Beautiful Bjork : Utopia

It goes without saying really, that Bjork is one of the most important artists of the 21st Century and is fully attuned to the possibilities of healing through voice, sound and music. Her otherworldly qualities often suggest that she is a creature somewhere between human, superhuman and extra terrestrial; yet her constant humility and contradictory mix of fragility and strength are beyond endearing. She is a true living icon and a talent like no other.

We love this behind the scenes video on the making of her album Black Lake.

She is always full of surprises with every new album she offers and with a plethora of talented collaborators in her creative embrace. Her look and sound are always on the cutting edge of style and innovation and her new album Utopia is nothing less than mind-blowingly impressive both sonically and visually.

Check out the latest music video for “Blissing me out” and then go and have some fun browsing around her website BJORK HOMEPAGE and listen to/buy the new album BJORK UTOPIA  and you will likely find yourself being transported into multiple other dimensions at the same time.

Video credits:

Directed by Tim Walker & Emma Dalzell Creative Direction by Björk Director of Photography – James Henry Lighting Director – Paul Burns Producer – Jeff Delich Stylist – Edda Guðmundsdóttir Dress – Pam Hogg Shoes by Gucci Braid ornaments – James Merry Makeup Artist – Hungry Steady Cam Operator – Tommi Marshall 1st Assistant Camera – Þór Elías 2nd Assistant Camera – Daníel Gylfason Gaffer – Finni Sænski DIT – Benedikt Vilborgar Og Jóhannesson Local Production – Oli Páll Torfason & Daddi Bjarna Post Production – Coffee & TV

Blissing Me Lyrics:

All of my mouth was kissing him now into the air i am missing him is this excess texting a blessing or just two music nerds obsessing he reminds me of the love in me i’m celebrating on a vibrancy sending each other mp3s falling in love to a song this handsommest of wickermen he asked if i could wait for him now how many lightyears this interim while falling in love with his songs his hands are good in protecting me touching and caressing me but would it be trespassing wanting him to be blissing me robbing him of his youth cliffhanger like suspension my longing has formed its own skeleton bridging the gap between singletons sending each other these songs the interior of these melodies is perhaps where we are meant to be our physical union a fantasy i just fell in love with so i reserve my intimacies i bundle them up in packages my rawward longing far too visceral did i just fall in love with love?

Click here to subscribe to the official björk channel: http://bit.ly/subscribetobjork http://www.bjork.com/ https://www.facebook.com/bjork

https://twitter.com/bjork

Highlight : Shervin Boloorian

Q: What inspired your new album?
SB: It’s an album of sacred songs, and chants from ancient texts. Each one has a positive message and is recorded in the original Persian or Arabic. The songs on my album “One with the Beloved” are mostly original compositions and others are my versions of traditional Sufi Mantras and folk songs.  

Q: How did your upbringing influence this album?
SB: I grew up in Britain in an Iranian refugee household. We spoke Farsi at home (Persian) My parents had lost virtually everything in Iran. It was humbling to experience being an outsider and to learn the importance of compassion and friendship at a young age from certain English friends we had who were kind to us.  I went to the US to go to college after getting my GCSE.
Iranians revere figures like Rumi (a 13th century philosopher and poet), whose texts are the main inspiration for the lyrics used in my album. Rumi himself was a refugee who had a revelation which transformed his creativity. I resonate with Rumi’s journey and his wisdom is timeless and universal to me. Leonard Cohen and Coldplay are among the most well known musical artists who have been inspired by his messages, yet his name seems to fall into obscurity. I am hoping to change that through my new album.

