Electronic music producer and DJ Mose has been carving his own path in the ecstatic dance and electronic music community. His original productions have been shared around the world, touching hearts and uniting dance floors everywhere from Envision Festival in Costa Rica to Estonia, Portugal and beyond.
We sat down with Mose ahead of our Nicaragua Artist Residency where he will be sharing his music and production techniques to dive deeper into his creative approach, journey as an artist and more.
Who is Mose?
“People are surprised that’s my real name, but it’s Mose. For me, music isn’t a project. It isn’t something that I see outside of myself. I’m really just a guy doing stuff that he loves.
My path with music has been following my heart and opening into realization that my most potent art is when I’m not trying to fit inside any one particular genre or idea of how music should be used. When I go into creative process I want to create whatever really resonates, whatever feels good, whether it’s really slow, fast, high energy, low energy; I really don’t concern myself with labels or trying to build a particular sound or image. I try to what my heart is calling for and going deep into that and then coming out the other side with some incredible music that I can share to convey the experience I had.”
Is channeling a part of your creative process?
“That’s definitely the intention. A teacher recently offered me something very humbling: that it’s not my music, that it’s THE music. It’s sort of gifted TO me and through me. So, what I’m really actually good at is not making music – I’m good at getting out of the way so that the music can come through.”
How do you get out of your own way?
“Just today actually, I was making something, and I took a pause. Rather than just going, going, going – I stepped back. I closed my eyes and I listened to see what might come in, from somewhere beyond me. What’s the next move? What’s the next idea?
I enjoy this example of Leonardo da Vinci because he’s known for creating basically from just what he perceives. So he’ll have a canvas, and he’ll just look at the canvas and stare at it blankly until he starts to see something arising out of it. So, it’s not like he’s trying to come up with an idea, it’s more that he’s letting go to what is already present in front of him, and then shaping around that. Giving his energy to it, but really just following what already seems to be there.
That’s why I love collaborations. I do a lot of remixes and a lot of my music is collaborated, because it gives me a starting point of inspiration. If I have a vocal, for instance, I can listen to the vocal and I already have something to play off of. To shape it and add things to it. It’s like a seed that I use to allow the project to sprout out of and create something new.
Something a teacher said to me is that, “All music already exists, it’s just not manifested.” It doesn’t all exist here in this physical realm, but it exists in the potential. And we, or I, can bring that into this physical realm.
If you have a really strong idea of who you are and what you’re doing, you don’t have space actually to be a vessel. So this all involves an ongoing process of being aware of the ego. When the ego starts to rise up, it’s being aware of that, and then channeling the energy through yourself as an individual and a personality, reminding yourself that it’s just a gift.
This allows you to deflate the ego. Through understanding is that it’s not ME.
It can be energetically easy to feel and start thinking highly of yourself. So it’s this ongoing practice of like, when someone says something like, “I love your music,” receiving it, but then offering it right away to the highest. Offering it to the truth and the understanding that I was gifted with this experience as well. I’m just blessed to be able to share what’s coming into my field and through my awareness, with other people.”
Can we isolate sensation of the ego?
“I think it’s a lot of just different characteristics. Just thinking about yourself, for instances, is ego. So, that’s something that I’ve worked on a lot in my most recent retreats: diverting my attention away from myself and my own desires, and intending to be more aware of how I can be of service to other people.
Even beyond, “how I can give or be of service?” and extending to being more present and aware in general of what’s going on. Not what’s going on according to my needs and desires.
It’s always a relationship, right? When we perceive certain experiences or events, most of the time we perceive them in relationship to ourselves. How we feel about it, and how we judge it is huge. Judgment is really deep at the core of the ego.”
How do we completely release judgement? Even in way you produce tracks (i.e. this is good or this isn’t good)?
“I think step one is recognizing that there are two different things: judgement and discernment. The way that I define these words and the way that I operate based on those definitions are different.
So, let’s say I jumped in the lake. “It’s cold.” That’s discernment. I jumped in the lake.
“It’s cold. I don’t like this.” That’s judgement.
Discernment is differentiating between the characteristics of things: hot, cold, high, low, red, green, etc. There’s no judgement there. You’re not saying whether it’s good or bad, you’re just recognizing and categorizing things. Whereas, judgement is good or bad.
Subjectivity is huge here as well. There is no absolute objectivity. Everything is a relationship between consciousness… and, well… consciousness ultimately.
Something that I take from a world of sound and really incorporate into my language to minimize my judgement is also: resonance and dissonance.
With music, if I’m making something, and I don’t like it, I don’t have to say, “It’s bad.” I can say, “It doesn’t resonate.” And THAT is discernment. It’s recognizing a coherence or in-coherence, with my relationship to the sound. Resonance is a relational thing. It’s not isolated. It’s not like the music itself. It has to resonate or not resonate with things around it.
