Dublab and some of the most wonderful weirdos making music today—for her first live performance ever. This interview by Daiana Feuer." /> L.A. Record


October 7th, 2009 | Interviews

emily ryan

Download: Linda Perhacs “Parallelograms”


(from Parallelograms out now on Sunbeam)

Linda Perhacs sees colors. The psychedelic nature of reality follows her around and tugs at her pant leg for attention. On Parallelograms, her singular psychedelic gem from 1970, she captured the waveforms of color through sound, and now she’s been called back to do it at REDCAT with Dublab and some of the most wonderful weirdos making music today—for her first live performance ever. Her palette is physical light, and her brush is the sound of music. The hills are alive with electromagnetic radiation. This interview by Daiana Feuer.

Does higher power have a shape or color that you can see?
Linda Perhacs: I have to answer that on two levels. This higher energy is in every living thing. A portion of this incredible energy fills all that is alive. There’s also the opposite—I’m going to get pretty deep here. But during specific times I have both seen and heard that which did have a shape and a message to deliver and help me understand. In general when I speak of light, I speak of light that we see in all life—sunset, rainbow, the face of someone in love. That light fills all life but it’s more amorphous. It’s still a wavelength—a sea. It’s always there. If you want to send out energy you have to work with rules of the world or block bad energy. If you’re in the ocean, you’re in trouble if you don’t follow the rules of how to swim and conserve energy. That fear is its own ocean and you have to know how to navigate. A sound wave produces an effect when you touch someone with it. An X-ray is invisible light, for instance. Everything in life is a form of a wavelength of some kind—everything is a sea of energy. A galaxy or you and I talking or your intimate partner or just the air we breathe. Everything is based on wavelengths and energy. A sea of all these complex different wavelengths. But during specific lessons or messages I’ve learned from the energy realm, I’ve seen form and heard voice and had to discern between two things—is this a positive loving animation or is it not? If it’s not, I want to block it or get away from it.
How can we recognize a positive message?
Linda Perhacs: Always ask what’s coming in the energy field if this is positive or negative. If it comes in the imminence of higher love, it’s very discernible though not describable—kind, loving, and it’s got an immense energy. The first question is not a demand—what is it that you want? It’s very important to allow people to have freedom of will or choice. You can’t receive a message of ‘do it my way.’ Anything that is really good for you is going to come in such a way of peacefulness and love that you will be very comfortable with it. It’s faith to live it and absorb it and focus on what’s being said. It’s coming in love. I remember how far I was from understanding anything of that kind when I was younger. I don’t think things can ever go wrong when focusing on nature or love or energy in that capacity. Most people feel comfortable in those waters until they reach a deeper understanding. People feel comfortable when you talk about their health. Disease is lack of ease—lack of harmony. You have to discuss what produces the harmony in your body to dispel disease or disarm it. Bringing in more love and joy can overwhelm that in the body.
Can joy be the best medicine?
Linda Perhacs: Most of us are not masters of rule or change. We need some help sometimes to deal with whatever the problem is. But as soon as possible you want to get rid of the artificial things. If you’ve got a major problem—a cancer—you need joy and peace and happiness for a while. That will knock it out faster than anything manmade. That’s on record with Norman Cousin. He was a journalist who was in Russia and got a blast of jet fuel or something in his face. After that he didn’t feel right. Next thing he knew he had something rare and bad and they couldn’t help him. He left the hospital, put himself in a hotel and played fun movies like Charlie Chaplin. In a very short time he completely conquered the problem by infusing the body with joy and laughter. The end of the story—he left the physical plane, he was older, but he was the head of the oncologist department of the medical center treating people who have nothing to be done. He had become credible enough to have that stature so they would send patients to him. He would encourage them. If meds aren’t doing it, use natural medicine—joy, laughter, and happiness. He proved it. The famous test involved thinking of everything that is negative in your world for five minutes and then taking a blood sample. Then they asked him to do the opposite—think of joy and loving and then took another blood sample. To his astonishment, during negative time, he produced everything in his blood that produces illness. In the time of joy, he pivoted enough to find all the things that are good, and shot way up. Not everyone can do it that fast. He had trained for thirty years. All he did was the same thing that the yogis did for centuries. You can control your heart beat—your blood pressures—with your mind.
