Transcending Tradition with Dynasty Electrik: Incorporating Ancient Healing Instruments in Modern Day Music
LA and New York favorites, Dynasty Electrik, are known for delivering captivating electronic dance rock that provides a truly psychedelic experience for the listener.
Their music is featured in television, film and ads and the group’s toured the world playing their extraordinary tunes. The band has two members. Jenny Electrik contributes her virtuosity by way of stunning, ethereal vocals combined with expert manipulation of the theremin, while Seth Misterka lays the duo’s sonic bedrock through programming, production, guitar, saxophone and vox. Lately, Dynasty Electrik is combining their psych-rock roots with traditional healing instruments—think Tibetan singing bowls, gongs, flute, meditation, and more—and the accomplished, awe-inspiring duo is enveloping illustrious Venice Beach in a new album and weekly Friday night event at the Mystic Journey Crystal Gallery on Lincoln Boulevard.
Viride sat down with the duo to discuss their incredible journey—from throwing the most epic loft parties in Williamsburg, to their studies in the healing arts—leading up to their latest, and perhaps finest, endeavor to date Crystal Sound Bath.
Viride: This new music is a bit of a new direction—it’s perfect for yoga and meditation and you’re performing during yoga classes and now this sound bath. How did you get into this type of performance?
Seth: We were always interested in all types of music. We were pursuing electronic and rock music and playing at parties, which were high energy and late-night lifestyles. As we evolved, our style shifted into more of a relaxed and meditational kind of music. After we left New York, it came together organically for us. We were already writing this kind of music and met a sound healer and a great yogi while traveling and she shared a lot of techniques with us. By the time we got to LA, we’d already written a lot of music for this kind of style and collected some singing bowls. It’s been a natural evolution for us and loving all styles of music, it was organic. Singing bowls add another dimension to a yoga class. And in the sound baths, people lay in savasana and just let the music wash over them. They are in a visionary dream state and they report detailed experiences afterword. Here, you lay back with your eyes closed and have an inner journey, which is more about the internal experience and less about the show.
Viride: Do you prefer smaller classes or gigs as opposed to larger venues?
Jenny: A class in the afternoon might only be ten people. The class that we do on Friday nights at the Mystic Journey Crystal Gallery is building to the point that we are adding additional sound in the adjoining room. It’s been building up to forty or fifty people and I think it is going to continue to grow. There are also some other sound bath artists that are performing in cathedrals for hundreds of people. So, it is an intimate setting, but it is also expansive in the sense that a lot of festivals are offering these experiences. I love the afternoon sound baths with ten to fifteen people because I can give the attendees individual attention, but I also love the energy of a room full of people.
Seth: Also, rather than playing in bars and clubs, the alcohol-free environment is clean and more of a pure energy in a yoga studio. As a performer, it’s nice. Bars will be on the dirty side and yoga studies are immaculate, so it’s a wonderful environment for us to work in as musicians. Overall, it’s been a pleasant shift from one environment to another.
Viride: You’ve also produced sound healing recordings for Lisa Ishwari Murphy. Do recordings offer the same benefit as live performances using the sound healing method?
Seth: Absolutely. It is a little different. The main difference would be in person there is a multidimensional experience. It is still relaxing and visionary at home as well, it’s just coming through the speakers in your stereo system. We have really attempted to recreate the experience with the live recording and we feel we’ve achieved a very close approximation to the live experience.
Viride: Both of you are well versed in and play the singing bowls. Does that instrument require formal training?
Seth: We had a wonderful experience with Lisa Murphy. She hired us initially to produce some of her music. In the process of recording her music, she is a magical person with success healing all sorts of incurable diseases with her music and energy work. She is inspiring. She shared her techniques with us. The wonderful thing about singing bowls is that someone can play a bowl within a few moments of being acquainted with it. I recommend anyone who likes the bowls have a practice of their own. You don’t need the years of training as one would with traditional music.
Jenny: With Lisa, she shared some of the techniques of the bowls and gongs, but a lot of what we learned with her was energy medicine techniques. We also created a training video for her students which was an hour long. It required us to be there to record the session and it helped us delve into the healing theory and how we are energy beings and how sound can treat the energy. It really adds a lot of depth to the experience of playing the instruments.
Viride: Let’s not abandon your incredible other material. You released new material last year as well and your song “Star” from that album, Land of Dreams, was produced in four different cities in two countries. How long did it take to complete that video? What made you decide to produce the song over so many miles?
Seth: The idea originally came in Massachusetts. We continued working on the track through our travels in New York and North Carolina. It really came together in Mexico where we filmed the video and it was finalized in Los Angeles. The track reflects the journey from New York to Los Angeles. It wasn’t planned at all. We played our guitars and as musicians we hear ideas and melodies. The motion of traveling and being in the mental space of driving down the highway is very inspiring.
Jenny: I remember Seth was playing the demo of the music in North Carolina. I remember thinking that this is a special track.
Viride: And now you have this new album coming out...
Jenny: We are particularly excited to release Crystal Sound Bath because we can only reach so many people in Los Angeles. With this album, everyone can experience their own journey with the music and it’s very exciting for us.
Viride: Is there anything new and exciting you’d like to share with the readers?
Seth: We recently acquired a property in the mountains outside Los Angeles, which has cathedral ceilings. We will be holding retreats there and the benefit of doing them in our private residence is that we can make it plant and cannabis friendly. Most of the yoga studios, you could step outside and some have edibles with a very small amount of THC, but consuming inside in a public space is still illegal. In a private residence, it’s subject to our own rules and it will be great to combine those experiences together. Sound baths go perfectly with the cannabis experience.