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NATALIE ROSE LEBRECHT - Interview

My spiritual practice and my musical practice are intertwined at this point. It’s completely natural for me to be an artist merged with my spiritual inner world, but I’m just now attempting to communicate publicly about it...

Interviews
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NATALIE ROSE LEBRECHT - Interview
ETHEREAL.PRESS

ETHEREAL.PRESS

Date
August 12, 2023
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10 mins
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ETHEREAL.PRESS

Talk to us about Natalie Rose LeBrecht

NATALIE ROSE LEBRECHT

I have always gravitated towards the arts and have spent the bulk of my life’s free time engaged in creative activities, primarily making music, which I absolutely love doing.

ETHEREAL.PRESS

Tell us a bit about your most recent full-length release titled, 'Holy Prana Open Game?'

NATALIE ROSE LEBRECHT

The genesis of the album came from inspiration I received in a personal meditation retreat. I wrote the album in fall/winter 2019/20 and had just started recording it at a studio in March of 2020 when COVID hit. I then recorded my remaining parts myself at home in quarantine, while the contributing musicians (David Lackner, Jim White, Mick Turner) recorded their parts from home and emailed them to me. I edited and arranged their parts and mixed it all to completion.  

ETHEREAL.PRESS

In the description for the album, 'Holy Prana Open Game,' it states the following,

"(I) let my mind be clear and open, imagined light pouring down through me, and began auto-writing to my memory of the music playing through my mind. Most of the lyrics emerged this way, and then I used my conscious mind to refine them a bit at the end."

Many artists have alluded to this unnameble aspect during the creation of music. How did channeling 'it' (light in this case) help you during the process of this album?

NATALIE ROSE LEBRECHT

It was amazing to be able to put my conscious mind away while generating the lyrics. When I sat down at my synth and played “Home” with these lyrics for the first time, I was moved to tears by the profundity of the words and felt the song was truly beyond me, yet somehow also perfectly expressed what I longed to express. I had a respect for the song itself, which was a new experience for me. As a side note, before I tried this new auto-writing process, I had consciously attempted to write poetic punk lyrics to “Open” – angry lyrics that were about how messed up the state of the world is, and those lyrics were just terrible and contrived.

I’m in awe that a wisdom beyond my conscious mind came in and tied the music lyrically to a heavenly dimension instead.

ETHEREAL.PRESS

How did isolation aid the creation of this album?

NATALIE ROSE LEBRECHT

My solo meditation retreat happened in the summer of 2019, and I wrote the album alone afterwards before the pandemic. In general, my artistic process usually happens in isolation, regardless of whether there’s a global emergency forcing me to stay at home. I grew up largely spending my free time alone being creative and grew accustomed to solitude.

In fact, I thrive that way because I can tune into the present moment with freedom of focus and easily explore inner space unimpeded, which is fuel for my creative output. At the same time, I love collaborating with other musicians and artists as well and I love genuine creative communities. My musician and artist friends mean the world to me.

ETHEREAL.PRESS

Talk to us about some of the spiritual undertones of the project.

NATALIE ROSE LEBRECHT

My spiritual practice and my musical practice are intertwined at this point. It’s completely natural for me to be an artist merged with my spiritual inner world, but I’m just now attempting to communicate publicly about it. I feel very cautious writing about my inner life and artistic processes, especially since it involves a Muse.

Similar to when you have a magical connection with a lover, you don’t want to tell the world the intimate details of your sex life – you would demean that sacred bond you share with your partner, break their trust, and they would likely leave you! At the same time, it's only through people openly sharing aspects of their inner world, including recipes, and others connecting to it and trying the recipes out that a more spiritually sophisticated culture can emerge and evolve.

So, I’m just doing my best to walk that line in interviews. With that said, the beauty of making art is that you can share essence through your art without having to be an open book yourself.

ETHEREAL.PRESS

How would you describe 'cosmic music?'

NATALIE ROSE LEBRECHT

I think ‘cosmic music’ would have a sense of immense vastness to it and be beyond any ego/personae of the creator. It would have the effect of taking listeners out of the dimension of their ordinary perceptions, engaging their imaginations with the unfamiliar and expanding their minds and emotional and subtle energetic bodies.

