Near Death Experiences 'NDEs'
Since as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated with exactly what our brain is. What is consciousness and why are we conscious, how is consciouness connected to the brain, is it created by the brain, or is as scientists such Dr Robert Lanza and Rupert Sheldrake believe, external to the brain? While I can say, hand on heart, is that I haven't what the late Christopher Hitchins often referred to as 'death anxiety' - On the contrary, mortality is something I am accepting of (the pantheistic idea of becoming a part of the universe, once we die, is something I find very beautiful), but I remain utterly fascinated with the possibility of a non material reality and the opportunity as a composer, of putting these experiences into music.
Dr Eben Alexander is a Harvard trained academic neurosurgeon and since his own NDE, also a researcher into the phenomenon. Since 2008, when he had the experience, he no longer subcribes to the popular material scientific paradigm, but instead gives talks with a simple message; that death is not final and "you are deeply loved and you WILL be taken care of". Alexander's book 'Proof Of Heaven' (not his choice of title I must add), is his own account, into an amazing near death experience he shouldn't even have had at all (the scans from his brain when he was unconscious, suggest he should have had minimal brain function).
As an amateur NDE researcher, the account of Alexander's is perhaps the most extensive, vivid and exciting I have come across, with vibrant details depicting an amazing experience. At the beginning of the experience, Eben reported being in a very, very dark place. He gradually was rescued from this place by a melody that lifted him into the light. He describes this stage of his NDE as 'The earth worm eye's view' and it is this experience of Eben's, I have attempted to put into my composition 'Fantasie for solo clarinet'. Diana Bailey, a fine musician, friend and colleague, is the performer in the recording. I think she's done a fantastic job of capturing a sense of the ethereal and the feeling of searching.
I was excited after presented the composition to Eben via his partner Karen via that they received it with such positivity "beautiful, unique and haunting", although Eben also added that the experience (at this stage of his NDE), was much darker. If you haven't checked out Eben's book 'Proof Of Heaven', please do so. Along with Anita Moorjani's 'Dying to Be Me', it is onw the best accounts of an NDE out there.
I give you my latest piece available to buy, 'Fantasie - after Eben Alexander's Earth Worm's Eye View NDE - For Solo Calrinet'.