What does the San Diego Conscious Music Fest have in common with Deepak Chopra, Louise Hay, Wayne Dyer, Oprah, and Tony Robbins? They all believe in raising the vibration of our planet!
The following interview took place between 3 local singer/songwriters - DevaVani, Peggy Lebo, and Teri Wilder - as a dialogue discussing conscious music and the first annual San Diego Conscious Music Fest. This interview was a fun and enlightening step by the San Diego Conscious Music Fest planning team to help all of the team understand what conscious music is, as well as a way to help others understand through articles, our website and the through the Fest. Also present were Annette Ridenour (Co-producer), Sarah Bella Mondragon, and Gary Harding (Marketing Support), who opens the conversation with the big question.
We hope this dialogue will help you to understand the Conscious Music movement better.
Gary: What is “conscious music”? We say “conscious music is uplifting,” but what is the difference between uplifting music and conscious music?
DevaVani: For me, conscious music is about finding the spiritual gift in every experience - not just the positive ones. And it’s not just about focusing only on the positive and ignoring the rest of what happens, because we all know that the human experience is so much more than that. It’s about finding and retrieving the spiritual messages and gifts that are available to us in any situation. Any good conscious singer/songwriter is going to write about the whole scope of our human experience.
Gary: It seems that a lot of popular music focuses on the ego, with songs that are about ‘getting’ or being a ‘victim’; about having bling and looking good...would you agree?
Teri: Commercialized music can often respond to the lowest common denominator, and may not be asking anybody to do anything, whereas conscious music is calling you to do and live and be more - more conscious, more aware, more connected - lovingly to be more present. And it doesn’t have to be positive, although that is certainly part of it. It brings out something special: a spirit that is in every human being. It raises your vibration.
Peggy: I think that it’s important not to pit us against commercial music because there is some really good commercial music out now. I teach a lot of young kids and there is a whole emergence of artists that are very aware, that are very conscious, that are very much about love. There really is a movement within commercial music right now that really supports what we are doing.
Peggy: Yeah, I mean there is a huge group of people, of young artists, and they are amazing. They are really bringing forth a message that is in affinity with what we are doing here. So I think it’s important to acknowledge, too, that traditional commercial music is a little different than what is happening with this whole new group that is emerging now.
Annette: Tell me what you think spreading this music and offering it on a larger scale is going to mean for us in San Diego? Why does San Diego need this?
DevaVani: I think people are hungry for it and they just don’t know it’s out there. First of all, they don’t know what they are looking for. They might like the feeling they get when they hear a Jason Mraz tune. They wouldn’t think to call it “conscious music”. I think it’s just bringing an awareness to the power of music to inspire, to heal, to lift up, to increase awareness; and you know, as we have said before, that we have the “Best Kept Secret in Town” with all of the great musical artists that come into the Universal Spirit Center. Everybody just floats out of there each Sunday because of the message and the music, but that is only 300 people in the whole city!
Teri: So what if we let the secret out?
DevaVani: We are letting the secret out!
Peggy: And I think, too, that this is the soundtrack for the shift that’s happening on the planet.
DevaVani: Talk some more about the shift on the planet, Peggy.
Peggy: Well, I feel like people are so much more aware of our connection to each other and the idea that we are responsible for making a shift on the planet in what’s happening in the environment and in our relationships with each other, in creating peace on our planet. So this is the music that supports peace on the planet - creating a connection and an interface. It doesn’t matter what your faith or your background is. Music is a way to connect to your heart. We are never going to connect or agree in our minds, but the place that we can connect is in the heart, and that’s where we meet in the music. Music creates a connection that supports a higher consciousness of unity, love, and peace .
Annette: I think the other thing which everyone understands is that when people talk about what is important to them, it’s often their music. Music really helps shift and support people on a daily basis. I have 18 people here (at work) on iPods all day long. You know that they are listening to their tunes! People need to have their tunes. So music is transformative and almost nutritional.
Peggy: I think it is nutritional!
