For a long time, music was my greatest love but at the same time, I had no idea how to move in this world of ego, bling-bling, and music “industry” as it seemed so far away from the truth for me. The humble and deep respect I feel when it suddenly appears to me, even at night while asleep. Or when it is carrying profound wisdom that is not from me, but through me.
Music has been a quest for me. What to do with it and where to fit in. Until… a series of events helped me understand music was more than the Ego part, even more profound than bringing people love and comfort. To me, it became an ability to transform the energy of a heavy event into something beautiful. Healing. Light.
When Tony Anderson, composer and sound architect asked me to collaborate on his track “Cambodia” of course my Ego, (innocence that feels seen), was and is excited. This was the man whose music had been on repeat mode on my phone for a while now. There are not many musicians that keep me intrigued like that, but with Tony’s music, I can honestly say there is not one song I dislike. I love them all on every level of their existence.
And he asked me to sing on his new album!
However, that feeling didn’t last long. Especially when he told me the story behind the song, I finally realized my WHY of music! The Universe had brought me an experience that would change me as a musician, composer, singer, and as a soul.
When he had sent me the song to listen to for the first time, I instantly felt the energy of beauty and love for the country, as well as an undertow. An underlying story that needed to be told and transmuted. After our first briefing about the song, I knew I was right.
The Story Behind “Cambodia” The song “Cambodia” is about his trip to Cambodia when he was twenty. He and his friend were shocked about the contradictions. The breathtaking nature on one side and the stories of absolute horror from kids in orphanages, victims of trafficking had hit the boys hard.
During one of their trips crossing through beautiful rainforests, they see something moving in the mud. Their hearts stop when they see it’s a little boy around 1½-year-old with a large head wound. The two friends pick it up and bring it to the nearest hospital. The clinic however refuses to help the toddler. When the two lads bribe the staff, they give in. After being taken care of, Tony and his friend do everything in their power to find a good foster family for the boy. Later they heard the small child was kept alive because street dogs shared the food for their young with it. I was shocked when he told me.
Up until this day Tony is still in contact with him. He is now 14 and doing well.
Because of COVID, I wasn’t able to fly to L.A. to work with Tony, so we did the briefings by video calls and email. I recorded the vocals and Chaya handpan, in the studio of sound designer en producer Ronald Vanhuffel in Belgium, who earlier released the song “Music and Rhyme” with me.
As Tony’s cinematic tracks always tell a story without words to connect us deeply with our soul, I thought it was a wonderful challenge to transform this horrific tale into something beautiful so the energy of it would be released. It was only once in the recording studio I realized the impact of that process. I sat down with the boy in the mud. Held it in my arms. Whispering: “From now on everything will be alright”. It was painful and raw when the notes came out and weird “words” were formed. I felt vulnerable and emotional after the first takes, but relieved and an immense freedom once released.
I feel ever so humble and grateful beyond words the Universe brought me this profound experience. Intuitively I have always known the great power of music and why it matters. But I guess like with all awakening, it comes in layers.
Please come on a journey with us. Close your eyes and travel through the night to Cambodia. We will be there with you.
Song: “Cambodia” by Tony Anderson, Eyra Moon
Album: “Nuit” released March 26, 2021