Mantras TO OPEN YOUR HEART
by Tina Malia
You have recorded in both the mainstream and spiritual musical traditions, how do you see yourself as an artist in the world today?
For me, true art delivers an experience that transcends logical boundaries. It’s very essence is absolute freedom, the creative force that can not be tamed. Music is one of my favorite ways to tap into this force, to express the dreams and stories of my time on Earth.
I’ve always had a natural attraction to music that sings directly to the heart and gestures to something immense that connects us all, a love that can neither be seen, nor touched, nor spoken. These songs, in different languages and from different traditions and styles all meet together in the same place: in reverence and awe of life.
You can hear it in the honesty and longing of the music, regardless of the language or instruments used. As a musical artist, I’m constantly running towards that which inspires me to create, and trying not to worry too much about being limited in a certain category of music.
My ultimate goal is to experience and create that space of awe in all of the music I make.
You were inspired in your teens by women singer/songwriters such as Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell. As you learned to play guitar, opening the door to your own song writing gift, can you describe your song writing process and also your role as a song writer.
Song writing for me starts with a feeling. A feeling that wants to come out, wants to experience the outside world. This feeling can be sparked by joy or sadness, or anything in between. Often, I hear a melody that matches my feeling, which is sometimes accompanied by a lyric or two. From there, I use guitar or piano to create the chords and rhythm. Once there is the basic framework of the music, I start filling in the lyrics and become totally immersed in the story that is being told.
I have found that, regardless of what feeling I start the song with, the process of writing and just being with music has a profound cleansing effect on my spirit and affects my writing process. You’ll find this reflected in my lyrics in English, they’re always steered towards hope and awe.
This is actually the effect that the music is having on me as I’m writing the poetry.
You have a spiritual outlook and persuasion, how does this view affect your song writing and your performance?
It has been the music within spiritual traditions that has lured me. I am unable to resist the beauty of pure sounds, voices singing and playing in adoration of their Divine. It has a different feeling, devotional music, like a place you remember but have never seen, a place to be washed of your fears and doubts.
Naturally, I wish to share that experience with others, so it goes hand in hand with my song writing as well as what I aspire to bring to a stage.
Do you follow any particular spiritual path or tradition? Can you talk a bit about your own awakening moments?
I do not follow any specific spiritual tradition, though if I had to choose one, I would give my allegiance directly to Mother Earth.
Many of my awakening moments have been about removing layers of thought, namely those that have us believe we are separate from nature. As I've shed many of these layers and began walking closer to the Earth, I've been greeted by many others around the world who also live in reverence of nature.
My love for Indigenous music and spirituality comes from this shared way of being.
Can you share any insights you have gleaned through your immersion in working with the power of sound, and more specifically Mantra, to affect consciousness in both ourselves and the world?
Mantra, or the repetition of sacred word(s), can be used in different ways: through singing, speaking, or silent internal repetition.
The internal repetition of mantra, called japa, has been the single most powerful tool for healing and self-transformation that I’ve had the fortune to stumble upon in my lifetime.
Giving the mind a place to focus and rest allows the heart to breathe, to feel the depth and vastness of love that already exists there. I’ve had amazing success with using mantra to heal depression, for it hits at the root of cause, which is turmoil of the mind. Sometimes we must train our minds to feel well and happy, and mantra is a most gentle friend that leads us to that destination.
You will be performing around Australia soon, what message do you offer to our readers about your upcoming tour?
Are you kidding? I love Ozzies. No matter where I go all over the world, when I meet an Ozzie, my heart melts a little and I’m smitten. I can’t wait to see your warm smiles again!!
2017 AUSTRALIAN TOUR
April 1 & 2
BYRON Spirit Festival Workshop and Concert
Booking Link: www.spiritfestival.com.au
April 6 & 7
ADELAIDE Workshop & Concert
Booking Link: www.sonicheart.com.au
April 8 & 9
SYDNEY Concert & Workshop
Booking Link: www.onespace.com.au