Within ten minutes of hanging up the phone after speaking with Brian Paulson, owner of Intragalactic Recordings, I knew he was the musical match to a researcher I had studied as a graduate student. Paulson's work alone, in and of itself, is worth getting excited over, but he also vividly reminds me of the work of one Dr. Richard Jones (The Dream Poet, Fantasy and Feeling in Education, The New Psychology of Dreaming, and Experiment at Evergreen). Both of these men understand there are more ways to explore and communicate with ourselves and each other than by traditional 21st century methods — there's so much beyond social media and texting. Paulson tells me as much, but offers the caveat, "You may not have actually heard of me unless you're a musician." He's correct, so for the next 28 minutes, I enjoy listening to Paulson pull me into his world and tell me about his career as a musician.
"I sent a copy of one of my CDs, Quirk, to NUVO around 2008, but could not generate any interest. I did turn around and send it to Keyboard Magazine and won Unsigned Artist of the Year." Paulson is upbeat and energetic and I get the feeling most people are asleep while this guy is still creating.
Paulson's studio/museum, the Boiler Room, is stationed in Westfield, Indiana. He's released 33 albums for his label, Aeon Records, and he now has a new album and a new label. Music I created over 15 years ago tends to find an audience, just years after I intended," he says, "like so many of my esoteric titles and creations. Which is fine. I operate in the here and now and the universe works on its own clock."
"Switched at Birth is my first album for Intragalactic Recordings, although I currently write music for television, film, and license music for various venues. I also have performed 14 concerts this year for a local improv percussion group called Clang. On Switched at Birth, I play about 250 instruments as well as compose, record, and master the project. I create my own artwork as well as make my own instruments," he says. "I started my own label in 1990 when I decided I wanted 100 percent control of profit and marketing. It was all a left-brain, right-brain maneuver for me and it led me to what I do now, which is bio-sonic music. One side of my brain is jazz, progressive, future pop, and the other played around with geo-astral harmonics, binaural beats, and bio-sonic music."
Binaural beats are the subject of study and occasional controversy (depending on what conspiracy sites one visits), and is often used to help individuals sleep, or induce lucid dreaming; however, other studies have been linked to binaural beats and include astral projection, telekinesis, and psychokinesis. Also known as brainwave entertainment, binaural, bio-sonic music delves deep into the listener's psyche, to tap into previously unknown crevices and often unverifiable qualitative data in brain function, physiology, psychology, and psychiatry — and knowing what we know about the conscious human psyche, one can only begin to imagine what else might hover in the unconscious.
"I really like to play in the moment and my music is very organic – I don't actually use a computer. I will be 64 in March and still truly love live performance, and what I find current music lacks is creativity – real intensity. I see and hear a lot of borrowing, re-mixing, and re-purposing in today's music. I want to reproduce what my collective brain feels like instead. I want to create original sounds," Paulson explains. "At 90, I want to sit and listen to my own music, my own backlog that I can be proud of."
Paulson also indicates he has been exposed to many different types of music and played with many classic musicians like Dizzy Gillespie and Spyro Gyra. "I enjoy working with people and musicians who aren't afraid to experiment, either. For example, I follow the work of a Russian physicist who uses plasma, energy, and light to create silent frequencies and when he used the element iron and played it through a vacuum tube, the hairs on our arms moved magnetic north. It was fantastic. I mean, as above, so below. I just love knowing there is so much more going on than we can even see or explain," says Paulson, and continues, "and I really enjoy being able to help people both relax and to generate energy through music. People have been born and died to my music. My father-in-law passed his last few hours with us, listening to my album Arc of Light – he said it gave him peace and I love that I could do that for him – give him a peaceful way to pass. I know I have many audiences, too – children love what we do in our live performances and I love bringing music to them.
With his output, it definitely looks like Paulson will have that backlog he craves for his twilight years, and then some. He continues, "I work in many mediums, artistically as well as musically. I have fond memories of sleep concerts, house concerts, indoor and outdoor venues. I create pure music, pure sound to help make people feel good, change brain wave activity at all levels, at all parts of the brain. Lyrics are fine, but music alone is a universal language that needs no translation. And music is a process and a tool to measure the past, present, and future. I've literally started conversations and picked them up 20 years later, no problem, with other musicians since we share an inner template. Although the standard tuning system we use is a bit off, that slight dissonance that is already there and that can be manipulated affects us all in different ways. And each song I create I try to make it a little world unto itself. The true power of sound goes beyond instruments – and is reciprocal."