New Year’s Eve, 2008
Coast to Coast called us out of the blue tonight to offer us this Sunday’s show — George’s first of the new year! Find out what’s been going on during our needed break-time!
THIS SUNDAY NIGHT!
In the midst of an incredible swirl of synchronicity and deep inner healing work, I got a call a few hours ago from the head producer of Coast to Coast, asking me if I could do a full show with George Noory this coming Sunday.
In the past I would go to them and pitch a show, and did not always succeed. Having them come to me… after a two-year period where I didn’t appear on the show at all except for a half-hour in the spring of 2007… really made me feel great!
I did have to think for a second before accepting, because this same weekend I will be flying back from family in NY to the recording studio in Austin, Texas, to hopefully complete our work on my first professional vocal-music album — which I will update you about in just a minute.
My flight to Texas arrives Saturday evening and Coast wanted me on Sunday, so it all worked out very well.
A more formal writeup of what I will be talking about on Sunday’s show should be forthcoming soon — but I am technically still on vacation!
OVERVIEW OF SUNDAY NIGHT’S SHOW
George and I will discuss the evidence suggesting that the blueprint of DNA is written into the background energy fields (“torsion fields”) of the Galaxy as we know it. This supports the greater concept that life will arise spontaneously wherever you look — and we can prove this is true with hard evidence.
The Galaxy’s basic energy fields not only produce life; they can transform existing species as well. This explains spontaneous jumps in the evolutionary record, occurring in evenly-spaced cycles of 26 and 62 million years in length — going all the way back to the original microbial life on Earth:
We will also discuss how our movement into a higher zone of energy in the Galaxy is not only transforming all the planets via climate change: it is now causing our Sun’s magnetic field to shrink, and notably reducing sunspot activity as we get closer and closer to a defining boundary between galactic energy states.
This is, of course, the technical side of what on a physical level amounts to a renaissance in consciousness. This process may well be stimulating a massive evolution, even to the point of upgrading the basic qualities of what it means to be human.
And many other human beings — products of the Galaxy’s natural intelligent design on any of its inhabited worlds — are waiting in the wings for us to sort our problems out, so we can be welcomed into a much larger and more diverse community of people than we could have ever imagined.
This notion of “human extraterrestrials” will also be backed up with solid ‘whistleblower’ testimonies David has had exclusive access to over the years.
That’s an overview of this Sunday’s show. You can listen live on the radio in the US or on their website at coasttocoastam.com, and members of their Streamlink service (myself included) can download the MP3s of the talk for 30 days afterwards. We will get a transcript of this groundbreaking show posted as soon as possible here on Divine Cosmos.
The rest of this particular update is intended for those who are already tracking our work on this website, and / or are interested in the greater scope of what I’ve been up to over the last month… so with that, let us proceed!
BEEN REALLY RELAXING AND RESTORING THE SOUL
As you may have imagined, my recent, abnormal absence from posting has been well-needed — I almost never take a vacation from the public position I’ve created these days. Some people thought I was in trouble, or going through a hard time, but that was totally not the case. In fact, things are better than ever — on a variety of levels!
I thank you for your patience with me, and the relative lack of dramatic or criticizing email, as this has been a great opportunity to help solidify a turning-point between the ‘old’ and the ‘new’ phases of my life in so many different respects.
My dreams have been saying this is one of the most substantial turning points in my entire life, and getting invited to do Coast again, right in the midst of it, was a powerful affirmation of that!
I needed to pull back for a while from posting here and engaging the ongoing, inevitable crush of around 120 emails a day, which no real person can be expected to answer and get anything else done — hence I have called it the Santa Claus Paradox, as only a mythical being can be expected to actually address so many personal requests.
Thus, hardly any letters have been answered this past month, which amounts to well over two thousand unanswered messages — but that’s just the nature of where I needed to be right now. No one is being singled out in either direction… if I do reply to an email lately it’s basically random, and purely a creature of the moment.
I am admittedly more apt to answer one that is NOT complex as opposed to the 70 or so “multiple question” missives I get per day, each of which would take a minimum of 10-15 minutes to properly address, if I even dared to try.
Multiply 15 by 70 and you quickly see the problem — it would take seventeen and a half hours a day to answer my email, every day, if that’s all I ever did — and those are just the complex ones, not counting the more basic single-question letters and / or the high-fives. So this is not about “being humble” or “supporting my audience” — it’s simply an impossible situation.
A SOCIAL TURNING POINT AS WELL
Since I came to visit family in New York, I have been able to catch 2-3 dreams a night — in much more detail than I had been getting these last few months. That really has helped me dramatically in terms of re-integrating myself and accepting the new level I’ve been reaching.
Again, my intuitive data is suggesting that this is one of the most important turning-points for our society as a whole — not just for me personally. I am getting very strong, continuing guidance that the ‘negative elite’ — the hidden cronies pulling the strings on this planet — are undergoing an unprecedented purging and exposure, which WILL result in VERY tangible changes for the better in the not-too-distant future.
I had a great synchronicity where I saw a genuine bald eagle in flight on Christmas Eve, here in Upstate New York. The sun hadn’t set yet and he flew right over our car. I got a side view just like this:
I was also surprised by how bulky the beak looked up front. We had more than enough time to check out the colors and markings, and insure that it really was a bald eagle and not just a lookalike that zipped by too quickly for us to tell the difference.
This was the first time I’ve seen one in the wild in my entire life, and it felt like a very magical event. The Founding Fathers chose the bald eagle as the real-world equivalent of the mythical Phoenix bird, symbolizing death and rebirth.
Based on the surrounding events, it seemed directly related to the renewal of America and the cleansing of negative influence that is occurring through the economic upheavals we’re now seeing.
