Musician and filmmaker God Dieux introduces the second part of his film.
I grew up on the West Coast of Canada, engulfed in nature and surrounded by the ocean. My mother and father had built a vast log home overlooking an inlet, just below one of the coastal mountains in North Vancouver.
Nature was abundant and pure, and the ocean invited me to experience its intensities, as my father was a salmon fisherman, and I would spend most summers journeying with him along the coast.
Later in my teen years, I sought out deeper meaning in this life through travel. After visiting Africa for a half year when I was 18, I ventured to Asia and eventually on to Pune, which was a profound introduction to real freedom.
Throughout my early twenties so many profound transformations occurred in quick succession, followed by intense Satori and openings of bliss.
This film that I put together between 2013-17 is more of an afterthought and echo of what our true potential directly is – as meditation, creativity, and devotion.
In this current adjusted reality, my family, friends, and I have found ourselves leaving India and Asia for the first time in six years and venturing to southern Mexico, where we are now located.
Now, I can look at and reflect upon what we have created over the last years – in music, film, writing, and building upon creativity, love, and friendships…
As I share with you Part Two of this film, I want you to keep in mind that in no way was this intended as a commercial venture. It is simply an expression of creativity and silence in its aspiration and intention.
Essentially nothing happens in this film…
It is not meant as a film to invoke a psychological bliss. It is simply to share with you all the nothing that we have been up to in the last few years of travel, child rearing, and creativity.
From our discography, I selected for Part II of this two-part film, Echoes of Nirvana, the following songs:
Flowers (written, produced, and performed by God Dieux, Rajneesh Milarepa and Prem Raj)
The House of Samsara (written, produced, and performed by God Dieux and Prem Raj)
Valiance Ecstatic Goa Remix (written, produced, and performed by God Dieux, Prem Raj and Rajneesh Milarepa)
The Calm Ecstatic Goa Remix (written, produced, and performed by God Dieux, Prem Raj, Rajneesh Milarepa, Alastair Jessen and Deva Hansa)
Goddess (written, produced, and performed by God Dieux and Rajneesh Milarepa)
The Life of the Gods (written, produced, and performed by God Dieux and Rajneesh Milarepa)
Zen and The Art of Music Remix (written, produced and performed by God Dieux and Prem Raj)
Little Buddha (written, produced, and performed by God Dieux and Prem Raj)
The Blissful Wizard (written, produced, and performed by God Dieux and Prem Raj)
Dream Weaver (written, produced, and performed by God Dieux and Rajneesh Milarepa)
Fly on By My Friend (written, produced, and performed by God Dieux and Rajneesh Milarepa)
About each of these songs…
The first song in Part II of Echoes of Nirvana was written on a balcony in Kapan, Nepal, within a Sherpa Village. Milarepa and I wrote it in real time and recorded it in our home studio fifteen minutes later. We named this song, ‘Flowers’.
At the time, Milarepa Ji had been struggling to feel free and express his simplicity through music without complicating it by adding too many ‘bells and whistles’. When we wrote this song, I was trying to express how creativity and life need not be so complex in order to have beauty and richness of heart – to have true, true value.
It took us five minutes to write the song and one hour to record it.
A couple of weeks after Milarepa’s arrival in Kathmandu, we wrote and recorded this first song together, and thus began his journey of joining the band Prem and I first started in 2012.
As for the video, in order to accentuate the simple purity and origins of this song, I combined footage consisting of various visuals of Himalayan clarity and land/skyscape.
The next song expressed upon this film is dear to all of our hearts. It’s called, The House of Samsara. I don’t want to say much about it as I welcome you to discover it for yourselves, but it truly is a song to delve into – a sixteen-minute journey that moves through multiple time signatures and expresses everything one might hope about life, death, and love, without really saying anything at all. And certainly, one can consider this section of film a sub journey of its own, mostly filmed in black and white to illustrate life’s true meanings and hidden virtues or value.
This song, ‘The House of Samsara’, was Part Two in a series of fifteen-minute songs that create over an hour-long journey of musical Leela, including:
‘The House of Nirvana’
‘The House of Samsara’
‘The House of Leela’
‘The House of Creation’.
The next song and footage of this journey is a remix of a somewhat wild piece called ‘Valiance.’ Prem originally presented this song to me as a bit of an indulgent psychedelic chaos. I later invited him to introduce my vocals and add orchestral intro/outro sections to complement his composition. Years later, Milarepa dismantled the whole creation in order to intersperse modern dance beats throughout.
The film itself is breathtaking when seen upon a larger screen. Satya and I were living on an amazing property called Shambhala in Golden Bay, NZ. Each morning, I would get up early and set out a small video recorder in order to capture the sunrise for an hour or so, as dawn turned to day. The time-lapse results were exciting to say the least.
