Ajna for Solo Electronics

2016

Ajna, or third-eye chakra, is the sixth primary chakra in the body according to Hindu tradition. It is supposedly a part of the brain which can be made more powerful through meditation, yoga and other spiritual practices just as a muscle is. Once the third-eye is strengthened or awakened one can see both the inner/outer world and have the power to gain pure spiritual contemplation and self reflection. It is also home to the pineal gland which produces melatonin, a serotonin derived hormone which modulates sleep patterns in both circadian and seasonal cycles. 

When I was 12 years old I had my first episode of Insomnia, from then on I experienced extreme sleep deprivation averaging about 0 - 2 hours of sleep every night. The interruptions in my sleep cycle led to daily hallucinations, anxiety, and depression. 

In my late teens people began to warn me of the extended conditions that can from Insomnia. These conditions include Delirium, Dementia, and Schizophrenia. I became fascinated with these disorders and endlessly researched there history finding that all of them have close ties to religion. I was raised Catholic and around the same time I developed Insomnia is when I began rejecting my religion. Throughout history many religious groups believed people with these disorders were given a divine punishment and possessed by demons. Years later I began to meditate, focusing on Ajna in hopes that I could awaken my third-eye. Through intense meditation I was able to fight through the anxious demonic voices in my head.

Ajna is split into two movements, the first is a meditation representative of my 'awakening' process. The second movement is titled, "Schizophrenia", it represents those voices and feelings that I had during particularly intense bouts of Insomnia. 

Ajna was written to be performed in a pitch black room with at least a 4 channel speaker system. Ajna was originally written for string quintet, percussion, and electronics.

Performed on a Livid DS1 and iPad, custom software through MaxMSP and TouchOSC.

Premiere: 

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