Electronic Healing: An Interview with Nadis Warriors' Jason Hahn
Jason Hahn, the visionary behind the production company Re:Evolution Media and member of the electronica band Nadis Warriors, is dedicated to uniting members of the spiritual community through the celebration of our creative capacity. His Manifestation Celebration event brought together music, dance, live art, presentations and workshops, all within the scenic environment of the Dallas Museum of Nature & Science.
His band, Nadis Warriors, fuses the sounds of electronica and eclectic instrumentals. They've shared the stage with Alex Grey more than any other artist to date, combining live music and art performance. Their 2011 album, Allele Frequencies, carries the listener through introspective and transcendent journeys through long, extended musical movements. In this interview, Hahn discusses the "psychedelic explosion" in electronica, performing alongside visionary artist Alex Grey, and Nadis Warriors' approach to healing through art.
You can hear the Nadis Warriors on the E+SM music mix: Evolution for Your Ears. The mix is available for free, but we ask that in return you consider making a contribution to the Evolver Social Movement. Donations will go towards E+SM programs such as building a global network for conscious evolution, sending cool authors out on tours, keeping our staff fed and housed, building new widgets and suchlike on our web thingies, and putting together conferences and festivals in sylvan glades or dense urban centers.
How do you express the psychedelic experience through electronica? Do you construct your music so that it mirrors the entheogenic "trip"?
To start, my training is in natural medicine. I run a wellness clinic in the hill country of Texas. In my research and studies I came across Reiki "hands on energy healing", which I now practice and teach. I also suffer from a condition known as cluster headaches. These headaches are considered one of the most painful medical conditions known to man. Nothing was helping relieve the condition. My fellow doctor friends tried putting me on insane amounts of medication to keep me going, all of which I refused to take.
Then one day DMT found its way to me. I used it in the middle of one of these headaches and within 30 seconds felt a "pop" behind my eye, and the headache was gone. Anyone who suffers from these headaches knows how miraculous it is to get relief from them. So I started using this medicine as a way to fight these headaches. In using this medicine it was revealed to me that the best way to effect change is through music...music is the medium that goes straight to the listener's soul. So the idea of putting intention behind the music, to help heal more than just the patients that I can treat on a one-to-one basis (as in my clinic) began. The Nadis Warriors were formed and the rest is history.
In essence, our music not only mirrors the entheogenic trip, but also has an intention of healing behind it. This is why each song we release has a singing bowl and an intention to effect an individual chakra. We try to reproduce that healing experience the entheogenic trip has had on each and every one of us in this band. It is re-creation of these moments, to help awaken the listener. We are all wounded healers of sorts.
There seems to be a unique bond between the psychedelic experience and electronic music. What place do you think electronica music has in psychedelic culture?
I feel the psychedelic explosion in electronic music is just beginning. I think if you look at the progression of rock music this is a great formula of what is about to occur in the electronic music scene. In the beginning stages of rock music, when it first hit mainstream it was very simple and basic. Three chord progressions were what was being produced, packaged, and sold. Buddy Holley, early Beatles, etc.
And then something happened in the 60's, a direct correlation to popular music and psychedelic use caused this change in music. All of a sudden these basic sounds and chord progressions were transformed into these complex masterpieces. The music evolved. You had bands like the Beatles releasing the concept album "Sgt. Pepper," you had Pink Floyd emerge, and Led Zepplin. All of a sudden these huge opuses of music composition occurred. We are seeing the same thing in the electronic music arena. The simple "bangers", and the drops, are now evolving into these highly composed songs. I think if you watch the up and coming electronic acts you can see this evolution occurring. We are all collectively on the forefront of the psychedelic electronic explosion.
You've performed alongside visionary painter Alex Grey. How would you describe the experience of combining two very powerful mediums of expression? Is there something new and unique created in the process?
The combination of visionary art and music are a very powerful force. This harnesses the medium where creation occurs. When Alex, steps on stage with us I still get chills running through my body. He forces us to step up our game, to elevate the energy to a point of pure intention. The role of art is to express that moment, that quickening. The whole point is to effect change, to remind the participant what they already know, that they are divine. Help them remember that pure expression trumps doubt, and destroys the old paradigm of belief that we must consume to be happy. We don't need products to make us feel better, or this brand to fit in; the old paradigm is crumbling, and new a system will emerge.
Our hope is that pure expression, treating the arts with respect, will blossom into a modern day renaissance. This is a very special generation that has chosen this time in history to be alive. I feel it's the most important generation in human history. Art awakens the divine within. If we can help facilitate this evolution in our listeners, and attendees in the live setting, then we are fulfilling our purpose. The final goal is to help re-awaken this generation to fulfill their purpose on this planet... whatever gift they may have, to use it to help heal this world. We want to help build a scene that encourages expression, healing, and responsibility. I feel the combining of these two mediums of expression (art, music) helps facilitate this idea. What a better way to encourage, to create change without preaching, but through the experiences of art, music, and expression?
