DR: It's fortunate that your elementary school teachers didn't turn you off to music altogether.
SH: They tried, but it was inside me, and there was no way to kill it. So, back at the studio in Venice, I looked at them, said, "We're not finished yet. Throw the machine back into record." I asked Georgia to play an arpeggio and an ostinato in D minor. This chant on the vowels is very ancient sounding. The invocation just manifested. I don't remember singing it. The first time I really heard it was when we listened to the playback. We all looked at each other, and we all felt these chills. "Wow, what was that? Where did that come from?" I didn't know. Then a year later, after the album came out, some people from the Rosicrucian Order came up to me at a concert, and said, "You know, you're not supposed to be doing that in public. This is one of our very sacred invocations. How did you learn it? You're not in the Order." When I told them how it came through, they said, "In that case it's okay." It was a direct transmission. I was tuning in to it and able to bring that through. That's really how a lot of the music comes to me. It comes through me, and I know that my composing is really a co-creative act. There is a long tradition of this over the centuries. Mozart, for example, said that his head was filled with music, and all he had to do was write it down. It's a sense of being a scribe for the music of the spheres. In the best situations, this is my experience. I lose the sense of myself, lose the boundary between myself as a musician and the music. I become the music. I become the instrument of the instrument.
DR: What kind of settings do you enjoy most for live performance?
SH: I've had some wonderful experiences playing in cathedrals and churches, with a grand piano and where we can control the lighting, and work with violet and indigo colors. But also in concert, it is so wonderful when there is a highly attuned, receptive, responsive audience. In an open concert situation, people come for a variety of reasons. They may want to be entertained, to see if I can play some fast, fancy runs. When I was at the Vibrational Healing Conference recently in Virginia Beach, in a hotel ballroom, basically an unremarkable rectangular room, that room for me was transformed because of the energy, the consciousness of the people there. At times, sitting at the piano, I felt like I was levitating, and the piano just played itself.
DR: How would you sum up your career to this point, and what are some plans for the future?
SH: I feel that I have been able to create a new genre of music, and that this was an important part of my mission. I believe I came here to bring forth a healing music in the late 20th century. To help people connect to their own spirituality, and to literally bring more harmony onto the planet . . .
If I go back to my roots, where I began was playing music for meditation, to serve a spiritual need. From there, what I saw in my own life and the lives of many others, was that we needed something to deal with stress on a daily basis. Regardless of whether we meditate or not, or whether we have a spiritual path we are following, everybody is dealing with stress. I wanted something that was legal, that was non-addictive, and could help me handle my own stress. And where I didn't have to go to someone's office to accomplish this, something I could do at home. This kind of music is just what the doctor ordered. It really was the answer to my prayers . . .