Murray Hidary is on a mission to help you release the worries and daily stresses that get tangled up in your head and trickle down to tense your neck and shoulders.
A pianist, composer, visual artist and tech pioneer, Hidary’s antidote is his piano, a musical organ he hopes will help your brain, that overworked organ, take a break. And he’s using more than his piano playing to help transport you. His MindTravel experiences are making “silent” splashes across the globe – from The Museum of Modern Art in New York to LACMA in L.A., Zedekiah’s Cave in Jerusalem and OSHO Meditation Resort in India.
“MindTravel creates the space for people to reflect and contemplate,” Hidary says. “It is an exercise in exploring and being present with the evolving world – not retreating from it. And although its benefits are largely individual, it is a shared rather than a solitary experience.”
But what is it, exactly? I kept wondering when I heard about this mystical-sounding event people described as “transformative” and “otherworldly.” Here’s the description in a nutshell: MindTravel is an immersive experience that weaves improvisational music composed and played by Hidary, wireless headphones that attendees wear (for the “silent” concerts) and stunning visual images –in real time, as on a hike or walk through a botanical garden, or as massive projected images in theaters and other venues. MindTravel experiences have also taken place while participants strolled through museum exhibits, and even under water, since water, Hidary says, “teaches us about letting go.”
In the midst of the holiday craze, my family and I experienced our first MindTravel at Wisdome.LA, an immersive art park in the Arts District in Downtown L.A.
Inside one of the park’s large white domes, we grabbed our headphones, took our seats and reclined so that we were almost lying down. “Don’t fall asleep,” my husband joked. But when Hidary started playing contemporary classical music, and stars, galaxies and other astral bodies floated above our heads – so expansive in scope it was easy to feel as though we had been swallowed whole – sleep was the last thing on my mind. At one point, I raised my head to witness the sea of blue light emanating from hundreds of headphones all around us as we created our own galaxy, a community of blue-lit darkness. I slid back down and got lost again in the wordless, worry-less sound and color.
For upcoming performances, visit www.mindtravel.com/experiences.