photos provided by Mimi Page
I think we can all agree that 2020 has not been what we expected at all. Most of us in mid-August would have had plenty of festivals and shows under our belt. We’d have spent the past few months dancing, laughing, and connecting with friends, old and new. We’d be chasing this song or that artist. However, COVID-19 has made all that impossible.
It’s been difficult on so many levels. As the world comes to a pause, we find ourselves with so much extra time. Time to think, to worry, to grieve. Our news feeds and minds are clogged with so much triggering information, it can be hard to see the light.
Yet, there is a light, even in the midst of the crazy storms we’re riding through. And just as a lighthouse steers one towards safety, her ethereal voice guides us to healing.
Mimi Page is that voice. She is also a multi-faceted musician, producer, healer, gardener and advocate. Her ability to incorporate her many passions into dynamic musical projects is impressive. Her drive for those projects to bring healing to others is inspiring. She is a force for good, in a seemingly negative world.
And that goodness pours right out of her in sweet side notes and animated storytelling. She has so much to share with us, so I hope you will find this interview helpful in whatever you may be going through. For music is our wonderful connector, both externally and internally. Even if we cannot see live music, we can still experience all the healing benefits sound has for us individually. Luckily, we have the brilliant Mimi Page to help guide us in utilizing sound in a whole new way.
Festival Squad: What have you been up to lately? Are you working on any new music?
Mimi Page: Yes! I’m working on my new album called Echos of Eternity. I’ve been working on it for about four years. I take a lot of time in between solo albums. So I’m almost done with it, I have all the songs finished and I’m just doing final touches production-wise. I’m really, really proud of it. I’m just trying to find the time to tackle it because when COVID hit I was dealing with quarantine and one of my passions is mental health so when I saw how many people were struggling, I took a break from my solo album and started doing live streaming for my fans on Instagram and Youtube.
I’ve also been working on a sound healing album, which I’m almost finished with. So I’m straddling those two albums, on top of all the collaborations that I’m doing. I was reluctant to release music this year but I think the world needs it now more than ever. The world is so overwhelming right now, we could all use some healing vibrations
FS: I definitely agree. I think we could all use some healing during these crazy times
MP: Yeah, as an independent artist I’ve had the luxury of expanding my brand in ways where I can focus on healing within my structured work. I obviously do ambient or electronic music. But when I discovered Deuter, a German new age composer, about seven years ago I was also doing film and video game scoring. I realized I could release albums that were solely focused on healing. Deuter inspired me to push forward and start creating in this way. For the sound healing album that I’m working on, I created my own software called “Light and Shadow.” It’s a virtual instrument, all made out of my voice. So you can play my voice like an instrument, but I also created hundreds of drums and ambient structures that are very peaceful. I actually tune them to 432 hertz, which is very healing sonically. So all the sound healing I do is actually made out of my voice, but it sounds like a synthesizer. It’s really peaceful. It’s something to close your eyes, put on headphones, breath and focus on going inside yourself and not on the external feelings.
FS: Creating your own software is very impressive! Can you tell us some more about your creative process?
MP: Well for me, I don’t listen to a lot of music. I used to be very inspired when I listened to other artists, but I started having an overwhelming workload with collaborations, scoring for media, and working on my own solo stuff that I began to find silence in nature really inspiring. So one of my main creative processes now is gardening.
When COVID hit, we had a food shortage here so I planted one of every vegetable just in case I couldn’t find it at the grocery store. Well, now I have a green thumb, and I garden more than ever. When I’m outside with my plants, I’m relaxed and open. I meditate out there and become like a channel that allows the music to come through. I’ll get into that high-vibrational state, and then I’ll go back inside to my home studio and sit at my piano and let the music flow. It’s a much better method than fiddling around with chords and sounds like I used to. It’s effortless when I get to the right mental state.
It’s interesting because I used to write songs to heal and process things myself, but now when I’m writing and in that relaxed space, I’m able to connect to what I know will help others. I’m tapping into vibrationally healing music that helps so many others. Nature is a shared experience so when I’m out there I feel like I’m more open to receiving, not just a personal message, but a shared collective message through music.
FS: It sounds like nature is a big inspiration for your sound.
