But what really struck me is the neurophysiology, which is, you know — sound waves coming off of streams, and moving bodies of water, activate the vagus nerve. They calm us down. There are chemical compounds in nature. You might smell a flower or tree bark, or the resin on a tree, that activate parts of the brain and the immune system, right? So our bodies are wired to respond in an open, empowering, strengthening way to nature.
I have always moved forward intuitively and discover only later why I turned this way or that. I look at the map during or after the journey, rarely beforehand.
I wasn’t sure why I wanted to make an album using river and rain sounds, but it turned out to be an inspired idea. There is the practical side, which is that the water sounds mask any traffic noise that might get onto the recording through the guitar microphone – because I live in cities and I am not recording in a soundproof studio. Another reason was surely that I had been concerned about water for more than thirty years, because Santa Fe is part of the high desert. Today I learned that Sound waves coming off of streams, and moving bodies of water, activate the vagus nerve. They calm us down.
The pieces are starting to make sense.