Interview with Asher Quinn for The Rainbow Spirit Festival magazine, Germany, February 2nd 2013,  

Interviewer: Anada Trojan

1) Asher, we are very pleased to finally have you playing a concert at our festival. Long ago, in the early years of the festival, where many of today´s musicians and bands did not yet exist, we loved to play your music in our meditation center - we loved especially the epic pieces of music, like "Field of Stars", "Missa Greca" or "Love is the only Prayer" - those pieces that have this typical 'Asha' deep, loving, nearly trance-like style. We are glad that you accepted - after so many years - our invitation to finally play 'live' - and we hope you will present your classics!

Thank you for inviting me to sing, Ananda! It is really only in these last three or four years that I have begun to give concerts. Now I sing everywhere... Germany, Holland, Belgium, Spain, Hungary, Iceland, Denmark and the UK. I currently have invitations from Finland, Brazil and Australia, too. The reasons I didn't perform before were partly artistic, partly organisational and partly financial. My earlier instrumental pieces were quite epic in the studio, so therefore hard to re-produce credibly on-stage, without a light-show and some visual stimulus... all very expensive and complex. But now my songs are mostly spiritual love ballads, and I've learned over the years how to get down to the very essence of them, acoustically, on stage, with just keyboard, guitar and vocals.

It's an art in itself, like creating a Picasso line-drawing, knowing how to express the very essence of one's themes! Now I have enough vocal songs to give good concerts. I also gathered up many of my all-time best-loved tender and spiritual songs by other artists, like Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan, as well as my favourite traditional songs, and all this gives me a good repertoire to sing.

I have no equipment that I can transport... not even a keyboard! I have no speakers, amps or cables at home. I just compose at my little, blue upright piano, or on guitar, and I demo my songs on an old cassette player. Then I take the song into a bigger studio set-up to record it. So, to give a concert, I have to hire the equipment and the sound technicians. I work as a psychotherapist and shamanic healer in London monday-friday, and have a family, so I decided to compose, record and see clients all these years, rather than tour, which is a way of life in itself. But now my kids are older, I have a repertoire, I've overcome my shyness and I get help setting up concerts! I love it!

I have a version of the "Missa Greca" which I can perform in Karlsruhe. This has been an enduringly popular piece of mine. I recorded it in 1988, for my second album "Mystic Heart". I now have made 26 albums.

2) What does spirituality mean to you today ?

Having a spiritual life needs to be an active, living reality for me... something more than an ideology or belief system, to really work, and make one's existence better. I experience that no matter what my more primitive self encounters... mortality, mistakes, illusions, pain, loss, suffering, fear, desire and so on... I am loved; loved by that pure, incorruptible part of my own higher soul, which is a fragment of the universal soul. Therefore I am constantly attended to, redeemed and forgiven, each day, by this reality. I now live it and breathe it. It is my first waking experience each day, and my last experience before I fall asleep... and there, in unconsciousness, I am still loved. It is a constant attunement. I have no fear of death; death is beautiful... perhaps a strange and terrifying beauty, but awe-inspiring and full of mercy and transformation. When I die, I know as surely as I can know, that my higher soul shall return to source, pure as ever, and my lower soul may come with me if I've learned enough. If not, it will return for more love in another incarnation.

I am in a constant state of communion with my eternal Self, which is my God particle. It is a never-ending love affair. This is what I really sing about and write about, and what I live each day... more and more each day. This is my only message; it's my eternal song.

I don't quite know how it got to be like this, for me. It's a development; an evolution. I began to have visions of Christ aged 5, and have had many altered-state experiences ever since. These blend with my ordinary life experiences. I feel I spend more time now in other dimensions of reality, than in my ordinary reality, but I commute! I love both states and am nourished by both realities. I feel I can give to both realities too, as well as receive. What I mean by this, is that I spend more time in a 'seeing' and 'hearing' place, where I experience the bigger structures and stories of life, than I did when I was younger. For example, I can experience profound, sad and tragic loss, personally, but see the love and compassion in the experience, at my higher soul place.