Q: Can you explain more about your vision of unity over separation?
SB: Whenever there is political violence that may hold a person in dread or despair that you pause before judgement and consider that this is a desperate act and not how people normally are. Of course some will say that is already happening, but is it really sinking into our consciousness that Islam, Middle Easterners or people of faith in general are not a danger? When people make these claims, they are attacking every person of faith and rather than to debate which side is wrong or right, I wanted to make a contribution showing the world that there is a universalist message from within a faith, which is wrongly associated with violence.
We in the West are urgently lacking when it comes to reversing stereotypes in a meaningful way about civilisations that we have been at odds with. Policies of alienation and adversity are outdated and are not working as they stand. We need to start focusing on humanising and not ostracising those we cannot understand—and engaging from that place. That means calling on imagery, figures in history, literature and artistic expressions that can help us regain a more complete picture of those who have been our so called “enemies”. If we can do it in a way that is relatable, then I believe, lives can change as well as perspectives.
I believe everyone can relate to a figure like Rumi because of the tremendous appeal of his writings and it’s no accident that he is experiencing a resurgence today at a time when our relationship with the Middle East is at its most chaotic. We need more of his voice.     

Q: What measures do you feel people could take to try to overcome the current worldwide barriers of political mistrust?
SB: I could say what everybody else says: “vote” “be engaged civically” and “write to your elected Rep” and generally I would respond in such a way, BUT the truth is we’ve had colossal failures when it comes to our policies concerning the Middle East.
When it comes to something like our relationship with Iran for example (and I worked in Washington on this issue) there is a lack of reliable information and it creates this sense of desolation no matter what we do or where we turn. Historically, when our institutions are gridlocked, it’s up to the grassroots to get involved and to come up with alternative ways of pursuing the positive change that we urgently need. That’s not practical or easy when there is a large distance and gap in cultural awareness.
Music and the Arts are powerful tools in rebuilding that human bridge. Their potential is untapped here, and if we can make these tools accessible and personal, if we can trace the relationships between societal wounds and the wounds and fears within each person’s individual consciousness that exists, then there is hope, and I believe Rumi would approve. 
Q: What is Sound Healing and how did you first come across this?
It’s a holistic modality that involves vibration and frequency (not just music) and it can have positive effects on the consciousness and the physiology. I learned about the cellular research that Fabien Maman was doing on blood cells and their response to sound vibration and was inspired to become a practitioner. I went on train at Fabien’s Tama-Do Academy of Sound, Color and Movement and became certified as a sound therapist in 2011, two years after leaving my career in Washington DC. 

Q:You have worked in the past with many major businesses such as Google to provide their teams with Sound Healing and Talks. How did this come about and what has been the feedback and positive impact of these?

SB: I had someone who took a workshop with me in Bali who worked at Google. They invited my to their offices and I did a presentation for them in Singapore and had a great response. I have also done corporate events in Bali and shared about my personal journey to retreats and private groups as well as giving a demonstration of the deeply relaxing effects of the different instruments I play.

Highlight : Fire Mane

Meet Fire Mane.

Fire-Mane

She is naturally beautiful, talented, conscious and deeply connected to both Spirit and Mother Earth.

Her new album “Mama’s Home” has just launched.

Fire Mane

You can buy it here: http://firemane.bandcamp.com/

Fire Mane is a Medicine Woman and Sound Healer, occasionally leading transformational “Singing Portal” pilgrimages and retreats in Peru.

Her Voice Heals

Pachartakiy Peru Tours

© Lightening Magazine 2016

Highlight : Love Dustin Thomas

DUSTIN THOMAS
Photo by Madison Dube

So much can happen in a week.