Can you reach Timbuktu with a thought?
Linda Perhacs: If we would tune into the potential of the cell phone that we have to connect with the universe versus the texting with one person… that’s all that prayer techniques ask of us. Connect with the energies within—not only for our benefit but to benefit others. It’s an inner mechanism that belongs to everyone. Most don’t use it. But it’s there for free. It’s far superior to our cellphones. Cellphones have taught us we can communicate over long distances. All these things give us the idea of transmission of energy and closeness—with our inner cellphone. I have many friends and vice versa who call me at the exact moment that I think of them. Many of us experience that. I had occasion to be close enough to people where I am conversing with them and not talking. Some of us can do that. I have some musical friends where they will know and I will know what we are communicating. Maybe I am prayerful at the moment or listening. I’ve been aware of hearing them say, ‘Not now, I’m buzzing around.’ Or they will walk into my presence and say, ‘I knew I needed to talk to you.’ Someone will call and say, ‘I need to cheer you up.’ I have felt your vibes this week, Daiana, since we met. ‘She is thinking—she is trying to put together her thoughts. As soon as she finishes her project, she will move on and that transmission will be interrupted.’ This kind of thing I became more familiar with when I started to do my music and meditation. Now it’s so normal I don’t even think about it. It just becomes.
How do you use music to harness energy?
Linda Perhacs: As it relates to music, I wasn’t so far into this when I did Parallelograms. I was beginning to learn about it then. Everything I do now, I am very aware of the influence of music or when you speak, and I want an imminence to reach people that has the power to awaken them—to help heal and energize them. I would never want it to have a negative effect or intentionally angry. I want something to reach them that would open their life more. The most beautiful quality of something out there. Gossamer and lovely. Electronic touches are good, and some sculpting and crafting elements—which is my favorite thing. I love to do that. Where you’re taking the voice and literally creating something that is like watercolor or impressionistic painting or moving sound from spot to spot. Taking sound as your medium to create shapes and effects, like a gossamer sheen or aura over a room. A song has verse chorus verse chorus. Our modern music has a certain texture we expect to hear, but I’m talking about something a little different. I love energy so much. I absolutely don’t feel this is my first time here. You have to be drawing on previous experience to have the depth—the vastness.
When were you able to most clearly grasp your visions?
Linda Perhacs: Certain things were coming to me in that era by surprise. But as a child I saw choreography. I didn’t tell my mother. I wouldn’t tell my mother that I was breathing, right? It was so normal that I wouldn’t stop and talk about them. I probably started to break it down in ways to describe it as an adult. This whole series of clues, there was something going on at toddler age. The adults around me said they would be surprised I would sit in a corner and not get dirty—just sit in a reflective way. By 5 and 6 I am composing choreography through visions. It all has a pattern. It’s pretty sophisticated and complex, not childlike. I walk to the teacher and say, ‘I am here to bring my group and we are going to do a show for you.’ And I was told not to do that. Now I am an adult well past 40 and getting up there and I am doing the same thing, but this time, and for my first performance, they have said OK to do it my way. Full choreography, full lyrics, full composition, working in the energy sphere and painting with music—and I want to keep doing it, provided I can get in the studio and someone knowledgeable about technology to work with.
How were you able to become open to realizing your full potential?
