“Life is like music for its own sake. We are living in an eternal now, and when we listen to music we are not listening to the past, we are not listening to the future, we are listening to an expanded present.”
Music is my life
As far as I remember, I always had the feeling that there is something bigger, something deeper, and something even more exciting than what people are used to seeing, hearing and even tasting. When I was a child, I still remember that I believed in some invisible powers and worlds, and that no ‘dead nature’ exists — even stones, water and the ground are living their lives.
I participated in many music and dance circles since kindergarten, but it was mostly unconscious. Once I consciously started playing guitar and singing (around the age of 13-14), I realized that it is possible to contact this subtle world through my own experience. When I was singing on the stage, or alone in the silent rehearsal room in the attic of my house, I would sometimes disappear from this material world. I became one with the music I was playing and singing. Even deeper experiences would happen to me when I was performing with my bands or exploring my body during ecstatic dance events, guided by music and surrounded by a group of people in a shared resonance.
Another significant memory goes back to when I was around five years old. My eyes were tightly closed and I was silently singing something for myself. This singing was guiding me somewhere in the unknown, allowing me to escape from the physical reality, or expand far outside of my body.
Since then, I have followed an exciting and varied musical path which has included singing in school choirs and participating in different song contests, studying classical guitar at a music school, playing double bass in the National Amateur Bandura Players’ Choir in Ukraine, and participating in many rock and pop bands as a drummer, percussionist and vocalist. I’ve also had one leg in the Ukrainian show business, played on the streets (and even made my first good money with this), hitchhiked around Europe with my guitar, and created lots of different electronic music with constantly varying genres, depending on my mood…
With time, my heart began to reach for the world’s analog musical instruments. I dreamed about live sounds, live interaction with wooden, metal and hand-crafted instruments. These are imperfect, compared to the digitally synthesized sounds, but for me, they are purer conductors of musicians’ energy. Nevertheless, I prefer a fine balance between both of these approaches.
I have been learning about the healing qualities of the throat and overtone singing, as well as harmonious vibrations, since my first years at university, from Goldman’s book on Healing Sounds. I didn’t practice this to share much with others, but did for myself when I was ill or needed to calm down and wanted to meditate. The point was to direct my own sound vibrations to the places in my head or body which needed my attention, making a tender inner self-massage.
Big changes and transformation
In 2019, my wife and I went on an 8-month journey of our dreams to India and Bali, Indonesia. During this trip, I started learning from Indian teachers, playing traditional Indian instruments (bansuri flute and tabla drums) and collecting many world instruments which later found their place at my home and in my recent music. At that time I was mostly just playing for myself and not recoding any music.
After I discovered Alef Trust and started studying a Certificate Programme in Transpersonal Coaching Psychology, all these different experiences and vectors merged with new feelings and understandings of myself and the world into something completely new but deeply very mine. One day I received a message from Nick Theo (Programme Manager for Alef Trust), with rich feedback on my music that he found on my old SoundCloud account. He inspired me to compose music again, because he trusted that my music is healing and can help people. I am endlessly thankful for this gentle nudge and reminder. All my past spiritual experiences became more grounded and practical, and music now became the perfect tool through which my consciousness could express itself.
With time, the process of my rediscovering the healing power of music was underway. I began creating (and still do it for request) personalised healing sound compositions especially tailored to people’s individual needs and requests. These 13 compositions resulted in the first album called “What If?”. You can listen to this here:
I would often listen to these tracks myself and they would soothe my mind, recharge me, and balance my inner state. I would listen to them when my health was recovering from illnesses, and the atmosphere in the room would immediately harmonize while they were playing.
And this was happening for a reason. People have been using their voices and music to heal themselves for centuries. In ancient Tibetan medicine, there is the whole branch of medicine of singing special mantras for different purposes — for body healing and for spiritual development. Tibetan singing bowls are deeply rooted in history (even if they didn’t initially come from Tibet), and each religion and culture has its own musical tradition and instruments. Throat and overtone singing are found in many different nations and countries around the globe. Music has existed since human history began.
The nature of sound
So, what is the nature of sound? It is a vibration propagating through a medium by the compression and rarefaction of molecules (more scientific explanations here, and here). We feel the sound in our body. Our eardrum vibrates, then after an incredible process, sound transforms into electric impulses sent to our brains.
Some time ago I discovered Cymatics. It is the study that explores visible sound and vibration, in other words, the ability of sound to affect physical matter. Here’s a great demonstration of the Chladni plate experiment.
Everything in the world is vibrating on the deepest atomic and quantum levels. Every form in the universe has its own vibration. As the pioneering inventor and electrical engineer Nicola Tesla famously said, if you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency, and vibration. Among his extensive work, he was exploring the resonance phenomena. Using his “earthquake machine” device he managed to start a very strong vibration like an earthquake.
From this perspective, every cell, organ, and body has its own resonant vibration. The healthy and sick body will have a different resonance vibration. Our body is similar to the drum membrane. If it is dirty or covered with anything it will sound more thuddy, but when I play it, the membrane is cleaning itself with a vibration, returning to its initial sound, which is full of overtones. Or if we take two similarly-tuned tuning forks, if one is a slightly dirty and we play on the clean one, the dirty one will clean itself through the vibration, because of the resonance.
