Posts Tagged ‘new age music’

Grammy Award winner Omar Akram says TM brought him closer to his source of creativity

June 26, 2013

Enjoy this great interview Christopher Caplan conducted with Omar Akram, published June 25, 2013 at 12:15 pm in RYOT Reports. I was pleasantly surprised to learn how Transcendental Meditation freed the creativity of this Grammy award-winning composer and recording artist, and the respect he has for David Lynch and the David Lynch Foundation.

Q&A: Omar Akram, first Afghan American to win a Grammy, talks Transcendental Meditation

Omar Akram, 2013 New Age Music Grammy Award Winner

I recently sat down with Omar Akram, the first Afghan American to win a Grammy award to learn a bit more about his creative process. He has been referred to as a cultural diplomat by many, and the musical equivalent of Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner, in that he is (gradually) mending cultural differences between war-torn nations through art. His recent article on The Huffington Post bespeaks of a well traveled life in which he has mingled with Cuban dictators and contributed to peace in the Middle East. What’s particularly interesting about Omar is the way he uses Transcendental Meditation in his creative process, as well as his support and admiration of the David Lynch Foundation.

Q: When and how did you first discover Transcendental Meditation?

I began using TM about 5 years ago. I was going through some creative blocks, so to speak, and a friend of mine suggested it. I’d known about it for years, but I had never taken the time to try it. I started to meditate slowly, and after doing it a few times, I got hooked.

Q: How has TM helped your creative process over the years?

I think it definitely brings you closer to the source of creativity. I feel this way almost every time. I remember David Lynch was talking about it. He said it was like “searching for the big fish,” or in other words, reaching deep down. I can reach deep down inside of myself and get to the big fish — that big creative idea. That’s what it’s all about, the big creative idea, and TM helps me find this.

Q: Have you tried other forms of meditation?

Yes, I’ve tried straight meditation, on and off for many years. But five years ago I became a lot more serious about it.

Q: How do you feel about David Lynch’s recent advocacy of TM?

I think what he’s doing is fantastic because he is really trying to get it out to school kids and to people that have never been exposed to it before. I think that once people try it, I mean really try it, they realize how beneficial it is.

Q: How do you think TM can help children and students?

One thing that I know is that kids sometimes have a hard time focusing on anything. Especially nowadays because they are being bombarded with so much media. I think it’s really helpful for kids once they give it a chance. They learn the value of meditation and focus. It will be hard in the beginning to understand what they’re doing, but with proper guidance they’ll learn. I think that not only will it help them become more creative, but they will improve in all aspects of schooling and self-esteem.

Q: Do you use TM when you are in the recording studio?

I try to do it a couple of times a day, once in the morning, and once in the evening. It has been really helpful both with creativity and dealing with the stress and deadlines of my upcoming album, “Daytime Dreamer.” It kind of sets the course of my whole day. Once I’m in the studio, I like to take a few minutes, but it’s hard to do it during the day, and that’s my routine. When I do it the morning it helps me focus for the whole day, and shift everything so I have a clearer sense of what I need to do. In the evening I can absorb everything that I’ve done, and refresh my mind all over again.

Q: What do you see for the future of TM and its continuing acceptance in the mainstream?

I think the more people are exposed to TM the more they’re going to realize the benefits of it. A lot of people are not aware of TM, and that’s what David is doing, he’s going around and introducing it to a lot of people that otherwise would never be exposed to it. The more people are exposed to it, the more practitioners there will be, and I think it’s going to be huge. Guys like David Lynch are pioneers in that. I have nothing but respect for him, especially with what he’s doing in schools. I think it’ll make a huge difference.

posted by Omar Akram. Check out his blog: www.omarmusic.com.

RYOT NOTE: Transcendental Meditation not only helps to reduce stress, it also helps with clearing the mind and allowing people to be more creative. The David Lynch Foundation provides millions of dollars of free services every year, implementing these scientifically proven stress-reducing modalities for at-risk populations and communities. See other related articles on David Lynch from RYOT posted at the bottom of this article, and click the gray box to learn more, donate and Become the News!

You can read more about Omar Akram’s background and musical influences in this PRWeb press release: Grammy Award Winning Artist Omar Akram Becomes Latest Entertainment Client to Join YM & Associates PR Marketing Firm at Beverly Hills.

UPDATE

In an April 29, 2019 interview in Thrive Global, Omar was asked:

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

What helps me is meditation. I would highly recommend it to my colleagues. I’ve been doing Transcendental Meditation for many years and it has had a big difference in my life.

