Friday Review

The sound of silence

He is a musician, painter, spiritual thinker and collector of musical instruments from around the world. Australian spiritual musician David Kilowsky has embodied nuances of Rajyoga meditation into music. He is a prominent member of the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University based in Mount Abu, Rajasthan. Excerpts from an interview.

What made you turn to music?

In 1982, I was living in a jungle in Australia. I cooked and lived off just the bare necessities, and this was my first experience of complete seclusion. I went through introspection and surrendered to silence. At that point, it struck me how lovely it would be to use music to create this silence.

How did you get interested in the Brahma Kumaris’ meditation?

I had already experienced the ‘point of light’ (one of the fundamental aspects of Rajyoga meditation) while in the jungle. After a year, I realised the need to be among people so I settled in a small sea-side Australian village of 5,000 people and through the country’s social security system, which gave me unemployment benefits, I taught myself air-brush spray painting, and music. Painting became my livelihood.

That same year someone gave me a Western flute, tabla, guitar and some other instruments and I would sit around a camp fire and entertain tourists on the beach. My paintings were mostly of the point of light, namely the eight-sided star. There was this Rajyoga student who visited the village every year and we exchanged views that were astoundingly identical and I was drawn to the idea of becoming a Brahma kumar.

How do you relate to music as a medium of spiritual expression?

I feel music is probably the most direct imitation of the soul since you create the sound of what you feel within you. The human voice is a beautiful instrument. Musical vibrations create an atmosphere as the expression of the soul comes through. The soul creates the same vibrations as our feelings through the music and people will be tuned into that instantaneously.

What type of music do you connect with the most?

Music with a message. Spiritual music, something played in a meditative state, which is what I am into. Meditation is for regaining virtues and when music expresses that, it transcends to a medium of communicating with other souls.

What has influenced your music?

Meditative space inspires me the most. I listen to all sorts of music. If I listen to a song it should be meaningful in terms of lyrics such as Pink Floyd, Cat Stevens (his old ones) or Moody Blues.

Have you delved into the nuances of Australian indigenous music?

I have been to their site. Their music is basic. They have something called Corroboree, a ceremonial meeting, which is like satsang. They get together around a fire and have almost 7-8 didgeridoos (wooden drone pipe) which they accompany with special wooden sticks (while holding the didgeridoo) for rhythm, and they play all night.

What do you feel about Indian classical music?

I like it. I have heard quite a bit. I like the tabla and sitar. The best part of an Indian classical performance is that there is no place for ego, each one is in harmony with the other and this style of playing is special.

How do you combine music and meditation?

I wake up at 4 a.m. (a mrut vela) and play music while in meditation. I place a candle in front of me to get the point of light and while I play I focus on it. I feel it can also pull others into meditation.



What instruments do you play?

Western silver flute, bamboo flute, wooden recorder, tin whistle, red Indian spirit pipe, digeridoo, bamboo saxophone, trumpet, clarionet, Tibetan bowls, Glokensiel-Brazilian xylophone, bells, shankh, Chinese harp, sitar, tambura, veena, guitar and jembe.


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Printable version | Nov 23, 2021 5:55:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/The-sound-of-silence/article16441810.ece

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