Sedalia musician Randy Melick has waited 30 years to begin producing original music that creates a sense of calm, peace and healing for others; his music will soon be featured on SiriusXM on Spa music channel 68.
Melick, a qualified mental health professional at Burrell Behavorial Health in Sedalia, said his music is often looked at as New Age, but now with the new genre “spa” it’s a better fit.
“I’m already signed up with one company, it’s called At Peace Media,” he said.
Instead of CDs, At Peace Media sells “streams of music” to health spas. The spa not only picks the music, but they have the option of when they want the music to play during the day.
“It’s all done digitally,” he said. “Everybody’s climbing on board with that, which is really blowing my mind. Because that’s where I am.”
Melick, who has played the guitar for years, got into the relaxation genre in the 1990s.
“I started to write songs that other people weren’t writing,” he said. “I didn’t listen to anybody particularly. I started to play stuff and instead of playing rock ‘n’ roll, I wanted to come up with something different. Where the guitar could come out as a different sound and maybe just do more with it. So I did.”
His first album was called Acoustic Passages.
“It was picked up by Acoustic Guitar Magazine in 1998,” he added. “They did a huge article on it.”
He added that he would play music at church, but then come home at night and and play his own music.
“All of a sudden one thing led to another,” he said. “Instead of getting vocal, all of sudden all of my stuff became instrumental. Just a few years ago, I decided that I was going to put sounds in there like rain and a babbling brook.”
He began to make relaxation-style music in his studio at home.
“Then I found the humpback whale sounds on National Geographic,” he noted. “I sent them a sample of my CD and they loved the idea of acoustic guitar music and humpback whales.”
He has now produced a CD titled “Whalesong II.”
“The whole album has whale sounds in the background, and I try to mimic that,” Melick said. “Now National Geographic and a company called Illustra Media, from San Bernadino, California, they are interested in possibly using the music for some of their background videos.
“I’ve been waiting for 30 years for this,” he added. “I’ve played all over town and I write music, but this is a specialty. All my experience has been honed down to playing this kind of music. Since I work at Burrell Behavioral Health, this music is very good for relaxation, stress release, ADD, ADHD and autism.”
Melick said some of the sounds whales make are almost inaudible to the human ear.
“When they hear that, their brains focus on that, and instead of racing all the time, it stops and focuses,” he added, referring to children with autism. “… It’s amazing what the whale part of this can do. There’s a whole other side to this too. Our brains have five different brain waves. We have brain waves when we are asleep and when we are relaxing.”
Melick hopes to make music that will help those who may have issues with the neurotransmitters in the their brain such as schizophrenia and other mental conditions.
“Listening to this kind of music can help your brain produce some of the transmitters that have been missing,” he added. “This is brand new, cutting-edge technology right now.”
Melick cited the work of author and neurologist Dr. Oliver Sachs who was responsible for the movie “Awakenings” starring Robin Williams.
“He believes strongly in music and the power of tone, and the power of pitch for cancer pain; for things that you would never even think music would have an effect on,” Melick noted. “That’s where I want to be.
“With music you have a continuum of frequencies,” he added. “Low is 20 hertz, high is 20,000 hertz; the human experience is between those. There are whale sounds down in the 5 or 10 hertz; we can’t hear them but we can feel them.”
He believes the frequency emitted by a whale’s song is relaxing because of the tones they produce. Often, at night, the tone is in the key of B-flat.
“”I did some research,” he said. “The key of B-flat is very soothing because Bach, Mozart, Brahms and a lot of the classical (musicians) played in those keys. I always wondered why, why would you choose to play in such a hard key? Because it sounds good to the human ear. So, that’s what’s happening now as we are beginning to understand communication under the ocean with whales.”
Melick said he is able to take the whale frequency, harmonize with it, and incorporate it into a song.
“That’s the next step in this,” he added. “Is to be able to harmonize with the whales, and produce the music that would go along with the whale sounds that could help people with certain mental conditions.”
Melick has presented his work and music at Heber Hunt Elementary School for a third grade class.
“I brought my guitar and my whale CDs,” he said. “I put the whale CD in and all the kids just stopped doing what they were doing. You could have heard a pin drop. They looked at each other, and looked at the teacher, and said ‘what are those sounds?’”
He told the children what the sounds were and they got into a “little huddle” in front of him and began to talk about the music.
“They all responded to them very positively,” he said. “So this is the direction I’m heading. I never would have thought 30 years ago my music would ever go in this kind of direction. I never thought I’d be playing instrumental music at all.”
Melick, owner of Melick Music, creates his CDs at his in-home studio. His latest CD, “Chill,” is now available at Backwoods Guitar LLC, 1601 S. Osage Ave. “Whalesong I” and “Whalesong II” are available at Reader’s World, 1400 S. Limit Ave. Melick is available for speaking engagements; for more information visit www.therapeuticstrings.com or email him at [email protected]
Faith Bemiss can be reached at 530-0289 or @flbemiss.