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Drugs make us listen to all kinds of music. Some is really good and some you can’t really get into unless you’re on drugs. I don’t have any set playlist for when I’m on psychedelics but I have found a favorite to listen to in an odd way.
When I was eighteen, I took a trip to Amsterdam by myself because my parents were naively trusting of their disturbingly experimental daughter. I came back alive and have a variety of stories from the trip– but one of my favorite parts was eating mushrooms one day and wandering around, a practice I continue to do and highly recommend where I live, San Francisco.
While coming to terms with the fact a whole eighth of sopping wet Hawaiian mushrooms might have been more than the 18-year-old who had only done them twice was ready for, I found a church by Dam Square that was starting a procession. Because I make such good life choices and fantastic logical decisions, I found myself sitting in one of the pews as the choir started– which was around the time I began to wonder if aliens would think menstruation was weird. The choir was mostly male voices and they sang hymns like monks. I understood singing at that moment to work as vibrations in us that activate parts of our minds and bodies, like chanting “om” or using a mantra.
Years later, when I was much more responsible and almost done with college, which I also survived and have a variety of stories from, I was going through my dad’s old records like a proper hipster in training and found an old vinyl of Gregorian Chants.
Originally, I thought it was proof my dad did drugs but I realized my dad’s just weirder than I am and he can get into monks singing without the help of neurotoxins. Through many a psychedelic trip, I would play that record along with Dark Side of the Moon synched up to Noseferatu.
Now, I have an album of Benedictine Monks singing on my iPod. It’s unreal and some of the best music I’ve ever heard. If you’re in the mood to splurge, get the entire album of The Benedictine Monks of Notre Dame but if you just want some highlights, these are the best tracks of the 20 track album: