Along with surf trips and running her company, Kassia + Surf, Kassia Meador has been deep into sound bathing. I got to experience one recently at her Topanga Canyon home. Kassia played the bowls; her friend Dave delicately played the conga. A half dozen of us lay back on pillows and shut our eyes. It was soothing, introspective, transformative. When I caught up with Kassia to do this piece, she’d just returned from Costa Rica where she co-hosted a surf/yoga/sound healing retreat. She was leaving the following day to do sonic immersion at the Byron Bay Surf Festival. She was all fired up on sound.
How did the sound baths come about?
In 2008 I had my first sound bath at the Integratron in Joshua Tree and it was one of the most transformative moments for me, almost like surfing for the first time. But it was a different sort of surfing; it was like surfing in these sound waves. It was all very liquid, very water, just beautiful. Fast forward to 2011. I moved back up to LA and I was in Venice with my friend Aska Matsumiya, who’s a musician, and I looked in a store window and saw a sound bowl. I went in, I rung it, I was like, “Oh my god, I need to get this thing!” So I get it, and we went back to my place, which is just down the street, and we started playing it. And then she goes back and she gets one. And then we invited our musician friend Farmer Dave over and he hears it, and then he brings his lap steel over and starts playing with us. And then we formed this performance art group called UFO 2012, and we would work with sound. We called them “abductions” at the time. We played a lot of stuff, we made a vinyl, we went on tour with a band called Bondy, we played at art galleries and at Mollusk. Then we disbanded. I got busy with my business; Aska and Farmer Dave had their projects. It wasn’t until about 2015 that we decided to start playing again, but more so for the healing elements of sound, more so for the meditative aspects and the harmonic patterning that it offers to people.
How does it work?
Everything is frequency—our bodies are frequency, the plants and trees are frequency, the ocean waves are frequencies. Different frequencies have a perfect resonance when they’re toned to optimal performance, so we’re re-toning ourselves as we come into different patterns of dissonance throughout our day to day. Power lines, business endeavors, relationship endeavors, driving down the street and getting a little bit of road rage—that’s all dissonance, which is dis-ease in your body. Sound bathing is almost like an active meditation with sound to help you recalibrate and re-tone all your body cells. Our heart has an optimal frequency that it vibrates at, and then we come into dissonance and it takes everything off the optimal frequency. By opening the space to recalibrate that frequency it brings ease with mood and emotion, sleep patterns, physical ailments, etc. It’s about opening yourself up to those subtle properties of healing.
What does surfing mean to you at this point in your life?
It’s my soul fuel. There are so many different things that surfing has brought me towards, whether it’s creating wetsuits, thinking about how to create things in a more harmonious way, and of course sound healing. Riding ocean waves really got me opened up to working with sound in that kind of way. Surfing is a constant opportunity for me to get my air to breathe and water to drink at the same time.
For more of Kassia go to https://kassiasurf.com