Wairarapa musicians Holly and Zac Winterwood have started a sound bath venture. PHOTO/EMILY IRELAND
Wairarapa musicians Holly and Zac Winterwood are starting out on a quirky music venture – one which has already been well-received by the community before it has even launched.
The couple, who moved to Wairarapa from Melbourne in 2015, are leading a meditative music experience called a sound bath – but in their own unique way.
Sound baths are an ancient wellness practice using instruments like singing bowls, chimes, and gongs that immerse a person is a “bath of sound”.
It has been used as a stress relief method in Tibet for more than 2000 years.
Holly and Zac’s venture hopes to provide the same outcome – but they’ll be using a mix of modern and ancient instruments and their experience in music theory and practice.
The pair have extensive music training, with Holly being classically trained in opera, performing with Opera Australia before shifting to New Zealand.
“We’ve always been interested in mindfulness and meditation, but last year, we just thought this type of music would be a cool thing to do live,” Holly said.
“As performers, we’ve always craved the environment that suits our music.
“A lot of the time the environments are pubs and cafes.
“We’ve done those gigs and you can’t even hear the music.”
Winterwood Sound Immersions, the name of the sound bath, will be held throughout this month at Bodymind Pilates studio – all their free sessions are already fully booked and the waiting list for future paid sessions is bursting at the seams.
“When we first came up with the concept of this live music experience for people, we hadn’t actually heard of the term sound bath.
“We thought, what we would love to do is get people in a space and take them on a journey through the music; create a mood and feeling for people in an environment that has no distractions.”
Featuring in their sound bath are bells, chimes, electric guitar, violin, percussion, flute, and a Tibetan singing bowl among other instruments.
There will also be environmental sounds like wind, rain, and birds.
Everything will be played live by the pair, with the exception of some guitar which will be looped, and environmental sounds.
Zac said as they played the music, people would be lying down on yoga mats with a cover over their eyes – both are supplied for the session.
“Sometimes people go through technology withdrawals right at the start because people don’t take the time to just relax.
“Generally, when people relax, they are watching TV, reading or they’re listening to songs – it’s all still taking in and processing information.
“People need to learn to be okay doing nothing and we want to make that something really easy – all you have to do is turn up and lay down.”
Holly and Zac plan the instruments and key of the music before the performance, but other than that, the experience is left to the couple’s improvisation skills.
For more information on their new venture, visit Winterwood Sound Immersions on Facebook, email [email protected], or call 027 952 8336.