"I like that you can just take an instrument and play, get together in the
moment and play. When I got to India, I discovered this ancient well of
classical Indian music - this whole universe of sound opened up to me. But I
needed to understand it. I bought my first sitar in Delhi for 400 rupees and
twanged it like a guitar. I had several teachers but then met maestro Ustad
Usman Khan he told me to forget everything. We went back to basics and he taught
me the ABCs."
"But I knew at the same time that I never wanted to be a classical Indian musician. I went astray! My teachers were disappointed that I wasn′t following the tradition, but the music took me somewhere else, it was not my decision, I had to go my own way. To recognise my own roots while still walking. And my roots are from rock and jazz as well as Indian classical music."
"I had many amazing experiences that you can only have when you are 18, and fell into many traps that you can only fall into when you are 18! But I learnt that when you are relaxed, when you trust, things happen and you find food, but when you are tense, you have fear, nothing happens. This is a lesson that has stayed with me. One day I was walking along the street, really hungry and playing my flute and a man came up to me and invited me to play at a wedding, with tables full of food!"
"I was a natural rebel and I was very against this whole sannyasin path, I hated
anything that looked like a cult. But I wanted to find out what it was all about.
So I went to one discourse. Before, my head was telling me to stay aloof, to
stay judgmental, but as soon as Osho walked in I started crying. It was beyond
my head, it was in my heart. And the love affair with the master started there;
it′s still there."
"I used to play for Osho every day, he encouraged me to play Indian music, the sitar, the bamboo flute. We would spend a whole day creating a new piece for him. It was not performing, it was like a big wave of love expressed through music. It was unbelievable."
"I use Sufi poetry a lot, both for inspiration and for lyrics. When you play an
instrument, the instrument talks, but when you use your voice you need to sing
something. Sufi poetry, the words of Baba Bullehshah, Kabir and Hafiz, it′s one
of the highest forms of poetry, it comes from beyond centuries straight to the
heart. And it can only be sung, it cannot just be said."
"I sometimes use mantra, but you have to really appreciate them and understand them, not just use them because they sound good with the music. As Westerners, we sometimes take them undigested, out of context and fuse them in the music and this isn′t right. You really need to appreciate them. On a vibrational level, they have a power and it surprises me. On my first trip to India, when I ran out of money, I found my way to Amritsar."
"I stayed and ate at the Golden Temple and before each meal, we used to chant "Sat Nam Wahe Guru, Sat Nam Wahe Guru" and it really stuck with me. I felt very welcome there. On my first day, I tied a turban, removed my shoes and washed my feet and was welcomed by a man outside with the words "We are all one." The whole experience inspired the song ′Nanak′ (on Dance of Shiva.) When Nanak became enlightened no one would listen when he spoke; he met a musician and he sang his words and people started to listen. That′s the power of what music can do."
"The music is there already, it has nothing to do with me at all. Inspiration
comes in spite of me. It is as if the score is already written and it is so
strong I can hear it all, with maybe 10 instruments. You open up to the
vibration that is full of music and that′s there all the time. You just have to
"You cannot even claim a composition, that is just musician′s ego that I wrote this song or it is a legal affair, but it′s not my composition, music simply exists. Mozart channeled. Great composers are open, the music washes down over them and they capture it. It is part of a natural rhythm. A good musician is like a gardener. The gardener takes care that the seed grows, waters and prepares the ground, nurtures the plants and enjoys the fruits, but the nature doesn′t belong to the gardener."
"Music is my practice. It gives me nourishment. As a musician you must practice, have passion and dedication. You make yourself ready. If it comes, accept the gift."