I first had the amazing opportunity to experience Elijah and the +(Band of Light)- in Sedona, Az at Raw Spirit Festival in 2008. I serendipitously stumbled upon Elijah enchanting a beautiful group in the healing dome with a rare and precious blend of soulful charisma, magical hypnotic vocals, and divinely heartfelt compositions. I later got to experience him immersed in a fuller live looping sound setup with other instrumentalists, which was just utterly life changing. I traveled in both sound journeys to very pure, uplifted and sacred realms of sonic mastery. Since then, I have been gleefully following his career, curiously excited to see what was cooking within the creative cauldron of this treasure of a human.
As it turns out, a lot has been cooking, wowza! Elijah has not only released several amazing soundhealing improvisations (which I admittedly listen to on a regular basis, filling my home with angelic dolphin vibes that are truly of another world), but he’s also been dropping hints of singles from his new album, ARRIVAL, which excited fans have been anticipating the release of for some time. Lucky for us, the wait is up, and ARRIVALis indeed arriving, unleashing its magic unto the world this Tuesday, July 10th.
The entire album is a powerful reminder and invitation to love, presence, embodiment of joy, breath; essentially living playfully and sensually in our prayer. Musically, this record is booty shakin’ through and through with epic instrumental arrangements setting the listener up for lucid, anthemic and victorious moments of awakening. I was super stoked to hear this fun and groovy sound, with tastey pop fresh hooks and memorable melodies, articulate funky horn sections, world fusion latin and island rhythmic yumminess, raging walls of electric guitars, luscious chorus vocals, delicate piano, looping and electronic experimentation; this record is truly taking the new world paradigm language of a transformational culture to another level of musical accessibility.
And of course, at the forefront is Elijah’s pure heart and message of devotion and living life as a celebration, being gentle with ourselves and our healing, making every moment an opportunity to connect, grow and transform. All this juice, delivered with passion, grace, powerful intention, presence, and completely off the hook enchanted vocal stylings that honestly make me wonder if he’s really as human as he claims to be 🙂 I suppose thats just it, that as we continue to ground into our fullness of humanness, we are in essence total angels of light. Well, thank you Elijah for setting a fine example.
As a special treat, I have the privilege of inviting the artist at work here to share a bit of his intention and creative process regarding music, being human, and his new epic album release ARRIVAL.
– Why make music Elijah? could you speak to the powers of music?
Oh yes, sweet music…Where would we be without you? It’s unimaginable. I make music because, it’s the only way I know how to express outwardly, the full spectrum of emotion, and the immense depth and range of frequency that I hear when I close my eyes and listen. When I was a young child around the age of 3, I became aware that the best way for me to fully express how I was feeling was by playing the piano. When I tried to put those same feelings into language, the words would fall short of transmitting the full message. (This is still true for me today.) I noticed that people would use their minds to listen to what I was saying when I used words to tell a story, but when I played them that same story in music, they would listen with their heart. I found great wisdom in those early explorations of sound and composition… I found that, music has a way of penetrating right into the heart and soul of who we really are because it bypasses the mind. It’s already been proven that music can change the world, and shift the course of human history. Music can brighten a gloomy day, and it can make us laugh, cry, and see reality in a new way. These things and more are why I am forever a music devotee. 🙂
Beautifully stated. What is the overall intention and vision of ARRIVAL?
The overall intention of this album is to share a story – in music – about an angel who decides to come down ‘all the way’ and play the game here on Earth, by merging with it’s human counterpart. From our perspective, it’s about allowing the higher self to descend and ground into our body. A lot of people have misconceptions about the spiritual path, specifically around ascension, as if someday we are going to just float off the planet, or aliens are going to come and rescue us, therefore denying our responsibility to our bodies, our planet, and to each other. ARRIVAL is a reminder that the final step of ascension is GROUNDING, and everything we’ve been taught to be afraid of is actually the key to our liberation. This album is about celebrating, liberating, and getting into our bodies. Some of the songs on ARRIVAL are sung (naturally) from the human perspective, and some are sung more from the angel / higher self perspective. Quite a few songs are a fusion of both perspectives, as they merge more into one voice. Through the process of ‘going down’ the human/angel realizes that the arrival is within. Through this story the angel intends to wake up all the other sleeping angels, and acknowledge those who are already awake, to let them know that it is time to fully arrive.
-I’ve read in your fan updates that this album took four years to create, and that this album has a specific significance for you as a creative milestone- could you share about the journey of making this album and what significance it has for you as an artist?
Yes, this is a great question… and a large one at that. I will do my best to be concise.
