Celestial Soul Portrait by Iasos
In 1978, the Developmental Psychology department at Plymouth State University performed a series of studies on 60 patients who had survived near-death experiences. The goal, Professor Joel D. Funk has said, was to determine which piece of music best resembled what was occurring in people's heads in the moments when they thought they were going to die.
For his experiment, Funk played a series of recordings and found that the most consistent piece chosen by his subjects was "The Angels of Comfort" by Iasos, an artist who was a pivotal figure in the development of new age music.
It was arguably an appropriate discovery, for Iasos was a product of a near-death experience. Born in Greece in 1947, his father was a holocaust-survivor; a victim of unbelievable terror at Auschwitz.
An accomplished musician, Iasos moved to San Francisco and became both blessed and cursed with a colorful creativity that manifested itself as an amazing, never-heard-before music, which occurred only in his head. In a sensation he described as "wearing headphones but without the headphones," the "radio" inside his young mind was playing what Iasos described as "paradise music."
What's paradise music? According to Iasos, it was "heavenly music that exists on higher dimensions...paradise is a frequency range. Boredom is low frequency. Hatred is very low frequency. Love is a nice, high frequency. Paradise is a super-high frequency."
Released in 2013 by Numero Group, Celestial Soul Portrait is a 13-track compilation of Iasos's "super-high frequency" paradise music. It's as beautiful and breathtaking as it is listless and unfocused. Listeners with narrower definitions of "good music" will probably think it's pretentious—and they may be right. But if you have any "new age" in your musical palette—or even the slightest issue falling asleep at night—this collection is almost essential listening.