Interview by Parisa Eshrati
During the Sonic Bloom Festival, I had a chance to sit down with electronic music producer Yaegon Lamagaia (Kalya Scintilla/Merkaba) and performance artist Eve Olution. We discussed the intention behind their art, healing frequencies, self-awareness and so much more.
You two are about to embark on a tour with Desert Dwellers where you plan to reach out to the community for people to get involved with the show, whether it’s performances, painting, etc. What are you hoping to be the outcome of these interactive shows?
Kalya Scintilla: It’s still very much in the birthing process. We have a theme we’re crafting at the moment, which will be a more specific way of how we would like the community to interact. The whole theme of the tour is the Earth-Heart tour, so it’s connecting with the heart of the Earth. Especially since we are going to urban centers and cities, we’d love to assist the people to connect deeper with the Earth in a place that might not happen as much. We felt that one way that could happen is through getting the community involved in raising awareness around how we can put on an event that feels like an outdoor festival but is all indoors. So, we’re getting people to come along and make art that’s out of up-cycled and recycled materials, and making Earth alters out of natural materials, like sticks and stones. Really making the place colorful and cozy, because a lot of the places we play are just bare venues and bars. It just doesn’t have the magical feel that these outdoor events do. We love the idea of getting the community together and get excited around these events, not just for our tour but for a standard to come in our scene. There are people all around the country that want to offer an alter space and offer décor to make places beautiful.
Eve Olution: It’s a celebration of the Earth and focusing on eco-solutions. Bringing people together for the gathering of the heart, but then also dedicating the celebration to the Earth. We’ll really be looking at particular organizations that do something for the planet because we’re so inundated with the internet and the news media of how devastating things are with pollution. We want to offer up all these beautiful, next level designers and engineers that have taken the time to actually implement something that will make a huge global difference. I think getting people excited and inspired about eco-solutions will be super connective on multiple layers.
In a previous interview, you [Kalya] were discussing how you like using traditional instruments because they “have a deep connection to our past and resonate in our cellular memory”. What do you think is the most powerful aspect of evoking our evolutionary history?
Kalya Scintilla: Well the human voice, first and foremost, is the most powerful tool that we have because it is the resonant field of our entire cellular make-up. In the future, we will probably have healing modalities where you just take and your voice is analyzed and it can tell you everything about your body, from your physical to your spiritual, energetic bodies as well. The drum is also important, it’s the oldest instrument ever. Ancient rhythms unlock these ancient mysteries and these dormant things within us. Really, voice and drum are a big part of it.
Eve Olution: The tuning is very important too.
Kalya Scintilla: The tunings are a big one. We are in a current paradigm in the West where modern music is tuned to a standard scale of a 440 equal tempermant, which if you analyze has absolutely no harmony. There is no ability for the notes to harmonize, except for one note per octave which is the A. I’m interested in relationship of notes in different scales that have resonance. When a sound comes out of a speaker and it interacts with the cells and the water within our body, it forms patterns according to the wave forms that come out. When we have wave forms that don’t harmonize, we get a lot of interference between the notes. This can be effective for certain things, it can create a lot of anxiety and un-easiness. If we go to a dubstep or a metal concert, we get this feeling of being totally blasted by these frequeinces. And on some level, this can be therapeutic if it is done intelligently, but sometimes it can be devastating. So I’m interested in mandalas of sound that have a therapeutic interaction with our bodies. Also using the dissonance for the purpose of bringing up the dissonance within us. We’ve all got the darkness and the shadow and the parts of ourselves that we’re not willing to look at. I’m interested in touching into those, not staying there, but just touch them so when people are listening to the music they might be able to feel that for a moment and choose to liberate that or not.
Since most music is made 440 Hz and that's what most people are used to, a lot of people may not be totally open to accepting a new frequency or it may even feel shocking to their system at first. What kind of practices would you recommend to help people open up to adjusting to higher frequencies?
Eve Olution: It’s interesting, because the bulk of people right now are so used to 440 Hz that it’s actually the opposite experience. You see people watching one of Yaegon’s sets and feeling very elated and open. It’s really beautiful as a being who is now traveling with him to be able to see how people respond from that third person point-of-view and really see it from my own eyes. I notice how he is integrating it more and more, and the people are reacting to it. This one woman came up to us and said how she could actually take her earplugs out and listen to the whole journey and it didn’t hurt. There is an actual, physical feeling of being hurt by these dissonant frequencies, so when you hear something that isn’t dissonant it is very liberating. I think the body naturally knows and has an intelligence that we can start exploring.