ARRIVAL began as a concept album which was originally intended to be called “Anchorpop.” The conceptual vision of the album (about the angel who comes all the way down) was clear when I first started the project over 4 years ago, but the musical vision and the choice of which songs were to be on the record was really just discovered recently. There were about 25 songs, in different stages of recording, that were possibilities for the album, and I feel the 13 tracks that made it on ARRIVAL really show a wide range of what the +(BAND of LIGHT)- is capable of. About 3 years ago, I released a limited edition Anchorpop EP, just to get an idea of the audience feedback. Those early mixes were very ‘poppy’ and synth-based, but still with a full band sound. The ARRIVAL album is way more of a full spectrum sound, with more roots… meaning that I replaced a lot of synths with live instruments, like guitars and hammond organ, and live drums. One of my favorite things about making this album though, was playing with the blend of electronic and acoustic sounds, because that really supports the theme of the album which is merging of the worlds. Generally, I play almost all the instruments on my recordings…but I really wanted this album to sound like it was live, like there really is a group of musicians playing together. So over the last 2 years I have brought in some amazing players who shared their talents and helped fill out the album with a truly amazing sound. I couldn’t have done it without them.
One more thing I’ll say about the journey of making this album is that, embedded within the lyrics, rhythms, and melodies, is my personal journey of Arrival. The listeners, and the true seekers, will find much gold hidden in this offering, that will activate and inspire them on their own path of arrival.
-Tell us a little bit about the 13 ray progression- what can you share at this point of what you have in store? What new musical territories are you wanting to explore?
ARRIVAL is the first of a 13 part series by +(BAND of LIGHT)-, and we will be exploring a wide range of musical styles and genres with each new album, in relationship to the Ray it represents. “The 12 Rays of Creation” as they are called, will be an expression of 12 main virtues, or steps along the path to Unity Consciousness. As you shared in your question, there really are 13 Rays in this progression, and it will be up to the Band Members to find the 13th Ray hidden within the 12. 🙂 That’s all I will say for now. ARRIVAL serves as kind of an “intro” to the journey.
The 12 Ray albums that will follow “ARRIVAL” are the culmination of my life’s work, and the work of those who will find themselves a part of the Band. I would say about half of the Rays are already written, and half are to be co-created with other artists that we will be adding to the Band with each new Ray. Truly, the journey of the 12 Rays will be an intuitive unfoldment that will be guided in part by the fans (Band Members) who will be able to vote on which direction we will go.
I am very exited to release the 12 Rays of Creation in a way that modern music has never been released before…I am not at liberty to speak in depth of it at the moment, but there is a platform being built for the +(BAND of LIGHT)- that will allow members to have a truly personal connection with each new release, and to be able to explore the Rays in an interactive way. The journey will in part be guided by the music, but will also be featuring visionary art and dance, which will be created by a collective of awakening human angels, in the growing BAND of LIGHT community.
– I rejoice and embrace that this music has what i’m going to call here an unabashedly joyful rainbow unicorn attitude, interwoven with distinct landmarks of a transformational lifestyle. With music having such a direct message and intention, can you speak into why is it important for you as an artist to embody this in your work? Is this intentional, or is this just what happens when you open your channel and create?
Yes, it’s true…LOVE is what happens when I open my heart and create. The music and lyrics on ARRIVAL generally reflect a transformational lifestyle, not because I am trying to write ‘positive messages’ but because this is who I am, and transformation is what I generally dwell upon, in the quiet moments of life. I am a rainbow man, what can i say? 🙂 Of course, there are hard days, too…. it’s not all rainbows all the time. Songs like “Call on the Rain” really dive into those deeper emotions, but the great part is that even the dark days lead back to the Rainbow.
I feel I have a responsibility as an artist to be authentic in the art that I create…and for me it’s just not authentic to be a downer. My life is dedicated to love, and this is what flows through, in all it’s forms, when I write music. That being said, I am here to explore the full range of emotion through music. There’s no sense in denying our shadow. I just say YES to bringing it back to Love, no matter where the story goes.
– Is there anything else you’d like to share with us about your current relationship to music? Any words of wisdom to the aspiring composer
Music is the means by which the sound of our source enters our world. However, music can also become a recapitulation of our cultural habits and emotional patterns that may or may not reflect the potential that is available to us at the moment…whether expressing it’s highest potential or being the “same old same old” music reflects to us who we are as a species. I pray that a whole new generation of composers and songwriters emerge, so our collective music may once again reflect the beauty, and potential of the human race, and help us remember who we really are. For example, I would love to hear more positive, and uplifting songs on the radio.
If I could share any words of wisdom with aspiring composers (or aspiring humans) It would be this: Stay focused on what you LOVE to do. Stay focused on what you are saying YES to. Let the things that are a “no” in your life, be the riverbank for your river of YES to flow through. Don’t let criticism sway you from committing to your dreams. If you feel it, go for it. Also: don’t forget to ground. By that I mean, create physical reflections of your dreams in the world. Write down and record your songs, and your poetry. Paint the paintings in your head. Grow a garden and sing to those seeds what your dreams are. Do anything that carries your intentions from the misty realms of creativity, to the Earth. Most of my life I have been a mystical creative type, and it’s taken me a while to “come down.” All I can say is, if you want your dreams to manifest, you must ARRIVE.
My advice, specifically for aspiring composers, is to write a song every day. At the very least create time and space every day for your writing.
– If you could write the next two lines of this song, what would they be?
If we are what we create,
let us be the art of such a fate.
So let us dance and celebrate
As we enter through Arrival’s gate.