In other words, by playing the resonant to our initial true nature sounds or music, we can recover our health on all levels, from physical to psycho-emotional, and maybe even spiritual (I believe so). I am just beginning this sound-healing journey myself and am sure that I have a lot to learn.
The story of the album “Heaven on Earth” (2021) — a meditative musical journey.
Learning about all this science, practicing Open Awareness, throat and overtone singing, and having multiple peak experiences with music and meditations, I decided to consciously create a whole new healing music album. I started working on it at the beginning of December 2020. The first recordings were already very inspiring, so I wanted to keep moving. My dream was to listen to the complete album and take a whole sound journey when it was ready. I was excited.
One day the name “Heaven on Earth” came to me spontaneously. This title had a deep meaning for me. I later tried to put my feelings and peak experiences into words, and decided to add a 0-track Introduction which contains the following words:
This album was created with the intention of expressing the ancient idea that Heaven, Nirvana or the Kingdom of Heaven is not something transcendental or beyond-heaven, which must be "achieved" or which can be reached only after the threshold of death. Of course, I do not exclude such a possibility. However, I believe that our inability to experience this intimate, ecstatic, boundless joy and happiness is based mostly on the fact that we choose to seek it, but we do not allow ourselves to simply be in it and act out of it. In other words, our minds are so busy searching, modelling and processing our expectations of happiness that it grabs all our attention and does not allow us to notice the very life that is unfolding right now in real-time in front of you...
This album is now available for purchase. It is not yet in the public domain, but here are some excerpts:
And here you can listen to and read about one of the compositions that are most loved by listeners — Eternity.
One of the reviews I received about this album:
“The album “Heaven on Earth” is a miracle that has captured and immersed in itself. In my world, it is a fantastic story from shamans by the fire to crystal rain outside the planet… And this is just a small tip of the iceberg because you can’t describe the depth, you can only feel and pass through your perception. I definitely recommend it. Vitalik, well done! The whole evening listening to it on replay… and this is just the beginning.”
“Transformational sounds cause total relaxation and tranquility. Listening to your music calms down the mind.”
“I am sincerely grateful for the charming piece of music. The penetrating aura of the album, filled with the sound of instruments from around the world, organically combined with the sounds of nature inspires, renews, and awakens. I recommend listening only through quality audio systems.”
The idea of making an album of high-quality healing music was so exciting that I decided to make it a whole project. I asked for the help of my brother Ihor Dominichenko, a professional sound engineer, to make the album sound even more complete and juicy. The cover image was created by a professional designer. My university friend Serhii Yashchuk, a senior software developer, helped me to create Telegram and Messenger bots where people can listen and purchase the album in a comfortable way. I then hired a web designer who helped me to create a beautiful website for the album with extensive information about it and myself. This website is now available in three languages: Ukrainian, Russian and English. The album is also translated into these three languages. And, of course, my wife Iia Dominichenko was always by my side, listening to every newly-born composition, giving feedback about my music, website, texts and cover image. This album would not be what it is without her support.
My personal perspective. For me, making a business from my healing music is something absolutely new and even somehow unbelievable — I wasn’t initially considering earning anything from this. However, after the involvement and effort of so many different people in making this album, I decided that I couldn’t just leave it there. The album started as an experiment and non-commercial project, but then I decided to learn something about marketing and start advertising to spread the word about it around the world… This story is just beginning but again, I am excited!
Live healing sound ceremonies
After organizing music and sound ceremonies on men’s retreats, DREVO sons, and noticing how music really helps in healing inner traumas and supporting self-empowerment, I decided to try with my wife Iia to hold a couple of online healing music ceremonies. We had to pay attention to the technical setup to achieve a high-quality live sound, but it was worth it. We have received a lot of inspiring feedback from listeners:
“Very relevant now. I lit candles, incense next to your ceremony. I got complete relaxation and bliss of peace, I wanted to repeat the sound of AUM after you, then I yawned for another hour, a feeling of joy appeared, and somewhere the tension and anxiety disappeared. After I wanted to add a bath to complete relaxation. Thank you very much! I hope to see you soon! Grateful infinitely!”
“Thank you, friends. In the end, I fell asleep, but it didn’t stop me from getting high. I enjoyed it. In a nutshell, it can be described as a pleasant gentle meditation. Some of the sounds were surprising and sounded right in my head, in my opinion, it was water in a bottle. Reboot. And yes, at the beginning I was flying in the clouds, a very detailed and realistic journey.”
The format of our online ceremony is flexible. It starts with an introductory meditation to help bring participants back to their present moment and feelings and get ready to be fully present with their own attention and self-care. Iia and I share an immersive sound journey with many instruments and vocal sounds for about 30 minutes. Participants listen whilst doing some yoga or meditation. Sometimes they paint, dance, write, or just just drink a tea, listening to the music and deepening the process.
My life is penetrated with music. I’ve had periods when I didn’t play and compose music, but I can see now that those were times when I was pretty unconscious and losing connection with myself. My life is now deeply integrated with music and sound healing.
I feel inspired to see that the Western world is now opening to the healing qualities of sound and the subtle reality behind the visible material world. Public figures such as Joe Dispenza are bringing fundamental world principles based on the laws of quantum physics into the mainstream through their easily accessible teachings. Transpersonal psychology is doing a wonderful job of exploring, understanding, and explaining consciousness and spirituality. There are so many interesting things going on now and I am so excited to be living in this world, here and now!