DevaVani: I think music feeds people. Absolutely.
Peggy: Emotions are just vibrations in the body and music is a powerful vibration... if you go back to the time of the ancient Greeks, they assigned emotions to each of the musical scales. They had a whole science behind the impact of music on your life.
Teri: Science is now catching up with metaphysics in that they are saying everything is vibration.
Annette: So there is a huge amount of research that documents the reason why music assists people in healing. Music is now prescribed for individuals, so maybe conscious music is a way of working with our collective consciousness to assist in bettering all our lives on a daily basis.
DevaVani: That’s the essence of “raise your vibration.” Because we are talking about the collective, and we are talking about the power of music to touch every part of someone’s mental, spiritual, & physical body. There are only two things that I know of that can enter into and touch every atom of the body: one is light and the other is sound.
Annette: You are 100% correct.
DevaVani: Music moves energy. We need to move energy through our bodies so it doesn’t get stuck. The energy of all the emotions - whether it’s joy or sadness or grief or pain - needs to move, and music is the easiest and most non-invasive way to move energy.
Annette: There are light workers on the planet right now; there are also sound workers.
Teri: I feel like it’s where sound and light come together, because I don’t feel like it’s one or the other. I feel almost like a channel of light when I sing. Like when I am really connected, I bring in the light.
Sarah: I just keep coming back to having a radio and having to feel bad that my daughter is listening to some lyrics that I don’t feel are positive for her body. There are things that are being said that have to do with escape from reality. I believe that conscious music offers an alternative where we can transcend circumstances that are difficult, but not by turning ourselves off or escaping.
DevaVani: Very nicely said.
Annette: I‘ve had some incredibly spiritual moments at concerts with the unity of all the people there.
DevaVani: Like Woodstock. I grew up in the sixties. I sang and played my guitar and knew all the Joan Baez tunes.
Annette: That was the Conscious music of that generation.
DevaVani: That was our conscious music and it was the voice of a generation. It was also the spiritual signature of my generation, and I really feel like that signature is alive today. And for those of us that didn’t burn out on drugs and alcohol and everything else, we are prepared now to take the planet into the new Aquarian age. That was, for me, what the sixties was all about. We spun out a little bit in the sixties and seventies on drugs and alcohol; we weren’t quite ready and the Aquarian age wasn’t here yet.
Gary: Conscious music is that seed.
DevaVani: Yes, I believe we planted the seed in the sixties.
Teri: There is a whole group that’s become the flowering of this seed now. And it’s really happening. There is an emergence of conscious music that is happening.
DevaVani: Oprah Winfrey is listening to Snatam Kaur, and I cannot tell you how many people are chanting with Deva Premal and her 21 day mantra meditation series. Almost everyone I talk to says, “Are you chanting with Deva Premal”? I’m telling you, those people have got it down! And they’re teaching people about chanting. A woman said to me today, “I never really understood about chanting, but I am coming to your chanting night on Wednesday ‘cause I’m chanting with Deva Premal. (Laughs) And now I get it.”
Gary: I have another question. Why is the yoga community really big into conscious music?
Peggy: It’s parallel; it’s all about connecting with the inner self, so that’s just more of the same language. Yeah, there is a lot of celebration in that music, too. That’s what this music is about - it’s about celebration.
DevaVani: It’s about the connection to the Divine. Physical yoga is a connection to the Divine through the body, and the music of yoga is a connection to the Divine through music. It’s a spiritual practice. Music and yoga are very much tied together.
Peggy: In all faiths, there is always music.
Annette: So in writing this piece... I think it’s really important, because tonight was about telling the story.
DevaVani: It’s important for us to put it into words, so that we can tell it to others.
Congratulations to our Young Voices Songwriting Contest winners!
• First place winner:
Vasi Hunton for her song, Seven Wonders
• Second place winner:
Cordelia Degher for her song, Open Up To Me
• Third-place winner:
Connor Correll for his song, The Joy That Never Ends