MP: Yes, it’s my main inspiration. When the world feels crazy to me, I go outside and I realize there are all these epic cycles of death and birth going on around me in harmony. Humans are just one species on this ginormous planet and we have such a beautiful ecosystem that will always be, regardless of the craziness we see on the news. So by grounding and being in nature, I am able to take in these horrific things and still find the light within it and share my truth from that perspective.
FS: That ability to see the light is so necessary. It’s been a weird year for the music industry to say the least—in more way than one. Taking everything that has happened over the last few months into consideration, it seems as if things are changing significantly. As an artist, how do you think live music culture will look when we are able to safely gather again?
MP: I perform live but not that often. I’ve honestly performed live more than I’ve ever attended any concerts. So what has been particularly devastating for me with everything that has happened recently is seeing how much sexual abuse goes on behind the scenes. It’s so massively distressing to me because what music should be, and for me it is, is very tribal.
I went to my first rave when I was 19 or 20 and it was the most euphoric, beautiful experience ever. I was hugging people I didn’t know, and I felt like we were one big unified force experiencing this beautiful music together. It was sacred to me and that inspired me as an artist so much. So now learning that there is just as much darkness as there is beauty, I’m honestly grateful that everything shut down. This cannot continue the way it has been. If 2020 is teaching us anything, it’s holding a magnifying glass to the realities and ugliness. It’s deep collective shadow work.
Artists cannot violate fans. Fans cannot violate fans. Corporate festivals and companies that back them need to hold artists accountable. People need to be aware of what’s going on because this has gone on for far too long. It needs to stop.
My hope is that there is mass restructuring and change in regards to how live music is executed. Music is a place of healing and connection, which is what our world needs, and we cannot afford to have it polluted by perversion and corruption. We just cannot tolerate it. I think there will be a huge change coming and it will really benefit our generation and the next generation to come.
FS: Shifting gears a little bit, can you explain what sound healing is and what it looks like for those who don’t know?
MP: So sound healing to me is a very blanket term and you can use this term in any way, for any genre. So the more known term of this is like the new age music you would hear in a spa that is really calming. Music is energy so the vibrations you’re hearing are mostly toned down, atonal, arhythmic, and ambient. It may be played with delicate pianos, cellos, harps and that’s to calm the nervous system.
Then there are more performative expressions of sound healing with bells and gongs. The performative expression is more about the live frequency exchange from these instruments. You’re not being led by the melody. So that’s a whole different approach to sound healing. Being in a sound bath and feeling the vibration of sound on a cellular level is very healing to the nervous system. That’s a whole other approach and I do that as well.
My specific expression of sound healing is through melody. I love virtual instruments so I like using my libraries of different virtual instruments that are specifically tailored to sound healing. I can build whole sonic worlds with a variety of instrumental tones and my own voice from my “Light and Shadow” software. I was able to partner with an incredible virtual instrument company called SoundIron and create a library that focuses on light and dark. It’s about expressing the celestial, beautiful atmospheric side of music but also the dark, ominous, haunting and melancholy side of art.
When the body heals and the mind wants to go within, a lot of the time the mind will want to follow a melody to guide itself. Because when we meditate it’s really hard, and I’ve studied for many years different techniques and styles of meditation. When I first started meditating it was so hard for me and my mind would race. I really had to train myself and be disciplined with my practice but not everybody can do it. I use the melody in my own work to guide the mind to follow it so that it can relax. The mind is not going through its usual chaotic gymnastics routine.
Not everyone can do the monklike routine with hardcore, silent meditation. Not everybody can just listen to music either because sometimes it can be a distraction. So when you’re focused on healing you have to go within, you have to confront these pockets of energy and breath through it and release it. But if you’re being assisted, the peaceful vibrations are immediately disarming. The sonic frequencies of a sound healing meditation can heal and kind of quiet the body and relax the nervous system. Then the mind being lead by melody can take over so you’re not still thinking about what you have to do tomorrow, you’re just in the present moment with that instrument. So it’s kind of a mixture of being distracted and going within and using that distraction to heal yourself if that makes sense.
FS: Is there anything sound healing is most beneficial for?
