Exploring the Possibilities of Brainwave Entrainment in Live Music
Live music can move us deeply, and most of us have experienced its transformative effects. But what if we could take it even further? Silvermouse utilizes brainwave entrainment technology in our live performances to create an even more immersive and powerful experience for our audience.
Audio brainwave entrainment uses sound frequencies to alter one's state of consciousness, making it the perfect tool for creating immersive, emotional, and impactful musical experiences for the audience.
In this post, we will explore how Silvermouse is utilizing this technology in our live performances, the type of brainwave entrainment we use, the applications for live music, and some of the challenges we face when incorporating this technology into our live shows.
Brainwave Entrainment in Live Music: What Is It and How Does It Work?
Brainwave entrainment is a technology that uses sound frequencies to alter one's brainwave activity and induce different states of consciousness. In 2022, Silvermouse introduced brainwave entrainment in the context of live music to the world by incorporating consciousness-altering signals into our live shows.
Brainwave entrainment occurs through a phenomenon known as Frequency Following Response (FFR). FFR occurs in the brain when a person hears audio signals with specific beat frequencies, and this causes the listener's brainwaves to synchronize and entrain to those frequencies. This phenomenon, known as brainwave entrainment or neuro-synchronization, has been used as a form of deep meditation, relaxation, healing, and spiritual exploration since humans discovered that drumming could induce trance states.
Technically, all beats in music can create an entraining effect. A typical musical time signature is 120 beats per minute (BPM). If the music only contained a single beat at 120 BPM, that would create an FFR at 2Hz in the brain. 2Hz is a very low brainwave entrainment frequency in the Delta range - the realm of deep sleep. Since the brain can operate anywhere between 0 and around 160Hz, the band often uses different beat frequencies far outside the range of typical music, with the potential to go up to around 9,600 BPM.
Benefits of Brainwave Entrainment in Live Music
The magic of brainwave entrainment lies in using sound frequencies calibrated to target specific brain wave states. Each frequency synchronizes directly with the brain and induces an altered state of consciousness. Different frequencies cause different brain responses corresponding to varying states of consciousness - from deep relaxation and meditation to heightened activity and intense creativity. Using brainwave entrainment technology in our live performances, Silvermouse can take our audiences on a journey through different states of consciousness without them having to engage in any other psychedelic therapy - it's all achieved automatically through sound!
Silvermouse uses brainwave entrainment technology to create immersive experiences for our audience members. For example, during a performance, we might use alpha brainwaves to induce feelings of relaxation and peace and then combine them with gamma brainwaves to generate more energized and ecstatic sensations. We also incorporate brainwave entrainment into our live performances to create a more powerful emotional connection between the audience and the music.
On top of this, we enjoy looking at correlations between the natural world and the frequencies we use and have done shows tuning our collective brain states to resonate with the Schumann Resonance and the frequency of the Moon's Cycle.
Silvermouse is also exploring other applications of brainwave entrainment in live music, such as using it to induce trance-like states or even lucid dreaming experiences in live performance settings. We are excited to be looking into using visuals and lighting effects to enhance the experience and the possibility of combining brainwave entrainment with other healing modalities, such as remote energy work and intentional breath work. The signals combined with the right experience and intentions can create a powerful and healing experience for the audience.
Types of Brainwave Entrainment Technology Used in Silvermouse's Live Music
You may have heard of binaural beats, today's most common form of entrainment. Binaural beats are one type of brainwave entrainment technology that you can use to alter one's state of consciousness. While they offer many benefits and are used widely in meditation, we can't use them in live music because headphones are needed to experience their full effect. Binaural beats rely on playing a different frequency in each ear simultaneously to create a brainwave entrainment effect. Complete stereo isolation (headphones) is necessary for listening to and experiencing these brainwaves properly.
For our signal technology, Silvermouse is working with the Monroe Institute, where Justin is the Director of Audio Engineering, researching the relationship between sound and consciousness. Monroe Sound Science is a broad term encompassing any audio technologies released by the Monroe Institute. While they include binaural beats in many of their on-site programs, they also work with technologies that don't require stereo separation and, therefore, are usable in live performance. These technologies include isochronic tones, monaural beats, and several types of beat technology proprietary to the Monroe Institute that are effective in a non-stereo setting.
Challenges Faced by the Band When Using Brainwave Entrainment Technology in Performance
Brainwave entrainment is not without its challenges. Technical difficulties, finding the perfect frequencies for each performance, and gauging the audience's experiences with the brainwave entrainment effect were some challenges the band faced when we started this project. Also, because brainwave entrainment can affect people differently, Silvermouse needs to be sensitive and aware of our audiences' potential reactions.
We started our research with a series of shows we called ‘Signal Tests’, where we did comprehensive surveys after the shows to gather feedback from our audience. Through those, we gained confidence in what we are bringing to the public, allowing us more flexibility in our experimentation.
One fascinating challenge for the band, which we choose to look at as a benefit, is that we obviously experience the entrainment too while we are playing for the audience. We have had times in shows where the effects of the signals were so strong that it took a concerted effort to keep playing, and times where time melts entirely and neither of us have any idea how long we have been playing for or where we even are!
However, being in tune with the audience and the space is critical to forming the shared experience we are trying to achieve. And, when we tune the signals just right, brainwave entrainment is a perfect tool for unlocking creativity and focus while performing.
As a band, we spend a lot of time interacting with this technology to understand how to create the most powerful experiences for our audiences. As this technology continues to evolve, we look forward to seeing what possibilities arise. If you are curious, we invite you to join us at a live show to experience it yourself.