Linda Perhacs: I can see now that it was a natural gift and I need to call it that and that I was born with it. I didn’t understand it as a younger woman. Let me tell you as a story. In Topanga Canyon, one night, I was conversing with Paper Mountain Man. We were in my little studio and heard a knock at the door. In comes his closest friend whose name was Peter. Peter was a dramatic, artistic man. He walked in the door with a rolled up piece of paper. Peter said to him, ‘Read it if you have the patience to read it. It’s about you. I was on a mountain with my typewriter trying to deal with my own things. I couldn’t do it until I typed two pages about your life, your weaknesses, your strength, and what is in your future. I know you are stubborn. Don’t toss it aside.’ Paper Mountain Man read it a second, and tossed it. I read it and said, ‘This is you! This is on the mark.’ It had a section on me that said, ‘Linda will be a great help to you but the help she will be has been dormant. It will flower out very strong. It’s coming very fast. It’s been there all along but dormant.’ I didn’t know what he was talking about. This facet—the music, the energy, the intuitive awareness—that development had not surfaced yet. Once it surfaced, it was an explosion. Sometimes when we don’t know where we’re headed, we don’t know what our gift in life is. There’s a point in life when we don’t know what’s there. There could be incredible gifts just waiting to surface. I had no clue. I was well trained in the medical world, in nature because my young husband was a genius in nature. He was such a teacher to me. My knowledge was nature and medical. It hadn’t gone into the ethereal realm of meditation prayer and energy from that dimension. But the preparation of understanding medicine, physics, and nature—that prepared me to understand those higher energies. Peter was right on. It came on fast and strong when I opened those doors. I want that to be encouragement for you and others, that your timing may be very close. You could be months or days away.
That would be cool.
Linda Perhacs: Daiana, you were chosen for this because you were the best choice. There’s a reason why you’re able to talk to me like this. Obviously this is something you can handle. With other people, I know I need to say nothing. You’re very receptive and able to handle it. I hope mostly that whatever both of us do in the dimensions of our lives, it will touch other people. I don’t know how many more years I will be here on the physical plane. You get to a point in life when it is more important to help others. You want to give other people a chance for their years to be as fruitful as possible, as expanded as they’re capable of being. I just had a birthday. I was very happy to say, ‘It’s so cool, it’s my birthday, I am so busy being creative, I don’t know what number I’m at.’ I just hope I get to do everything I want to get done. I represent a beautiful era with awfully good energies. Put me in studio and I will show you that the spirit is vital as a child. That part does not age. That part is what I will still be working with when I am not on the physical plane. When I was in the hospital in the year 2000 with pneumonia—30 days on respiratory—I felt so vital. I was literally creating in that state. I could hear every word. I was chattering away in my mind creating thoughts, so alert and vibrant. ‘I got to get out of here and get moving!’ Yes, it can travel. Energy is energy—it can go through walls. We are highly keyed lasers. We have great powers. I say that in a good way. We haven’t even begun to find what is in our capacity to do good.
Why do you believe in the internet?
Linda Perhacs: In the era when Michelangelo did his sculpture, if it weren’t for the Medici family, the artists would not have been able to do what they did. Our flowering of art comes because something is allowing it to. Now, thanks to the internet, this is a new situation. Prior to that, we needed the Medici family. Now you guys have the privilege of doing incredible things on lower budgets. Facebook is the biggest marketing tool. The interconnections are not stoppable. We’ve never had this before. You have a whole new arena for all that’s happening inside each of you. I can’t wait to see what you are going to do with it. You guys are swimming in it like little ducks. This is your water. Enjoy. I am here cheering you on. You have a huge potential to reach the world, unless someone knocks out the circuits. The power is huge, but use it with discretion. There’s a few of us who are here pushing for all of you to do just that. Leonard Cohen—74 years old—he is on tour in Europe. He is an incredible poet that reflects what is going on. He’s been a wonderful mouth for all these years and he is still on top of his game. He is masterful at what he does. How encouraging is that? He couldn’t be more considerate of his musicians and his audience. There’s a rare soul and he spent 5 years as a monk. Then he came down off the mountain and is still giving and inspiring. I was telling Devendra that he needs to think about the world. He has to use his capacity to focus on the world and the things going on. He is young and has his heart somewhat in those waters. But I felt the need to come out and say it: ‘Write differently.’ I am not just a woman going into my songs anymore. Parallelograms was about my personal relationship and love for nature. I’ve grown beyond that now. I am more concerned with issues that affect you and affect your generation—those that are going to inspire the world in a huge way.
