By Katia Moraes
Years ago on a certain day, I was sitting outside watching the leaves of the tree change color when a friend called me. He was crying because his father was going to die at any moment. I wanted to tell him about the peace I was feeling just looking at nature but he wouldn’t have understood me. I was surprised when I listened to Steven Halpern’s “Perfect Alignment” when I got home. He had translated into notes what I felt when I was looking at the leaves. His music transported me back to that special place full of peace.
I got the impression that Steven Halpern is an analytical man. By the tone of his voice and his conversation over the phone I understood that the left side of his brain works faster. I asked him: “Many therapists choose their profession because deep inside they want to find the causes of their own neurosis. Do you compose this kind of music because you’re trying to balance your intellectual energy with your emotions?” He stopped to think. He said it was a good question and then told me that it was probably one of the reasons he chose his profession.
If you like Astrology, Steven Halpern is Aries, his rising sign is Capricorn and his moon is in Pisces. New York is his birthplace, but his grandparents were from Russia, and he doesn’t remember much about them. Steven considers himself a pioneer regarding composition for meditation, visualization, yoga, etc. In Brazil we call it New Age music. His first musical memory is of him crawling to the neighbors’ door, listening to the music coming from inside. His first instrument was the trumpet, and John Coltrane is in his list of people who changed his view of the world. But one of the most important moments of his life was when he understood through jazz that he could play without reading music.
Steven wanted to be a psychotherapist, but understood from the beginning that music would be part of his life forever. “There were no musicians in my family”, he says. “My father was a salesman and my mother used to work as a secretary in a public school.” Steven graduated in Music Psychology. Following his heart, he created his own curriculum choosing classes that had to do with spirituality, psychology and music. It was during college that he became involved with world-renowned scientists. It was there that he started writing reviews and articles about music performances. Through his involvement with musical performances he also performed on stage.
In 1969, Steven traveled to San Francisco on vacations intending to find a way to deal with medical problems which resulted from his stressful life. In this trip he had an unforgettable experience. Steven was riding a bike on a desert road when a man who was getting his mail asked him if he had showed up for the new job at the Bridge Mountain Foundation.
The Foundation offered yoga, meditation and many other workshops. Right there he decided to take the job. He called his brother in Buffalo, asked him to send his belongings and moved to California where he lives to this day. Steven started playing piano more and meditating among the trees on his spare time. It was then that he developed his method of composition. His music “is a unique combination of luminous tonal quality with free-floating melodic and harmonic structure that revere the space and the silence between the notes.”
Around 1973, Steven’s friends and collaborators who knew about his original compositions asked him to share the news with other people. And that’s how “Inner Peace Music” was born. The company’s catalogue is impressive. In it you’ll find CDs for yoga, meditation, massages, chakra alignment, spiritual healing, visualization, chants, accelerated learning, etc.
For the last 28 years, Steven Halpern has been composing New Age music and proving in each album what Dr. Deepak Chopra said once: “We’re genetically pre-programmed to enjoy well-being, joy, and inner peace, but we get knocked “out of tune” by stress”. How do we get back in tune? Visit www.stevenhalpern.com and actively participate in the audio process. Your health will thank you!
* Katia Moraes is a singer, songwriter, and artist from Rio de Janeiro. She is a long-time Soul Brasil magazine contributor and lives in Los Angeles since 1990. To know more about her, visit www.katiamoraes.com