Healer (n): someone who brings the world into greater wholeness and harmony. - Karol Weaver
Healing is a holistic concept. It's more than just herbs, vegetables and movement. To properly heal, our body, mind and soul need to be aligned. We forget that our mindset and creativity play an equal role in the healing process. Music is one technique that has been used for centuries as a cultural and spiritual healing method. Have you ever been to a sound bath and felt completely rejuvenated from it? Or heard a song that struck a cord and felt like emotional therapy? Or gone to a music festival and felt connected to community? From indigenous storytelling to New Orleans Jazz, music unites and bonds us, while even being able to heal physical and mental illness.
According to a study done by the University of Southern Queensland, didgeridoo playing and singing helped support Aboriginal men with asthma. In addition, "the Aboriginal people of Australia are the first known culture to heal with sound. Their ‘yidaki’ (modern name, didgeridoo) has been used as a healing tool for at least 40,000 years. The Aborigines healed broken bones, muscle tears and illnesses of every kind using their enigmatic musical instrument. Interestingly, the sounds emitted by the yidaki are in alignment with modern sound healing technology. It is becoming apparent that the wisdom of the ancients was based on ‘sound’ principles" (Annaliese and John Stuart Reid, 2011)
There is no healing without music. And so, this week, we dug through the archives to repost and feature an interview with Emmett Spooner ll. This Louisiana native exemplifies creativity and authenticity. As a full circle creative, his music and artistic ventures inspire us to look at health as a positive mindset and soulful journey.
When did you know you wanted to make music for a living?
As a child, my life was surrounded by gospel choirs and musicians. My family was always in church and involved with ministry. I have a twin sister and 2 brothers and we are all singers. I started singing in church at the age of 3 years old. I was surrounded everyday by music. It was just something that was passed down. I knew I would always be doing it, I just didn’t know to what extent.
How has your childhood/upbringing shaped you as an artist?
My childhood had a big influence on the messaging of my music. Spirituality played a huge part in my upbringing. It taught me how to look outside of the natural world and to see beyond myself. My music speaks a lot about love and dreaming, which my parents always encouraged me to dream. I used to call it, inspirational music.
What do you think has or had the most impact on your music?
The south definitely has a big impact. People think the south is just one thing, one sound. But its really not, it’s a melting pot.. Kind of like Gumbo, you can taste the different spices and flavors. I would also say traveling has a significant impact. Wherever I’m at, I’m pulling from different inspirations.
You have clearly shown the world that you are a full circle creative. What and who inspires you?
I use people all the time as inspiration to write music. They inspire me to write stories about what’s happening in their lives. Love and creativity inspires me daily, to dream and inspire others to dream.
How do you stay true to yourself and your vision?
I always desired to be original and authentic. I’ve stuck with that plan, even when others around me were doing conventional things. I always stay true to what makes my heart beat. I’ve also always had a deep passion for style. It empowers me to do my best, be my best and certain garments, colors and pieces, affects the way I function. It’s truly one of my languages and favorite things to do, in this world.
What does focusing on health do for your career?
I'm not a health expert but, when I make it a priority, it gives me positive energy and stamina to perform for long hours. I'm working on this master piece right now. I’m really in the lab. In and out of the lab and your body & vocal cords are muscles, so i have to keep building it up. Being health conscience challenges and helps me feel better about myself.. It also gives me confidence to keep pushing forward on a daily basis.