The Dream House

DD—I wanted to ask you about the Dream House. What is the effect of hearing sustained tones and specific intervals 24 hours a day over extended periods of time?

LMY—Well, of course it all depends on the intervals. It's potentially quite an enormous study to be done so that one could speak scientifically of the effect, but I do think that because I have carefully chosen which intervals would be presented in any particular Dream House, I think that the effect of these Dream Houses has been spiritually uplifting. Each interval and each chord has a different effect. Let me make the general statement that if the intervals are well chosen, or the chords, that it can be quite an incredible, consciousness-expanding experience to spend time with these chords. In some of my writings, I don't know if you have these writings, I've referred to the concept of a drone state of mind.

DD—Yes. I read about it in the interview that appeared in Parachute, that was later reprinted in Interval.

LMY—Yeah, I may have referred to it there. There's one set of notes where I really elaborated on it. It's based on this idea that if you have a constant then you can do very elaborate things in relation to that constant, for instance, I feel that one of the reasons that Indian classical music developed such an elaborate system of pitch relationships is because they used a drone and that with this drone they had this situation that I described to you earlier in the interview, where you have a tone that's already sounded and you play other tones over that and then you can make very fine comparisons and establish relationships and have well-defined places that you establish and identify for a particular frequency. And similarly, I feel that spending time with a set of well-chosen frequencies can establish a very particular and in certain cases beautiful drone state of mind that can be like a referent, a constant for elaborate flights of the imagination so that, sure, already the body has many constants we refer back to, but this is like giving you a new constant which may, because of the way it has been composed and tuned, allow new flights of the imagination that might never have been possible before and could lead to new, undiscovered realms which might be extraordinarily beautiful and beneficial, and yet you can always come back to this constant. In other words, it's through our studies of tradition that we are able to be free and create new things. My feeling is that it is not the man who doesn't know who really creates new things but that it's the man who knows who can create new things. Sure, the man who doesn't know inadvertently stumbles on this and that, but it's very difficult for him to make it into a system, a mythology, an entire process, whereas somebody who really knows tradition and history is in a position to take all this information, and, like I said at the beginning of the interview, he can do the same things we've been doing over and over for millions of years but at least he can know we're doing it. And in the course of knowing that we're doing those same things over and over through consciousness, he has the potential to add the element of awareness and create new material that can lead to other states of consciousness and awareness of our position in relationship to time and universal structure.

DD—Well, at least if he keeps doing the same thing he can do it with a greater degree of refinement.

LMY—That's right.

DD—Do you have any advice for the novice, for people who are just becoming aware of the possibility of Just Intonation?

LMY—Well, I think that they should listen to The Well-Tuned Piano and I think they should read Harry Partch's book and read Helmholtz, [Helmholtz] was a big inspiration for me. Some [of the material in] Helmholtz is outdated now, but his basics about Just Intonation are just as wonderful as ever and he was one of the important pioneers. I think that my advice for all people is to really try to live in a very highly inspired state that is guided by intuition and that they should support this through a study of the classics.

DD—Classics of all cultures, presumably?

LMY—Yes, that's what I mean.

DD—Anything else you want to say to the readers in conclusion?

LMY—Music is one of the most profound gifts that was ever given to us and its potential is far more powerful and all-encompassing than many people have ever imagined, and I think that one of the most important keys to the understanding of the power and importance of music is the study of Just Intonation and I think it's quite wonderful that the Just Intonation Network and 1/1 have provided us with a mechanism for furthering the study of this miracle.

DD—Thank you.