"Groove Magazine interviews Iasos"
Michael Leuffen interviews Iasos
for the German Magazine Groove

Nov. 6, 2013

Questions & Answers

Iasos' response to the question:
"What is New Age Music?"


Questions & Answers
Questions by Michael Leuffen

How did you first get into music and performing?

I started taking piano lessons when I was 8 years old. I started taking flute lessons when I was 10 years old. My formal music training was just grade school and high school. I began performing at piano recitals – when I was 8 years old

What or who were your early passions and influences in music?

Martin Denny – because his music was evolved BOTH harmonically & rhythmically. (most music is usually only one or the other)
[[ Martin Denny = “exotica” = 1950s lush tropical cocktail lounge music, with tropical bird calls ]]

What do you personally consider to be the incisive moments in your artistic work and/or career?

I have precisely 2 “incisive moments”:

1. When I began to spontaneously “hear” paradise music in my mind – a music that was totally unlike any earthly music I had ever heard. It was just so heavenly!!!

2. When I became consciously aware of the higher-dimensional light being – Vista – that had been transmitting these musical visions into my mind. Upon suddenly “remembering” Vista , I simultaneously “remembered” that he and I had made an agreement to work together. This agreement was made before I was born. So I very suddenly “remembered” Vista and “remembered” our agreement, and this also released a huge FLOOD of love from me to Vista , loving him the way a younger brother would be loving an older brother.

Can you describe your sound for us in your own words?

Celestial, heavenly, other-worldly, inter-dimensional music - filled with joy, love, & ecstacy.

What do you personally want to accomplish with music?

I wish to fulfill the agreement I had made with Vista before I was born. And this agreement is to receive (from Vista ) music ideas and visual ideas, and then to manifest this as music that anyone can hear and visuals that anyone can see (dvd). And that the underlying PURPOSE of this music and visuals, is to facilitate people raising their vibrations, at this pivotal time in earth's history, when the earth itself is profoundly raising its vibrations. So, to create music & visuals that would facilitate people staying “in sync” with the planet as it is raising upwards in vibrations. To create music & visuals that would help people connect with their own inner Divinity.

With what electronic devices are you working?

I use pretty much everything. Each type of device has its own unique “charm” that other types of devices can not offer.

  • I use acoustic instruments.
  • I use electronically-processed acoustic instruments.
  • I use hardware electronic synthesizers.
  • I use hardware electronic samplers.
  • I use hardware electronic special-effects units.
  • I use hardware electronic mixers.
  • I use software synthesizers.
  • I use software samplers.
  • I use software special-effects units.
  • I use software mixers.


What are your main compositional- and production-challenges?

no challenges

What do you usually start with when working on a new piece?

I usually start with a musical vision in my mind. It's like listening to music with headphones. Only this is without headphones, and this music does not yet exist “out here”.

How strictly do you separate improvising and composing?

I do not consider myself a competent musician, and therefore I do not do much improvising - except for flute.

At a certain point in my life, I knew I had to choose between being a “ specialist ” of only one instrument, or a “ generalist ” that fooled with many instruments, but was a master of none. I chose the path of the “ generalist ”, because I wanted to create musical landscapes that incorporated many different instruments. And so I am more of a musical dilettante. I am really not a master of any musical instrument. And therefore, there is not much improvising that occurs in my music. I pretty much conceptualize the “ideal melody”, and then I practice that, and eventually record that. And then I proceed to the next instrument I need to record. I am not a sufficiently-competent musician for improvising.

How do you see the relationship between sound, space and composition?

Well, let's just say I really ENJOY creating 5.1 Surround mixes of my music. It's a rich immersive experience. For example, on my “Realms of Light” dvd, if they choose to listen with 5.1 Surround, and if they listen to the flute solo on that dvd – “The Temples of Olympus at Dawn” – they will experience it like an eagle “flying” in the air all around them.

But my passion that I have also had for most of my music career is “ 3D Stereo ” – where I endeavor to create 3D effects when listening with headphones. For example, in my piece “Crystal*White*Fire*Light” the 3D Stereo includes sounds orbiting around your head; and sounds “fountaining out” – from above your head and then spreading out on the horizontal plane all around you. This piece is like a parade of 3D Stereo effects. These 3D Stereo effects are not created using any particular technology. I am simply applying my understanding of psycho-acoustics in how I mix the sounds. By the way, you can not get this 3D Stereo effect with speakers – regardless of how “excellent” they are – because the sound of the left speaker goes to BOTH ears, and the sound of the right speaker goes to BOTH ears, and this blurs the 3-dimensional hologram that you can experience with headphones, since with headphones each ear is hearing its own discrete signal, and those two signals together project or induce a 3-d hologram in your mind.

