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Absolute Balance

The Magic of Being Quantum

 

Sunday
May182008

An Interview with Chandra Moon

By Colin Whitby

chandrainterview.jpgI was introduced briefly to Chandra for the first time when my daughter Jo took me to the launch night for Chandra’s new CD Full Circle. This was quite an amazing event which was the culmination of so many synchronistic events which Chandra alluded to in her introduction. It was this introduction, and her music, which later lead me to ask for an interview to find out more.

Colin – When did you start to think about making a CD, where did it all begin?

Chandra - I’ve always been quite musical but never considered myself an artist as such, I enjoyed playing the piano and playing along in other people’s bands, I did some backing vocals and some flute for people, but I had never done any writing myself.

A few years ago, when I had my 50th birthday a girlfriend of mine gave me a present, it was a book called ‘The Artist’s Way’ by Julia Cameron. The notion of that book is that everyone has a creative side, although some people are blocked and have never discovered their creative voice.

Although a little sceptical at first, the more I read the book and did the exercises the more I realised it really did work. The main part of the book encourages you to write every morning, doing something called ‘morning pages’. The idea is that you write for about 15-20 minutes or 4 pages of complete flow of consciousness writing, you just write whatever comes out. This was a 12 week course that took me 12 months.

By the time I finished the book I had started painting little portraits and was still doing my daily writing, until one day I sat down and wrote what I thought might be a poem, but later realised that it was a song. I then doodled about a bit and wrote my first song.

Colin – How did your song writing progress from there?

Chandra - I would arrive home from my African drumming classes and find after I had gone to bed I’d have these drum beats in my head, then in the middle of the night I would wake up and have words attached to these rhythms.

It was such a strong thing I had to get up and write the words down, then go back to sleep, wake up, get up, write some more and so on. This way I ended up with a song called ‘It’s over so quick’ which I played at the launch gig you came to last Friday. So that song came purely out of a rhythm.

My daughter took me to a song writing group in Bristol and I took along my drum and tried to sing the song to the group using the drum. This proved to be very difficult and I realised that if I wanted to carry on with this I would need to learn the guitar. That’s when I started teaching myself the guitar, and the beginning of my song writing.

Colin - So was song writing a kind of hobby at the time?

Chandra – Very much so, at that time I had no idea it would become such a large part of my life, I was still running a business then. Gradually it took up more and more of my time, and my confidence grew.

The song writing group is a very supportive environment where on the whole you get very positive feedback, and I know that I would not have continued writing if I had not been a member of that group, because I would not have considered my work good enough. Each week I’d work on something new to take to the group which gave me something to look forward to.

Colin – At the gig you mentioned some key events in your life that influenced you.

Chandra – The really biggest thing that happened was the Tsunmi in December 2004 because by Son Daniel was out in Thailand and he rang me on Christmas day to tell me he had just arrived on the Island, although I did not know which island.

On Boxing day my father rang me and said ‘have you seen the news?, there’s been a massive wave and everyone’s been swept away, where’s Daniel he’s not on the coast is he?’ . We put on news 24 and there it all was, it was such a terrible shock.
Thank God my Son was all right.

As a Mother, as a parent, even though I knew my son was all right it was like I connected so strongly, powerfully and spiritually with the people over there, my heart had gone out there too. It was as if my own kids had been drowned and I became quite unwell for about 2 weeks, I could not stop thinking about it and felt terrible.

Out of that came the realisation that life is too short, it made me see through the areas of my life that were fake, it made me question things, I wanted to be doing things that were real as I realised that things could change in an instant. Being in my 50’s I thought that if I don’t do something now with my music, it really would be too late.

I decided to focus on my music and really make something of it. Way back then I had started doodling an album cover called Full Circle with my name on it and a picture of the full moon, because my name means the moon. The title song of the album is called ‘Full Circle’ and it’s about the jolt of the Tsunami and about the journey of coming back to the real me. At that point it was very much a fancy, and I did not think for a second at that point that I really would record an album.

It made me realise the power of visualisation and positive thinking, recognising opportunities and grabbing them1.

Not long after this I met the man who was to produce my album, I met him in Australia when I went to see my spiritual guru. It was one of those synchronistic moments where I met someone from Bristol in Australia, who just happened to be a music producer, and we got chatting. It was then that I thought why just record one track, why not record enough tracks to produce an album, so we started working on it last February (2007).

One thing you learn in the artist’ s way is how to fight off your inner demons or negative opinions of yourself. For example when I was learning my drumming there would be a voice saying ‘you’re a 50 year old woman, what are you doing learning how to drum, you must be mad, who do you think you are?’ and ‘You can’t sing’. I found the artist’s way gave me the tools to counteract these negative voices.

At the gig last week I wanted to say to people that it doesn’t matter if you think you are too old, or that you’re a woman, it’s never too late to have a go, to follow your creative voice. You have to discover what your own strengths are, to go inside yourself, and really work. Last year I think I have worked harder than I have in years, this is despite taking a year off work, there have been hundreds of things to do.

Colin - You have loaded your music up onto the Internet, how has that been working for you?

Chandra -– When I first started writing songs I used the Internet to upload the early recordings, sometimes just ideas, and people would read about me, look at my myspace www.myspace.com/chandramoonsmusic, giving me feedback and then watching how it improved. (not to mention youtube http://youtube.com/user/chandrajmoon). So now they can listen to sampled of the tracks and buy the album http://cdbaby.com/cd/chandramoon.

I have created a wide readership on my blog http://chandramoon.efx2blogs.com/
from all over the world, and I’ve sold albums in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, America, Canada, literally all around the planet, all because I have created this on-line presence. I’m a sociable person in real life and this carries over to my on-line personality.

Pre-Internet I didn’t think that someone like me, a middle aged woman sitting in Bristol, would have been able to launch her music into the world without a record deal or a promoter. Now if you are a writer, a poet or a painter you can by-pass the need for an agent or manager, certainly in the early stages, by putting things out there on the Internet. There’s hundreds of free services, myspace is free, the blog is free, deviant art where I put my portraits is free, so it is all possible.

Colin - Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us today.

1 After the interview Chandra showed me the images she had created of her Album cover way before she had even thought of recording it. I have to say there was a tangible energy flowing out of them, difficult to describe, but very evident. Some words popped into my head, ‘observe the flow of creation’, and I felt such a strong knowing, this is how it is done.

(have a look at my review of ‘The Secret’ for more on this kind of visualisation) – Colin.