Throat singer, sound healer, multi instrumentalist and musical visionary, Matthew Kocel says "music can open the heart to experience ourselves beyond the body and five senses, beyond the confines of time and space."
Recognized as an emerging leader in the world sound healing movement, Matthew Kocel is a throat singer, sound healer, multi-instrumentalist, composer and recording artist with over 3 decades experience as a performer and multi-disciplinary healing arts practitioner.
He is a committee member of the Global Wellness Institute Sound Healing Initiative, and in the last year alone has shared his vision inducing music in France, New York, the western United States and Canada.
With his throat singing, overtone chant and natural voice Matthew has tapped into a universal stream of music that feels deeply familiar yet new at the same time.
The harmonic overtones of his voice - 2, 3 or more notes sounding at the same time - resonate to the core of your being, expanding awareness beyond the physical body and 5 senses.
Accompanied by humble acoustic instruments and ancient technology, Matthew's live performances have impacted people from all walks of life in North America, Europe, Central and South America.
Reactions to Matthew's music have been well documented online with people consistently sharing similar stories of non-ordinary experiences during his events.
Full size bio:
Beyond His Wildest Dreams: From Rocker To Cosmic Throat Singer
This is the story of cosmic throat singer Matthew Kocel. The narrative arc is how a burned-out rock bassist who finds himself managing a nightclub goes on to heal and spiritually enliven thousands of people worldwide with his exotic musical touch.
“I’m in my 50s now and more active than ever, touring, recording, connecting with people and seeing lives change,” says the Vancouver, BC-based artist. “Nothing happened for me in music until I gave it all up, and found a higher purpose. Only then did music come back into my life like a lost child.”
Matthew’s distinct cosmic throat singing creates a conducive environment for inner travel - it’s a bridge between sound and healing. Since 2009, Matthew has shared his gifts with thousands of people, performing in a variety of sacred and secular venues from cathedrals and concert halls to yurts, caves, ancient temples in Peru, the Integratron, yoga studios, schools, a Himalayan salt room, bars, coffee houses, and planetariums. To date he has issued two albums, his latest being Grace.
Reactions to Matthew’s music have been well documented online with people consistently sharing similar stories of non-ordinary experiences during Matthew’s events. Currently, a documentary film of Matthew’s work called The Sounds Of Healing is being shopped around for release.
“I believe music can give us a direct experience of our existence beyond the confines of time and space,” Matthew says. “Knowing the energy and power of this music and how it can shift perspectives is the driving reason why I do this. I let the music come through me with the intention to evoke love and compassion worldwide.”
The essence of Matthew’s transformative music is based on the fundamental truth that we are surrounded by vibrations, emotionally and physically attuned to sonic frequencies. Science has shown that atoms are not small particles, but are, in fact, vibrating fields of magnetic energy. The planets and stars radiate sound in a constant state of movement, or vibration on the macro-cosmic level.
Using music and sound with specific intention elicits a certain oneness with the universe, and helps people achieve altered states where they can feel and see things they wouldn’t normally be able to access. Throughout time people have harnessed the healing properties of these vibrations, bathing their souls and hearts in sound with spiritual chanting to get into the zone of meditation, or singing songs for emotional catharsis.
While Mathew’s music shares techniques and sonic qualities with Tibetan and Central Asian throat singers as well as European overtone singers, his compositions are more akin to Western music in that they have a pop-rock structure that includes a beginning, middle and end, with touches of improvisation.
Matthew’s songs have achieved the somewhat cosmic aspiration of rock musicians from the 1960s and ‘70s like Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Yes… all who dabbled in spirituality. And yet, Matthew’s work sounds nothing like rock music, using his voice as an instrument without lyrics. Matthew puts his deep throat singing at the forefront of his music, and uses exotic instruments and sonic conventions like drones, layered vocals, and chimes, to accompany his melodically well-crafted compositions.
Matthew was conceived in New Jersey, born in Alaska, and, by the age of 10, had lived in France, Germany, Virginia, and had swam naked in the Pentagon (there are witnesses) before he settled in Colorado for 33 years. From there his circuitous journey eventually led him to Vancouver BC, and the beautiful Pacific “Wet” Coast he now calls home.
