Alexandre Tannous experiences the universe through the lens of sound: pulsations and vibrations that ripple through consciousness like waves on the beach; harmonic sequences that reveal patterns and synchronicities in the underlying nature of reality; the fusion of mind, body and spirit attuned to eternal rhythms beating within each of us.
The Rules of Impact // Alexandre TannousMute/unmute
Tannous pioneered sound meditation by way of 20 years of education, training and dedication to the craft. After earning four degrees from Columbia in music and ethnomusicology, he drew upon his diverse academic training and fieldwork in over 40 countries to develop a syncretic approach to understanding sound’s therapeutic relationship to consciousness. His work, unique to most sound practitioners, unites three perspectives - Western scientific, Eastern philosophical, and shamanic societal beliefs – as a means of deeply understanding sound’s relationship to consciousness.
"Eventually deep listening culminates in an experience where “The ‘I’ disappears and you cease to exist,” giving rise to the awareness that we are all God, undifferentiated and pure consciousness."
Today, Tannous is most reputable among both peers and strangers as a facilitator of ‘sound meditations’ — a listening session with the use of singing bowls or a gong - that can trigger a deep gnosis, or intuitive self-knowledge that we are all one. The goal of such a session— in which participant and sound become one— is to change the limited sense of consciousness within us and create a sustaining sense of peace and well-being. In this, sound becomes a tool to change perceptions of reality, consciousness, and what it means to be human.
Sound meditation acts as a tuning mechanism: through opening up our minds and receiving the vibrational frequencies of instruments, sound is able to awaken something inside of us. The act of deep listening—sinking into a meditative state and feeling the transformative power of sound reverberate through consciousness—becomes a powerful and potentially life-transforming experience. Blockages are removed, the nervous system is reset, and the natural balance of the body is restored. For Alexandre, to understand sound is to answer the most profound questions about consciousness: Who am I? What is love? What is God? What is human experience?
To understand sound is to answer the most profound questions about consciousness: Who am I? What is love? What is God? What is human experience?
In sound meditation, one can engage in deep listening, which refers to going deeper and deeper within oneself at the perfect vibrating frequency. It can be more powerful than the repetition of a mantra, such as the sound “Om,” which is a common practice in Hinduism and Buddhism.
"Tannous is talking about consciousness, which is inside all of us: the familiar feeling you get during such an experience is a kind of awakening, or remembering of who you are."
Eventually deep listening culminates in an experience where “The ‘I’ disappears and you cease to exist,” giving rise to the awareness that we are all God, undifferentiated and pure consciousness. In physics, it’s called biocentrism. In Hinduism, Buddhism, and ancient Greek philosophy there is the same sense that the separate self is an illusion and we are all interconnected with the universe. In fact, the deeper one digs into cutting-edge science and mathematics, and the core of the world’s religions, the more one can awaken to the ubiquity of the patterns Tannous sees in sound.
In discussing his work, Alexandre dances between references to ethnomusicology and ancient Greece, brain scans and psychedelics, in a rhythm that sounds familiar, identifying patterns of interconnection across disciplines. This is because he is talking about consciousness, which is inside all of us: the familiar feeling you get during such an experience is a kind of awakening, or remembering of who you are.
“In this very stressful, highly technological world we live in, to be able to disconnect at times and simply go out and be with nature is essential."
Like many visionaries who follow their passions into uncharted territories, Tannous’ research crosses disciplinary boundaries ranging from fractal geometry, phenomenology (the study of experience), neuroscience, and quantum physics. In addition to embracing cutting-edge science, he has explored ancient traditions like Indian classical, Persian, Turkish or North African music, which have complex harmonies not found in Western music. Each of these have different frequencies and scales that can be understood by mathematics. “Sound is audible math,” he explains.
Today, we as a human species tend to take sound for granted, using our voices to communicate with each other or listening to music recreationally. Modern pop music lacks the harmonic series that resonates with the deeper natural rhythms of our body. Notifications and commercials, street noise and busy schedules shape our awareness, making daily life a relentless struggle to pay attention. Our monkey mind is over-stimulated and it’s a constant challenge to quiet, to really listen.
“We have become attached to dualistic thinking that there is a separate “I” distinct from “you” or “us”.
Intent to address what is lost or hidden in the busy, modern world, Tannous has expanded the scope of his research to encompass the integration and deep importance of sound in ancient and non-western cultures. As such, his research has transformed into a project of recovery. “We don’t know enough about who we are, and that is the point of the human experience,” Tannous explains. We have become attached to dualistic thinking that there is a separate “I” distinct from “you” or “us.” This is really a lie reinforced by the repetition of behavior reinforcing a sense of isolation. In fact, the trees, nature, animals, all of our surroundings are all interconnected. “There is no difference between the inner and outer world, it is the same. We are the universe...The universe we experience as outside of us is not outside of us. We are it.”
“There is no difference between the inner and outer world, it is the same. We are the universe...The universe we experience as outside of us is not outside of us. We are it.”
Sound helps us to unblock and strip away attachments to this individual, separate self. On the one hand, sound is the underlying vibration that sustains and gave birth to the universe in a “big bang” that can be understood through fractal geometry and quantum physics. On the other, sound is God, our Creator, the resonance and vibratory power at the heart of the world religions, esoteric philosophy, shamanic practices, and mysticism. Sound awakens us to our true nature, to exist in harmony with pure consciousness.
The interconnected, underlying unity of consciousness presents unique challenges as we think about how to coexist with technology going into the future. In everyday life, humans embrace greater innovations, accelerating the rate of change exponentially, yet on a fundamental, base level we don’t even know who we are. Instead of using technology to make us more interconnected and awaken to our true potential, we risk becoming more attached to the separate, isolated, individual sense of self that continually craves more and more, unfulfilled because it has forgotten its true nature.
As innovative as his research is into the therapeutic and esoteric properties of sound, Tannous has in many ways just scratched the surface. In order to move forward in studying something as intangible as consciousness requires combining ancient knowledge that is often lost or hidden in the modern world with prolific science and technique.
“Sound awakens us to our true nature, to exist in harmony with pure consciousness.”
Tannous envisions a future where phenomenologists, physicists, neuroscientists, ethnomusicologists, and a variety of disciplines would collaborate with musicians and specialists from all corners of the earth, including indigenous and non-Western cultures to delve into the depths of consciousness collaboratively. His work has shaped thousands of lives of people who have journeyed with him through the depths of sound and consciousness, but he doesn’t do it to heal others. Tannous’ motivation for his life’s work is much simpler than that: “It’s very important to find one’s resonance to follow our heart, to follow our bliss.”