MWE3 Feature Story
interview written and produced by
Robert Silverstein for  


An interview with New Age music pioneers,
founders of Sequoia Records and Light Of Mind



Continued From Home Page reviews the LIGHT OF MIND web site
with a 2017 interview with Light Of Mind innovators, New Age musicians and founders of Sequoia Records

David & Steve Gordon

Since the dawn of mankind, humans have worked tirelessly to improve their lives. Following the second world war, during the second half of the 20th century, the expansion of human consciousness led to many things, including new forms of psychological and physical therapies as well as the use of mind expanding drugs that came to the fore during the late 1960s rock music revolution brought about by the Beatles and Moody Blues.

Moving away from drugs as the only way to improve their lives, rock musicians soon turned to higher forms of human consciousness, which led to American youth becoming interested in transcendental meditation and a variety of New Age therapies.

Music was always viewed being therapeutical but the rise of electronic music, which led to the expansion of New Age instrumental music during the early 1980s, created a whole new window of opportunity for musicians and their audiences to tune in and turn on to consciousness raising therapies. This resulted in the rise of self-help audio tapes and now, in the early 21st century, digital / computer download files to improve their lives.

Long at the fore of the consciousness raising New Age music boom that started in the early 1980s, David & Steve Gordon are the powerhouse brothers team behind the rise of Sequoia Records and also the Light Of Mind self-help audio series.

With the advent of the internet at the close of the 1990s, and the introduction of broadband in mid 2000, David & Steve Gordon turned to the world wide wide to spread and distribute the news and products of their web site. The Light Of Mind web site features a wealth of self-help therapy tools that people can download and use to improve their lives.

These days, with so much turmoil and upheaval in many societies throughout the world, Light Of Mind provides a much needed source of sonic tools for consumers of next generation of self-help therapy programs. Among the self-help programs featured on the Light Of Mind web site are ways to promote weight loss and fitness, ways to attract wealth, to improve sleep habits, to build self-esteem and confidence, ways to increase brain and mind power, ways to achieve better sex as well as ways of overcoming fear, bad habits and different types of addictions.

Every human being deserves a chance to improve their lives and what better way to achieve that than through the low-stress self-help audio strategies offered by Light Of Mind. In the following interview David and Steve Gordon explain the history and mission behind Light Of Mind and how the pairing of their prolific Sequoia Records works hand in hand with the groundbreaking self-help strategies of Light Of Mind.

2017 interview with
David and Steve Gordon
Light of Mind & Sequoia Records

: David & Steve Gordon have been on the leading edge of New Age music and therapeutic sound making for decades now. How did you become so interested in New Age music and meditation music? As your company grew was there a moment when you thought that we’re onto something and this is was going to work?

Steve Gordon: We had always been into meditation and Eastern philosophy since our 20s. I had read a book called The Handbook of Higher Consciousness by Ken Keyes. I liked the concept of transforming the way you think of things that you want from needs to preferences. By doing that you can be much happier than if you need everything to work out how you want it to so you can be happy.

After that we discovered the classic book Autobiography of a Yogi by Yogananda. He was one of the very first people to come to the west from India and teach meditation and yoga. This got us to try meditation and we still have regular meditation practices to this day.

Before we started Sequoia Records and Light of Mind, we had been working as professional session players in the Los Angeles studio scene. But we found that the stress of our demanding schedule was taking its toll on both of us.

During this time we would go up to the Sequoia National Forest backpacking to get much needed breaks. It was during one of these trips when we were meditating by a stream that we got an idea. We would record sounds of the forest and then use the recordings to create special music to help us relax, sleep and meditate. This was before there were people doing that, in fact we were unaware of anyone doing anything like it at the time.

After we created the albums of meditation music and nature sounds, we founded Sequoia Records to release them. We figured that since they had helped us that other people would benefit too. We were right, people liked them so much that we made 5-6 albums in the first couple years. There was clearly a need that was being met by these music albums. We were not the only people feeling stressed out and in need of a little help to relax!

As our company Sequoia Records grew at a fast rate, we started to feel like that we were onto something significant that could make a real difference in people’s lives.

We started to put more time into our record company and soon stopped doing anything but that. We continued to release more albums and then started to release albums by other artists who were making music we felt could help people also.

mwe3: Tell us about the decisions to start up your recent web site? When did it start?

Steve Gordon: After the first few years of our record company, therapists started to contact us. They wanted us to make them recordings with our music and their narration for their patients. This seemed like a natural thing to do since our music also therapeutic.

Plus both of us had issues as a result of our hectic schedules. Our music and nature sounds were helping but we were still struggling from them. I was having insomnia and anxiety and David was having panic attacks and was gaining weight.

We wanted to collaborate with these therapists to create recordings that could help us with these problems. We also thought that this could help others with similar struggles.

After producing some guided meditations with these therapists, we made the decision to go more in this direction. So we decided to put together a team of experts consisting of therapists, doctors and professional hypnotists.

We drew upon our experience in both meditation music and in using recording studios. We designed brand new audio techniques for personal growth recordings. We used the professional recording equipment in our studio to create new kinds of self-help and meditation audio.

mwe3: Self-improvement tapes and audio are not new. I remember my mom turning me on to them back in the early 1980s. It seems like self-help tapes are always popular.