Haiku With My Muse, Sali, inspired by Paul Horn

March 20, 2013

Haiku With My Muse

You are my soul mate
With you, I can be mySelf
Together, We Are

© Ken Chawkin
With Sali at Parkview
Sunday, March 17, 2013

See Celebrating Paul Horn and his Contribution to Jazz, World Music, Meditation and Spirituality.

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Celebrating Paul Horn and his Contribution to Jazz, World Music, Meditation and Spirituality

March 20, 2013

Paul Horn, Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and David Lynch attend the press conference for the David Lynch Foundation “Change Begins Within” Benefit Concert at Radio City Music Hall on April 3, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)

It was St. Patrick’s Day on Sunday, March 17, 2013. It was also Paul Horn’s 83rd birthday, and I had sent around an email about it with links to Paul’s participation (:55–1:22) in the Change Begins Within Press Conference Highlights from Radio City Music Hall in NYC, April 3, 2009, and the concert the following night. Here’s an overview of the Change Begins Within Press Conference and musical Paul McCartney & Ringo Starr Concert Highlights. This is a great collection of concert clips and interviews, and DLF school clips: Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr Collaborate for Meditation in Schools. An edited version was shown on PBS. Someone posted these excerpts: Paul McCartney/Ringo Starr “Change Begins Within” Concert (39:39).

A Symphony of SilenceI also read an interview with Paul Horn in the first chapter of A Symphony of Silence: An Enlightened Vision by George A. Ellis. Paul spoke about his philosophy of music and improvisation, how he communicated musically with a killer whale at an aquarium in Victoria, BC, and in Hawaii. He also spoke about his own spiritual quest, how he started Transcendental Meditation and met Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. He discussed how he was invited to join a course in India with Maharishi and his experiences there. George Ellis also asked Paul questions about his becoming a TM teacher in those early days, and also playing his flute in the Taj Mahal. It’s a great interview, and a wonderful way to start the book! It got me hooked.

Rolf Erickson, editor-in-chief of Enlightenment, The Transcendental Meditation Magazine, emailed to say there’s an excerpt of the interview with Paul Horn in the latest issue, number 11, called The Music of Meditation. In it, George cites a beautiful quote from Paul’s own book, Inside Paul Horn: The Spiritual Odyssey of a Universal Traveler, highlighted at the top of the article: “We are traveling in historical time, from the present to the distant past. We are traveling inwardly as well, through the music of meditation.” Rolf also contributed an article about George Ellis, Sharing the Symphony of Silence, describing what he had accomplished as a TM teacher and entrepreneur, and his heartfelt tribute to Maharishi with this book. Visit http://asymphonyofsilence.com.

Here’s an earlier post from a few years ago: Iconic Jazz Musician Paul Horn Performs Inside MUM’s Golden Dome in Historic Concert May 15. The concert was in the context of a Symposium on Music and Consciousness during which Paul Horn was honored for his lifelong contribution to music, as a jazz musician and Father of New Age Music; and consciousness, as a longtime teacher of Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation technique. Paul taught thousands of people to meditate in the 70’s. Here is Paul’s great talk at that Symposium: Improvisation: The Ultimate Art of Self-Expression — Paul Horn at MUM. Click here to see all of the Lecture and Performance Videos including Q & A.

During his visit to MUM and Fairfield, Jo Ann Gesner interviewed Paul for an article, Paul Horn: Improvisation from the Inside Out, published in Enlightenment Magazine’s 6th issue with a beautiful photo of Paul and his wife, Ann Mortifee, taken in Café Paradiso.

This video, Inside Paul Horn, is an overview of Paul Horn’s career. Originally titled, Inside Paul Horn Special Edition, it includes clips from Story of a Jazz Musician – David Wolper Presents, and was uploaded on Jan 14, 2011 by annmortifee. It seems to have been taken down now but you can see the full 3-part film here.

For more on the music of Paul Horn and Ann Mortifee, visit http://paulhornmusic.com and http://annmortifee.com.

Listen to Monica Hadley interview George A. Ellis on Writer’s Voices – 20130712 and how his book Symphony of Silence came about.

See my Haiku With My Muse, Sali, inspired by Paul Horn.

See Snapshots: Paul Horn in Conversation: History & Influences.

Paul Horn died June 29, 2014. There were many memorial articles about the jazz flutist, composer and creator of new age music who also became a teacher of  Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation at his ashram in Rishikesh, India. He taught thousands to meditate in the United States and returned to make a film about Maharishi when the Beatles happened to be there to learn more about TM at his ashram. The Guardian announced his passing: Paul Horn, father of new age music, dies aged 84, then published a more detailed obituary.


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