What do you want us to do?
Linda Perhacs: Do everything you can do to be innovative and creative and put it out there. Hopefully in a positive way. It will find its mark. It will touch others. That is the whole point of the REDCAT evening. We will share, give, and do what we can. Frosty is wise. He insisted on using his people in the musician choices. He didn’t want super pro people. He wanted his people to do this celebration. So the whole evening is aimed at encouraging, not just that group of artists there that night. I want to encourage the people watching or who hear it later. Let us know what you’re doing. It’s for everyone. It’s a circle of energy. Jessica Hunley, the event leader, her people, they all think like this. They are wonderful. There’s hundreds of them out there. It’s just nonstop beautiful people. This is what the world needs. People who create their own venue, create their own energy and go create more. Jessica is an expert at what she does. Frosty is an expert.
What makes music such a big deal?
Linda Perhacs: Because it makes us feel different. Why? It makes you feel because it is carrying the energy from the composer, the energy from the instruments, the person at that keyboard or bass—it’s carrying the energy if its electric or acoustic. There’s an input there that you are receiving—that multiple input, and your body is reacting. That input is multifaceted. There are wavelengths that are high frequency, those that are slower, those high enough to go through walls—the 900 foot cloud image I showed you from Thought Forms by Annie Bessant, that the artist saw rising out of a church into the sky—it had to go through the church walls to go into the sky. Her text says it lasted for hours and floated and covered a community. And had an effect on that community for hours. Some music makes us want to run out of the room. Some is healing or increases love capacity or makes you feel cheerful. It all depends on the human beings behind that music. But the energy is so powerful, it can be like a bomb or a window. Energy is received, processed through the mind, re-enters the sound created and enters the mind of whoever is listening.
Must we be careful of the energies we’re exposed to?
Linda Perhacs: If my family members are playing a violent video downstairs and I am upstairs with earplugs and tuning out, totally out of it—all of a sudden I bolt out of bed, my legs kicking like a football player. I come out at a full kick. I take the earplugs out and it’s The Gladiator scene where they’re slicing people up. I tell them, ‘Please don’t watch that when I am asleep!’ It is going in their minds and coming up to me because I am sensitive. I pick up the brainwaves. I don’t feel sorry for Linda, though. What about the tiny children? A little baby feels a lot. Toddlers. If it’s temporary, OK. They’re used to TV and that’s the world they’re going to live in—a certain tolerance has to be built in them so they can live in this world. But the flood of it is something we should think about. The kids get sick and we don’t know why. The kids are raised on media. Let’s give some thought into what we’re feeding them. I am an adult and sound asleep and I come out with a kick—what about the two-year-old? Violence in the family. No food, no continuity in their lives—all these things affect them. When I was a child, let me tell you, the vibes I had to absorb—Bonanza, Perry Como—there was no 24-hour-a-day computer. Television was watched for two hours and never turned on the rest of the time. No radio. No telephone. And I was in a middle-range conservative normal household—post-war, dad at work, mom at home. It was quite average. Nothing overly rich or poor. The kids at high school, it would be similar except for some of the very artistic or intellectual families—those had all walls lined with books. And they were way ahead of me in facing the world. In grammar school I probably spent 2 or 3 hours a day in nature alone. I would leave school and delay and be with the trees and flowers. Lots of hours of total surrounding with trees and beautiful nature. And I don’t know why my mom allowed it but I didn’t question it. I knew it was a privilege and I absorbed it. I did not come home to rock and roll and TV and a computer. I spent hours in nature. Vashti had a lot of outdoors in Scotland. Devendra, he has been in Latin America a good portion of his life. And all over the world. He has a huge input from all cultures, even as a young man. I had lots of contemplative time in my pre-college time. A lot of quiet, a lot of nature. I didn’t ask for a baseball team or gymnastics. It was post-war America. I just went around in nature. I felt that was my most comfortable part of the day. Not in school, not in my family. The least pleasant experience was in my home. That was tense. Nature was preferable and I enjoyed school. Kids are aware now. They’re at the computer. They have an unlimited choice of music. It can be good or life-altering in a way that you might say, ‘Gee, maybe they should get out in nature more.’ Nature provides balance. It’s a wonderful teacher. People who are pre-Depression, raised on farms, their balance is unshakable in old age. I think it comes from closeness to the sky and earth. Recently arrived people from Africa, they know when storms are going to occur.
