Photo by Renata Raksha
You’re currently taking a break from the press cycle and touring, but you’ve chosen to do this festival. What was the clincher, the hook that drew you in?
Two words: David Lynch.
Growing up, how formative was David for you?
I once had an iced tea at a diner in Midtown with a great violinist. He asked me if I had heard Franz Schubert’s Die Winterreise, and when I said, “No,” he exclaimed, “How much you have to look forward to!”
Who would play you in the film of your life?
In essence, David Lynch’s festival is inspired by the work and mind of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and bringing it into the sphere of art and entertainment. Life is a continuous whirlwind; we go through wobbles, intense highs, and work. It’s hard to get through it all. As an artist in the spotlight, if you are feeling a little disconnected, what do you do to click back and center yourself?
I am lucky to say that my process as an artist has been self-reinforcing and exponential. More experience! More ideas! More fun! More absurd! More serious! Let’s fucking do this! If I am bereft, it is because I am imbalanced in some form. Too much output and not enough input. Or too much input and not enough output. I am always looking for psychic and artistic homeostasis.
Then what keeps you awake at night?
Ideas. Sometimes creative endeavors that I am excited to work on. Sometimes compulsive thoughts that I’d rather not be having. Control, control, control.
The festival will be using its proceeds to bring transcendental meditation to those suffering from trauma and stress. Do you feel your music could be considered meditative? Do you find the creation process meditative?
For me, the creation process is increasingly more stream of consciousness, and in that way, more meditative. When I think of meditative music, I think of Brian Eno and Harold Budd’s The Pearl, or 1960s downtown minimalism. In that way, I don’t think of most of my own work as trance-like due to the (often) jarring-ness of the variation.
And Lynch’s work is frequently praised for blending the absolute mundanity and absurdity inherent in reality. Do you see life at those extremes?
I do! The other day I saw a man riding a bicycle on Santa Monica Boulevard with no helmet, just a yoga mat in his backpack. I thought, “Hmmm…”
Considering the muddiness of the world, what is the most encouraging sign for the future?
I have recently heard stories of North Koreans eating rats to survive. Finally finding freedom after starvation, rape, and torture. The human animal at its best is resilient, resourceful, and compassionate. I believe that transcendental meditation is a tool that gets the human animal closer to those streams.