The bald eagle was Christmas Eve — where we celebrate the rebirth of the Christ Consciousness. Then getting called to do a show on Coast, on New Year’s Eve — where we celebrate the beginning of a major new cycle — was just the icing on the cake!
MORE BACKGROUND ON ‘WANDERER AWAKENING’ AND LARRY SEYER
My work with Grammy-winning musician / composer / recording engineer Larry Seyer on our Wanderer Awakening project has been just about all-consuming for the second half of 2008 — forcing me to work even harder to maintain my presence on this website in the midst of it all.
It’s all pretty heady and amazing for me, and I really haven’t written that much about what has become one of the most stunning and far-reaching projects I’ve ever been involved with. It may essentially come out of nowhere and become one of the defining statements of my life in terms of its public impact. And yet, I’ve just been too busy with it to really stop and talk about it very much.
The latest feedback I’m getting from people hearing our rough-mix demos has been amazingly positive, without a single exception.
HARD TO HAVE AN OBJECTIVE VIEWPOINT IN SUCH HARD WORK
It’s difficult to truly know how you sound when you hear your own voice singing on something.
You can’t help but hear every stage of the work you had to do to get to that point, which no one else will ever hear. You get so focused on the minutiae you suffered through that it becomes hard to hear anything else.
Nonetheless, everything keeps sounding better and better as we move into the final phase.
We are now getting all the background vocals in place, the lead vocal tracks hammered into final form, multiple guitar and instrumental tracks installed in almost every song, final drum passes to spruce up the quality of the percussion, and halfway-decent rough mixes.
Our latest feedback is that various songs on this album remind people of Sting, Billy Joel, Elton John, the Eagles, Roxy Music’s ‘Avalon’, Chris Isaak, Stevie Wonder, Michael McDonald, Kenny Loggins, Richard Marx, Simply Red, Steven Bishop and many other great classics. Higher compliments could not have been offered!
NO ONE EXPECTED IT TO BE THIS GOOD
Almost everyone expects it to be good, but so far no one has expected it to be this good — as slick and grade-A industry-standard professional-sounding as many top-selling classic albums of the 70s and 80s — including the unexpected quality we’ve achieved in how well my voice communicates as a lead singer.
This vocal quality is not some Frankenstein monster born in the studio with pitch-correction and other exotic computer voodoo attempting to turn lead into gold — it’s the result of very, very intense hard work, leading to unexpected quantum leaps in the vocal quality over relatively short periods of time.
It’s not uncommon for similar-sounding classic projects to have cost 300,000 dollars or more to develop, but with the advent of modern technology, and the fact that Larry owns all his high-end studio equipment, those costs have been dramatically reduced.
My personal stake in the quality is critical, since I’m the main voice singing, while Larry does the background vocals. I’ve become even more fickle than Larry is when it comes to demanding that every syllable I sing in each song is as perfect as we can possibly achieve — and this includes going back and re-doing parts entirely as my voice keeps improving.
My performance now heard on these demos I’ve played exclusively for friends, family and professional associates has not come without a great deal of very intense, at times shatteringly difficult work in a short period of time.
This included rigorous training from Larry, simultaneously wearing hats as a producer, composer and engineer. He has been invaluable in helping me perfect my pitch, delivery, vibrato and other nuances of performance I’ve previously described in other David’s Blog entries.
A ‘METAPHYSICAL MUSICAL’ PROGRAMMED INTO MY DNA…
Growing up as a drummer and composer, and branching into advanced jazz studies in college, I always felt like my destiny was to eventually be a professional musician and lead singer. For years I felt I would do an album that would be a grand “metaphysical musical” — presenting a comprehensive overview of the human spiritual experience, with a focus on the huge consciousness shift we’re now going through as a species.
The album we’re now finishing up represents the first stage of that consciousness shift — the initial awakening from ‘sleepwalking’ into Spiritual Truth — before the hero of the story really starts understanding exactly what’s going on in the “big picture”. We’ve thereby paved the way for relevant sequels to be released.
The story is loosely based on my own experiences, with the overall theme being that the hero is an angelic being who helped create the Earth, feels he made a mistake by the lack of harmony that resulted, and became one of millions who then volunteered to be born here as ‘ordinary’ human beings, without any special abilities, hoping to heal the damage they felt they had created.
Their ultimate goal is to awaken to their true identity while still in human form on Earth, thereby allowing them to connect and work directly with their angelic selves to help transform the planet.
In keeping with our original project, The Science of Peace, each vocal song is preceded by a voice-over narration with background music, in which the hero’s Higher Self — the angelic being who still exists in the higher realms while also going through the human experience on Earth — provides its perspective for each phase of the spiritual journey the songs are describing.
Despite the lofty metaphysical concepts this setup invokes, most of the songs deal with issues we’re all very familiar with, and have been well-covered in popular music.
RELATIONSHIP RESCUE IN A MUSICAL PACKAGE
The bulk of the story — the hero’s primary initiation — comes through the ups and downs of a romantic relationship, including love, loss, suicidal thoughts and epiphanies about projecting one’s own negativity onto others and learning to love oneself. In the process, many hard-earned truisms about relationships come to the fore.
Thus, by simply listening to the album and getting it into your musical DNA, there is a very real potential for a massive healing in your own romantic and interpersonal relationships with others.
Some of the songs are almost guaranteed to elicit substantial emotional releases upon hearing them in context. Each full pass through the two-CD-length series will thereby serve as an emotional and spiritual cleansing experience, helping release deep-seated hurts and pains, process old wounds and renew your sense of purpose, direction and love for self and others.
We designed the piece to directly tackle the social epidemic of codependency, where early childhood wounds lead to us clinging so hard to our partners that we smother them and end up destroying, by our own hand, the very thing we cherished most in our lives.
This is a horrific problem when it first happens to you, which doesn’t get much easier until you really learn to deal with it. More and more people are falling into it with the increasing economic and socio-political uncertainties in today’s world.