It is said that you are one of the very early new age musicians.   Can you tell us how it all began?

In 1975 I released my first album – "Inter-Dimensional Music" .

And who have been your role models?

no one

Many people claim that your record “Angelic Music” is one of the best new age records ever. Can you tell why in your own words?

Because it has a wide demographic spread of appeal. (many different types of people like it) You might say, it has “universal appeal”. It feels like the Divine Mother spreading a warm blanket of nurturing & caring LOVE. So many different types of people can appreciate that. I get many reports of:

  • mothers using it to help their babies go to sleep
  • mothers playing this when they are giving birth
  • friends & family playing this for their loved one when they are dying

And how did you manage to create sound that is similar to the music that people with Near-death experiences experienced?

Well, after all, the name of my company is “Inter-Dimensional Music”. How did I create it? By receiving guidance from Vista – the higher-dimensional light being I work with. Whenever Vista “transmits” a new music piece into my mind, I always simultaneously receive 3 components:

1. musical details (the melody, the chords, the tones, etc.)

2. technical details (HOW to create these sounds)

3. the general effect this particular piece will have on listeners. (And this is always accurate info.)

I am merely a “step-down transformer” for Vista . I am a “branch office” for Vista . I am a humble but extremely-enthusiastic “representative” for Vista , here on earth.

Do you feel it important that an audience is able to deduct the processes and ideas behind a work purely on the basis of the music? If so, how do you make them transparent?

NONE of this is important – at all! The audience does not need to “understand” anything about it at all! The ONLY IMPORTANT thing is:

1. How does it make you feel ?
2. Does it transport you to a wonderful consciousness space ?

The role of an artist is always subject to change. What's your view on the (e.g. political/social/creative) tasks of artists today and how do you try to meet these goals in your work?

The words “role” and “task” are based on assumptions that I do not agree with. The words “role” and “task assume there is some higher authority that is assigning a “role” or “task” to music, which the music must therefore produce.

There is NO INHERENT ROLE or TASK to MUSIC!

There is NO INHERENT ROLE or TASK to ANY art form!

Music can do certain things. But music is not obligated to do certain things. And so, I do not “try to meet” any of these imaginary but unreal obligations.

I have set my own goals for my music. But these are not externally-assigned goals. They are goals that I myself choose to have.


Usually, it is considered that it is the job of the artist to win over an audience. But listening is also an active, rather than just a passive process. How do you see the role of the listener in the musical communication process?

“Winning over an audience” is a silly concept. Why? Because ALWAYS, you will “win over” some people and not “win over” other people.

It boils down to this:
Music preferences are emotional preferences.
When you say you like this music, you are really saying you like the emotions that music induces within you.

Musician are all merchants selling emotions – served on the platter of sound.
All musicians are “specialist” in one particular type of emotion.
For example, I specialize in the emotions of ecstasy.

For music (and for ALL art,) the basic concept is this:

If the audience is on a similar mind-set or consciousness as the musician, they will LOVE the music.

If the audience is on a different mind-set or consciousness than the musician, they will NOT like the music at all.

So, no matter WHAT the musician creates,
there will ALWAYS be those that love it and those that don't.
There will ALWAYS be those that the music “wins over” and those that it does not.

There is no inherent “role of the listener”.
There is no inherent goal, or task, or “role” of the listener.
The listener can listen ANY way they please!

In many of your compositions you use synths to create an ambient space. What is soundwise the difference between an electronic and an acoustic based piece of ambient or new age music?

Actually, there is not too much ambient music you can create with acoustic instruments, unless you are using an orchestra with notes held for a long time. Ambient music pretty much began after electronic music began. I am personally not aware of ANY ambient music (by my definition) that has been created acoustically.

But in general, there was originally a BIG difference between electronically-created sounds and acoustically-created sounds.

Acoustic sounds were very rich and “organic”.
Electronic sounds were very “cold” and “sterile”.

Why? Because, in the old days, a sound created electronically would have the EXACT same wave shape for each cycle of the sound. In contrast, acoustic instruments (like plucking a guitar string) have APPROXIMATELY the same wave shape for each cycle. But not exactly the same wave shape. And this constantly varying wave shape is what makes acoustic instruments sound so “rich” and “organic”, compared to electronic.

But over the years, electronic instruments have become much more refined & sophisticated, and now they have reached the point where they can also sound very “rich and organic”, like acoustic instruments.

