James Hood radiates viewers in a bath of light and sound at his Midsummer Ceremony

James Hood 11. In the beginning of your show, you mentioned how important art and music are to bringing about greater consciousness. Can you explain that connection?

Both art and music are powerful modalities in their own right that can on their own bring enormous light and inspiration, and the passion that people can have for either music or art can on its own be totally transformative. My point is that the combination of beautiful music and illuminated sacred art, presented in an immersive experience, almost creates an alchemy with those two elements that creates what I would call a third thing. Some sort of experiential energy that is created from the symbiotic marriage of the music and the art that can provide a possibility of quite easily going into what I would call a meditative state or a reverie. A feeling of inner expansion, a quieting down of the analytical tik-tok mind, that allows what we really are which is this vast pool of intuitive genius, which is totally unique in each one of us, to then be invited forward into an experience where you can play with the deeper parts of yourself. Where you can interact with the higher parts of yourself, the more sublime, more subtle, more supreme parts of yourself. James Hood 2So I think that it’s an incredibly powerful chemical reaction when you’re surrounded by music and you’re surrounded by art, that your conscious mind is flooded with so much information that it can’t possibly take it in so it has to ultimately surrender – or risk overheating from trying to analyze or deduct or compare everything that it is seeing – so that almost everybody who is experiencing this show decides to go the way I hope that they would go, which is to settle down, relax and allow it to flow over you and see what happens then?! And that will be different for everybody. There will be no two experiences that are the same and they will be feeding one’s own unique associations, memories, attractions, aversions. Whatever you’re into. So one can come out of the show and have a completely difference experience than their friend does. It is completely unique for each individual that experiences it.


James Hood 32. How did you come up with the concept for a performance in the 360 degree Dome?

We’ve been scouting out planetariums for quite some time. I have had a planetarium show in the past. It wasn’t something that I was directly involved in, but Moodswings’ first album, “Moodfood” had a show that was created around that album which was very successful in the states. A planetarium in Florida called Bradenton decided to make a show which was quite successful and ran for a couple of years. It was a logical extension of previous shows like Laserium and other kinds of rock shows that you could go into a planetarium and listen to Pink Floyd’s music. So I’ve been thinking about the power of combining my music with art that is like its visual twin. The logical extension of this is what I would call Immersive Entertainment. And then through a series of perfect happenings, we were introduced to Ed and Kate from Vortex Immersion Media. That’s how we ultimately did the show in the Dome in Los Angeles. Although it was a culmination of a fairly long journey and a lot of content over a number of years that has been destined to be something that one could be inside. Tatiana Plakhova’s art from Complexity Graphics.com is the kind of thing that you want to go inside, so we’ve taken her two dimensional still imagery over a period of years and animated it in 3D, which we’ve been planning for quite a while, but it’s only recently that we hooked up with the team at Vortex. The show that we’ve put together is a prototype of a show that will be even better and more fully realized as we further develop it.


James Hood 43. Was the music you performed at the dome all from your album, “Ceremony?”

The first part of the show when I’m playing the hang drum is music from the “Ceremony” album. As the show develops I perform a combination of Moodswings music both old and new. The reaction that I’ve received from people who have seen the show has been truly wonderful.

4. The hang drum has such a lovely sound. How did you discover it and decide to make it a main instrument?

I was at a drum circle at a British music festival. Someone had one and it was love at first sight. Having been a drummer my whole life, I was very interested in a percussion instrument that was so melodic. And the sound totally mesmerized me. I immediately started imagining how to record with it and how it could be played in a different way to those that I had seen play it.

James Hood 65. Why is it important to have immersive art experiences?

It is a very powerful experience to be inside something that is so visceral that it blows everything else away and brings you into a state where time stands still. The immersive entertainment that we’re creating has the intention to illuminate and inspire. We’re trying to create a sense of awe, of jaw-dropping beauty.
Instead of thinking, you’re fully present and experiencing the peace that’s in you. It’s pretty powerful non-specific energy medicine.

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TinyNijole  Nijole Sparkis is a spiritual counselor, writing and speaking on expanding Inner Power through mindfulness and conscious awareness practices. Her website is http://nijolesparkis.com

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