A veteran listener of Wanderer Awakening will thus have an excellent tool to release these patterns and clear the way for a healthy, happy and fulfilling life partnership.
We are also helping rewire the codependent programming that is implicit in so much popular music people know and love, by playing on exactly the same turf but changing the ‘instructions’ to a much healthier perspective. You may never hear those old songs the same way — and that is a very healthy thing, as you should never expect your partner to Be Your Everything in life.
I WAS ALWAYS FIXATED ON MUSIC, BUT HAD TO SET IT DOWN
Being born with a mother who is a performing musician and a father who writes about music, I always felt as if I would eventually take the same road.
In 1996 I felt like I had to give it all up to pursue intuitive readings, and my career in metaphysics, which led to this website, its voluminous material and now the CONVERGENCE film, which is still in development. For many years I regretted this lost musical chapter of my history.
I wished I had the time to get back into it, but it seemed like a fading dream I would probably never have adequate time to realize as the pressures seemed to increasingly mount. In fact, I had to tear down a LOT of other plans and aspirations in order to clear the time to do this album in 2008.
Wynn Free, my co-author for “The Reincarnation of Edgar Cayce?”, commented in the book about how fixated I was on my music, almost to the detriment of my continuing to do intuitive readings, or having any interest in supporting that aspect of my work. Nonetheless, I feel I have done well in balancing the various elements.
The first step of my re-entry into the vision of doing music began in August 2004, when I appeared on Coast-to-Coast with Richard Hoagland and Art Bell. I also had a full solo show with George Noory that same year. It is therefore ironic, and quite non-coincidental, to be invited back to Coast as this whole process is coming full circle.
Since this was back when I was still doing intuitive readings, (I ‘retired’ due to ‘Demand Inundation’ in 2005,) I had a huge surge of interest after the show. I suddenly ended up with a six-month-plus waiting list.
My musical colleague Larry Seyer heard me with Art and Richard in August, talking about how the entire Solar System is experiencing climate change and that it’s all heading in a positive direction — a similar show as to what I’m about to do this Sunday, albeit now in a more fully-realized form — and my administrator found Larry a slot for the following January.
Once Larry got me on the phone he said he really wanted to do music with me. At first I just played along without taking him seriously, since this kind of offer has been extremely common over the years, and I never felt like I had the time to devote to it.
WHAT LARRY BROUGHT TO THE TABLE
I soon discovered that Larry had worked with over 500 signed recording artists for the music industry, and had received nine different Grammy awards from the National Academy for Recording Arts and Sciences — quite a rare honor by any standards.
I must admit I was quite shocked as the implications suddenly crashed into my mind… this was a life-defining moment. I immediately accepted his offer and flew out to Austin a week later.
Though his taste is primarily rock and jazz-oriented — with a love for creating innovative songs with cool, unique harmonies, chords and melodic structures that still don’t push the average listener out of his comfort zone — he carved out a profitable niche in the country category.
Larry has helped define the sound of such legends as Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Asleep at the Wheel, Huey Lewis and the News and the Dixie Chicks. I also found out that he had a highly advanced knowledge of metaphysics, through years of work with the Course in Miracles. Our spiritual perspectives were so similar that any subtle differences quickly faded to irrelevance.
Engineering work often blurs the boundaries with the role of the producer as well — in some cases, as Larry has told me, producers may even be “guys who sit at the back of the room while all the work is being done.”
Other than all the obvious aspects of setting up ‘dead’ rooms, choosing and positioning microphones, and mixing and mastering within the cockpit of a massive console filled with knobs and sliders, the engineer’s job can include writing and helping execute complex harmony parts, co-designing instrument parts and vocal performances with the artists, and in the case of Asleep at the Wheel and others, playing guitar parts and solos on the album as well.
I did not realize, until I met Larry, how much the engineer was really responsible for. He’s the guy (it’s usually a guy) who ends up transforming the songs into the final form of how they sound on the album. The sheer influence of the producers and engineers explained all the times I saw signed recording artists perform live, and then noticed how much better their studio albums sounded than their live performances.
One of Larry’s nine Grammys was for a guitar solo he played on a top-selling Asleep at the Wheel album, “Western Standard Time.” His guitar work VERY much reminds me of how David Gilmour sounds on the classic Pink Floyd albums, though he can do many different styles and textures. The other eight Grammys were all for his work as a recording engineer. Larry also engineered George Strait’s “Strait Out of the Box” album, which sold over three million copies.
People continue to be delightfully surprised when they hear our debut product, The Science of Peace, which features some very inspired composition and guitar-work from Larry.
LOOKING OUT FOR ARTIFACTS
At first I was literally terrified of trying to work with Larry on a vocal-music album, because I knew that he would be absolutely meticulous about how the singing should go. Although I considered myself a good vocalist and knew I had perfect pitch, I was not trained as a studio singer — and the requirements were very exacting.
I knew I would be in for quite the boot-camp of on-the-job training if we ever DID do this. I wasn’t even sure if I’d be able to handle the process without having an emotional meltdown, quite literally. And if I did, I certainly would not be alone.
These days I am amazed at how many “pitch correction artifacts” I hear in mainstream pop songs. Once you’ve heard how it affects your voice, if used at all, you can spot it instantly in anyone else’s — and it sticks out blatantly.
If anyone ever does a proper, full-blown expose out of this, it could turn much of the last decade’s popular music into a laughing stock — and I am now being very serious here. I can no longer listen to popular music without cringing for this fact alone, and it makes restaurants with audible music all the more distracting.
The most extreme example of ‘artifacts’ can be heard in their effective debut as a musical technique in Cher’s 1998 hit “Believe,” where their ‘pitch-snapping’ sound is deliberately exaggerated for effect. The human voice naturally slides up into a pitch, at varying speeds depending upon the singer’s own style, but if you crank the pitch-correction way up, the voice mechanically ‘snaps’ from one note to another.