Is it selfish to figure yourself out creatively? To let heartbreak and stuff be fuel or to even seek it out?
Linda Perhacs: You have to remember how important your first real attempts at love are when you are guiding the ship. That’s the first experience in depth with God, too. His world is higher order, but many people when they work on themselves, they want to get rid of their flaws—the first experiences are usually through relationships. The first time they really challenge and test them are through lovers. These are important years. You have to figure yourself out creatively. You’ve got to go through that or you have nothing to give the world. Is it selfish to learn how to walk or run better? No, you have to go through that. Simultaneously with the music that we generate, the writing, the talking to one another, the vibes that we generate. I am certain the power of the internet, whatever you’re going through in your learning experience, you can share it with the entire world. You’ve got a huge audience! The potential to impact is phenomenal. As an artist, if you have food for the day, a place to live, some stability, then what you have to offer to the world is immense. There are so many who don’t have that and can’t take the time to share their reflection with the world that needs it. All you need is a little. Then you can give a lot! Remember this—there’s energy that’s flowing through me. That’s the good influence. I have to make sure I am a clear channel. If I am in love with someone who is hurting and clouding me, it’s a good lesson and let it be one, but the time will come that you are free.
What is the artistic responsibility to provide the world?
Linda Perhacs: Gorbachev said one of the main reasons he had to allow the Berlin Wall to come down was because his people were demanding to know who the Beatles were. They were used to existing with the meager food and apartments and the transportation they had. They were demanding to know what was going on in the arts. They knew there was something happening out there and they wanted to be aware what that buzz was that they were being blocked from. Gorbachev said, ‘Ok, the West can come in.’ He had to cooperate because he had no choice. They weren’t asking what kind of cars were being driven. It was the event of the explosion of creativity that they insisted on knowing about. To have the privilege to be aware. And in Los Angeles simultaneously during the Beatles era we all used the word ‘happening.’ We said ‘It’s a happening, go there—that special energy is there.’ You guys are in the midst of an even greater possibility with energy. You are the happening right now. In the era of Haight-Ashbury, the Beatles—all the things, it was a mysterious explosion of something uncharted. There were negatives—partying to the extent of using things and doing things that were not healthy—but there were also arenas that were interested in the clothing, the food, the meditation, the doctoring—new things we had never been exposed to—poetry, love, music—that explosion in our time was huge. But I am telling you it’s small compared to what is in your hands now. It’s not going to be large studios that are going to control the world. It’s the small scale of the minds like Frosty, like you—you have all the power you need. Me and some of the others have been called back from history to encourage you to do the best you can. You have the creative power. You can do this. It’s not just a study tool. It’s not a chit chat tool. It’s huge. I can’t go where you can go. Sit in your bedroom and create. Frosty is a great example. He is fully equipped to do this. He loves musicians that are trying their best to give their best. There’s so much more yet to come. This is just the beginning. Use it and enjoy it—harness your inner energy and the energy streams that the world provides to deliver who you are. You’re not small; you’re big. I’m cheering you on.