ashan | to return to (inner islands, 2012)
“hello friends, getting to the good stuff! today, this full moon, marks the release of the first album by ashan, ‘to return to’. inner islands has wonderfully released this album digitally and on cd. it is about messages of love, listening to the heart, giving is receiving, celebration, and many ineffable things. so i shall say no more and let the music speak for itself.” sean conrad
hace unos días, envió un correo alertando de la inminente publicación de su primer disco rebautizado como “ashan”, coincidiendo con la luna nueva de febrero. pensé en hacer una crítica pero como la cascada de adjetivos grandilocuentes que le he regalado a su música se ha secado, he preferido para esta ocasión tan especial hablar con el propio sean, acercándome un poco más al hombre tras el nombre. parafraseando al propio sean, dejemos que música y respuestas hablen por sí solas.
árbore :: what music was in your house when you were little?
sean :: my dad playing the piano. like rachmaninoff, bach, chopin, rock ‘n’ roll stuff. and we’d listen to madonna, jewel, the beatles, and around christmas this series called ‘celtic christmas’.
árbore :: what moves you to make music?
sean :: lately it’s been because i have a feeling or experience that i want to share with others. from my heart and spirit. it comes out as sounds and images mostly. it’s really just energy. i feel love for this world of individuals and want to express that.
árbore :: what would be the ideal effect of your music upon the listener?
sean :: whatever they take away from it is ideal.
árbore :: do you have a ghost story?
sean :: my current understanding of ghosts is that they are clusters of energy that might not have a physical form, but we know they’re there because we can sense energy. i think our (as humans) psychic abilities are pretty underplayed for the most part though. but with ghosts.. i’ve definitely felt presences in my bedroom as a kid, often sitting in my desk chair. i told it to go away and it did. but sometimes it would return and i’d have to ask it again.
árbore :: do you believe in another life (s) beyond the one we’re living?
sean :: i think there are beings that exist in different dimensions that aren’t like this one. like how our world/dimension is created by our senses (touch, sight, etc), i’ll bet there are other dimensions based on other senses. there could be “aliens” on our planet but we can’t perceive them with our 5 senses. perhaps with our psychic sense we can.
árbore :: how mystical are you?
sean :: 0%. i’m not at all mystical. totally real and true. i don’t want to mystify anything in my life. but there’s another sort of idea about‘mysticism’ that has to do with magick and spirituality, which seems different to me. i’m way down with magick. earth is a very magickal place. i’m seeing it more and more every day. it almost seems like humans forgot about their magick and their power to consciously work with energy. for instance, there is a lot of magick in intention and pouring your energy into making something happen. that manifestation is magickal to me.
árbore :: a memory of your childhood.
sean :: learning how to ollie on a skateboard in front of my parents’ house with my friend harrison. it was a cloudy day in the mid-afternoon.
árbore :: what do you think about the consciousness of non-human animals?
sean :: they are certainly conscious beings.. if that’s what you mean?
árbore :: yes, for sure. i know they’re conscious and sentient beings like you and me. what about eat them?? i mean, most of time i hear people who loves animals (specially dogs, cats, horses, dolphins, panda bears, etc…) but at the same time they could eat a cow, or a pig, a turkey, etc… i can’t understand the way they separate their moral value. i always think human animals suffer moral schizophrenia.
sean :: hehe, i like your term. yeah. i think it’s a lack of compassion on both ends. it seems when people have a lack of compassion for themselves that is the limit of their compassion with others. if we can not show ourselves love then it is much harder to do so for some creature we have never met and probably never will meet. also, i don’t think that most people know about factory farming and what really happens there…
árbore :: favorite films and why?
sean :: princess mononoke is one of my favorite films. it speaks many volumes about animals (including humans), spirits, magick, ignorance, awareness, intention, way more, and the interaction between all those. there’s so much to say, hehe. this is perhaps not the best place to get into it. but if you’ve seen it then perhaps you know what i’m talking about. if you haven’t, and that sounds interesting, then perhaps check it out.