The titles of your songs are informed by science, math, and philosophy. For example: "Palindrome Mutation (Root)" refers to a nucleic acid sequence, "Prophase," is a stage of mitosis, and "Apostasy," is Greek for the rejection of religion. How do your songs reflect such titles? Are the titles arbitrary, or do they sync up in deeper ways? Music and math are intertwined; were the songs composed so that they had more than an aesthetic relation with the title's concept?
Everything we do or perform has some underlying meaning. Our latest album is "Allele Frequencies" ("Allele frequency is the proportion of all copies of a gene that is made up of a particular gene variant (allele). Evolution can be defined as the change in allele frequencies in a population.") It is a concept album based on the theory that a re-evolution is occurring right now. So the album breaks down the different levels of cell mitosis, the evolution if you will, of the DNA. Our intention behind the album is that sound and frequencies can help transform DNA. However, since we feel this is a spiritual evolution we also addressed the interpersonal change that must occur in order to evolve.
So for example, in Palindrome Mutation(Root), it opens with Terrence Mckenna saying "do not worry, but this, you will have to get this down." A foretelling of the transformation to come. We also tuned the singing bowls to the Root chakra, to help center the listener to take on this journey of evolution, to feel empowered and strong. So from there it goes through the different stages of cell mitosis (DNA), and interpersonal baggage that holds us back.
The next song Prophase (Dismantling Inhibition)(Sacral) is just at it says. Since we don't have lyrics we have to use titles and audio snippets to get our message across. So in Prophase we tuned the bowls to Sacral, this helps decrease inhibitions that hold us back from taking the chances needed to go deep into ourselves to find our true potential. The goal in this song is to let go of the lies we have been told throughout our lives. "You're not smart enough, You're not pretty enough, etc". All the things that run through our minds that give us self doubt. By releasing self doubt we can truly take the risks needed to fulfill our highest potential.
The song Apostasy for example is helping to release the religious baggage we have been to told to keep us down, the fear-based spirituality that stunts true growth. It then goes into "Anaphase (Dismantling Dogma) (Solar)", again another phase of mitosis, and the final phase of releasing institutional baggage. The song is dark, eerie, and represents facing your own demons, and leaving your trauma, lies about yourself, heartbreak,etc behind. The next track is "Telophase" (Dismantling Cycles)(Brow). This song represents the breaking of drama cycles in one's life, the repeated drama that we attract for one reason or another. By leaving these behind we are able to manifest our true desires, and with pure cause.
The second to last track "Nelumbo" (Sacred Rose)(Heart) has a dual meaning. The first and original inspiration for the song was my dear wife Rose. She has been such an inspiration and strength in my life, and it is my homage to her. The second meaning is once we release drama cycles, we find out we are sacred, like the Nelumbo. Nelumbo is a genus of aquatic plants with large, showy flowers resembling water lilies, commonly known as lotus flowers." Finally, the last track on the album "Cytokenisis" (Cosmic Convergence) represents that moment when humans come together as one, and help re-create a better tomorrow. So as you can see, yes there is a precise meaning to everything we do, or put out.
What influences your compositions? Do you completely shut out the outside world and work from within, or do you borrow sounds and styles from different parts of the world?
It's a balance. We utilize sounds and genres that have influcened our growth, while keeping the innate creativity that hits us with inspiration. We utilize the inspiration from within and merge it with the inspriations that have influenced us. The biggest influence is again, the intention in creating a safe space for the listener to be healed, inspired, and transformed, to help them reach their highest potientiality. Whether it be at home or in the live setting.
How do you think the experience of your music differs in a crowd setting, and in a private setting?
We play off of energy, so the more energy thrown our way in a live setting, the more intense our music becomes. It's the beauty of having a live band in this scene. We can change up peaks live, make each night a different experience, and project the energy of the crowd back into the room. So we really thrive in the live setting. The live setting also creates a sense of community. We strive as humans to find a common connection, and a live music experience helps facilitate this community connection. A lot of our fans have felt different their whole lives, which is why they are seeking undground music and a new culture that hasn't been spoonfed to them by the corporate enterprise. They didn't fit into the modern day capitalistic society. They felt something bigger, something more. A community is what they seek, and we will do our best in creating this community of conscious, forward thinking healers. So we organize our live shows around this idea. We encourage all forms of expression, so the passive role of just going to a concert, becomes an active co-creative experience.
A private setting is much more reflective and personal. Which has equal importance in personal and social evolution. The second aspect of the Nadis Warriors is the ambient albums we have released. The intention is for these sacred, private moments to occur. The music is much more reflective and calm. Allowing the listener to safely travel within.
Unlike a lot of electronica acts, you perform as a full band. What, to you, is the value of live musical performance, in the context of spiritual healing and transformation?
Again, by utilizing a full band, we can tap into the crowd's energy for the night. One night we might peak out at a specific point in one of our songs, and then the next night have it happen in a completely different place. By having the full band it enables us to share in the community creation, and on any given night or song, that "moment" can happen. That is the goal...creating that "moment" each night, and having a live band be able to shift the direction at any given moment helps facilitate a different experience or "moment" each and every show.