How do you feel space and time through music? How/why is ambience or a sense of ‘the ambient' important to what you do?

Well, in many ways, I am focused on re-creating music as it exists on higher dimensions. And some of this higher-dimensional music has a sense of timelessness (no beginning, no end, just existing eternally) So continuously sustaining sounds (if harmoniously interacting) can induce a sense of “the music of the spheres” – as they actually do exist on higher dimensions.

An interesting coincidence: On the higher dimensions and the higher levels of consciousness, there exists only The Eternal NOW , as opposed to linear time, as we know it here on earth (past, present, future). And so the music of “Eternity” would, as expected, be sustained tones that slowly change, but continue for a long LONG time. I even have an album called “ Timeless Sound ”.

Which of your own tracks are you most proud of?

For sacredness, I am proud of:

For technical achievement, I am proud of:
For conveying a sense of the Infinite Creator, I am proud of:
For sweetness & ecstatic feelings, I am proud of


Can you describe the relation between your work and your identity.

I have absolutely no idea of their relationship.

What's something you've learned through music that has helped you in life (and vice versa)?

Sometimes, in music creation, I have a VAGUE idea of how I want a particular section to sound & feel, but I have no idea how to effectively implement and create that. But I have learned from experience, that ALL I have to do, is simply keep my MIND FOCUSED on that, and inevitably, ALWAYS, without exception, the details come into existence, and it eventually manifests wonderfully. So I have learned that:

To achieve any goal, simply keep your MIND FOCUSED on that goal,
and then that goal WILL absolutely manifest! Always! No exceptions!

What can music do which all other art forms can not?

I would never make any such “absolute” statement, that music and ONLY music can do “this or that”.

However, I can say, that music is a conductor of emotions, and so it is EASY for music to induce a particular emotional state. But this is already very obvious to everyone.

What kind of music would you make in a world without electricity?

Well, since I am trying to re-create higher-dimensional music, and since much of this music has a lot of reverberation (reverb) and echo, I would probably be playing flute in a temple or chapel that had a lot of echo and reverb.

Please recommend two new age music artists to our readers which you feel deserve their attention.

I would recommend Jonn Serrie and Kevin Kendle. (since you are requesting only two recommendations)

In 1987 the Swiss musician Andreas Vollenweider received the first grammy in the category New Age Recording. How did you feel about the case that a form of sub-cultural music reached the mainstream?

It was inevitable. It had to happen sooner or later.

Can you give us a short individual definition of new age in your words? How would you define this kind of music. What are its aims and who are its main key musicians in your eyes?

The term “new age music” has gone through many transformations. ORIGINALLY, it meant music that could be used for spiritual purposes – like for meditating, or for doing yoga, or for tuning in to your own higher self, or your favorite Divine being. Music to help you connect with your own inner spirituality.

Then it branched out to include electronic music. Then it branched out further to include singers - of all types. Then it REALLY branched out to include music from many ethnic cultures around the world. Then it branched out to include rhythmic music (“world beat”).

And then the term “new age music” became such a large inclusive term, that now, “new age music” simply means miscellaneous” .
If it does not fit any of the normal music categories, then we'll just call it “new age music”.

How, would you say, could non-mainstream forms of music reach wider audiences?

Well, that is what is happening right NOW – thanks to the internet. There are 2 factors that have made it possible for non-mainstream music to reach a global audience:

1. The cost of equipment to create music and record music, has become inexpensive enough, so pretty much ANYONE can create music now days.

2. Thanks to the internet, your music can easily reach a VAST global audience.

Are there any musicians you always wanted to work with? If so: who and why?

I always wanted to play electric flute with Jimi Hendrix , but he left us. I also very much enjoy playing with the magnificent violinist Steve Kindler, whose violin playing is on my piece “The Diamond-Shining Mind of God”.

Who are you listening to these days?

Vista

How is music a part of your life?

I usually focus on music-creation each evening.

Any musical guilty pleasures?

I have no guilt about ANYTHING.

When do you feel most at peace?

Right after sex.

What superpower would you like to have?

Omniscience (much more consciousness)

What ethos / motto do you try to live your life by?

I like to interact with everyone with a win/win mentality. I want ALL my interactions with everyone to be pleasant interactions that are beneficial to BOTH of us. I like all my interactions with others to be mutually-enriching & mutually-beneficial.

Is there a God, and what's your proof for your answer?

I am ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that there is a God, and I am ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that

God is Infinite-Unconditional-LOVE.

