The undisputed king of the “woosh” sound effect, director David Lynch recently lent his unique talents to singer-songwriter Donovan for the new music video for his single “I Am The Shaman.” Debuting on YouTube yesterday in a Mother’s Day gift for cool moms everywhere, “I Am The Shaman” sees Donovan take to cosmos as Lynch projects a galaxy of streaking stars over his face. Yeah, it’s pretty trippy.
The single, which Lynch produced and recorded at his studio in 2010, is a benefit for, you guessed it, transcendental meditation, with proceeds from the single going to helping “Donovan give students TM meditation.” This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that’s followed Lynch’s work over the last four decades. Nor should it surprise Donovan fans as both have been working together on TM-related causes since at least the early 2010s. But if you’re not into that, you can simply enjoy the video and music, both of which are very good, on YouTube.
Donovan, whose 75th birthday is today (happy b-day, Donovan!), also released a statement on his Facebook page about their collaboration. “It was all impromptu,” Donovan wrote. “I visited the studio and David said, ‘Sit at the mics with your guitar, Don.’ David in same room behind control desk with my Linda. He had asked me to only bring in a song just emerging, not anywhere near finished. We would see what happens. It happened!”
“I composed extempore. The verses came naturally. New chord patterns effortlessly appeared. On another day, David ‘sound sculpted’ my Ferrington acoustic guitar ‘Kelly,’ and he played his unique modal chord Ferrington guitar textures with ‘effects.’ David and I are ‘compadres’ on a creative path rarely travelled. And we bring TM Meditation to the world.”
David Lynch, who has been moonlighting as a weatherman and random number generator on YouTube over the last year, is supposedly gearing up for a 13-part series titled “Unrecorded Night” (or, maybe it’s called Wisteria—no one’s really sure as of now) for Netflix. However, this is the first non-David-Lynch-being-great-in-his-garage video he’s made since the short What Did Jack Do?, a two-hander in which the director interrogates a talking monkey for about 20 minutes. His last major, long-form work was the third season of Twin Peaks, which everyone is still trying to wrap their heads around. You won’t find easy answers in “I Am The Shaman,” but the question is enjoyable all the same.