Kalya Scintilla: It’s also what the individual resonates with. If you’re in a place of maybe drinking a lot or not eating well, and you’re still sort of learning what’s best for you in the world, you’ll resonate with music that has a similar vibration. When I was younger and had a lot of angst, I listened to a lot of heavy metal and Nine Inch Nails. I think NIN is a great example because Trent Reznor was going through massive amounts of heroin addition and drinking abuse and wrote music that a lot of people could resonant with, and people could feel his pain. It’s this human compassion that we have that we can share emotions when we hear someone in a lot of pain and we’re in the same pain, there’s a connection like, “Oh yeah, I feel that too.” There’s medicine in all music, really. It’s all about what you resonant with.
There is a saying that our intention creates our reality. How do you, if at all, think that this saying describes your artistic process?
Eve Olution: Yes..just yes. [laughs] Every single day and every single moment. When we claim the power of setting our intentions and watching it unfold for us in reality becomes a complete game-changer. When I met Yaegon, him being the masculine embodiment of that really showed me how that applies to my physical reality. Me being a woman, I was able to show him how the intentions and the opening of the emotional and more intuitive places. Together, we fused in our lifestyles and really starting teaching each other the yin and the yang principles of intention. I think there are both feminine aspects of it and masculine aspects. He taught me about putting intention in words, and I also taught him about words but in different ways meaning emotional connection to the word. Not just saying positive intentions for yourself, but feeling them and believing them, and feeling the warmth inside of them.
We’ve been on this really gorgeous journey of every full moon and new moon setting our intentions for that little stint of time and watching what happens. It’s pretty magical to set a prayer or intention and literally watching it unfold the next day. I don’t think there is a day now that we go without doing that. We definitely do that deeper more than ever with our art. With our collaboration together, the spoken word is not just pretty, frivolous ideas. You can feel when we are speaking them inside of the music, there is a vibration that wants to be transferred to the people. The music, then, takes you into that vibration even deeper. The story and the mythos is what we’re weaving in. The people are resonating so deeply with it because it is infused with this intention. People feel it immediately. I think when we all start connecting on these layers of connection, I think you’ll see more being becoming empowering. That’s what we’re really living and sharing through our art.
Kalya Scintilla: We come together and co-create on a whole new level because we’re all conscious that way. Not just creating the good stuff, that’s a big part of it and something I stepped into knowing very early on about creating your reality and hearing about The Secret documentary, but that there’s an emotional aspect to it as well. Being masculine, I was not as connected to that but I knew of it. Eve has definitely taught me how to get deeper in touch with my emotions. As the masculine, I had the visions of where I was going and would hold those visions, and sometimes they would manifest and other times not. But yeah, but when you really feel it it can really happen. It has to be felt in the body. A great example of this is when I realized I wanted more abundance in my life. And not necessarily monetary abundance, but just abundance in general. When we focus on a single thing that we want to attract, we often close the door in which many other things can come. If we get specific, like I want to attract a car or a new computer or a girlfriend, we’re closing doors. We have to be a bit more general.
So yeah, one day I decided abundance. I started really feeling that I have abundance of my life. This is what I’m putting out to the universe. The next day, I went to my favorite café and I sat down and had a big delicious meal with drinks and stuff. I called the waiter over to pay, and he said the people who were sitting at the table next me just paid for my whole meal. I didn’t even know them! Random old people, never me them before in my life! That was just one magical little example of how when you feel it, embody it, and believe it to the core of your being then it will show up. If we are stepping into conscious creation, we have to remember that all the darkness that shows up is something we create as well. If someone comes at you and attacks you, there is somewhere in you that has allowed that to come in. Every single thing, if you crash your car, it’s a part of it. That’s the thing that a lot of people have trouble with. They want to feel like they’re a victim and that these bad things just magically happen, but it’s all attraction.
I'd also like to ask about Evokation Sacred Art. You [Eve] relay stories of different goddesses, how do you open the portal to channel these archetypes?
Eve Olution: It all starts from self-awareness. A lot of the women that come to me just really want to embody different aspects of themselves in a different way. Where we first start out is being aware and bringing our attention to our bodies, emotions, and the mental place where we reside. When we call in archetypes, I like to say that it’s an extension of who we are. We have multiple layers of characters that we have played throughout time and these are as far back as the stories go. They have left blueprints for us in the modern world. In the modern world, we have forgotten about them. It’s as if we only play as women in just two or three roles – we play the mother, the girlfriend, the sister, whatever. There is so much more. All of the stories start to show you all the different aspects of the feminine. In different parts of our life we play them out. The way that this is medicine is if someone, for example, comes with relationship problems or having a sense of self-doubt, you can look to a particular archetype and start bringing that awareness back into you and work on empowerment.
