Q&A with award-winning artist, author and musician David Young, well known for playing two renaissance flutes in harmony

David Young: Between Heaven and Earth

The past couple of years have been intense and unlike any other in most of our lifetimes! For David Young, those years have been a time of inspiration and enlightenment, which is evident upon first listen to his new album, “Love Wins.” The album was recorded and produced at Dreamland Recording Studios in Woodstock, NY, and by Jeff Moleski and Moletrax Recording Studios, and features Tony Levin on bass and Jerry Marotta on drums and percussion. Tony is known for his work recording and touring with Peter Gabriel, King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Paul Simon and John Lennon. Jerry is known for his work with Peter Gabriel, Krishna Das, Sarah McLachlan and the Indigo Girls. The eclectic, Americana-Inspired “Love Wins” incorporates heartfelt, inspiring lyrics with new age vocals and instrumentals, such as the soothing strains of the mandolin and mesmerizing, unique sounds emanating from crystal bowls. “Love Wins” will be available on CD, download, streaming and thumb drive on October 28th.

David Young is an award-winning artist, author and musician well known for playing two renaissance flutes in harmony. He has recorded numerous hit albums and sold over one million copies. David's music, revered for its soothing sounds and healing properties, is a staple in hospitals, healing centers and spas throughout the country.  David travels throughout the country hosting his signature workshops, A Portal Between Heaven and Earth, which blends his healing music with his enlightening guided meditations, and where countless attendees report remarkable experiences. These experiences are the inspiration for many of David’s songs and paintings, and chronicled in his book, “The True Story of Jesus and his Wife Mary Magdalena.” In addition to David’s many talents, he is also a gifted channeler. Through his music and art, David channels messages from the heavenly realms bringing healing messages and hope. David’s abstract art reflects stories of ancient wisdom and actual events through brilliant colors and impressions. His music and personal readings have brought healing and revelations to people for decades, serving as a bridge to the ethereal realms of goodness and light. Through his many talents and gifts, David Young offers the world hope, vision and self-empowerment.

Interview by Michael Limnios           Special Thanks: Billy James (Glass Onyon PR)

How has the Art and Music influenced your views of the world and the journeys you’ve taken?

I’ve been a musician since I was 7 and was accomplished enough by the time, I was 9 to play with anyone with anyone in the world. Like everyone else learning how to play the recorder in 3rd grade in a Brooklyn Public school, I had a hard time making it sound nice but over the summer I learned to play by ear and by the end of the second year I was the most proficient in my class. From then on, music came so naturally to me, and I learned guitar and songwriting. As a kid, I was never good at drawing anything, so I avoided painting and practiced my flute 3-7 hours every day. From 1990-1992 I played my flutes on Venice Beach with Lisa Franco and we called our duo Celestial Winds. In 1993 we started traveling around the country playing at art festivals and from 10 am to 5 or 6 pm we played all day. We sold 100,000 CDs together.

I looked at art all day while I was playing two flutes at one time which activated both sides of my brain for 7-8 hours each day, every weekend from 1993-2013. This put my brain into an altered, higher state without any form of drugs. I didn’t start painting until 2011 when Spirit tricked me into it through my girlfriend at the time.  It’s a long story, but I made my first painting on an old canvas she never finished that was 3’ x 4’, (very large for a first painting,) and it turned out to be the same colors and pattern as George Harrison’s favorite burgundy jacket that he wore at the after party for the Concert for Bangladesh!

This was really strange because my previous girlfriend actually grew up in George’s castle in England in the early 70’s because her mom was George’s girlfriend after George and his wife Patty separated.A few weeks after I made the painting, that girlfriend bought me a book on George Harrison’s life where I found the picture of him standing with Ravi Shankar wearing that jacket! So, from my first painting, there was something magical and unexpected that happened in my process. The details of that story are in my 2014 book, Channeling Harrison. The audio book is being finished now with Clifford Carter, (keyboard player with James Taylor / Art Garfunkel.) She got me four painting lessons and I was off from there. When I had enough paintings, I asked my artist friends from the festivals where I could have them photographed professionally.

