Transcendent Waves Book Review: Sound Healer Lavender Suarez Guides Us on an Infinite Sonic Journey

Written and compiled by Brooklyn-based artist, sound healing therapist, and meditation teacher Lavender Suarez, Transcendent Waves is a delightfully experimental new book which pays homage to the creative power of deep listening and the potential for sound to serve as a gateway towards transcendence.

Transcendent Waves by Lavender Suarez

Written and compiled by Brooklyn-based artist, sound healing therapist, and meditation teacher Lavender Suarez, Transcendent Waves is a delightfully experimental new book which pays homage to the creative power of deep listening and the potential for sound to serve as a gateway towards transcendence.

Opening with a visually-rich anecdote, performance artist Bibbe Hansen recalls being gifted a conch shell from her grandmother, who had “come across the shell while walking along the shore, picked it up, and sent it to me.”

Then a young girl, Hansen put the conch shell to her ears and discovered an entire universe on display. She recalls in wonder: “It was there! The roar and the crash of the surf! I was at once transported hundreds of miles to the seashore: my heart unfolding in the heat of the imagined sun, chasing the waves, the smell of salt air, and the joy of sand between my toes.”

In one epic swoop, Hansen’s simple intergenerational tale captures the wonder, mystery, and playfulness of Transcendent Waves. Across its 119 brightly-colored pages, Suarez dives deep into everything from the mechanics of sound and how it resonates within our physical bodies, to musings on how it evokes the “ever-present now” and opens up expansive doors within ourselves and beyond. Even the book’s most text-dense pages always have plenty of room to breathe; they’re broken up by scientific illustrations and frequently alternate back-and-forth among wonderfully-scribbled hand-written prompts.

Turning the book into a tool for self-reflection, Suarez opens a section on “Memory” by asking, “What is a sound that you miss hearing that is no longer in your life?” and invites readers to think metaphysically by inquiring, “What do you think is the first sound you hear after you’re born?” and, “What do you think is the last sound you hear before you die?”

Transcendent Waves is a compact book — yet it manages to cover a dynamic spectrum of topics, both external and internal: from public shared venues to private creative workspaces; from noisy external distractions to silent internal realms; from seeking motivation without to finding stillness within.

Sound, Suarez seems to stress, is a total force to reckoned with or integrate into. In the sense that it is all things, it is infinite, and full of possibilities for us to explore.

Transcendent Waves: How Listening Shapes Our Creative Lives by Lavender Suarez can be purchased via Anthology Editions.

Transcendent Waves by Lavender Suarez Transcendent Waves by Lavender Suarez Transcendent Waves by Lavender Suarez Transcendent Waves by Lavender Suarez Transcendent Waves by Lavender Suarez Transcendent Waves by Lavender Suarez Transcendent Waves by Lavender Suarez Transcendent Waves by Lavender Suarez
All images from TRANSCENDENT WAVES, Published by ANTHOLOGY EDITIONS

“I think that’s so much a part of the process of creating, artistic or otherwise, any kind of creation: listen. To really be open-hearted, and to listen to what it wants, not necessarily what you want to say.” – Meredith Monk


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Written by
Vee Hua 華婷婷

Vee Hua 華婷婷 (they/them) is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer with semi-nomadic tendencies. Much of their work unifies their metaphysical interests with their belief that art can positively transform the self and society. They are the Editor-in-Chief of REDEFINE, Interim Managing Editor of South Seattle Emerald, and Co-Chair of the Seattle Arts Commission. They also previously served as the Executive Director of the interdisciplinary community hub, Northwest Film Forum, where they played a key role in making the space more welcoming and accessible for diverse audiences.

In 2017, Vee released the narrative short film, Searching Skies — which touches on Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States — and co-organized The Seventh Art Stand, a national film and civil rights discussion series against Islamophobia. 2022 sees the release of their next short film, Reckless Spirits, which is a metaphysical, multi-lingual POC buddy comedy for a bleak new era, in anticipation of a feature film.

Vee is passionate about cultural space, the environment, and finding ways to covertly and overtly disrupt oppressive structures. They also regularly share observational human stories through their storytelling newsletter, RAMBLIN’ WITH VEE!, and are pursuing a Master’s in Tribal Resource and Environmental Stewardship under the Native American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota.

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