AUSSIE STAR BEN LEE SHARES HIS CREATIVE SECRETS FOR BLEACH* FESTIVAL
B en Lee is a philosophical bloke. Subjects like human consciousness, reality and our role as human beings in this crazy world, are often at the forefront of his mind.
So, with that said, he’ll be taking to the stage at this year’s Bleach* Festival, not only with his guitar but with a microphone and his words, delivering a keynote address on Art and the Awakening of Consciousness.
Lee says he’s not sure why people have been inviting him to speak over the last couple of years.
“Maybe because most musicians are not articulate,” the former Sydney boy laughs. “So when you find someone who loves to talk there’s a jump for them.
“The awakening of consciousness is my passion and it has been for a long time. My role as an artist and musician is being defined by that at this point. I spent a lot of time thinking and studying and examining what exactly is this music thing that we are doing and what is its potential and can we really be sober and honest with ourselves about where our vision about modern music may have gone wrong.”
Lee will speak at QT Hotel, Surfers Paradise, on March 19, 3-5pm, and will host a free songwriting workshop at Helensvale Community Centre on March 20, 10am-1pm.
Live music lovers rest assured, he will also perform a headline spot at Bleach* at the Burleigh music event on March 20, 1.30-5.30pm.
The events are all part of the multi-arts Bleach* Festival, which takes over the Gold Coast until March 20. Lee’s current album is called
Love is the Great Rebellion. It’s an uplifting record that reflects some of his current musings.
Memorable songs include lyrics such as “everybody I know is trying to make their way home but they’ve forgotten the address” ( Happiness) and “so here’s some wine for a thirsty world that somehow forgot there’s a sea” (Everything is OK).
Lee says: “I think it’s tied into what we’re talking about, that there’s a journey and there’s a destination. But not only have we forgotten there’s a path to the destination, we’ve actually been convinced that the destination doesn’t even exist. In terms of real happiness. real realisation, we live in a society that tells us we’re not even asleep, we’re already awake. We’re fine. Yet all the evidence points to the contrary.
“It’s really interesting to live in this world and realise we’re craving something, and we try to fill it with all these other things, like drugs and sex and everything, fame or whatever, but there’s something we’re craving and it’s us — we want our minds back,” he finishes with a chuckle.
The other thing that occupies Lee’s consciousness is
family life. When we speak he has his little daughter sitting on his knee at the kitchen table in Los Angeles watching Sid the
Dinner is in the oven, ready for when his 14-year-old stepdaughter comes home. His wife Ione Skye is at an acting class. An unfinished artwork of hers stands on an easel nearby.
“Honestly what helped me the most is if you look back through all the mystical texts, the great philosophers, they all speak about hope,” he says.
“They all speak about the idea that as dark as it is, it can get light and it will get light again. We think of it, it’s so simple, this idea, right? That there’ll be another sunrise.
“But when you realise this is a philosophical idea, it separates the boys from the men. The people who live life with hope are the ones who do great things in the world and the ones that despair and lose themselves to depression and cynicism, they just add to the prison every day that they’re already living in.
“So I began to really ground into this idea. I think it was the poet Virgil who said there’s a golden future approaching. You see this in all the religions. A new chance.” Ben Lee, Bleach* At Burleigh, March 20
Ben Lee heads to the Gold Coast next week.