A photographer from Orlando was recommended named Artie who had a company named Arty Art Photography and I scheduled an appointment to bring my first 9 paintings from Miami to hie studio, 3 hours away. When we arrived and I met Art, (his name is funny in this context …) as we brought the paintings through his house and into his studio, he said I was lucky because he had just returned from the hospital - he had a heart attack and a near death experience. I didn’t know what a near death experience was and my brain didn’t even know what to register from those words.

Then he told me, “Your paintings are going to make you famous.” That was the silliest thing I ever heard. I had recorded 40 albums of music with some of the greatest musicians in the world, could play anything on my instrument and actually mastered playing two flutes at one time in harmony and sold 1,000,000 copies of my CDs, had radio stations all over the world playing my music as well as numerous TV shows and movies using it and he thinks my paintings are “gonna make me famous?!” Rediculous.

Since I didn’t know anything about near death experiences, also known as NDE’s, I wasn’t aware that over 20,000,000 Americans have had an NDE over the past 40 years, so when someone woke up from their accident or coma or surgery in a hospital and told their nurse or doctor their NDE experience, it was put in their medical records. Scientists later discovered that one of the side effects of an NDE is the survivor becomes psychic. I learned that because I performed at the IANDS national conferences between 2014-2019 for the medical field and survivors of NDE’s. I was at Art’s studio the whole day and also met his wife. He was the top photographer on the art festival circuit nationally in America and had photographed over 300 of the best artists touring the art circuit in America who each brought hundreds of their paintings into Art’s house.

Art must have told me, “Your art is going to make you famous” ten times throughout the day and I ignored him each time. At the end of the day Art told me his wife loved two of my paintings and she wanted to have Art make geclees to put over their couch in their living room. We made an agreement, and my bill was greatly discounted. (Geclees are copies on canvas that look like an original.) Of the thousands of paintings by some of the most respected artists in America that came through their house, she chose two of my first paintings as the centerpiece of their living room. Art made sure I knew this was significant.

Along with my music, I started selling my soft abstract paintings at the art festivals and my hand made specialty prints attached to a foam core backing so people could easily hang them without a frame and sold hundreds of copies of them over the years. Seven years later my booth won best booth at Art Basel Miami in the Spectrum building. In 2016, while living with a woman who was a psychic in Miami, she channeled directions for me to make 50 paintings that were as large as 5’, 6’, 7’ or 8’. A year after I made these paintings, she was told we were supposed to go to the south of France to the region where Mary Magdalena lived, where the famed Basilica of Sainte Mary Magdalena and the cave of Mary Magdalena are. When I got to the cave and its mountain in St. Maximin, I realized I had painted it numerous times from different angles the previous year! The DaVinci code is more than just a movie. Those 50 paintings are in my 2019 coffee table book, The True Story of Jesus and his Wife Mary Magdalena (also available on audio book.)

So, I feel like I was pulled into painting because apparently it was part of my destiny. Since I could barely draw a good stick figure when I started to paint, I think if I can paint, anyone can. My music and my paintings at my concerts and meditation events combine to give people an experience immersed in my sound and surrounded by my colors of light. It’s all beautiful energy that makes people feel connected to their soul.

"Love Wins is an album that talks about issues like like after death, equality, spiritual experience, survival, and making something beautiful out of this thing called life. It combines acoustic instruments and some electric instruments with Celtic tones, American classic acoustic rock in an easy to listen to bohemian style with intriguing, insightful lyrics." (Photo: David Young)

How do you describe your music philosophy and songbook? What do you hope people to take away from your new album "Love Wins"?

I always called my music “a positive alternative”, back when I was known solely as a player of two flutes. No one knew I also was an avid songwriter, singer and top-level studio guitarist who had played with many people in famous hard rock and heavy metal bands. I always loved powerful rock music like Led Zeppelin, Bad Co, AC/DC and Jethro Tull but I also adored James Taylor and Cat Stevens and Led Zeppelin’s acoustic side.