In general, if you are digging for ‘artifacts,’ what you listen for is a slightly mechanical, synthetic sound in someone’s voice as it sustains through particular notes.
The reason why so many popular songs have blatant ‘artifacts’ in them, once you know what you’re listening for, is that most artists simply do not have the patience, nor the emotional stamina, to deliver pitch-perfect performances in the studio.
Based on real witness testimony I’ve heard from various sources, at some point, after 15 to 20 takes or sometimes even fewer, the humiliated ego kicks in to defend its own illusory existence. No matter what you do, or how hard you try, you can’t get your voice to sing certain notes in the melody on pitch. The red-faced artists say their performance was “good enough,” and they get back on the plane in a defiant huff and fly home.
Then the engineer is faced with a challenge — he is required by the industry to make their performances pitch-perfect, but it is nearly impossible to do so without creating ‘artifacts’ unless their pitches were already just about perfect to begin with.
AVOIDING ‘DA VINCI SYNDROME’
Most people, faced with a nearly impossible challenge, end up not actually finishing what they’ve started. I call this Da Vinci Syndrome — the father abandoning his own children — and I’ve been guilty of it many times in the past myself on various creative works.
If difficulties in the studio led to an argument of any seriousness between Larry and me, I had feared it could potentially threaten our entire professional relationship. Then the project would never get finished, and bridges might burn for any future collaboration.
I have since learned that Larry is too strong to fall into these petty codependent politics that plague so many other groups, but at the time I’d been scarred by my past experiences and really didn’t know how far the trust could extend in the face of potential turbulence.
The easiest way for me to deal with this potential ordeal of humiliation and separation was to avoid the subject entirely. That’s what I did for at least the first year we worked together. I never even brought up the idea of working on vocal music.
We completed the Science of Peace project in January-February 2005, where all I had to do is give a lecture, and that was it.
By trying to avoid Da Vinci Syndrome, I ended up generating it anyway. A potential creative pregnancy was aborted before it was ever even conceived.
TIME TO ‘FACE THE MUSIC’
By spring of 2006, after I’d successfully moved to LA to work on the film, I started getting strongly guided to go back into vocal music — obviously working up to the time where Larry and I would do an album together.
I told him about my idea on the phone, and he wasn’t completely sure it would work, but remained open to the possibility. He had no idea, at the time, if I could even sing or not — all he knew was that I told him I felt I could do an acceptable job.
Nonetheless, many people think they will be good at something, but then are only halfway decent at it once they try — unless they’re willing to really put the time in to developing the art.
Despite my surface fears, multiple dreams and synchronicities led me to begin legally buying and downloading everything I could find on Itunes that I liked, in mainstream commercial music, from about 1970 forward.
I wanted to get very clear on what people consistently liked the most, so I could find a way to combine my own personal satisfaction with that which would satisfy others.
In the process I dramatically expanded my palette of sounds and textures. I really hadn’t looked for any new music since my days of high school and college, where I primarily subsisted on 60s-70s psychedelic rock like Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, as well as a smattering of progressive rock and jazz fusion groups including Phil Collins’ groundbreaking Brand X, and healthy doses of trance-ambient 70s Tangerine Dream psychedelia. These were the foundations of my musical taste.
After high school, I only slightly broadened my musical selection as I plunged headlong into metaphysical studies in my sophomore year and never looked back — other than to take jazz classes during my junior and senior year and play in a few different bands. As the years went by I would occasionally pop in one of the old tapes or CDs, but rarely found them as satisfying as they had been when I was younger.
Filling up a library with legally-obtained music in 2006 was quite a renaissance for me, because I had gotten so caught up in my daily grind that it had literally been a decade since I had really sat down to listen to music at all — and I had gotten tired of all the same things I’d been accustomed to hearing for so many years. By calling it ‘research’ I was able to justify pulling myself away from my work to just sit and Listen.
DRUMMERS CLUCKING AT EACH OTHER LIKE BICKERING HENS
As I did my ‘research,’ my mind flashed back to my years in college, where I was a drummer in a very competitive jazz program at the State University of New York at New Paltz with other drummers.
Two snarky New York City Jewish guys named Seth and Matt, who basically wandered the halls of New Paltz in clouds of dope, (I was already a year into my sobriety when I first met them,) were clearly the most talented drummers.
They consistently ended up working with the most experienced student players — smiley, outgoing Seth was in a trio with John the flamboyant stand-up bass player / legendary campus womanizer, and Geoff the shy, reclusive Bob Geldof lookalike guitar wizard — and they were utterly inseparable.
No other ensemble could touch them, and they always played the finale gig in our class concerts, to help apologize for any flubs and errors that had occurred in other ensembles along the way… and to end with a bang.
Seth clearly held the top drummer slot and Matt obviously wished he could become that guy, but it never did happen — and he constantly telegraphed this by his attitude and behavior. They were both really good players and it all seemed very unnecessary, but it was just like competitive team sports in how it played out.
Then I came along and disrupted the whole power balance they had established as “The Only Two Good Drummers in the Jazz Program.” I was the ‘new guy’ who was a lot more talented than he should be, considering he’d just walked in the door and started late, after the third or fourth week of class.
The very first time I ever sat in on a jazz class, Seth and Matt literally said, out loud, “Let’s see what THIS guy can do” — and metaphorically threw me into the cold water, stark naked, with a guest jazz professional who had written a complex, semi-famous jazz standard called “This Is It.”
OH $#!+… THIS IS IT!
Having no professional experience whatsoever, other than some loose, private jazz instruction for a year or two in high school, I suddenly had to play “This Is It” with an ensemble of equally nervous students, almost all of whom were rock guitar players and virgin babes of jazz.