The sounds in the song feel the influence of Pink Floyd and Syd Barret.
The next song is called ‘The Calm’ and was filmed primarily in the old Mahesh Yogi (Beatles Ashram) in Rishikesh, India. In this footage, I am trying my best to look ‘spiritual’ (lol)… we really had a lot of fun filming this one!
Prem and I had written and recorded this song in 2012 at our home in Canada. Later, a sannyasin (Deva Hansa) added some back-up shamanic vocals and Milarepa remixed it with a morphing, light Goa trance feel.
The next song, ‘The Life of The Gods’, is a playful summary of our three years living in Rishikesh, India. The song wrote itself after one concert at Deva Dwabha’s Ramana’s Garden Restaurant and School in Laxman Jhula. Playful, ripe and rich with love and fresh energy, it was an easy song to choose to add to this film.
‘Zen and the Art of Music’ was a song that Prem Raj and I wrote several years before in Canada. Lyrically, it was born from my heart and musically from his depth of exploration and self-awareness.
Much of this song is also filmed in Nepal, Boudha, Kapan – at temples like the Kapan Monastery Gardens, Boudhanath Stupa.
Of course, I had to add our children’s song, ‘Little Buddha’, to this film. This song truly captures the essence of playful innocence that is at the root of true spirituality and freedom. It was filmed on location in Boudhanath Stupa, Kathmandu, while children were playing joyfully upon a prayer wheel, using it as an improvised merry-go-round. In actual fact, some of the old folks tried beating them for this, but somehow, we had enough footage to share what only the heart knows is true.
‘The Blissful Wizard’ is a showering collage of life lived by all of us, while traveling in Asia, NZ, Canada, etc. The song was inspired by a book that I am fond of, called The Secret Language of Birthdays. This book seeks to summarize those born on certain days through astrology, psychological studies, and numerology. In fact, it’s an incredible book that I truly enjoy and love. According to the book, the day on which I am born (June 24) is called the day of The Blissful Wizard. And thus, the title of the song… Playful, sweet intimacies of magic and care.
‘Dream Weaver’ was written by Milarepa and myself one fine evening under the stars of Rishikesh, India. I love this melody and I love discovering and rediscovering this devotional song.
It is a song of surrender.
We sang, performed it, and recorded it live at the Osho Ashram in Rishikesh, just upriver from Laxman Jhula, and put it onto our fifth studio album (Open Mystic).
Really, it’s one of my favourite songs to sing with the right audience. Much of the footage is from another live concert in Rishikesh… It captured one of those moments where everything and everyone just disappears into the light of Tantra.
And the last song of mention is ‘Fly On By My Friend’. I affectionately dedicate this song to my recently deceased cousin, who, quite the same age as myself, left us all with loving memories of him in our hearts. To Ryan 💚.
The song is filmed with intimate scenery from Northern Goa. The music was written and recorded live, on its first take and upon creation. It was totally spontaneous and alive… no structure, no plan, just a new song birthed. Milarepa and I were asked to play a show at The Goa State of Mind (recently re-opened Old Primrose) in Vagator, Goa and we were playing for an intensely ‘influenced’ crowd of mixed travelers and older hippies. The energy was actually horrible and quite ‘drugged-up’. It was heavy and we wanted to leave, but at one point I looked at Milarepa intently and told him, “We are going to stay and play for three hours straight, no matter how bad the energy gets… Let’s just have fun with this.”
A couple of hours into the show, things started to shift and open, and some fresh energy blew in. We started to experiment with writing new songs on the spot, as our show was being recorded, and this song just seemed to create its own melody and vocals from my voice and his guitar.
Deva Premal was a huge influence upon my life. In fact, I have only been to three major concerts in my life: Raffi, Leonard Cohen, and Deva Premal and Miten.
Other significant influences might include Prem Joshua, Chaitanya Deuter, Shastro, Veeresh, Milarepa, Gyan Marcos, Praful, Hariprasad, Krishna Das, Chinmaya Dunster, Disha and Bhakta… and many others.
When I was nineteen and traveling in Nepal, I discovered many genius artists that influenced the original hippie movements: Donovan, Cat Stevens, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Bob Dylan…
I have always loved Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Dire Straits, Lou Reed, Primal Scream, Led Zeppelin, Thomas Petty, Rolling Stones, Beatles, all manner of blues, and an assortment of classical and operatic music.
The Genius music of Gurdjieff and de Hartmann was a huge influence upon all our albums, as well as our approach to music and relating between one another.
As a young child, I really had very little music as we lived for the first twelve years of my life in that large log cabin in the forests of Canada, next to the ocean. Little music and no TV or media of any sort…
…Only the wind dancing through the ancient pines. 😉