7 days ago I flew to Colorado to perform at the legendary Red Rocks with one of my heroes, Michael Franti. Since then, I’ve experienced so many miracles and received so many lessons along the way that I feel like my brain is being rewired. I don’t know if you saw it in the news, but Delta airlines had a malfunction last week that resulted in thousands of cancelled flights and even more delays. When I got to the airport to fly to Salt Lake City to open for Franti (this time at Red Butte) I was welcomed to lines of people pouring outside the doors of the Denver International Airport. By some miracle, I made it to my gate with plenty of time but it was then that I was informed that every single flight to Utah had been cancelled and that there would be no way to make it to my show. When I got the news I was so heartbroken but out of nowhere three women from MINNESOTA who saw me play with Franti at Red Rocks came up to me and offered to pray for me and reassured me that I would make it to my show somehow and that God would make a way. So I decided to get back in the huge customer service line and by yet another miracle they were able to get me on the only flight to SLC that day and I literally got on a plane and out of a taxi and walked on stage to play a sold out show with Michael Franti for thousands of people. Flash forward 24 hours later and I am back in Denver experiencing a major disturbance in the force. Extreme unexplainable depression and sadness, anxiety and fear and very intense energy all around.

Over the course of the next 24 hours my flight to New York City was delayed over and over again to the point where I was going to miss my entire flight to Frankfurt which would have resulted in a weekend of missed gigs and disappointed friends in Europe and I just knew there had to be a way. While we were stranded on the Tarmac in a lightning storm for 3 hours in New York I got to know the woman in the seat next to me and she too offered to pray for me, and assured me that the “universe”‘ is always working in our favor and that one way or another I would get a flight to Germany and make it to my tour.

How to explain the following chain of events is almost beyond words, but I will say that Delta Airlines went above and beyond the call of duty to get me to Frankfurt on time. So 8 hours after that I am sleeping on the plane when the PLANE ALARMS went off and people started rustling on the plane as every single flight attendant rushed to the back of the plane. Turns out someone was SMOKING on the plane and the pilots and flight attendants thought it was an actual fire and reacted accordingly…I have never seen nice flight attendants so angry in my entire life. When we landed the German police escorted the smokers off the plane but not without getting the biggest verbal reprimand I have ever seen from the Pilot.

By the time I finally got off the plane I was literally jumping for joy through the airport and over the next few days was blessed with so much love and support and amazing harmony from this beautiful international community here and the stories that it took to get me here are just the beginning of everything that has unfolded and aligned since I’ve been here.

DUSTIN THOMAS

So If any of you are feeling down, or empty, or hopeless, do not let your mind block out the blessings that are waiting to pour out for you. There are miracles around every corner and sometimes it takes those moments of lows and highs to bring us back to center. Not only do we all have so much to teach each other, but all have so much to give each other too. I was feeling so sad and alone so many times this week and it was purely the kindness of people I had never met whose words of encouragement reminded me that all things are possible with faith. I read a quote the other day that said “doubters are just dreamer with broken hearts”. I’ve also read that “pain is our greatest teacher”. In these times, it is so important that we keep the faith and that we hold each other close. Don’t hold back your sacred water when so many are in drought. We all have an intricate role in this beautiful dance. Even when we are faced with great burdens, there is always a greater blessing coming along. We just have to stay true to the music that is all around us.

DUSTIN THOMAS
Photo by Arterium Angeldal

Dustin Thomas on Facebook

Dustin Thomas on Twitter

Dustin Thomas on Instagram

Home Page

© Lightening Magazine 2016

Highlight : Jonny Freesh

 

JONNY
Photo by www.cygormanvisual.com

It pains me to say this, but there are quite a few people these days who have a negative opinion of hip hop, and I think they’re justified. When you look at some of the ways it is represented in the mainstream media, it makes sense. Radio stations are flooded with uninspired songs touting shallow pursuits like designer clothes and emotionless sex. Rap icons glorify violence and drug dealing. And major hip hop blogs spend more time covering twitter beef and groupie fights than the music itself. But that’s not what hip hop is supposed to be about, and it’s certainly not what it was when it started. Most people think that “hip hop” refers only to the music, but in reality, when the term was coined it encompassed five pillars; rapping, DJing, B-Boying, Graffiti and arguably most importantly, Knowledge of Self. Regardless of which of the first four pillars you engaged in, it was always a path to the 5th pillar. Today I’m going to talk about using my favorite of these pillars, rapping, to increase my knowledge of self, as well as heal some of my past wounds in the process.

