It seems like a funny (or perfect) coincidence, but taking a bath is one of the most grounding things I can do for myself. Whenever I feel overwhelmed, need to get grounded, decompress or just have some time to myself, taking a bath has been my longest go to, to feel better. Being in water is so soothing and calming for me. It also helps to listen to ambient music or even at times just fall asleep. Baths and naps. Ideally, together.
What place does .eluo. hold in your rituals?
Discovering Eluo has been a delight. What I love about the brand is how creative you can get with the experience. You can really customize the products. For daily use, I use Forma Rosea at night as an end of day mask to help rehydrate my skin. Usually, I use this on it’s own as it’s very nourishing. But when I have the time, I like to mix honey and Forma Oleum into a mask and leave it for longer on my skin. It’s so soothing and I love how each ingredient is natural. It’s a ritual that makes my skin feel radiant.
Tell us more about the composition of the meditation you created for Forma Terra.
The singing bowl composition for Forma Terra was purposefully designed to be meditative in a very deep sense. Tannis, the founder of Eluo, first sent me the project brief and the draft of a guided meditation script. We spent a lot of time refining the script, which really helped inform how the singing bowls would be played.
After mapping and testing out different approaches, the final version ended up being very simplified. Less emphasis on creating melodic phrases and more emphasis on the drones to help people get into an undistracted place of relaxation. I also used specific singing bowls that have a lower and deeper sound, and worked with stable, grounding harmonies to further invite a sense of peace and calm.
When I went into the studio to record I had a general map in mind about what I would do, yet so much of the magic also happened in the studio too. I did four takes and each one became more and more pared down, slower and also more meditative as I entered into a space of stillness and intuitive listening. The final recording we chose was truly a collaborative work as it focused on the intention that Tannis wanted for Forma Terra and also gave me a lot of freedom to play.
How would you would describe your work?
My work is centered around creating immersive soundscapes that promote deeply relaxing and meditative states of being. My live and recorded sound bath offerings reflect years of experience as a performing musician as well as training in mindfulness practices like Vipassana meditation and sound therapy. I believe that sound can facilitate personal transformation, joy and healing, and I use the singing bowls to invite people to explore this within themselves.