Proof is impossible, because you would be looking for a physical dimension proof of a multi-dimensional reality. No lower dimensional can ever have “proof” of any higher-dimensional reality. (That's like trying to “prove” the stereo separation in a mono version of some stereo music.) And God is ALL infinite dimensions. So how could it even be possible to have a physical proof of this? “Physical proof” is for the physical dimension. God exists on all infinite dimensions.

God is a formless thinking substance, and whatever it thinks “ripples” into form.

So, HOW could you ever have “proof” of a formless thinking substance? God can take on any form, but does not have any one particular form. God is consciousness. You are consciousness. Therefore, you can experience God only in your consciousness. God can not be “proven” (in the conventional sense of “proof”). God can only be subjectively-experienced in consciousness.

For those that have never subjectively experienced God, there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING you could say that would convince them that God is real.

For those that have subjectively experienced God, there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING you could say that would convince them that God is not real.

 

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"What is New Age Music?"

(This is Iasos' response to one of the questions asked to Iasos by Michael Leuffen
for an interview in the German Magazine Groove
Nov. 6, 2013)

To understand the essence of  “New Age Music”, you must first understand the global New Age Movement , as a whole - since “New Age Music” is merely a subset of this.

To explain the New Age Movement, first a metaphor:

Imagine that the cycles of day and night on earth were not 24 hours, but 12,000 years. And imagine that the people were living in an era where the inhabitants were just beginning their transition from night to day – a transition which would take more than 500 years. The ONLY thing they knew, for their entire recorded history is night-time. But now – very gradually, very subtly – the light of the coming day was beginning to emerge. Who in this society would notice this gradual increase in light? Not everyone. ONLY the most light-sensitive people would notice this. They would yell out to everyone else “The LIGHT is coming! The LIGHT is coming!” and of course everyone else would think they were crazy, because they could only see the darkness. As the years progressed and gradually more and more light entered, more and more people were light-sensitive enough to notice this coming transition. So even MORE people were now proclaiming: “The LIGHT is coming! The LIGHT is coming!” And still, the less-sensitive majority, would think they were crazy and living in a fantasy. As the years progressed, the light of the morning would get progressively more obvious, and so gradually, a larger and larger % of the population began to realize that, yes, the Light was in fact coming. This was no longer a crazy theory, but now a fact. Until eventually, EVERYONE took for granted that the Light is here and it is now a bright morning.

If you replace the ”morning light” of our metaphor, with the “higher spiritual vibrations of the Golden Age on earth”, you will then understand what the New Age Movement is all about. Initially, (late 1960s and early 1970s) only those that were most sensitive to subtle high-frequency spiritual energies, were noticing that a “spiritual-Light” was beginning to emerge on our planet. As time went on, more and more people began to notice this, while the sleeping majority, simply dismissed all this as “crazy hippies”, or people living in a fantasy world.

The New Age Movement on earth was composed of those persons that were spiritually-sensitive enough to notice this gradually-emerging spiritual Light on our planet. They were the fore-runners, the advance-guard, the path-makers, the harbingers - introducing to the rest of humanity the higher spiritual awareness that our planet was now beginning to enter into.

And as the leading-edge of this “spiritual awareness” on our planet, the people in this New Age Movement began to develop and make publicly available many modalities to help spiritually “wake up” the rest of humanity, and to help them get healthier, and to help them attune more easily to Spirit. And these modalities to “wake up” and to improve the lives of others covered many many fields of society, including:

So “ New Age Music ” began as merely one area of society, among MANY areas of society, where those that were most sensitive to this gradually-increasing Spiritual Light on our planet, were offering their specialty – music - to help others attune to this increasing spiritual energy and to attune to their own spiritual Higher Self.

As such, “ New Age Music ” broke away from many music conventions, such as:
                       lyrics,   rhythm,   the need to follow the [verse ==> chorus ==> verse]  pattern, etc.

They even broke away from the “obligation” to have a recognizable melody!

As more and more people become sensitive to this emerging spiritual Light on our planet, the more the New Age Movement will merge and become one with and integrate with the mainstream society of our planet. And there are signs of this already starting to happen, as some terms that were initially limited primarily to the New Age Movement , have infiltrated into the mainstream society, and are now generally accepted terms in mainstream society. 
Terms such as: karma, mantra, good vibes/bad vibes (sensing the subtle energies around a person or place).

Eventually the New Age Movement will become fully integrated and merged with mainstream society, just as (in our metaphor) eventually everyone was aware that the morning light was in fact a reality.

As this merging process continues, it is no surprise that the term “ New Age Music ” continues to broaden its meaning, to include more and more types of music -until now – 2013 – it merely means “miscellaneous music”.

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