árbore :: hehe i know what you talking about!! princess mononoke is a great film absolutely. i love all studio ghibli’s films but my favorite could be “my neighbor Totoro“. have you seen? i’ve got a soft spot for cats =)
sean :: indeed i have seen it! it’s one of my favorites as well. earlier today i was just talking about the scene where the cat-bus is walking on the telephone wires. and just a couple days ago i was standing in my garden with my partner rosa recalling the ritual that totoro and the girls do to grow the trees.
árbore :: where “gkfoes vjgoaf” & “ashan” names came from?
sean :: ‘gkfoes vjgoaf’ came from trying to think of band names, coming up with nothing, and then surrendering to the energy i was working with and saying, “what are you called??” and then closing my eyes and typing, “gkfoes vjgoaf”. but now i feel like i’m dialoguing with different energies. ‘Ashan’ is a word/force that my dad’s friend bo gatewood came across while doing some channeling work. it means, “the vibration of creation, of harmony, of unification, and of love. used as a greeting, blessing, and an expression of love. to be spoken or said mentally to attune oneself to the rhythms of the universe.” that’s an excerpt from a book called ‘Ashan: The Gentle Way’ that flowed through bo. it came before i was born and my parents named me ‘sean’. i think they were subconsciously dialoguing with ‘Ashan’. so it feels like a pretty homely name to me. maybe like a deeper version of my given name.
árbore :: introduce us braden J mckenna (wyld wyzrdz, coyote dreamer, inner islands) and tell us his favorite breakfast :)
sean :: braden’s favorite breakfast is a deep one ;-) it’s hard to introduce through words. i feel like i was introduced to braden through playing music together. the day we met we had a really deep jam with our mutual friend, stag hare. i also go really deep with braden’s music. i’m excited for his new energies, Coyote Dreamer*, to be released into the world. he also runs a music label/family, called Inner Islands. it’s rooted in love, peace, and coming from the heart and spirit. he’s a spirit friend for sure. and back to totoro, braden’s family has a cat named catbus. hehe.
* coyote dreamer | the path we make, will be released on cd, april 16th 2012. check inner islands for updates!
árbore :: way to spend a sunday morning?
sean :: today is sunday. i spent the morning sharing a coffee with two great friends and going deep. it was wonderful!
árbore :: i think dreams are mirrors of ourselves, with our desires and our fears, do you think they have a determinate role in our lives?
sean :: i dunno about a determinate role. but for me they’re totally just extensions of our waking life. just not so much basis in the limitations we normally put on the possibilities of events and physical forms. i like what you said about mirrors of desires and fears.
árbore :: imagine your house is burning in flames and you only could save 5 records, what would they are?
sean :: at the house i’m living at right now i don’t even have 5 records. just a couple gkfoes lp’s. i’d probably let them burn though.
árbore :: physical detachment rules??
sean :: are you asking if i have rules about physical detachment? if so, not specifically. but i do like to keep things simple. i’m living in melbourne, australia at the moment and all my records are at my parents’ house in los angeles. there is much abundance in the world though. it’s up to us to let it in. so many beautiful things to breathe in and breathe out.
árbore :: neil young recently said: “piracy is the new radio, because it’s how music gets around“. are you agree?
sean :: that makes sense. music gets around so many ways.
árbore :: favourite tree to put a microphone and play some notes.
sean :: i’ve never done that. but it sounds like fun!
árbore :: how did you know the song of my soul?
sean :: sometimes i know the song for my soul. i didn’t know that i knew the song for yours??
árbore :: haha, i’ve got a theory about relationships. i think some people are connected through invisible red threads. no matter where they live, finally they meet because “they have to“. causality, not coincidence. i think we’re talking because “we have to“. i’m wrong?
sean :: i don’t believe in coincidence, other than that is co-incidence. all things are happening together in harmony :-)
árbore:: thanks!! i feel like we were talking in the “real world”
sean :: this has been wonderful talking! muy bonito!
cover art: sean & rosa | fotos: sean