As a result of COVID-19, and because many of you are unemployed, I am making all my Yoga and Meditation albums free of charge. I think they should be available to anyone who needs the support right now. Any donations would be appreciated and anything more than I need will be donated to other artists who have lost work due to the pandemic. Peace, health, prosperity, and enjoy the sounds! Ken x
Welcome and thanks for visiting my website. I’m excited to share this album, which involved no planning or even a preconceived idea that I would record it or anything like it. The best stories in life are the unexpected ones that come about organically and the creation of “A Minute to Breathe” is one of those stories.
I have always been fascinated by, even somewhat addicted to, finding the “Now”. Being fully present and in the moment is simple, so it seems like it would be easy to practice, but it isn’t. Every time I think I have it down and have some sort of understanding of its true meaning, I realize how far away from the “Now” I actually am. Over the years, I have found that the times I am closest with myself and the ever elusive “Now” are the times when I am immersed in the creative process. My experience is that music comes through me and I am grateful to be a channel for its delivery.
The seed of inspiration for “A Minute to Breathe” was most likely planted when I was introduced to meditation in my late 20’s, but it wasn’t until a few months ago when my friend, yoga instructor Maria Rosner, and I founded Electric Flow Yoga in Chicago that I realized something had been quietly growing within me all these years.
After a show with my rock band, Hero Jr., Maria and I were talking about if and how non-traditional music could be applied to Yoga. We wondered if it could be incorporated in a live event without distracting from the practice, which is ultimately meant to cultivate and lead one to an experience of inner peace through Union. When we parted ways, the energy of that conversation went with me and soon after returning home I grabbed my guitar and made a quick recording, which I sent off to Maria. She loved the vibe and our collaboration was official.
Electric Flow Yoga soon began hosting events with live music, played just with my guitar and a few effects. I had previously only mediated and practiced yoga in silence, so a part of me felt slightly uneasy, as if I was somehow betraying the art, but there was something even stronger that I felt deep inside. There was something that felt more at home than ever and I allowed myself to follow that deeper knowing.
The next few weeks held many lessons in letting go, following my heart and being true to myself without letting my thoughts distract me. Like most things in life, if you allow yourself to take one or two first steps, the unexpected often unfolds right in front of you, opening up a path you had never even thought of before. These Electric Flow Yoga events have seamlessly joined my art and my meditation and given me the chance to practice both simultaneously. This combined practice has allowed both disciplines to develop in unexpected and synergistic ways.
One of those developments has been my new album, “A Minute to Breathe”. At the end of July 2019, while working in Nashville, I put up a microphone and composed four unexpected songs. I wrote, recorded and mixed the sixty-one minutes of ambient guitar in two days. The best way to describe the experience is that the music flowed right through me to tape without a thought or a plan. I was as close to the “Now” as I’ve ever been. The experience was as deep as, if not deeper than, moments spent in my traditional sitting meditation practice.
I have spent most of my career playing loud rock guitar, writing and producing for others and being a part of my favorite band in the world. This record is not typical for me and is probably the most minimalistic I have ever made, but it came out of me as if I had been “training” for it my whole life. For me, it feels like more than just an album. The music and this entire experience was a gift that happened upon me over what I thought would be an uneventful weekend in Nashville. If you listen closely you can even hear Ziggy and Izzy, two of my favorite studio dogs, playing in the background.
The response to “A Minute to Breathe” has been so cool. I have had a wide range of positive feedback. Listeners have reported concentration blocks dissolving, reaching deeper states of meditation without distraction, quickly settling into a relaxed state, falling asleep more easily and just plain old good headphone listening — all things I don’t think could have been achieved in one album had I planned and tried.
I hope you enjoy listening to "A Minute To Breathe" as much as I enjoyed creating it.
The time-lapse video for “Unencumbered” happened as organically and spontaneously as the album and, though created before the music was recorded, fits seamlessly. I am happy to collaborate on these videos with my favorite designer, Amy Kae Atelier. Watch for a few more of these, as well as other visual/musical projects in the future.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT "A MINUTE TO BREATHE"
"...great...soothing music...I love it!" - F.B., Paris, France
"I love your "Minute To Breathe" - M.K., Los Angeles, CA.
"...receiving your music was so well timed..." - C.H., London, England
"I'm throwing away my Bible!" - A.B., Chicago, IL.
"I love, love, love, love this...perfect and spot on" - M.C., London, England
"...pleasantly surprised." - M.G.R. - Munich, Germany
"This is perfect for me and will be listened to often...when I'm writing code and need to be heads down with my thinking cap on..." - A. W., Appleton, WI.
"...this music is great..." - C.U., London, England
"...crazy...it's so relaxing...I have trouble sleeping and when I listen before bed I get a good night sleep." - L.L., Alberta, Canada
About the recording (for the gear nerds)...
During the recording of "A Minute To Breathe" I used a 2016 USA Stratocaster and a 1972 Gibson Les Paul Custom through an Orange Dual Terror and an Orange PPC 112 speaker cabinet. I used a Jim Dunlop Echoplex, Line 6 and MXR Carbon Copy Delays, a basic one channel TC Electronics Ditto, and a KHDK Ghoul Jr directly into ProTools. I use DR 11-50 gauge Veritas strings. I have been performing and working with Orange Amps for over seven years and besides being the fiercest amps out there this little 30 watt Terror was amazing when I needed depth and finesse. This little rig suits the project perfectly and it travels well. As always my headphones are Klipsch because they never lie!