Healing Together is a benefit compilation for mental health recovery featuring 23 ambient-electronic artists from around the world.
Recognizing that music is a bridge to normalizing conversations about the challenges people are going through, each artist was prompted to create a song that would help someone with mental health struggles know they’re not alone. This sprouted into a collection of ambient music holding space for the many emotional landscapes we experience as humans.
Healing Together features new compositions specially prepared for the compilation from the incredible line-up of women artists Nailah Hunter, Penelope Trappes, Clarice Jensen, Drum & Lace, Sofie Birch, Hollie Kenniff, Clariloops, more eaze, Ami Dang, Karen Vogt, Patricia Wolf, Zoe Polanski, Sachi Kobayashi, Christina Giannone, Ai Yamamoto, Cat Tyson Hughes, IKSRE, Inquiri, Belly Full of Stars, Claire Deak, Pechblende, Caminuata and marine eyes.
This is the 3rd benefit compilation from Past Inside The Present and the first to be released on vinyl. Cynthia Bernard (marine eyes) curated, sequenced, and provided album art for the compilation marking her first project with PITP since joining the team in Spring of 2021.
Net profits of the compilation will go to Sounds of Saving, a non-profit fueling hope for mental health both by celebrating the power of human connection to music and directing people towards the resources they need before it’s too late.
released May 13, 2022
Mastered at Telegraph Mastering, Portland, Oregon by Amy Dragon
Compilation curation, photography, and design by Cynthia Bernard
©℗ Past Inside the Present
This is PITP-HS03 | MMXXII
“This 23 track compilation, whose proceeds will be donated to the nonprofit organisation Sounds Of Saving, is compiled by Cynthia Bernard, a recording artist and employee of Indiana based label Past Inside The Present. It's an outgrowth of her mix series featuring women ambient artists, which itself was the result of Bernard's displeasure at the amount of ambient compilations featuring only men.
The theme arose from the pandemic mental health issues Bernard witnessed, both among her five children and the PITP staff, who are candid about their personal lives in the workplace. Although she doesn't cite a connection between the female artists and the psychological theme, one should note that women are overall more likely to report mental health issues than men.
The compilation is consistent. Starting with more classical influenced pieces and transitioning toward drone and sound art as the set goes on, the tracks are not only gentle, soothing and carefully made, but they also have a uniformity as if they were all recorded by one artist.
The first part of the compilation is the strongest: Clariloops's "Today" has hints of Japanese ambient and optimistic Berlin school electronic, while Drum & Lace's "Felt" is dominated by a bassy keyboard pluck- an incredibly satisfying and underused sound. Cat Tyson Hughes's "Almonta" ends the album with a moment of remarkably still inner peace.
Countless people describe the act of listening to music as healing. As many again, especially on YouTube, bill ambient music as helpful for anxiety and insomnia. Yet music is almost never suggested as an aid by mental health resources, and almost no musicians market their music as being beneficial for the psyche. Healing Together is a significant move towards bridging this gap.”
The Wire, Issue 459, Soundcheck
Sofie Birch, ‘Willness’
Finding yourself in the wilderness of emotions. Trying to hold on to a point of focus. This point of focus will lead you through the chaos, but it takes will and courage to hold on.
Magic happens when you find the will and courage to heal and transform.
Hollie Kenniff, ‘Embers’
I think that being creative, even for short time each day, is essential to health and well being and I hope that listeners feel inspired by the music.
This piece is about focusing on and appreciating every aspect of the present moment, good and bad. I used clarinet and sounds from my organelle to create intertwining layers that evoke feelings of joy, melancholy and peacefulness.
Drum & Lace, ‘Felt’
The track 'Felt' is inspired by a sense of togetherness, and that even if we are alone physically we are still connected to those that we love and care for. The name of the track was inspired by the piano that is featured in the track, our home felted upright piano, and it was recorded on a whim as an iPhone audio memo and used as is. The field recordings featured were also all recorded at my home in Los Angeles.