I was absolutely terrified as I mounted the unfamiliar drum kit, having no idea what would happen next. The chart I was given was an indecipherable mess of symbols I only partially understood — if I had had the time to study it and count out the rhythms of the notes, which I did not.
My saving grace was that the guest composer/arranger guy was very theatrical, almost to the point of laugh-out-loud funny. He would sing, clap and act out the structure of the music as it went along.
I didn’t even bother to try to decipher the chart, and instead just gave up the control and watched the composer run through his antics. By doing this, I managed to stay perfectly in the structure of the tune, and hit all the stops.
Suffice it to say I survived. Seth and Matt were fairly impressed: their attempted group humiliation of me had turned into a surprise success, but they still clearly acted as if they knew they were better than me.
FAST LEARNER OF HYPER-COMPLEX PATTERNS
Nonetheless, I was a very fast learner, particularly once I started taking lessons with Jeff Siegel, the resident university jazz drumming instructor who was also teaching everyone else. I immediately wanted Jeff to fast-track me into advanced drum solo techniques, and to a large degree he complied.
Along the way I learned some very advanced stuff and perfected it in remarkably short periods of time, including a calypso beat that required each of your four limbs to do completely different things, independently of each other.
For starters, you laid down quarter notes on the hi-hat pedal: “chik, chik, chik, chik.” Then you had to blend in a bass drum pattern of “dum, da-dum, da-dum, da-dum”, with each “dum” landing on the downbeat.
Next you fired in an ongoing and varying series of double and triple-strokes on the ride: “tin-tin-ting, tin-tin-ting, tin-tin – ta-tin-tin-ting,” et cetera.
Lastly, a clave’ pattern between the snare and tom-toms glued it all together and really made it soar. The parentheses indicate where you put the one, or the downbeat… so with the bass included, it sounded like this: “(Doo)TA-dum, do-da-Dooo, da-doo-DA, do-da-(Doo), TA-dum, do-da-doo, da-doo-DA, do-da-(Doo), TA-dum…”
Since this is such a complex and difficult university-taught pattern, drum wizard Dave Weckl likes to use it in a lot of his songs, such as with Chick Corea Elektric Band — and it certainly is impressive.
The trick was to learn it slow and then gradually bring up the speed, and I quickly got to the same level as Seth and Matt in my development of this hyper-complex pattern.
SUPER DAVE — AND PETTY POLITICS
Despite impressive progress in my first semester alone, earning me an A+ in the class, I still never broke out of third place in the Unofficial Drummer’s Pecking Order, but I gave them a mean competition in the process. My personality won them over and I became the class clown, with everyone calling me “Super Dave”.
One time I waltzed into class late, and turned it into a big theatrical comedy routine. Everyone roared into applause and laughter to herald my arrival — a standing ovation. I was a well-loved member of the program, and no one was competitive about the drummers except the drummers themselves — except when it came to who got to play with who at the beginning of each semester, when we were divided up into groups.
Though we were all friends, there was very tense hostility beneath the surface. There were lots of fragile egos and personality issues, which I tried to stay above, but couldn’t help finding myself getting swept into.
As an example of the silliness of all this, one time Seth blasted through a piece with wiseguy John humping his bass and brooding Jeff hunched over his guitar, as usual. Seth clearly did not use enough stick control, thus making his volume much too loud for jazz, which is all about subtlety and dynamics.
Seth turned to me and said, “I played too loud, didn’t I?” I answered, nodding my head reluctantly but with certainty, “Yes, Seth, you did.” He immediately snapped back, “No I didn’t!”
We relished the opportunity to bust out with pyrotechnic drum solos in our songs that still conformed to the jazz idiom. I still have a very clear memory of Seth once slyly whispering to me, “I’m gonna get just DISGUSTING in this one”, and proceeded to lay down an adrenaline-packed masterful display when he got his turn in the song.
It sounded great — like a vast barn filled with firecrackers all going up in flames at the same time — and I really couldn’t get enough of it!
Seth and Matt both had a far more academic background in percussion than I did, and the ultimate snub was when Seth built up a four-drummer solo ensemble piece and completely cut me out of the deal in favor of two other guys who clearly were not as experienced players in the Unofficial Drummer’s Pecking Order. I didn’t even hear about it until right before it was performed, and it turned out quite well.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE IDEAS
Technique-wise, I was aware that I could duplicate just about anything Seth or Matt could play, right on the spot. You couldn’t measure it in terms of who was faster, or had better technique. However, in terms of ideas, they would belt out with things I would never have thought to do.
Once I had gotten my chops together, the only real difference between them and me was that they were listening to a much larger variety of jazz music than I was, and on a much more consistent basis. It was all about the research, and the time they put in to developing their ability to listen.
That was an early growth experience for me in realizing that stocking up your idea bank was much more important, in the long run, than just endlessly practicing flashy technique and magic tricks.
You could have all the technique you wanted, but if your idea bank was small, you still would not reach your greatest potential. That means expanding beyond your normal comfort zone and exposing yourself to all sorts of things you normally might not appreciate, and then trying to find the seed of genius within them.
It is for this same reason that I consistently advise people to cut right to the chase and read the Law of One series itself, rather than just reading ABOUT the Law of One series, going for other ‘easier’ material online or in books, or feeling in any way intimidated by the initial learning curve as you acclimate to the jargon and tone.
CHARGING UP MY ‘IDEA BANK’ WITH POPULAR MUSIC
As I reflected back on my college experiences, where my simple lack of ideas was the only thing holding me back, I realized I was now dealing with exactly the same situation if I was going to work on popular music.
I had to charge up my ‘idea bank’ to have as wide and spectacular an array of concepts to draw off of as possible — and find out what everyone liked the best out of the choices in the public domain.