MP: I would say it’s beneficial for literally everything. Before this global pandemic and shutdown, I think we were conditioned to constantly “go, go go” all the time. I found sound healing has helped me and others just relax and realize you can clock in for your mental health and your self-healing just like you can clock in for work. If you’re not healthy inside, you can’t be a functional member of society. You can get sick, overloaded, depressed. You have to have that ebb and that flow within your energetic system. So I was finding that sound healing can help everybody function better because you’re able to relax and a lot of people have trouble relaxing. It also helps heal depression and anxiety. There are actually scientific studies on the healing frequencies of sound. For example, there was a study done on water droplet molecules and sound frequencies. The molecules would organize into beautiful, geometric shapes with peaceful vibrations but become chaotic shapes when it was more aggressive music. Since the body is mostly made of water, it just goes to show what happens when you are stimulated by different vibrational music. So anyone recovering from surgery, experiencing a panic attack or a PTSD episode can physically heal their body through music. It just helps everybody in every single way I feel.
FS: How did you first begin your journey with sound healing?
MP: What’s interesting is I’ve always treated music as a form of healing itself. So early in my childhood, going through traumatic events I would go to my piano, and I would self-soothe by creating chords that resonated with me. If I was sad I would play a minor chord and that chord would reflect how I felt inside. I realized then that I could turn my sadness into beauty. Throughout my entire career as an artist, I have created sound healing within different genres. So while it may not have been specifically focused on laying down, closing your eyes and going within, now I’m more purposeful on that end because I’ve learned the art of it from other artists. When it’s specifically tailored to that it can be even more profound. I’ve been integrating this practice before I even knew I was doing it in order to heal myself. It’s been a gift that has been within me since I was a kid. I never really intended for this but you can always surprise yourself.
FS: Interesting that healing has always been the driver for your music.
MP: Yeah, for a while my own battle with my artistry was not wanting to be “boring.” See electronic music is loud and fun. My music has never really been fun, it’s always been introspective and more of an exploration. Then COVID hit and everyone was experiencing unrest and anxiety, I realized this is a time I can really reach people through my music.
FS: You spoke briefly on Mr. Bill’s podcast about plans to connect with a charity to create opportunities for ambassadors and others to get involved with sound healing. I’d love to know more about that project and what you envision for it.
MP: So I’ve had several meetings with RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence non-profit. I’ve brought up several ideas, like setting up a hotline possibly with them for people traumatized within the music industry. I’ve also discussed setting up an event, like a Zoom meeting since we can’t physically meet, where we can have workshops filled with sound healing and group therapy sessions. It would be sort of like a support group, in which people can share and find community with others, then we would end the session with sound healing. The focus would be on healing the body and the mind and processing together. It’s still very early stages of starting the conversation with non-profits to possibly pair with.
I’ve never even considered this until this really horrific situation arose. There’s this huge crisis right now and I thought, “what can we do with this and how can we all come together, especially in the Bassnectar community?” There are so many beautiful people that were for a good cause, that volunteer and want to make a change in the world. When there are so many beautiful people who have their hearts in such a good place, it’s a waste to not organize and have everyone come together to reshape and transmute it. This is where my heart is, and I’m doing a lot of research on the best platform to partner with. It’s still early stages but I want everyone to know because obviously one of my songs is tied to this artist, and I’m triggered when I hear it as many others are. Instead of canceling it, I wanted everyone to know that my love and my light went into that song, and you cannot cancel the people who had nothing to do with this. We can transmute this into beauty and use this for positivity, which really inspired me to move forward with this idea. I wish I could make this happen now, as it’s so needed now, but I’m also learning how to do this at the moment while dealing with my own trauma. There’s so much to unpack, and I’m just one person.
FS: Yes, that is needed and a wonderful way to redirect the energy. We look forward to seeing where this project goes. How can people get involved with this if they’re interested?
MP: I’m asking people to email or DM me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. Please say that you would like to be involved with your full name and email. I have a whole list of people who want to be involved. There’s no name to it, and there’s still lots to figure out but I’m open to brainstorming with others. This is a collective project for healing.
To experience more sound healing meditations, please go to Mimi’s Youtube channel.