Steve Gordon: When we first started Light of Mind in the 1980’s, it was before the world wide web even existed. So we did not make a website.

Instead we created a direct mail catalog and placed ads in magazines. We also ran Light of Mind ads in national magazines like Psychology Today, Discover and even Cosmopolitan. Our direct mail catalog was a huge hit with many thousands mailed each year. The response we got was phenomenal.

At that time we sold the products on cassette tapes. The original Light of Mind cassettes were part of the rising interest in self-help tapes at the time. Of course self-help had been popular long before that. There were best-selling books such as How To Win Friends And Influence People and Think and Grow Rich in the 1950s.

When we eventually created the Light of Mind website, we made the decision to only offer audio downloads. It’s so easy to download files to your computer and add them to your phone now. It’s the most convenient way to listen to meditation and self help audio.

You can use a Bluetooth speaker or your computer Bluetooth to listen or you can use ear buds.

But the versions of the audio products on the website are much different than the original ones that were available on cassette. They have all been re-mastered using our current state of the art studio and the latest sound processing equipment.

We also changed and improved many of the products. For example, the first version of the Subliminal Threshold Affirmations series was only two, twenty minute tracks. But the ones sold on the website have 6 tracks. Each track features a different style of music that you can use for different activities.

mwe3: There are seven types of self-improvement audio products on the Light Of Mind web site. Can you explain the differences between those types of audio products?

David Gordon: We created each of the different kinds of product types to be used in various ways. Some are designed for focused listening such as Reflective Self Hypnosis, Creative Visualizations and some of the tracks on The Transcendence Experience and the Self-Transformation Courses. These are Theta-mind level tracks that you can listen to while relaxed and focused.

Others are for listening to in the background while you go about other activities. You can use those while driving, working, doing chores around the house or anything you would listen to music doing. These audio tracks are beta-mind level tracks that can you can use at any time.

Audio products that you can use this way are the Subliminal Threshold Affirmation series, Digital Clarity Nature Sounds, Calm Music and some tracks on The Transcendence Series and the Self-Transformation Courses.

But whether you use subliminals, hypnosis or meditations or courses, the personal growth concept is the same.

The basic idea is this: We are limited in creating the life we want because of negative programming. We absorbed these limiting beliefs from our parents, teachers, society and culture.

Even if we make efforts to be happy and successful, the limiting beliefs hold us back.

The audio downloads from Light of Mind bypass the conscious mind and reprogram the subconscious mind. Then you are free to manifest the life you truly want to live.

You can do this with the hypnosis, subliminal messages, guided meditations and creative visualization audio downloads from Light of Mind.

Your subconscious becomes saturated with these new positive beliefs. You discover you are able to change bad habits like overeating and be more confident. You become more successful, make more money or feel less stressed. You're more relaxed and create fulfilling relationships.

Once your subconscious or inner mind is no longer working against you, the changes in your life can be dramatic. And they can happen quickly.

There are many articles on our Ideal Reality Blog that have links to new research. These studies that show how effective these self-help techniques are. The power of hypnosis, subliminals and positive affirmations is proven by science in study after study.

It makes sense. Our minds believe whatever we tell ourselves.

Much of what we believe about ourselves is negative due to bad experiences in childhood, from our parents or from limiting ideas from our culture and society.

So most people walk around feeling so bad about themselves they struggle to become successful. And when they do get some success, they can’t enjoy it and end up losing what they had.

By bathing your inner mind with positive, supportive and empowering affirmations and visualizations, your life starts to change. And the change can often come very fast.

As you continue to flood your subconscious with new beliefs that help you instead of block you, things start to become easier and easier. Everything falls into place and soon you will have created your ideal reality.

Some Light of Mind product types allow you to flood your inner mind with these positive new beliefs during any activity. Others are for listening with your full attention as a break during the day, or at bedtime.

There are even some audio products you can listen to while you sleep when your subconscious is very receptive to positive messages.

Over 750,000 people have changed their lives with Light of Mind audio products. Since we started we have received a steady stream of letters and emails from people sharing their success with us. They have reached their goals, become more successful, are making more money and have overcome negative habits and unproductive patterns.

mwe3: What makes the Light Of Mind products special and different from the others?

Steve Gordon: When you listen to a Light of Mind audio download, you hear the difference right away. You are drawn into the experience in a way no other self-help audio does.

The quality of the sound and the music is without equal in self improvement audio. This makes the downloads much more effective because you are enveloped in sound that aligns your left and right brain.

The most unique thing about Light of Mind audio and what sets us apart from others is that David and I are pioneers in meditation music. We were among the very first to create music for meditation and relaxation.

When we design the Light of Mind audio tracks, we use our knowledge of meditation music. We combined that with our many years of experience using high end audio processing found in recording studios.

As founders of Sequoia Records, we have sold over 2 million albums of acclaimed meditation music and calm music. We've won many awards and charted on the Billboard New Age Music top 15 multiple times.

We have found ways to use high end audio processing gear to create truly revolutionary self help audio.