Over the last three years, in times where I was not so intensely working on the website or the film, I researched a wide variety of different musical styles and vocal styles, trying to figure out exactly what I would want my voice, and my music, to sound like.
I researched all-time top-selling artist lists and used a variety of search-engine techniques to find out exactly what had attracted the most attention over the years. In the process I listened to and worked my way through just about everything that had managed to get popular in the last 40 years, and bought everything I considered to be worth listening to.
I quickly ended up buying entire Greatest Hits collections from each artist I found interesting rather than just the one or two songs they were the most known for.
I can honestly say this was a fantastic move forward. I remembered these songs from the radio in my early childhood, but in many cases I hadn’t heard them in 20 years or more and I liked them much more as an adult than I had as a child.
THE YOUTH REVOLUTION IS NOT BEING TELEVISED
I was also consistently amazed by the overwhelming number of young people who had turned their backs on the often-cliche’d popular music of the present day and were leaving comments in the Itunes Store about how psyched they were to find this classic 70s material. Invariably, they thought it sounded much better than anything out there now.
In fact, young listeners seemed to constitute the vast majority of Itunes commenters in most cases — discussing how they turned to their parents’ CD collections and were consistently finding gold. I felt like the greater music industry had completely overlooked this trend in their ongoing attempts to pander to the lowest common denominator of what they think will sell the most.
I was able to identify certain strains of music that sounded great, sold well and were still exciting to me. More importantly, these were styles that had been lost in the sands of time — due to a variety of factors including their more advanced chord and harmony structures and production value.
MOVING INTO HIGH GEAR
As of the beginning of 2008, Larry and I were actively planning out when we could make the time to start working on this album. Larry’s attitude terrified me at first, because he wanted me to just show up in the studio — and we would write everything once I arrived!
Although this was perfectly in line with the intuitive work I’d done, it completely violated my scientific sensibilities, which were all about research, preparation, groundwork and development. How do you KNOW you’re going to write great songs if you just sit down and start doing it on the spot?
As August came closer, and we both finally cleared the time to do this, I urged him to let me prepare something in advance, and he agreed. I ended up designing a complete filmic story structure, and broke down each major story beat of the film into a song concept.
I gave an initial idea of the styles and textures of what each song would sound like, the possible hooks we’d use for the chorus of each song, and what the overall point of each song would be. I managed to finish up this structure in Vermont, right before I headed in to start our work — so I came well-prepared.
It’s been quite a wild adventure since then, and at this point we’re still probably two months away from a finished product, give or take a month. And I’ll explain more about what we’re doing as we go on.
WE CHOSE TO WORK TOGETHER TO HELP CHANGE THINGS
We now both feel that we chose to do this work together before we ever got here, as in Wanderer Awakening we’re combining many newly-written songs with other appropriate material from Larry’s private collection — over 40 cassette tapes’ worth of amazing, unreleased music, not counting reel-to-reel, eight track, two-inch tape and digital multitrack recording masters — dating back some 40 years in time.
I am deeply honored that Larry has chosen me to be the lead-singer and co-writer’s voice through which this incredible treasure-trove of ‘lost’ original music will be presented to the world, as there is a desperate need for new music that sounds as good as the classics everyone’s now chasing down through Itunes and the like.
The negative elite controllers in this world saw the power of music to change society with the rise of Woodstock, and according to multiple insider testimonies, including ex-“Illuminati” whistleblowers, the Charles Manson murders were deliberately engineered to destroy the momentum for social change that the hippie movement had created.
This further consolidated in ensuing decades as music was gradually watered down to those products that focused on dark, self-destructive lower-chakra and ‘evil’ themes (much of 80s rock and to some degree, 90s ‘grunge’ and alternative), sex (super-hot men and women with enough talent to carry erotic, soft-porn songs and videos) and violence (such as ‘gangsta rap’ and the like.)
COUNTRY MUSIC: SOCIAL ENGINEERING?
In private conversation Larry has told me a similar type of ‘social engineering’ seems to be in place with country music, where in addition to driving home the standard Republican Fundamentalist Christian values, there is ongoing repetition of an overarching Theme:
– The man is a beer-drinking redneck who revels in the simple, often self-destructive pleasures of a country boy;
– The woman is his more-intelligent sidekick who puts up with his childish BS but likes to complain about it;
– The man ultimately defers to her, acknowledges she is a lot smarter and more mature, but resents his sense of lost masculinity in the process;
– He supplies her endless new dramas along the way, including alcoholism and infidelity, perpetuating their cycle of unhappiness.
In music the cycle goes on, and they usually end up staying together, but in real life these toxic tension-resolution cycles tear families and relationships apart — and by extension, our society as a whole.
Of course, as I pointed out in that conversation, there are many exceptions with truly great songs about love, family and being a good father, and Larry said yes — those songs end up being huge hits, because everyone is so hungry for that content.
THE 70S… AND WHY THEY ARE STILL RELEVANT
I still consider the 70s as the true golden era of recorded music, where so much money was flowing through the industry that many various projects were recorded that would never have gotten a chance in later eras.
The ‘social engineering’ aspect of the music industry was starting to seep in, but hadn’t really taken hold at this point due to the massive diversity of material being released, and the speed with which the money was being pocketed.
Lots of great content made its way through to the listener in a dazzling array of genres, and I’m still discovering amazing ‘new’ material from the 70s the more I research it.
The fierce competition and explosive growth of live music groups, particularly after the amazing social ramifications of Woodstock as I wrote in an earlier David’s Blog entry, also led to musicians becoming much more advanced than what now often passes for music — though there are many delightful exceptions for those willing to explore.
As I’ve said before, the proficiency started tapering off more and more as the 80s gave rise to the industry putting preferential weight on looks, and ‘sure-fire’ formulaic songwriting, over craft and musicianship.
