Writer’s Roundtable: Q & A with musician and ‘Channeling Harrison’ author David Young
By Antoinette Kuritz and Jared Kuritz
One of the few people in the world to play two flutes at once, David Young’s music is considered some of the most beautiful in the world. With the ability to heal and engender balance, it is used in wellness centers, spas, hospitals, and alternative healing facilities throughout the world. With more than one million copies of his CDs sold, Young is a Grammy nominee who received a standing ovation from Sir Paul McCartney. But it is his at first reluctant channeling of George Harrison that has truly set Young apart. Young recently sat down with us to discuss his music, his relationship with George Harrison, and his March 29 event at Seaside Center for Spiritual Living in Encinitas, Calif.
When did you first become interested in music?I started in third grade. Everyone learned to play the recorder in third grade. I wasn’t very good at it, but I just kept on working at it. Then we were given another shot at it in fourth grade – a bit of a miracle. And by the fourth grade ended I was really good at it. I am a reminder of why music programs are so important in schools.
What made you stick with it?I listened to the radio a lot, and the radio would play the same songs over and over again. I found myself playing by ear, and playing by ear it is playing from the heart. And it just felt good.
What generated your interest?I started playing name that tune on the school bus – and the kids couldn’t stump me and it was fun. So I kept on playing.
When did the idea of playing two recorders at once hit you, and how did you become so gifted at the art of playing them?Well, I really didn’t attempt this until I was an adult. And it came about because I was playing at Venice Beach with a woman who limitedly played the harp – a six-song repertoire. To break up the monotony, I tried playing two flutes, and it became a challenge and then my unique trademark.
What unique quality do recorders bring to music?When you play two at once, it creates a tri-harmonic tone in which a third note actually occurs which sounds like a buzz, adding extra vibration to the music and thus affecting us more deeply.
Rather than pop or rock or soul, or any of the genres that produce superstars, you chose healing music as your mainstay. What led you in this direction?Once I started playing two flutes at one time the music just started taking off, and it was such a powerful visual as well as a beautiful audio sound, I started getting hired to do events (Barbra Streisand, Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Taylor). It was the early ‘90s and spiritual music was just starting to take off. This music came so naturally to me – I had been meditating for 20 years – and once I realized the impact of the music, it became my genre.
There is no doubt that music has an incredible impact on us. How would you describe the energy behind your music? What effect do you hope it has?From what I’ve been told, many people have had healings and out-of-body experiences with my music. I think perhaps it is my background in meditation that facilitated this – the energy I have developed through years of spiritual searching. I hope that my music opens the doors in people’s minds to the spiritual possibilities.
Who are the two musicians who most influenced you and why?Andreas Vollenweider who plays the electric harp showed me that you could make music that was spiritual and uplifting and have it be interesting. And when I was a kid, Jethro Tull because he was the craziest, most high-energy flute player ever.
For the past few years you have been channeling George Harrison – yes, the George Harrison. What was your first response when you realized it was George coming through?I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t know why he chose me. I wasn’t a big Beatles fan, I didn’t believe in channeling. And I was afraid of just the idea of ghosts. Now I do believe in channeling, I am no longer afraid of ghosts. And I have a far-greater appreciation for the Beatles.
Why do you think he chose you?A lot of reasons. Because he has great taste in music! But actually, he has explained to me that we have had many past lives together. We both started out as rock and roll guitar players and ended up getting into spiritual music as we got older. We both dedicated our lives to sharing peace, love and understanding through our music.
In what ways has George directly influenced your music?Well, we write music together, and when I’m recording in the studio, it’s like we are recording together – and we both love the same kind of spiritually uplifting music so it is like we are working toward the same goal. And he has really helped my lyrics.
In what ways has he influenced your life?He’s turned my life upside down. Before George, I was always a bit lonely, and now that he is with me, an invisible friend who acts in essence as producer manager – someone who loves me as a brother and who I love back – I am no longer lonesome.
What has knowing unequivocally that there is another plane, that there is life beyond this, brought to your life? How has it influenced you?It changes the whole program. Knowing that life is an ongoing experience, that when the physical stops life still continues, gives you a greater sense of responsibility and of joy.
How do you think this kind of knowledge influences lives in general?I thing it gives people hope and a greater sense of purpose.
As a musician, as an artist, how are you evolving?I’m learning more about the beauty of simplicity. And this simplicity is bringing greater poignancy to my music.
What’s next from you…and George?We’re sharing love, peace, and greater understanding through our music, and we’re changing the way people look at life after death, so they think about it more as life after life. And he is using me as an example that everyone can connect with loved ones who have left this plane. This experience has shown the world what amazing things can happen.
Antoinette Kuritz and Jared Kuritz are the team behind both STRATEGIES Public Relations and the La Jolla Writer’s Conference (www.lajollawritersconference.com).