His life has been defined by a series of spiritual awakenings. At age 12, Matthew had a profound experience in church, feeling a divine electricity that he could absorb but not fully process. Years later, a nudge from another dimension came in a more accessible way to a 19-year- old rock fanatic through a synchronistic experience with a Jimi Hendrix song.
Throughout adolescence and adulthood, Matthew chased the dream of being a professional rock musician, weathering dead end cover gigs, almost-making- it original projects, and an endless series of club and bar shows, always hoping for success but being grateful to just pay rent. Along the way, Matthew heard a recording of Tibetan Monks, and encountered a powerful signpost in a book called “Inner Power Secrets From Tibet & The Orient”.
His seismic breakthrough came in 1994 while hiking with a girlfriend in South Park, Colorado. At the time Matthew was managing a nightclub, and struggling with its toxic environs. His soul was yearning for deep nourishment. While cresting a mountain, he spontaneously blurted out that there must be a crystal nearby. Sure enough, twenty feet away, gleaming in the sunlight was a beautiful quartz crystal.
Things would never be the same after he held it in his hands. When he got back to the nightclub after vacation, his boss met him at the door with his final check. He was being let go. Two months later, his aspiring band broke up.
At first, Matthew’s restart was guided by a strict holistic and spiritual path away from music—hands on healing became his focus. In his mind, he had given up on music. However, three years into this new era, he started facilitating meditation circles, and these formative experiences served as an incubator for the music that was to come.
At one point, Matthew let out a resounding and hearty “om” during a mediation circle, and saw firsthand the power of sound in healing and spiritually attuned settings. He soon began to explore the vocal tones of Tibetan Monks, and found himself coming full circle back to music. “Eventually I realized I could reach more people with music than on the massage table,” Matthew says.
Inspiration flooded Matthew in this musical rediscovery, and he dutifully explored various vocal techniques and instrumental accompaniment approaches. He was homing in on a signature sound. As the melodies would come into his head, he would record them and nurture these musical seedlings, weaving in subtle accompaniment such as harmonium, frame drum, quartz singing bowls, among other instruments.
In early 2009, he released his first album. His sophomore offering and latest album, “Grace” benefits from almost a decade of growth and maturity as an artist. The production quality is crisper, and the melodies and musicianship are more refined. Imbuing the album is an intention of grace couched in a series of events where Matthew went from almost being homeless to having the run of a beautiful apartment. The universe was looking out for him. The album is an artistic offering of gratitude.
The opening track, “Andromeda” beckons to the listener with a soothing series of bell tones. The music slowly washes over you, growing richer in texture with hearty throat tones and hypnotic drones. The song’s title refers to the Andromeda Galaxy, and as the music surrounds you, the effect is like floating in space.
The hour long, five-song album takes you on a mesmerizing journey of wordless sounds. The epic “Poseidon’s Dream” references the Greek God of Sea, Poseidon, and conjures up a fantastical underwater environment, creating in sound the feeling of swimming with dolphins, whales, and being engulfed by underwater beauty.
The album ends with “Grace” which exudes a majestic feeling, like the final stage of mediation or coming slowly out of a wonderful dream state. “To me, that song feels like the blessing that happens when we open our hearts. I was in that space when the melody popped in my head after going from being broke and almost broken to all the miracles that supported me in my journey back to Vancouver, BC.” Matthew reveals.
Up next Matthew is firming up Stateside tours and performances in 2018, starting with Seattle, Portland, New York City and Denver - plus return engagements in France - all while crafting his third magical sonic transmission of an album. This earthy groove album will feature percussion and sprinklings of female vocals.
Achieving recognition as an emerging leader in the world sound healing movement, Matthew recently became a committee member of the Global Wellness Institute Sound Healing Initiative.
Meditating on his wildly careening life trajectory, from down and out rocker to healing musician, Matthew says: “I am amazed. It feels like I’m exceeding my wildest dreams with the transformational power and depth of this music.”
“Music moved me. It blew my heart wide open. I am humbled to share this experience with others.”
Matthew Kocel is available to perform at concerts, conventions & conferences, music festivals and wellness retreats.
He also offers workshops in energy cultivation, breathwork, throat singing/voice activation, and guided meditations.
Contact info at the bottom of this page.