MICHAEL JACKSON: A GAME-CHANGER
One could argue that Michael Jackson’s unbelievably profitable album “Thriller” — beginning with its first enormous hit, “Billie Jean” — really was the turning-point in which everyone realized that the biggest bucks could be made in combining looks, dancing and photogenic sass in music videos with the existing musical content itself.
“Thriller” was the most profitable music project in human history. The whole scope of what it meant to be a recording artist fundamentally changed.
Working in the film industry myself, I have seen firsthand how readily producers chase after trends in the hopes of cashing in as much as possible — and Michael Jackson, with the unprecedented amount of spinoffs being generated including multi-zippered red leather jackets, single rhinestone gloves and their many facsimiles, Pepsi endorsements, arena tours, you name it — triggered the industry equivalent of a massive gold rush.
Within a short time this music-video revolution led to a new fixation: if you didn’t have a highly attractive physical appearance, and the ability to dance your @$$ off in most genres besides rock and country, you barely had a chance. Then one could argue the rise of pre-recorded ‘loops’ further eliminated the need for aspiring musicians to spend years developing their facility on an instrument.
‘PROGRESSIVELY’ MORE DIFFICULT
Nowadays the people with advanced music-theory knowledge tend to create ‘niche’ material that most people do not find so accessible — and they also are forced to work in home studios, on limited budgets, without the guidance and power of studio producers and engineers who really helped mentor, refine and distill these talents into commercially successful entities.
It’s also very common to find ‘progressive’ bands where the song structure and instrumental proficiency is at a very high level, but the quality of the vocals is disappointingly below-par, and the lyrics often trail off into fringey areas that most people would not so easily and immediately identify with.
Many progressive bands go in a Lord of the Rings-type fantasy direction for their lyrical and thematic material, but that’s not always the case either.
If you want to hear the ultimate example of a band with all these pluses and minuses from the 70s, check out Gentle Giant, with streaming audio available here… astonishingly, even maddeningly complex (some would say un-listenable) song structures with strained-sounding, off-pitch vocals that would need much more development to be on the level of most commercially successful groups.
I once played Gentle Giant for a close associate who shall remain nameless (it’s not Larry), and this person said, “This is MUSICAL SCHIZOPHRENIA!”
Nonetheless, if you’re in the right headspace, it can still be an interesting ride.
GOLD IN THEM THAR TAPES
All that being said, it never ceases to amaze me to listen to one of Larry’s tapes — all of which we’ve now digitized as of my last visit — and find something on there that is instantly and obviously recognizable as a timeless classic, but yet no one’s ever heard it.
That’s one of the things we’re going to be changing, and based on an increasing stream of positive feedback from the very small number of people who’ve heard our rough mixes, Wanderer Awakening is going to be a very strong debut!
For those who invariably ask, or try to go looking for it, we have not released ANY sample materials from this project as of this point. We are hoping to have it ready by the beginning to end of February at the latest, but as the saying goes, “We shall make no wine before its time.”
A BIT ON THE SCIENCE OF PEACE FOR OUR NEWBIES
Back before I was brave enough to try my hand at vocal music, Larry and I co-wrote the music of the Science of Peace series together. The majority of it was with Larry playing most of the parts and my playing more of a producer role.
I helped decide what styles and textures might go in what places, suggested where the music could change or what it could sound like in a given area, as well as providing an energetic / psychic anchor and focal-point for the energies that came in.
Just as I work via inspiration, with spoken word being my primary ‘virtuoso’ instrument, Larry works with music as his primary expression. It never ceases to amaze me to watch Larry close his eyes, “listen,” and suddenly play an entire song, or an instrument part within a song — in many cases with picture-perfect clarity, barely even requiring a second take!
I have known many musicians, and only rarely have seen anyone work like this. Given the size and scope of Wanderer Awakening, most bands — even those who are extremely fastidious and talented — would need two years in the studio to put it all together, and we’re probably going to finish it in just over six or seven months.
IT CAN BE DONE, BUT NOWHERE NEAR AS FAST…
I have the ability to write music that is cool and timeless too, and have done so in some cases, like in my composition ‘The Journey’ — available as a stand-alone download and also included in the full Science of Peace series. However, I have to sit with my ideas and get little bits and pieces of inspiration along the way, and gradually develop them into something substantial.
‘The Journey’ took me nearly two weeks of working all day, every day to get it right. The articulations of the violin solo alone, getting it to sound like a real virtuoso player, took at least three full days of my time. (I’ll undoubtedly do more like that in the future, when I can make the time, as it’s great fun and very different than my usual work.)
By comparison, in most cases music just falls off of Larry’s fingers onto the keyboard or guitar as a finished product.
WE WROTE IT TOGETHER… AND IT WAS A GOOD CREATIVE MIXTURE
For me, as the voice that is speaking in the series (Science of Peace is essentially a three-part, three-hour inspirational lecture unifying science and spirit with cutting-edge research and a consistent musical background supporting it), I designed the entire spiritual / thematic content of the project.
In the case of the content, Larry played more of the producer role with me, telling me what he liked the most after I finished the first of three lectures and encouraging me to go farther in that direction, which I then did — so in that sense our energies harmonized well.
Like Larry often does with music, I was able to drop the content in one pass, with no overdubbing, no verbal errors or awkward sentences, and no written notes other than some reference materials I gathered around me for use as needed for citations of specific facts.
CONVERGENCE TOOK THE LEAD
The unified vision I created in real-time as Science of Peace came together in January 2005 then became the core of our CONVERGENCE film trilogy. Some of this same content will be featured in my groundbreaking radio show with George Noory this Sunday.
My focus on CONVERGENCE became so strong that we literally embargoed the entire Science of Peace project for almost two full years, despite all the work we put into it, with no one hearing it that entire time except for about five close associates or family members I shared it with.