It’s a really intensive self-awareness journey. It’s more about embodying our higher self rather than channeling. When you say the word “channeling”, it’s as if we are opening ourselves to something that isn’t us. What we are embodying is a bigger aspect of who we really are. It’s what I call our “God-self”. When we are opening those doorways to the God-self, it’s really claiming your birthright and re-claiming the majesty of who you really are. When we play little human and think, “Oh, we’re not that good” or “I’m not good enough”, it’s empowering to say, "Yes, you are good enough." And not only are you good enough, but all the stories throughout culture and throughout time have been praising your name. When you step into that and people come in to see the performance, there’s a transformation that happens. You are seen, you are witnessed, you feel your true authentic empowerment because you have done the work for several weeks. It’s an intitation of sorts. It’s not for everybody. I have some people that come back because they love it, and some people say, “Wow, that was really intense and I’m not ready to look at myself that deeply...and I’ll see you later.” It’s a powerful tool. I’m really excited to start getting back into it. I haven’t taught in awhile, but I’m about to get back into it.
Why is it important for everyone and not just women to connect with goddesses?
Eve Olution: The masculine is going through a big healing right now, along with the feminine. One big piece that I try to tell men, because so many of them will say, “Well what about us? You’re getting all empowered, what about us?” I’ll tell them that one of the biggest thing that women love to do is to love. So when you are loving your woman and seeing the beauty in them, there is an aspect of you that is being reflected in you. As men and women, we carry both the feminine and the masculine, and it’s all about reference. When we tune in to the real feminine authentic connection, she wants to adore and admire the masculine. That is basically something within all of us that we’re aching. We’re aching to be really seen, felt, and empowered. That’s how this work can be just as powerful for men. I welcome and love to share the story of goddess with men because they understand their role and how important they are to women. We cherish them and love them so much, so when they see that I’s very healing for them too. I’ve actually had more men come up to me after a performance and thank me because they got to see the real feminine without the pretentiousness, without her thinking that she is more powerful than them. It’s authentic and it’s real, and it’s what we’re all looking for. We’re all looking for this realness and connection, so we can’t help but open our hearts bigger. The men get juicier, the women get juicier, and everybody is happy! It’s just one pathway. To say it’s goddess folklore, yeah...okay, but the goddess is always connected to the masculine. She’s the mama, she is where we all came from. And she just wants to love you!
Let’s talk a little bit about the label, Merkaba Music. How do you go about finding artists, and what are some upcoming projects that you’re looking forward to?
Kalya Scintilla: I have a very passive way of approaching life in that I just put the intention out there and see what comes along. I rarely look for artists. A lot of things are either recommended to me by someone else on the label, or they send me demos and I feel it out. If I get within the first five seconds a "yes", then I ask them for more. If in the first five second I don’t feel that thing that I want to feel in the music, then usually I’ll let it go. I’m interested in music that has a really strong resonance with the soul. Very soulful, heart-based music. Music that’s not so much coming from the mind or trying to be like something else. It might be a certain genre, but it’s a very individual expression of that genre. I like to think of it as more of a portal for creativity. At this stage it’s very focused on the music, but I’m building a blog on the website and I’d love for it to be a portal of ideas and creativity that could be a seed that things can grow from in the future. It will be something to offer to our global electronic music dance scene.
Just to recap - what are some things we can look forward to from the both of you this year?
Kalya Scintilla: We’re heading off to Europe in a couple of weeks and we’ve got two months out over there. We’ll be back for the Symbiosis festival and a gig in Floria for Earth Dance. Then we’ll have the tour with Desert Dwellers. Next year we’ll be doing Australia and we’re getting excited about planting seeds for the next Kalya Scintilla album. We’re really sort of holding this vision of what that’s to be. It will hold a much deeper connection to the Earth and these distant tribal memories. TheOpen Ancient Eyes album is more of a journey through the bloodlines, and we want to make this next one more about the rocks and the trees, animals and birds, and all the different things that make up this beautiful plant. Again, more devotion to the Earth and realizing that this beautiful plant is our home. And what we do and what we choose is making a decision about where we are going in our not-too-distant future. We're on the crux if we are going to continue as a species on this planet in harmony with Her, or if we are going to destroy ourselves in the process of what we are going into right now. So yeah, just connecting deeper with that and connecting people to the Earth.
Eve Olution: There’s really big piece that’s coming forward is the fact that a lot of the answers to our problems around the globe are actually in Mother Nature. So being likes Paul Stamets who are doing a lot of gorgeous mycelium work is a big inspiration. It's showing that the plants and animals themselves hold the answers to bring us back into balance. We also want to play with these ideas of calling in elements and the whole Earth family to our aid and our healing. We feel that the people are going to start waking up to the pain that we have been holding for a long, long time and that the trees are so here to help us. These ways of looking at the Earth will help us see that it’s not just this thing we step on everyday, but it’s an actual living, breathing, sentient being that is so old and so infinite. We really want to go deep with that and weaving that through of getting people to look and feel their surroundings in a different way. We'll journey through that and see what happens.
For more information on Kalya Scintilla and Merkaba Music:
For more information on Eve Olution and Evokating Sacred Art:
All interviews posted before October 2015 were originally recorded for KAMP Student Radio.