I see both realities... the ordinary and the non-ordinary... and this part that sees is the seer; the see-er. I realise that I'm far from complete in this regard, of course. I've climbed to the top of the second tree, maybe, out of five. Many traditions have inspired me... the Sufi way, the Kabbalah, Daoist energy practices, Buddhism, Christian mysticism, martial arts, Jungian psychology, Rudolf Steiner... they all point to being in the moment; in the 'now'.

If I have an eternal, incorruptible soul, then so do we all. Even a person who does hurtful, aggressive things, has a pure soul at their highest point. I try to remember that, and search for it in whoever I meet.

3) Is there a personal message you have in making your kind of music ?

Ah... I seem to have addressed this already! My message is that we are loved; that we are love. That life is a love affair between our God-Self and our mortal self, that is constantly unfolding. All my songs are love songs, as in the Sufi style of poetry, whereby the eternal theme is the love between the lover and the beloved... sometimes expressed as romantic love between two lovers. This theme is also manifest in the Song of Solomon, from the Jewish old testament. It is the love between Eros and Logos... between feeling and thinking... between being and becoming. Many of my love songs are written from the perspective of the eternal self, which then expresses its love for the mortal soul. My song "Falling through time" particularly expresses this love story. I sing to heal and open my own heart, and then to make this an offering to anyone who also realises that they long for this same healing and opening.

4) Do you have a Source, where you draw the inspiration for your songs, and what is still inspiring you after such a long  time?

Again, I seem to have anticipated this question, and addressed it, for the most part, already. My Source is my eternal God-Self, the ocean of creation. My particular, personal channel, however, and I do feel I channel my songs, is the Jesus and Mary ray of being. Please understand that I do not regard myself as a Christian, in the ordinary sense. I was born a Jew, and my full spiritual awakening was through the Sufi tradition, but I am not a Jew or a Sufi, either. I am a mystic; an esoteric soul. When I receive higher love, it is through Jesus and Mary... that has been made clear to me. My songs come from their ray of compassion. The chalice well in Glastonbury has a profound Jesus and Mary portal in the earth and the water there, and I go, either physically, or psychically, to renew.

My inspiration is infinite... how can I ever hope to complete every song about every subtlety known to mankind, concerning the love affair between the higher Self and the mortal human? I have written maybe 250 good songs... and there are perhaps 250 trillion I could write.

I sit at my piano to heal my heart. Usually, healing music plays through my hands when I need it. Then I close my eyes and poetry comes, like a river. It is often archetypal poetry, full of symbolism, with the images like locks in the canal, regulating the flow of water. What starts as pure God information becomes human by the time I've finished the song. And even the original God information is veiled in my psyche out of mercy, because I could not gaze upon the undiluted truth without fracturing into a thousand fragments.

These days it flows powerfully. I'm just the scribe. I can hardly keep up! I wrote a song yesterday, called "Maryam and Eliador" which is a grail myth in song, about the chivalric dance between the masculine and the feminine. It came so fluently, in rhyme, that it felt like I was simply writing an email to a friend. After 40 minutes, I had finished the 15-verse song, with barely a pause.

I never think I should write about a theme... about love, romance or truth, or about injustice, inequality or brutality... I just listen to the message that comes into my psyche, and translate. It is an organic process... there is no ideology I'm promoting, no will involved. I'm simply the postman; the cosmic postman. There is no truth I'm selling, I just write from my heart and from my experience. If anything, I've worked my way through battles with Darth Vader, the serpent and the Witch Queen in my psyche, and am somewhat purified these days... relatively liberated. My inspiration is therefore greater than ever, inexhaustible... as is my energy for all this. I'm satisfied that this is my life's purpose... to sing of the love between God and humankind... and I will live it until my dying day. I shall be singing of it when I have no voice left, no teeth or hair, and no memory.

As it stands, though, my voice seems to get younger with each passing year. However, my hair is thinning, so I know where I am on the road. My memory seems fine though, in fact my memory seems fine. What's more, my memory seems fine.

Thank you for asking me to respond to your very good questions.