When we finally DID release the Science of Peace series, we went back in and upgraded the existing music into stand-alone products, complete with new guitar and instrumental tracks, to make it a more fully-realized entity — and the results were very satisfying.
A BIT MORE ON THE FILM, FOR THOSE WHO ARE CURIOUS…
Our CONVERGENCE film has now been in script development for four years, getting very close to being fully financed at this time. I had no idea it would ever take this long, but again I have a feeling it will emerge at exactly the right point for when it will have the greatest impact upon our planet as a whole. In all but one sad case, economic hiccups have not deterred our biggest potential investors from closing in on the goal.
To forestall the inevitable 100 emails asking me the same question, let me say that once I announce we’re financed, we will be releasing the film within 9-12 months thereafter — a professional-level film production is a lot of work.
Therefore, if our current rate of progress is any indication, we may well be able to shoot for a release this next winter season — but until it’s official, nothing is known. It is not uncommon for scripts to take this long to be developed and financed once you start doing your homework on the subject.
CONVERGENCE still presents information similar to what’s on Science of Peace, despite now being framed in a Da Vinci Code-type thriller. This is part of why we still do not publish the content of Science of Peace anywhere else on this site or in any videos — you can only get it by ordering the series itself.
We designed the music on Science of Peace to serve the spoken lecture content, and still only a tiny percentage of our audience has ever heard the project, despite the fact that we offer free MP3 downloads of some of the music on our site.
The music-only part of the series proves that the compositions stand on their own, even when I’m not providing lecture content at the time — and we also now offer it in a high-definition 320Mbps MP3 form as well:
And as the comments and feedback from Larry’s “Merry Larry Christmas” MP3 CD all indicate (this free material was reverted to a pay-only status as of today, as it was only offered for free during the holiday season), everyone can really hear the difference.
Lots of projects are done on home studios and they can sound pretty amazing, but I have to say there’s simply no comparison to a professionally mixed and mastered product — and even among professional engineers I would have to say Larry is among the very best, earning him the title of “The Doctor” from greats like Willie Nelson.
WANDERER AWAKENING… AND THE HASSLES INVOLVED
Anyway, my current already-unmanageable level of email traffic will likely become a memory, as this new album is very likely going to redefine my entire public presence.
This could easily put me into a whole new category where I will have to be even more fastidious in not getting ‘sucked in’ to the temptation of trying to make everyone happy — and thereby never getting anything else done. That’s why I pour my effort into work like this, where everyone benefits.
The music of Wanderer Awakening fits the story, and it runs the gamut from jazz fusion to adult contemporary to “blue-eyed soul” to hard rock to blues to guitar ballad to one song that’s basically Black Sabbath-style heavy metal.
In the metal song entitled “Where Were You,” the lead character moves into a dark and suicidal place within himself after really acknowledging that his romantic partner had dumped him, removing all the blinders to the truth.
Each of these songs represents a distinct phase of the archetypal patterns of spiritual growth we go through.
Again, it focuses on the story of a Wanderer — an angelic soul who has an opportunity to help create the life we now see on Earth, only to discover they’ve apparently made a terrible mistake.
What mistake, you say? Think about it — you already know the answer.
WE’RE REPAIRING THE DAMAGE… EVEN NOW
The people on this planet ended up not learning the ways of love and wisdom in sufficient numbers, even though that’s the real reason why the Earth was created in the first place.
For the Wanderer, the only solution to this problem seems to be to incarnate directly into this world as an ordinary human — completely forgetting one’s own angelic identity in the process, and stripping oneself of almost all the innate ‘miracle’ abilities they had in the higher realms.
Certainly not everyone is a Wanderer — it’s estimated to be about 120-200 million people at the most, and was 65 million as of 1981 — but many people are, and a surprising number of them seem to be finding this website.
If you are fascinated by this kind of metaphysical material to almost an undying level, then you probably are one as well… and having a true Awakening is a very powerful, irreversible moment in your soul’s evolution. For me, that’s the greatest thrill of all in doing this project.
If it helps more Wanderers realize their true identity, then I will be immensely satisfied. In my case I had to piece it together through reading complex, elaborate books, but when it gets to the point where you can be moved to tears by two CD-lengths worth of music that work as a single grand Adventure, then it becomes a lot easier to make the shift.
REALLY THRILLED TO BE INVOLVED
I am delighted to be working on this, and in a way I’m sorry to go into this much detail about it before it’s actually finished — but we do hope to have it done by no later than the end of February, and if we pull off a miracle in the next three weeks, it may even be ready by the end of January, though that’s probably unrealistic.
This ‘month off’ has really been just to catch my breath, as I’ve honestly never worked harder in my life than I did in 2008, and particularly once we began production on this groundbreaking project.
There’s much more to say, but I’ll stop here for now as this ended up being a lot longer than I expected.
I am being told by my listeners that these songs will be with our culture for many, many years, and I just wanted to open up and share my enthusiasm about it — regardless of what any detractors or naysayers might throw at me in the process!
Even my father, a professional music critic, compared it to ‘Avalon’ by Roxy Music, which is one of his all-time favorite albums. I NEVER expected to get much more than a nod from him about this and that REALLY blew me away.
So did my mother’s reaction, who actually said she wants to hear these songs “over and over again” and can’t wait for the final version to be released. Very nice! I still remember her reaction to some of my earlier music in college, before I studied jazz, and it was NOT very welcoming, but honest as she saw it.
Thanks to our glorious economic catalyst causing people to bleed thousands, hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars out of their wallets in the blink of an eye, many more people are experiencing the “Dark Night of the Soul.”
I’m delighted that we will be able to offer this work as a guiding light to navigate through the storm.
I hope you’ll tune in to Coast this Sunday… otherwise keep checking back for the transcript, and further updates!