ETHEREAL.PRESS

For an album like this, we assume the intended way to listen is to alleviate yourself from external distractions, let the music fall over you, and maybe even bring about spiritual experiences.

Do you have a preference for how listeners engage with your music?

NATALIE ROSE LEBRECHT

Thank you so much for that sentiment, which I appreciate. I’m happy when anyone listens to it in any way where they can truly connect with it. I had a private listening/release party for HPOG where a bunch of friends got together and made drawings while we listened to the album. We were communally creative together in silence while listening, and the energy in the room felt wonderful. Both Jordan Reyes (the brilliant artist who runs American Dreams Records) and Forest Juziuk (the brilliant artist who runs ASRA Management) told me that to them, listening to the album was like reading a novel – it drew them in intimately in the same kind of way, which I thought was amazing. I think it would be so cool if dancers were inspired to dance to it, and I’d love to see that! In whatever fashion folks choose to listen, if they are authentically connecting with it and that helps them tune into their own inner splendor, that makes me feel fulfilled.

ETHEREAL.PRESS

Can you speak on Prana and your experience engaging with it?

NATALIE ROSE LEBRECHT

The word ‘prana’ entered my album outside of my conscious mind. In the album, it comes up in two different songs in the following two lines:

“Prana dances through star dust to form us.” – from “Prana”

“Feasting your eyes, never more alive, radiating in a world where thoughts don’t occur… just the playful expression of prana unfurled.” – from “Open”

I get a sense from these lines that prana is divine lifeforce energy that flows through sentient beings, and I think it’s in the form of ‘winds’ like through breath and through currents in the nervous system and the subtle energy systems’ channels and chakras.

My meditation teacher taught me that our thoughts are connected to our breath, so working with one’s breathing (prana) in an intentional way can calm the mind. I know for me, personally, if I’m getting triggered, the first thing I need to do is take a deep, slow breath and that truly helps pump the brakes so I’m less likely to react in haste to the trigger.

ETHEREAL.PRESS

Most of your early work could be described as more avant-folk, while your newer works are more new-age / ambient.

Can you describe this evolution in style?

NATALIE ROSE LEBRECHT

My style evolution is a completely organic process based on my inner growth, evolving influences, and going with the flow in terms of what I intuitively want to do musically. In the summer of 2015, I spent three months mostly alone, meditating all day, every day in a remote area in upstate New York. Through that process, I became the 2.0 version of myself. I had almost crippling anxiety in the year leading up to the retreat (which was the push for me to make it happen) and felt completely peaceful by the end of the summer. My first album after that three-month meditation retreat was Mandarava Rose, and that was my first mature work that I can stand by, years later. In all honesty, I can barely listen to anything I made as a 1.0. My instinct is to try to hide my early stuff away (and I sort of do), but there are listeners out there who connect with my younger work in deep ways, so I think it’s important to honor that, and I know that my younger self was always making work that was meaningful to her in the moment. But I do try to draw more attention to my more recent 2.0 releases because they came from a more positive and compassionate state of mind than my earlier work. Also, I have a continuous growth mindset, so I’ve always been the type of artist who believes my next project will be superior to the last. I’m very present- and forward-focused as an artist.

ETHEREAL.PRESS

What do you hope to accomplish with your creative pursuits?

NATALIE ROSE LEBRECHT

If I can make music that helps further connect listeners to their own inner splendor, I feel very successful. I definitely want to prioritize staying in the good graces of the Muse. I aspire to always continue growing and improving as an artist, musician, and person.

ETHEREAL.PRESS

What's Next for Natalie Rose LeBrecht?

NATALIE ROSE LEBRECHT

We shall see how the next few years play out in terms of the ramifications of AI and global warming. Things might possibly change radically in ways I can’t even imagine. So I’m just taking it day by day right now.

I am working on a new album, which I’m very excited about, but it’s taking its sweet time. I’m independently studying up more on the piano and music theory to help inform and deepen my new compositions and further build my improv chops.

I’m giving myself a lot of space and time to work on this, and I’m so grateful that I have complete artistic freedom and autonomy to do so.

LINKS: INSTAGRAM - WEBSITE

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