For example, in other subliminal audio recordings, the volumes of the positive affirmations are reduced so they can’t be heard over the sound of the music.

As musicians and recording engineers we knew this was not going to be good enough. That is because the volume of the music is not always the same. There are sections of music that are quiet and other sections that are loud.

We discovered a way to use our audio processing equipment to automatically track the volume changes in the music. This way the subliminal affirmations are always just quiet enough that your conscious mind can’t hear them, but loud enough that your subconscious mind can.

That’s just one small example of what we do on every recording and every series.

We also have entire series of products that are completely original that you can’t find anywhere else.

The Transcendence Experience is a totally new idea in meditation and self help audio. The affirmations are not subliminal and they are also not completely audible. Instead, they are blended with the calm music soundtracks using a process we call Sonic Synergy.

This allows your conscious and subconscious mind to hear and respond to the positive affirmations at the same time.

You can listen to these tracks as you go about other activities like you would use a subliminal audio track. But unlike a subliminal you can hear the affirmations. However, since the affirmations are blended with the music using sonic synergy, they are not distracting.

The Transcendence Experience audio downloads also have guided meditations called directed contemplations. These feature Sonic Synergy but since you are hearing the affirmations while in the meditative state they are even more powerful.

There is nothing like this anywhere and people have been learning to meditate at faster rate that ever before.

mwe3: Which products on the web site are the most popular?

David Gordon: Of our 7 product types, the Subliminal Threshold Affirmations are the most popular. After that the Reflective Self Hypnosis and The Transcendence Series are the ones that are most popular.

The Self-Transformation Courses is also very popular, especially the Higher Self courses.

There are 17 topic categories of products. The most popular ones are:

Weight Loss and Fitness, Self-Confidence & Self-Esteem, Attracting Wealth, Better Sleep, Brain / Mind Power, Love & Relationships, Metaphysical / Spiritual

mwe3: Are you finding a spike in sales or interest due to the current disarray in the world today or have these products gained their popularity over time?

Steve Gordon: We have seen an increase in interest and sales over the last couple years without a doubt. As world events become more unpredictable and difficult, people are searching for solutions. They are looking for ways to feel less anxious, make more money, sleep better and be more successful.

Light of Mind audio downloads are tools for transformation that people can use to overcome fear, reduce stress and be healthier.

We get emails from people every day who tell us how their lives have are transformed by listening to Light of Mind audio.

But it’s not just due to the problems in the world today. Our self-help and transformational audio has always attracted a lot of interest and its popularity has continued to grow.

Listening to meditation and self-help audio like this is a great way to give yourself an extra edge in life. It's an easy way to give yourself a way to overcome many of the things that get in your way. Some of the obstacles are from society and the way things are in the world and some come from childhood.

It’s simple to listen to self-improvement audio like this and make it part of your lifestyle. Especially nowadays that you can add the tracks to you phone and listen to them anywhere. That's why more and more people are doing it.

mwe3: Could you tell the readers about where you’re from originally and where you grew up? You have said that your New Age music that you release on your label Sequoia Records, originally came out of your love of progressive rock bands like YES and Genesis, so how about your interest in therapeutic and healing music, where did that interest spring forth from?

David Gordon: We grew up in Los Angeles and that is where we had our careers as session players, and we currently live in the San Francisco North Bay.

Our interest in healing and meditation music came from a couple of things. We had such positive experiences with meditation but also still had stress-related problems such as anxiety and insomnia.

By composing soothing music we were able to not only meditate easier but we were also able lower our stress levels.

When we started making that kind of music we saw how much it helped other people in the same way it had helped us. So it was very natural to continue to make more healing music for people.

You also mentioned Carlos Castenada as an influence. How are influences from different genres, musical and literary and even medical, important in creating your music and the Light Of Mind work? Does it all converge into one unified whole? Is that what your goal is?

Steve Gordon: The Carlos Castaneda Don Juan books along with hiking in the desert also had a big influence on our music. We felt a strong connection to the earth in the desert and in the mountains.

We recorded many albums of meditation music that expressed the serenity of natural environments. And then we discovered the power of shamanic drumming. We then began to record music that had a rhythm to it while still staying connected to the inner peace of meditation.

Shamanic drumming has been used for thousands of years by cultures all around the world for accessing the shamanic state of consciousness. That is really just another way of being in the meditative state.

In some ways the use of the drum by ancient cultures was the first brain states music! By timing the beat of their drum to the 60 cycle speed of a resting heart rate, they would synchronize their body and breathing with their heartbeat. This caused people to go into a relaxed state that would enable them to perform visualizations known as vision quests.

The vision quests were the ancient version of meditation and self help audio of today. The goal is the same – to use music and words to change your brain state. Then you can access the power of visualization and replace your fears and negative thoughts with ones of a positive and abundant future.

The different types of meditation music we have created along with the various kinds of Light of Mind transformational audio are all connected to one idea - using sound to change your brain state so you can be centered, relaxed, prosperous and healthy.

On our album Sacred Spirit Drums we have a song called “The Path With A Heart.” That’s what Sequoia Records and Light of Mind are to us.






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