Updated: Nov 11, 2020
Today we’d like to introduce you to Om Jaya.
Om Jaya, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Growing up on the shore of Hermosa Beach, California, I surfed daily, and when the sea was calm, I paddled towards the horizon to float with dolphins. I saw many sunrise and sunsets sitting on a surfboard. Contemplating into the infinite sea, this was the beginning of cultivating my interest in spirituality and an influence that remains within me. Blessed, at an early age I became a professional drummer. Later my collaborations would appear in records, soundtracks, cartoons and commercials.As a co-founder of the Blue Hawaiians (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Blue_Hawaiians). I met and worked with many great artists. Later I joined my son Nathen Maxwell of Flogging Molly. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flogging_Molly) and we formed the Bunny Gang. This project led me to Denver. In Denver, I opened an art gallery in the Santa Fe Arts Districtand created Transition Theater (http://www.transitiontheater.com),Touring with my son and exhibiting my artwork, I was living the dream and the dream became an illusion. I fell from grace and spirituality was my only comfort. Then I met a piano.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
My arts have supported my independence, liberating me from the conventional ways of living. Always soul searching, I have moved from communities I have loved. I have lived years alone in the wilderness, living on the beach, in the desert, in the redwood forest. I have lived in tipis, in lofts, in major downtown cities and I have spent time in slums. I have also been homeless.Now, age outweighs my youth. My hair has thinned and I have lost teeth.The challenge I have is only mental, only mental because I don’t compare myself to established, confident pianists and composers, If I did, I would lose the joy of expressing my own heart. I am not a confident pianist, the piano came into my life in my late fifty’s as a healing tool.I simply played one note at a time, for hours listening and feeling its vibrations. Eventually layering notes into harmony, melodies came forward. The fact that my piano works are beginning to touch the hearts of many is a testimony that when we tap into the divine source, tame our ego and put our sincere hearts into something, it just might manifest. In fact, if we have no expectations, our life journey forward is much more enjoyable.
We’d love to hear more about your work.
This was written by a friend. Om Jaya is a musical and visual artist, creating works that transcend the material world and enter the realm of pure spirit. His work has been described as ambient, minimal and reflective. After years of spiritual contemplation he changed his name from Maxwellvision to Om Jaya, a name given to him by a monk. This marked the beginning of his passion for the piano. Om Jaya says, ‘ I have become a pianist, not one of practice and theory, but one of quietude and contemplation. Om Jaya’s video work (https://www.omjayamusic.com/videos) is a blend of spirituality and the avant-garde, with an intentional low-fi style. Always potent, his work is sublime.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
If time was in my control and I could be young again, I’d let myself fall in love with a piano. But I know, only age and a broken heart could have led me to this expressive companion.