AV Mix Series - Amanda Ling

AV Mix Series - Amanda Ling

Kicking off the new year with an introspective mix from one of Singapura's dearest - Amanda Ling. Her musical journey has been so inspiring over the years, popping off in the 2000s with indie rock royalty Electrico, post-rock project In Each Hand A Cutlass and more recently, Don Aaron. Amanda is also a sound healing practitioner with an almost lifelong fascination of the meditative qualities of music, coming through in the mix through her sense of presence and flow informed by yoga. Have a listen and have a peek at her evolution as a musician in the interview. 



Hey Amanda, great to have you on here! How are you doing these days and what have you been up to? 

 

Thank you Bong! I’m doing good. I just got back from travels, and just wrapped up facilitating creative wellness workshops at PLAY! A Series of Serious Parties @ Singapore Art Week 2023. 


 

How's 2023 shaping up for you and what's keeping you excited? 

2023 is looking great so far.  I’m a lot more intentional in allocating time/effort for work, play and rest in a harmonious way. 

I will be doing a series of sound experiences and wellness workshops at a CBD wellness pop up space, ”Well Commune Shenton” at PIL Building before it gets torn down in the next few months. Can’t say much now but I’m sure to update once that comes through! I’ve been also in recording sessions with Don Aaron in releasing more tracks this year. 

What’s been on your personal rotation / home listening playlists and how has that been impacting your approach to music these days? 

My playlists are almost always eclectic, ranging from post metal, post-rock, jazz, lofi, deep afro-tribal house, melodic tech, ambient, vaporwave, and, more recently, nostalgic indie rock playlists from the 2000s. Haha. I've been reflecting a lot about how far I've come as a musician, listening to music I grew up with, being involved in, and constantly being inspired by new things I can discover. I've taken a more mindful approach to life in general, so I am grateful to the beauty of how music uplifts and inspires while also serving as a source of cathartic expression and comfort.

We’re really intrigued by your sound meditation practice, it’s quite a leap from being in rock bands! What drew you to it at the start and how are you finding it a few years in?

Haha yes that might seem like a big leap. But here's something most people don't know about me: I first experienced music meditation when I was 8 years old! My sister got us siblings to lie down after dinner and listened to Enigma's first album, MCMXC a.D., from start to finish. The ethereal female's voice at the start of the record was like a guided mediation. The entire album, while considered electronic world music, floated me off to some other realm and I got so fascinated with the experience. This became a regular fun and relaxing thing to do before bed. Haha. 

Since then, I subscribed to Readers Digest, which was popular at the time, and convinced my family to buy the meditation music and Binaural beats albums from the catalogue. I looked forward to listening to them on my discman before bed. Because some people thought it was weird, I kept it as a secret genre of music that I listened to afraid of being shamed as weirdo. Lol. When I first started teaching yoga, those CDs came in handy since I was able to extract the songs and create iPod music playlists for my classes!

I was so drawn to this aesthetic that I wanted to grow up knowing how to make music and do things like that, and I did! Fast forward to 2012, I met my Tibetan Singing Bowl teacher through the first yoga studio I taught at, but I wasn't ready for it yet. As they say, when the student was ready, the teacher reappeared again in 2015 and I began my learning journey. I gradually integrated it into my yoga sessions and am now serving as an apprentice at my teacher's school, co-facilitating workshops, courses, and sound experiences. I soon learned how to make therapeutic music tracks and binaural beats, which I used in my sets. The therapeutic approach to music creation differs greatly from the typical music production goals. 

I feel I have come a full circle, spiritually and sonically with this interest, having part of my purpose being experienced as a kid and learning to embrace and facilitate it as an adult. 

In this case, the Yin (Sound Meditation) and Yang (Rock and Roll) is the harmonic balance I experience and seek to maintain. Few years on, this practice propelled me well into my own inner journey of spirituality, healing and higher learning. Understanding and applying how to work with frequencies harmoniously, effectively and consciously is something I’m constantly learning, practising and teaching. Frequencies don’t just restrict to music and sound. Thoughts and emotions are on the frequency spectrum too, and they have the ultimate power to heal or destroy. Moving forward, I hope I can contribute in my own way to transforming the paradigm of consciousness through the work I do, whether sonically or in other areas. 

 

How was this mix recorded and how did you approach selecting the tracks for it?

I approached it like a live yoga dj set, which I was actively doing in the 2010’s. I worked with the teachers to sync up the flow of the sets or curated my own class playlists too. Being a yoga teacher myself was an added advantage. There are many parallels in sequencing a yoga class and a dj set, much like dance choreography. The warm up, build up, peak, cool down and completion gives a framework for me to work from and decide on the styles and then to the track selection. In a live setting, being able to be more fluid to extend or cut a track whenever needed to suit any changes to the flow for that moment is also needed.(which usually do!) 

I gravitate towards using instrumental songs since lyrics may be distracting and restrictive because they provide too fixed a meaning in the moments of the experience, unless the words are purposefully meant, in this case, the spoken word on the first tracks of the mix, sets the tone for the rest.

During the pandemic, I explored and pivoted to creating shorter 30 min music sets and facilitating conscious music and movement sessions online as a lunchtime activity for corporates. 

This extended format mix is an example of it. Tracks wise, I've been drawn to Middle Eastern ethereal vocals and melodies in recent years, maybe because they spiritually resonate with me in significant ways. 

I typically approach mixing as a journey, which is why I have a mixcloud series called Sonic Journeys. It is a journey of discovery and exploration of various themes and genres in the creative and healing process for me, the doer, and the listener to just be, and explore what that can be for them in the moment, bringing them into my world while also creating opportunity for them to explore and branch out to their own interpretation of their experience. 

Any records on our website you’d recommend?

Milt Jackson and the Thelonious Monk Quintet (Classic Vinyl Series)

_____

Follow Amanda:
www.mixcloud.com/doopz
instagram.com/doopz_
www.soundtoground.com