Wrapping up a new music album is always a bit stressful. The feelings of exposing your inner self to strangers takes guts. The mind does this dance with the ego, one moment it is the best piece of work you have ever done, the next, people will hate it. Its maddening!
Exploring new music boundaries adds to the anxiety. Will music fans understand it, does it matter? These questions toss and turn in your head and can lead to depressed feelings and neurotic behaviors. (Why am I always laughing at the news these days?) With prodigal musicians, the search for perfection is always in play. It becomes an obsession and if not kept in check an illusion that can burn you out quickly. I know that after demonstrating temper tantrums on my violin which landed me in a clinic for psyche evaluation when I was a child. Lol!
Playing an instrument proficiently, singing, dancing and telling a poetic story all at the same time requires an above average amount of neuron-plasticity. Every piston is firing on all cylinders, which takes a tremendous amount of energy to harness this archaic form of communication. Which is why I believe prodigal performance is a mild form of schizophrenia. To perform on this level day in and day out creates a nervous energy that manifests itself into higher forms of creativity and neurotic behaviors.
To combat the "schizos" as I call it, I find that the best way to balance this duality of forces is to master the compartmentalization of each of these skilled tasks. Visual meditative guidance is a wonderful tool that can help guide your mindful practice of each of these unique artistic forms. You can do it one at a time to for musicians interested in fine tuning their performance. Over time you can discover the spaces in your mind that control the dexterity of your fingers and hands, the sounds of your voice and the reciting of lyrics in your songs. Strengthening them opens the doors to new ideas and creative inspiration.
And for those who like to push the envelope a bit, another way to build a synergy between these expressive forms is to explore the depths of the conscience through psychedelics. So, a trip to nature was in order! (No pun intended :))
Recharging off the grid is the way to go, so I paid a visit to my friend who has a cabin in the Nevada and brought up a bag of magic mushrooms to take a break from the urbanness of LA and listen to the songs I recorded under the cosmic influence of the Golden Teacher mushroom. Love these funny and funky tasting morsels of the mundane! This is a description of what happened on my trip.
I was jolted awake and opened my eyes to a sea of stars that replaced the ceiling of the bedroom I was sleeping in. Whenever I blinked my eyes, I was transported between the stars an a surreal landscape of images. Tiny blinking lights of red, green and yellow would dance across my eyes. Stars would reappear and morph into phantasmagorical images of plasma, rock and earth. A woman’s face was slowly being carved into a piece of wood before my eyes. When the sculpture was finished, she looked like a wooden nickel. I began to laugh uncontrollably.
A cactus in a desert landscape appeared in my lucid dream trip, along with what seemed a barrage of leafy like materials, twisted vines and cavernous black molten rock. Hands and limbs began to spout out of this primordial goo. I knew at that moment that the dosage of magic mushrooms I taken during the day had slowly drawn me into her bosom to reveal the duality of our cosmos and the rebirth of my life. A very powerful cathartic and mystical drug these tiny fungi are. .
The popularity of psychedelics as a medicinal treatment for re-booting the brain and managing anxiety and depression is making a resurgence. I highly recommend Michal Pollens new book, “How To Change Your Mind” for those interested in becoming pscyhonauts. The effects of my trip are still with me, they pop up in my mind to engage with their meaning on a deeper level. The healing plants speak through us while under their influence. We become one with nature and she with us. Each trip is unique, so you will have to find out for yourself. Be cautious and aware when you dive into this world. The revelation is as strong as the spirit that embraces and fights it.