The Sun looked like a prison break. I woke up in a suburb of Seattle and stared drowsily out of a stranger’s bedroom window. My wife was talking to an admirer of hers around the scattered ashes of a campfire from the night before. There was a mysterious text message from an unknown number on the blue screen of a broken iPhone. It was clear that the veils to what folks call the spirit world were perceptibly thin. Little hints of future memory flickered with mischievous honesty through the cracked wallpaper in the shadows of the room.
Listen to the song while reading the text.
The Stage is Set
The shows we had been playing on this tour were fucking monumental: To us at least. We were right in the slipstream of the Tao: The Tao of Tour. Art, ideas, beautiful music, ferocious music, performance, ritual, synchronicity: The life we had called in for ourselves showed up with intense fervor.
There was little money, and the audiences were small, but it didn’t matter. Someday we’d all be dead and feeling fully alive was the only way to truly locate something like a purpose. We had 500 vinyl copies of our new record that we were eager to share with the world. The stage was set, the cast decided, the only thing to do now was to remember our lines in the cosmic play.
Rituals and Imagination
Moira Ichiban, my coconspirator of wonder, and I have been practicing a ritual approach to living and creating for the last three years now. As a “professional” performing DIY musician this shift of perception has changed everything for me. Limitations that once felt like a failure now feels like feedback into how to approach the craft and the lifestyle with a little more humility — a little more humanity.
We live by the dictum that art is Magick and Magick is real. My current favorite definition of the word “Magick” comes from the great 20th-century esoteric philosopher, Robert Anton Wilson. “Magick is training your imagination to work in behalf of your highest purposes rather than allowing it to be a reckless conjurer of fear and illusions that leak your psychic energy.“ As songwriters and creators, we live in a world of imagination. Having tools to train the imagination to work for you and not against you is invaluable. Every invention of importance was first conceived in the infinitude of the human imagination.
It is my contention that the universe is alive and wants to play. It particularly wants to play with self-aware individuals who listen to the silence. A routine meditation practice and a touch of ceremonial enchantment along with the support of wonderful family and friends are allowing Moira and I to pursue our artistic endeavors full time. We have in no way as of yet “made it” in the traditionally accepted narrative that involves superfluous attention and excess material gain. Far from it but coming soon. We have managed in our own way to keep the game going.
“The game” in this sense is writing, releasing, and performing music and art in cities we want to experience with the sheer intention of forming strong alliances with other people in a culture sick with consumer capitalism. In my mind music is the strongest tool we have to unite people. My true will, my reason for incarnating as I currently understand it, is to unite people. The songs I’ve written are love spells to do just that. Music is Magick, and for the world we currently share, it’s too late for anything other than Magick.
Dusty Santamaria + Moira Ichiban, Category: Artist, Albums: Innersexion, Top Tracks: Apocalypse Now and Later, If You Go Down, Digital Fuck Talk, It’s Almost Yesterday, Shame, Monthly Listeners: 37, Where People Listen: Portland, Seattle, Kitchener, Surbiton, London