Haute Spot

Mindful Dan Serves Up Sound Baths

Daniel Lauter is a classically trained musician, composer, and collector of instruments whose professional and spiritual path has widened to include the therapeutic use of sound. 

The musician, educator, and integrative sound specialist, known as “Mindful Dan,” creates custom experiences for others through sound meditation, mindfulness, audio and visual imagery and a touch of alchemy. Hamptons Real Estate Showcase recently caught up with him to find out who he is and what sound journeys are all about.

Photo:Monica Wolfson

HRES: Hey Daniel, please describe yourself and what you do.

Mindful Dan: The short answer is that I’ve been a musician and composer for years. I studied world music in conservatory, played in a ton of bands — from jazz to punk — and ended up living with a musical instrument importer. 

We opened up an art gallery in Larkspur, California in the late ’80s and started featuring a lot of ancient and sacred music and art, put into modern context. All sorts of people came into the gallery — shamans, Aboriginal elders, and other interesting people — who introduced me to these sound journeys through indigenous instruments.

Turns out, we weren’t that great at business; we kept collecting the instruments ourselves. But our collection progressed and then we were able to begin painting with sounds. 

HRES: Can you describe a sound journey event? What does it entail?

MD: Now we refer to them as “sound baths.” I guess you could say that I’m a meditation DJ — part performance art, part sound healing — kind of like a live painting, but with an audience and sound. 

The audience will usually bring a yoga mat or blanket because they almost always end up lying down at some point during the hour-long experience. Though each experience is unique, most of the time, we start with deep relaxations and mindfulness meditations — a sort of guided shavasana with my voice and sound. Then we explore into the sound journey, which is a palette of different types of sounds.

HRES: Cool. What do you use to make the sounds?

MD: So many instruments and sounds, ranging from metal Himalayan bowls, crystal singing bowls, Tibetan and Himalayan bells, shruti, ocarina, rain stick, hand pan, didgeridoo, and more. The sounds they make are unique in and of themselves, and they come together to form this beautiful cohesive melodic and harmonic mix. 

HRES: What are the benefits of such an experience?

MD: It’s been found to be very relaxing, for the attendees and for me as well. The therapeutic benefits include stress and anxiety reduction, tension release, and it’s great for general healing and self-care. 

Many people have told me that it’s a transformative event. And because it compels a different experience from person to person, I like to say that the sounds are like ice cream. There are different flavors, depending on how a particular sound is going to resonate with you and what you need in that moment. 

HRES: Sign us up! Where can we experience this? 

MD: I’ve got a few more events planned at the Southampton Arts Center. There will be two in October, on the 9th and the 23rd, then two more in November, on the 6th and the 20th. I also do custom bookings, livestream, and workshops. I am also working on an app and will soon have integrative 9 Harmonies movement classes available. 

Oh, and we’re building a studio in the Springs. Once that’s done, we’ll have a dedicated space here on the East End, which I’m very excited about. It’s my dream to be the Bellringer of the Hamptons!

Learn more about Daniel Lauter at
www.meditationdj.com.

SHARE POST