Sachi Kobayashi, ’Scent of Roses’
They say that the scent of roses heals people. I wrote this song while imagining you relaxing in a sunny garden with roses, smelling their fragrance. I hope you can imagine that too when you listen to this song.
Belly Full Of Stars, ‘Charlie Day’
‘Charlie Day’ is written in memory of my good friend Charlie Hickey. On the day of his passing, my husband and I sat on our porch in shock and grief, sharing our memories of Charlie. As we talked, our words tuned and transformed from deep sadness to comfort and even moments of joy, remembering who he was, and who he will always be to us - sharing his spirit.
The murmur of distant voices has always been a comforting sound to me. Woven through Charlieday is a recording of that conversation - a remembrance of the healing power of shared words and spirit, even on the most difficult of days.
more eaze, ‘Better’
marine eyes, ‘Doorways’
‘Doorways’ is an exploration of how creativity can help us step into a new state of mind when we feel weighed down by negative emotions. I used field recordings of gentle waves close to our home in Southern California as a reminder of life’s ebbs and flows and OP-1 textures to emulate a fresh sense of space. I hope this song can help others find grounding and believe other doorways are out there.
IKSRE, ‘You Will Find’
I wanted this song to speak to anyone who may feel like they’re alone - to show them that even if they think they’re completely on their own, there’s someone else out there for them. It may be a friend, partner, even a pet. Whoever it is, if you keep on looking, one day you'll find them, and life will feel a little more complete. Underpinning the song are binaural beats at 7.83hz - the Schumann resonance, or the Earth’s frequency; but also the alpha/theta border which sound healers recognize as the brainwave for deep healing.
At the end of a long day, when the mask we've been wearing all day long just to survive finally drops, and the whirlpool of unresolved emotions, distorted scenarios replayed over and over, and the stories we tell ourselves, about ourselves, begins to swirl--that's the sound of this piece for me. It's the sound of trying to re-ground and find calm in the heaviness of grief, fear, and loneliness.
Clarice Jensen ‘Getting Lost is Okay’
Christina Giannone, ‘Decor’
Patricia Wolf, ‘Cognitive Distortion’
With the title, I wanted to point to what cognitive distortions are so that people may seek ways work through them.
Penelope Trappes, ‘Possession’
The panic, worry, and the fear of being alone can be so great that it can fully take over and possess us, leaving us grappling for some kind of sense of control. This song is about the internal battle that every human faces at some point in their lives.
Claire Deak, ‘Dampen The Waves’
Dampen The Waves is in a tangled messy dialogue with Francesca Caccini's baroque lament Lasciatemi Qui Solo (from 1618). My title is lifted directly from a translation of her lyrics. Thinking about how Francesca (and many women composers) have disappeared through layers of history, I began to fold, weave, and deliberately lose her beautiful song through my own playing and processing.
Ami Dang ‘Cerulean’
I created this song in one evening. Often I say my words through music.
Pechblende ‘Glacial Lake Lullaby’
Karen Vogt, ‘I know it is hard’
‘I know it is hard’ is an improvised, vocal-based piece that includes a quick shake of the house keys to anchor the message reflected in the title. We cannot always heal a person with mental health issues, but we can hear them and acknowledge their difficulties.
Zoe Polanski, ‘Liu’
Liu is an anxiously optimistic etude for perilous times, that I made with a magical Japanese Nobara Koto synth.
Mixed by Aviad Zinemanas
Guest vocals by Nadav Yahalomi & Irit Stark
The track is based on a short excerpt from "Signore, Ascolta!" (an aria from the opera Turandot by Puccini).
Nailah Hunter ‘Yaellan’s Grove’
The sun rises over the endless rows of orange trees, a sweet morning breeze caresses the cheeks, a white flower falls.
Caminauta ‘Endless Tide’
Ai Yamamoto ‘Yamaha to Yamamoto San’
Music is the best medicine.
Cat Tyson Hughes, ‘Almonta’
This piece is a reflection on the exchange between the walker and the landscape, and the healing practice of going into nature alone.