For those of you who have listened to my music or seen me perform, you may remember me best for my comedic songs. They tend to be the ones that people enjoy the most. But if you’ve dug a little deeper you will probably find that I can get quite introspective with my lyrics. In fact, even with my comedic songs I will often do this. I like combining levity with seriousness because it makes inner work fun. I want the pursuit of personal growth to be enjoyable, and I can’t think of a more joyous way to do that than to rap about losing my pants while taking a long, hard look at what’s underneath. The surface that is, not my pants.

“Then I found my pleats just in time for a hot date with,

this girl I met at the class with all of the sadists,

I was gonna put on my best mask so she would be fascinated

but then I realised that I would only find true love if I showed up truly naked”

Many times in my life I’ve put on a mask to impress someone, whether that be a friend, a teacher, an employer, or a prospective lover. And after writing a four minute song of comedic punchlines about misplacing my corduroys (which are making a comeback soon I swear to you), I somehow stumbled upon this nugget of wisdom. This is often the progression of events when I write. No matter what the subject is, I will almost inevitably circle back to uncovering something about myself. Or at the very least reminding myself of a lesson that I may have forgotten.

I lived in Ubud for 3 years and I experimented with my fair share of healing modalities, for lack of a better word. Some of them were very powerful. Some of them were downright dangerous. The realization that I kept coming back to, over and over again, was that the most potent healer in the world, is always yourself. I believe that there are many great healers that can help, and many amazing tools to improve your own capacity for healing, but regardless of who or what you engage in, responsibility for self is always the key. And there is no chance of responsibility for self without knowledge of self.

Which brings me back to hip hop. There are few things in the world that I find more ecstatic than finishing an awesome verse and rapping it all the way through for the first time. And then performing that song live for the first time and getting an enthusiastic crowd reaction. So with the idea that all hip hop pursuits are meant to funnelled into an increased knowledge of self constantly in my mind, I can heal myself while I do what I love. In fact, I can’t think of a better way to heal myself. So let me give you an example of when I recently had a major epiphany while writing a song. The track is about this sensation I’ve experienced lately where my mental perspective and emotional state spin around so fast that I can’t tell what is true and what is ego, and all I can do is just sit back and watch. I knew I was going to write about this when I started but I had no idea where it would go. But when I’m focused and in the zone, my words tend to go where I need them to. They took me to a girl I had recently developed feelings for. One minute I was in love with her, the next I thought my desire stemmed from my ego fearing the loss of her. I realised that this whole spinning sensation had blossomed from my ambivalent feelings for her, and that it was seeping into the rest of my life. So I explored this by writing about it, and by the end of the verse, out popped the epiphany. It was something that had been holding me back for a long time and I never even realised it.

I discovered that I had a deep rooted belief that I could only achieve my goals if I was alone, and so I was preventing myself from pursuing romantic relationships and unconsciously using this excuse to justify it. This realisation cleared up my thoughts and emotions, the spinning sensation subsided, and I was able to feel clearly what I truly wanted. So I went for it. And though I didn’t get it, I’m much better off for trying. I’m pretty much always better off for trying, and I couldn’t even begin to count how many incredible things making hip hop has influenced me to try.

Jonny Freesh is a 3rd culture kid originally from Canada, last seen in Indonesia and now found frequenting hip hop nights in Melbourne. He brings a truly original brand of hip hop to the table that he likes to call “explosively quirky”, and is known best for his visually jaw-dropping music videos. When he’s not rapping about losing his pants or his beard, you’ll probably catch him ranting about how crowdfunding platforms like Patreon are the future of the music industry.

http://FreeshRap.com
http://Patreon.com/JonnyFreesh
http://YouTube.com/JonnyFreesh
http://Facebook.com/JonnyFreeshMusic

© Lightening Magazine 2016