With information overload at an all-time high, Meditation is a key component to clearing the mind of all the excess noise. As we’re always on the lookout for a new approach or idea in the wellness space, we were instantly drawn to the WAVE meditation app and WAVE Kit, a music-guided meditation app and experience that you can use on-the-go or at home. We caught up with Matt Wong, the Director of Music at WAVE to learn more about the nuances of making music to meditate to.
How did you start composing meditation music? Before you did this, what kind of music did you like to create?
Growing up in Portland, Oregon, my mentor was a Buddhist. He introduced me to Jazz, where I got my start playing and eventually composing music. My first upright bass teacher also made me learn Qi Gong. That being said, my career took many twists and turns that lead me to WAVE. I spent most of my 20s touring the world as bass guitarist in Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, an indie rock band from Philadelphia. Touring and producing records eventually lead me to compose original music for film and tv. Being able to score a huge amount of original music for film & tv allowed me to transition to Director of Music at WAVE. Last year, we did over 900 minutes of original content. As Director, I lead a team of composers and engineers to create the WAVE Library.
What are the nuances of creating tracks for meditation?
On a big picture level, We always start with the meditation first. We are aware of the enormous amount of meditation content that simply puts a relaxing background noise in the background over a meditation. Music is language. It has emotional power. We use this in our favor at WAVE.
We made the decision to craft music around the intention of the meditation and use the sound to shape the experience. The music and the words play off each other and amplify the meditation experience.
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Where do you look for inspiration for your compositions?
Because I come from a band/producing records, a lot of my compositions mix in the sounds found in popular music. I love analog synths and synths in general. Sound design using analog effects or computer programs is at the core of my DNA a composer. I look to the greats who pioneered the use of the synths in ambient and cinematic music… Hiroshi Yoshimura, Carl Stone, Harold Budd.
I studied jazz music in college. It was my first love. Some of my best ideas come when I improvise. My favorites are John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Mahavishnu Orchestra…
What are the benefits of music-lead meditation?
Music has emotional power. It is a time machine that can take you to a place or a time where you made a memory. I believe that a lot of meditation music only channels “Ohm” or relaxation. We are complex beings. We can feel relax and also energized at the same time. I’ve tried to create music that is not only relaxing but also engaging and challenging the listener to go deeper.
What do you see for the future of music and consciousness? Do you foresee consciousness/meditation leaking into mainstream music?
We are facing a mental health crisis. I think so much of how we live in 2020 is making us more depressed and anxious. Although I love being able to access the world with a touch fo the finger, it doesn’t always help me optimize my mental health. I believe that mediation is going to be a huge part of how we heal as a society. I see it already influencing a lot of artists and creators that I know.
Have you always meditated? How has meditation helped you?
Meditation and Music have always been tied together. I’ve had a morning and evening meditation routine since I was 12. It’s how I start and end my days. When I was touring and traveling, I also started to incorporate a stretching routine to help my back. My mind is always racing and I find that my routine helps to reset my days. It helps me to sleep better.
What are your favorite tracks on Wave?
Thank You Family
Learn more about WAVE here