This article originally appeared on Yoga Journal
In a world overtaken by chaos, the instinctual human response is to search for solace, meaning, and hope. It’s precisely in these times of uncertainty that art forms, including music, can become much-needed distractions and soothsayers. To that end, Indie electro-pop artist East Forest’s latest contribution to the collective sanity is the aptly titled album Music for the Deck of the Titanic.
Produced by Bright Antenna Records and released on November 3, the album is described by the artist as "a soundtrack for our modern spiritual crisis." It’s an easygoing, soothing compilation that floats through various genres, including neo-soul, ambient, and trip-hop. And it’s intended to offer us all a warm embrace.
“When I thought about the idea that musicians on the sinking Titanic played to calm the chaos happening around them, I found that notion so honorable, sad, and beautiful,” wrote East Forest on his website, explaining the title. “I’ve always been interested in how music can serve as a vehicle to take us inside ourselves. And I'm particularly fascinated by how music can be used as a tool to help bring greater understanding and connection in a world seemingly gone mad.”
“I thought about how in the chaos of what is happening around us, perhaps we could be having trouble seeing the newness forming,” Forest wrote. He sees this bout of songs as a comforting serenade. “This music seeks to celebrate and express the contradictions of these times, full of anxiety, hope, fear, inspiration, despair, and longing.”
Luminous and ethereal, the music is a fusion of sprawling synths, ambient lilts, and rapturous vocals. The album continues East Forest's enthusiasm for collaborations, which have previously included luminaries such as Ram Dass, Jon Hopkins, Laraaji, Nick Mulvey, and more. Music for the Deck of the Titanic features the haunting cry of Marieme on “Cosmic Dance" and Duncan Trussell‘s humorous rant that delves into UFOs, galactic federations, black holes, and motherly love in “So What.”
As intended, the collection of songs creates a calming serenade and a reminder that there is a place for all emotions. "It’s a wild time to be alive,” says Forest. “I tend to process what I’m feeling and search for solace via creativity and music. So it’s only inevitable that themes would emerge of hope, despair, anxiety, and excitement.”
East Forest as Empathic Artist
A common choice for yoga playlists, Forest's music is simultaneously soothing and invigorating, similar to the gentle pulse of awakening that you find yourself experiencing at the end of a yoga class.
The artist’s grassroots fanbase has repeatedly propelled him to the top of the Billboard charts. Born Trevor Oswalt, he learned to lose himself in music as a child, and he has long leveraged his art to captivate audiences with his unique and ambient blend of music and mindfulness.
He’s also known for infusing his longtime relationship with yoga into his music. "Nada yoga, which involves our conscious participation with sound and music, is one of the most enjoyable and potent methods for self-realization," he explains. "It’s almost limitless in potential."
With a focus on integrating the natural and urban worlds, the musician once spent a year recording the sounds of nature in a country field and incorporating the wild sounds of nature into select tracks. Additionally, his live sets, which he calls Ceremony Concerts, offer an immersive experience by blending live music with guided meditation. The unique performances are both concert and a ritual, aiming to deliver music as medicine.
Music For The Deck Of The Titanic is a testament to the power of music to inspire. As East Forest explained, “I often feel like I’m playing music on the deck of the Titanic, in comparison to society careening off a collective cliff. But in that process, I feel somewhat like I’m a midwife to something new being born.”
With this album, Forest offers a musical lifeline for us all, allowing us space to explore the depths of our souls amid the tumultuous world.
About Our Contributor
Sierra Vandervort is a writer and modern witchy woman living in Oregon. She's been practicing yoga for nearly a decade and completed her teacher training in 2018. She writes and teaches about connection--connection to the body, to nature, and to the powerful energies of the universe. In 2017, she founded her media brand, The Local Mystic, an educational hub devoted to mindful, mystical living for women. Sierra loves to guide people to their witchy side by helping them deepen their spiritual studies and ritualize their lives. Through The Local Mystic, she's written books, plus hosted women's circles and wellness retreats worldwide. For free yoga and witchy wisdom, find Sierra on Instagram @thelocalmystic and on YouTube. And check out her book, Your Year of Magic.
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