Michael Mantra

Michael Mantra creates ambient music.  More than that, he creates tools for "brain hemisphere synchronization" (after synchronizing the mind and the body, Mantra's work claims to release endorphins - part of the human body's natural pharmacy which work at the level of opiates).  Mixing modulating high and low harmonic tones (low deep drones and high resonating harmonics) with didgeridoo, ocean waves, rain, water, birds and other natural sounds and instruments, Michael creates a perfect ambient soundscape for the ultimate relaxation trip.

Mantra attempts to create sound structures that "induce a meditative state that synchronizes brain wave frequencies" or, more simply put by Mantra himself, create "Brain Hemisphere Harmonic Healing".  From the early cassette only releases "Sonic Transform" with John Now and "Sonic Satori" to the CD release on Silent "Sonic Alter" and the brilliant follow-up "Sonic Continuum" with Silent Records contributor Rod Modell, Mantra strives to keep the ambient "ethic" of the early 90's "chill out" vibe alive.

According to the packaging on his release "Sonic Transform", "Sonic Transform is an audio tool for transform[ing] negative yin emotions to ... positive yang emotions."  This statement sums up what many envision the ambient "chill room ethic" to be.

From the Silent Records ASCII Catalog, Summer 1995:

"Michael Mantra - <Sonic Alter>
After numerous cassette-only releases, Michael Mantra brings his "brain
synchronization" techniques to compact disc. In utilizing recording
techniques that help synchronize the frequencies of the left and right
sides of the brain, Mantra creates a medium for electronic meditation for
relaxation and improved health. Headphones necessary for full-effect.

Michael Mantra Discography


Michael Mantra & John Now - Sonic Transform cassette, Anomalous Records

Michael Mantra - Sonic Satori cassette, Tranquil Technology Music

Michael Mantra - Sonic Alter, Silent Records, 1994

Rod Modell & Michael Mantra - Sonic Continuum, Hypnos 1998


Tracks on other CDs:
Michael Mantra - “Sonic Alter” on From Here to Tranquility, Silent Records, 1993

Rod Modell & Michael Mantra - "Sonic Continuum" (7:16) on the Oscillations compilation, Halcyon Recordings, 1998   


Silent Release

Silent Release

Special silentrecords.net interview with
Michael Mantra

How did you meet Kim Cascone and get involved with Silent Records?

Silent started to distribute some of my albums.  2 days after I delivered several titles for them to distribute, Kim called and said he listened to Sonic Transform.  He was so impressed with that album that he wanted to meet with me to discuss the idea of releasing some of my music on the Silent Records label.  He felt Sonic Transform was sooooo ambient that he wanted me to remix it and make it an hour long.  I was not up for that.  I felt Sonic Transform was perfect at 30 minutes that I didn't want to change anything about it.  I created Sonic Alter for Silent Records instead of potentially spoiling  Sonic Transform.  I felt making Sonic Transform an hour long would have spoiled a masterpiece.

Briefly describe the "ambient" scene during the times you were putting out material for Silent.

The ambient scene was divided between the east bay and the San Francisco
side of the bay.   Many of the San Francisco scene was involved with harsh noise and the easy bay scene tended toward the warm and fuzzy kind of sound.  I was one of the soft and warm noise kind of ambient people.

How has it changed?

The ambient scene has descended  into  chaos and has lost the original vision that brought some many people together.

Is there any unreleased material from the Silent period?

Yes, there was a whole box of DAT masters.

What is your favorite Silent release?

The first CD compilation from Tox Uthat was special to me until this day.

Any plans on re-releasing the Silent material?

If someone wants to reissue Sonic Alter, that would be nice.

What are you up to now?

I have been investing my time and energy in creating several different styles of album cover art and learning web page design.  I felt that I needed to create a web site and that it was necessary  to spread the ambient music that brought so many people together in the early 90s.

Is there anything you would like to add?

I would like to thank Rod Modell for being so encouraging and  supportive of my musical and sonic activities.  He has been like a younger brother to me.   I would like to thank all the  people who  have sent  me kind email messages about how they still listen to Sonic Alter and still find it timeless.

 Please include links to any sites you would like included on the site.

My web site is not ready yet but people can contact me at
mmantra@majornnet.com and thank you Darcy for taking the time to do all
this work of assembling a Silent Records tribute web site.

* Note from the editor - please write Michael!  Let’s get some of those DATs of unreleased material published!

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