I am known for making healing music around the world and if you asked me who the most successful healing musician is I would say it’s James Taylor. There is a healing quality in his voice like no other singer. It’s his gift. It doesn’t matter what he sings but his voice transmits an energy that makes the listener think everything is gonna be ok. It’s Ike therapy hearing it. In my most painful moments of my life, I have turned to his voice and his music over and over and it has always brought me solace. His music was his medicine, and it became medicine for millions of people. James Taylor’s keyboard player for 12 years, Clifford Carter, is my new musical partner who is finishing the soundtrack music for the audio book of Channeling Harrison with me. (Release date 11-22-22.)

Where does your creative drive come from? What's the balance in music between technique and soul?

You can ask God where I get my creativity from. In music, regarding the balance between technique and soul, being a musician for a long time tends to make you always look for more challenging, difficult things to play. In some styles of music that’s very popular.   But music made with the intention of the listener having a deep spiritual experience is not about playing a lot of notes - it is about playing long, deep, soaring notes whose energy is so high and uplifting that when you‘re listening to it with your eyes closed you’re transported to another place.

One of my buddies jokes with me about musicians who plays too many notes. It’s not always what we play- it’s the space between the notes when we don’t play - and the length of the notes. Back in 1990-1992 when I had ran out of money and was playing two flutes at one time at Venice Beach with Celestial Winds and Lisa Lynn Franco playing her Celtic harp as I wore my white puffy pirates shirt. The goal was to sooth people and draw a crowd which people would see from afar and make them want to see what everyone was looking at.

In the beginning, after I would get bored playing the same 6 or 7 songs over and over, once in a while, I’d start playing lots of fast, flashy, high notes (like I would have done on my lead guitar) - and magically, in one minute, I could make the 20 or 40 or 60 people surrounding us disappear. I had run out of money and the only income I had was what I was making at the beach…  survival is a great teacher…

Adult women were always my biggest audience. In the early 90’s most men had not caught on to the benefits of New Age music but women had. Women would buy my music to play in the bedroom for its soothing qualities and eventually men began to really appreciate it. Massage therapists, acupuncturists, chiropractors and healers of every kind would hear us playing and buy everything we had and play it all day long at their offices. Eventually, after I went solo, I sold to over 25,000 of them at all of the conventions, spa trade shows and art festivals I did all over the world and sold 1,000,000 CDs.

Most people are not musicians- so the average listener is not a musician.  If you are going to make music for musicians it usually warrants a lot of notes. If you’re going to make music for everyday people it needs to be uncomplicated (aka simple enough) for people to comprehend enough to remember. Before the digital age, in the golden age of radio, the only way a person could buy a record in a store is if he remembered the name of the song. There’s a magical experience when someone picks up an instrument and learns their first three chords. It’s indescribably beautiful and powerfully profound- and it’s just three chords! There’s nothing you’re gonna do with 20 or 30 chords that is going to be as memorable as a few chords.

Love Wins is an album that talks about issues like like after death, equality, spiritual experience, survival, and making something beautiful out of this thing called life. It combines acoustic instruments and some electric instruments with Celtic tones, American classic acoustic rock in an easy to listen to bohemian style with intriguing, insightful lyrics.

"My music and my paintings at my concerts and meditation events combine to give people an experience immersed in my sound and surrounded by my colors of light. It’s all beautiful energy that makes people feel connected to their soul." (Photo: David Young)

If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?

I would like to record with John Paul Jones, the bass, keyboard and mandolin player in Led Zeppelin.

What is the impact of Art on the socio-cultural implications? How do you want the music to affect people?

Songs carry a message. People need songs now that will help them survive these times.

What are some of the most important lessons you have learned from your experience in the paths of art?

Art proved channeling to me because I was a real skeptic. When my ex girlfriend the channeler used to get a message for me to paint in a certain area in a certain color- and that was exactly what I was thinking about or had just done, it forced me to become a believer because it happened every day. Developing your intuition is the most important thing in life - because if you do, whatever you do, will be easier for you.

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