Today’s Man Maker’s art is the kind one experiences with eyes closed on a backroad as the sun wanes and the flickering light between the branches times perfectly with the crescendo. Composer, producer, artist and musician Joel Shearer came onto my radar about 2.5 years ago during a sound bath in Los Angeles and the elevation I received from the journey has kept his creations close since. His soundscapes are spiritual hymns of the ambient kind. If Nasa captures images of the universe with it’s Hubble Space telescope, Joel’s guitars are writing the soundtrack for space travel. Music has always been my medicine and that’s the most profound wave woven into Joel’s music, it’s healing breath facilitates meditation while reinvigorating the union of mind, body & soul. The language of his stratospheric sound is one that can connect all walks of life to find a commonplace of peace, relaxation and expansion. Not only have I found it elevating but it’s been an invitation to let go of the binding human form and drift into the etheric realms of consciousness. The links to his projects Morning Loops, Brights & Libella are below. Enough with the words, get lost in the sound of Joel Shearer.
What is your brand/name/music project:
Joel Shearer. Musician\Composer\Producer
What is your heritage:
German, Welch, French
What are 3 reference points of inspiration for your work:
Nature, Universe, Culture (Society). Basically, I’m inspired by nature, pushed or agitated by culture and dictated or moved by the universe.
The human condition doesn’t necessarily inspire me but it pushes me to create. It’s a mix of ego and of social ambition but mostly my wanting to create something that moves me and might help others feel something too, and maybe something they are not used to feeling. I am in awe of Nature, of this planet, of the animals and plants and the sun and the moon and of life force and of decay. I am big listener. I hear melody and rhythms in most environments. Like as I write this, the dog is walking in the kitchen and his paws are clicking against the wood flooring and it sounds like a snare drum flam pitched up. I could sample it, slow it down and create an original sound I could implement into a pop song, sourced from a living and breathing creature. That inspires me. I am learning to trust the Universe and allow it to move me in the direction it sees fit, whenever I fight this, I end up floundering and stuck.
What are 3 skills you've learned in representing yourself as an artist:
Communication, authenticity and generosity.
What are 3 skills you believe are a necessity to be an independent artist/designer/musician?
Self confidence (yes, this is a skill, at least for me, that takes discipline to learn),
Finding your OWN voice
What moved you to make with your hands and how did you come to understand the language of making sound with your hands?
I grew up around music and in a very cultured environment where my sister and I were exposed to art, music, culture and chaos. I think I ingested the art and the culture and escaped into the music to avoid the chaos. I didn’t know at the time that the guitar would become my voice; that I could communicate with my hands and my instrument better than I could with words. As this relationship grew, I became more and more aware of the power of my hands, how I touched people, how I would wave my hands around while I spoke, enhancing words with gestures, the importance of that connection between the soul and the hands. I think the hands are a physical manifestation of the voice of the soul, not just tools for the body.
If you could travel anywhere today, where would you travel and why:
Africa. I’ve only been to South Africa and was immensely moved by the landscape there. I have wanted to explore more that continent and have yet to do so. I believe Africa is the heart of the world
3 Favorite songs at the moment:
Oh Jesus, really? um, ok…..
Tim Hardin “Reason To Believe"
Moby Grape “I Am Not Willing”
Brigitte Bardot, Serge Gainsbourg “Bonnie and Clyde"
What advice would you offer your fellow female makers? What business advice?
This is an interesting question because I think women are really making their mark at the moment and at the forefront of utilizing Social Media to build their “brand" or whatever you want to call it. I would ask for the reverse question: Would some of the bad ass women out there give ME some advice!? lol. The only advice I would give anyone is find your voice and be authentic. That applies to anyone.
What advice would your 65 year old self to you today?
Slow down and take it in a little deeper.
What change would you most like to see in the world?
I would like humanity to rediscover that it IS nature and there is no separation of us (humans) and nature. If we could learn that all the species and plant life and oceans and soil and biodiversity have a way better plan than ANYTHING humans could come up, everything on this planet would benefit. I would also like to see the war mongering, greedy old white bloated and puffy male archetype evolve or die off. We need to expand our social conversation.
Any additional thoughts on the importance of artisanal/handmade goods in a fast pace Western World? Why do you believe it's necessary to create with your hands?
I love the underground (can it be called that anymore?) movement of artisan craft and the rekindling of old knowledge and the preservation of culture though craft. This is a bonfire I am excited to be around and contribute to. I can’t wait for humanity to get over its “Shock and Awe” phase and realize that if we all slow down long enough to really feel, we’d be able to feel one another on a deeper plain, not just the ego centric plain. Not just the surface of the human emotion, but the infinite depth that exists in ALL of us. I think creating hand made goods, preserving old artisan techniques or even creating new ones is vital in this rediscovery of ourselves. The meditation of molding, shaping, cutting, playing, sewing, weaving, writing, touching, hitting, pounding is our way of communicating with not only each other but the soil and the wood and the rock and the sand. We should all put our hands into the ground and feel the instant communication that happens. When we create with our hands, we’re communicating with the planet in a very intimate way.
Please do yourselves a favor and take a ride with his music. The links for his music projects are below.