My intention is to make music that is resonant. That brings coherence, brings a feeling of alignment of love and sensations that would generally be labeled resonant or coherent.”
Is your intention to create the most amount of resonance for most amounts of people?
“No. I’m not trying to make popular music. I’m just trying to honor myself and be as transparent and as honest and as authentic as possible. Whatever comes through in that process is whatever it is. I don’t know if that’s going to resonate with a lot of people or not.
I think that there is a potential to resonate with a lot of people. Because if I can tap in really deep, that I’m tapping into something that’s in everyone.”
What is that? Perhaps a universal desire to know ourselves more?
“For me, it all rests on the fact that everything is one. So, my journey is a journey into strengthening that awareness and connection to that fact. It’s become very clear to me that the more connected I feel to that, the more joy I have in my life. There’s nothing better than resting in the awareness that all is one and that I’m an aspect of that.”
How did you arrive at your personal philosophy around the music you want to create?
“That was a very specific moment. 2010: first time at Burning Man on the dance floor.
I was experimenting with some magic mushrooms and it was the combination of my environment, the people around me, all of the art, the creativity… the field of this place in general, which is so inspiring. There’s so much love. It’s just like a family, a big community.
All of these creative people honoring themselves and allowing themselves to create in really unique ways. Allowing themselves to be and explore.
On the dance floor, the music was a pivotal part for me, going into probably the deepest experience of my life as far as how connected I felt to everything. The music was very central in that process. I was so engaged with the sound that I just closed my eyes, and I became the music, and then I became everything.
So, it was a major facilitator in having this connection to the unity of all things, which inspired me to do the same for other people. Because of my own experience, I saw that there is the potential for it be so much more than simply entertainment.”
Why San Marcos?
“Burning Man was the spiritual spark. It awakened a connection and awareness of the fact that everything is spiritual: that it’s not just a material plane, that there’s a much deeper level to things.
When I came here to San Marcos, I did The Moon Course at Las Piramides. That gave the field to that spark to make it into a fire. It really opened my awareness to the inner journey.
My intention on this trip had been to just travel around. But the journey I had inside through my process reoriented me to be more interested in the internal journey.
I ended up sticking around after. I was reading and going deeper into these esoteric things. I was connecting more with the community. After that, I had an anchor here. I kept coming back to do more retreats. And the more I came back, the more connected I felt with the place, the community, the land. I did some more traveling, but after exploring other places, it really clarified that this is where I want it to be. It was a gradual process of eventually realizing that this is home.”
What kinds retreats do you gravitate towards?
“I work with dreams and hermetic Kabbalah, which is different from Jewish Kabbalah. It’s non-dogmatic, or non-religious. It’s universal so you can work with any text, any ideology, and it fits into the map of the tree of life, which is kind of at the core of Kabbalah.
I’ve gotten really deep with science as one of these branches of the tree. Then, I think I balance my more intellectual or scientific view with just letting go into music.
Those are my main second-layer aspects of what I do with my retreats and how I spend my time.”
What does community mean to you?
“Support. Reflection. Variety. Connection. And an opportunity to reflect and to learn through other people.”
What does circus mean to you?
“Embodiment. Playfulness. Creativity. Innocence. Movement. Really allowing one’s self to move in a liberated way.”
What does clowning mean to you?
“A lot of the same things. More specifically around playfulness, paradox, and opposites.”
Who is inspiring you now in music?
“My most listened to artist on Spotify in 2019 is RY X. I’m really inspired by what he’s doing because I feel like there’s an energy there that’s available to anyone. Yet, it carries this profound depth if you really drop into it and are present with it. I’m more and more attracted to music as also a bridge. RY X is a good example of that bridge.
I’m becoming more attracted to and resonant with a pop-y kind of sound. I’ve stopped listening to music in the scene I’m involved in and to start exploring a wider range of energies and styles.
I am interested in bridging more into the mainstream and not being so overtly spiritual. My core intention is for it to be healing and aligning, but I’m seeing how it can be maybe more multidimensional by allowing it to be more playful and simple. The language and the lyrics could be more universal and open to anyone.”
Anyone else that inspires you in general?
“There are not so many individuals I’m focused on. I’m more so finding inspiration in people around me every day. Recognizing there are beautiful things that people are doing all of the time – interesting things and new ways of living life I haven’t explored myself. So I’m in inspired by that and by being really open and interested in those around me.”
What can people expect from you with us in residency?
“I’m going to do my best to be present. I’m looking forward to sharing my experience and some of the things I’ve uncovered on my own path. I hope I can be helpful and inspiring to other people. As an artist one of greatest compliments you can receive is that you’ve inspired someone else to create and that their art has somehow leveled up because of art that’s come through me.
Mose is just one of the many talented and inspiring artists who will be joining us at Maderas Village in Nicaragua from March 1-April 15. Read more on his perspective on spirituality of sound and silence or click here for more information on the awesome community of creators we invited you to join in Nicaragua.”