I never expected myself to make music videos. If you had told me ten years ago, or even six months ago, that I would end up making not one but two or more music videos – I would have thought you were insane.
But so it came to pass, that life had its own plans in store for young Tasshin, that the direction of most service and benefit was also amongst the least expected of directions.
Someone on Twitter said, “Hey, Tasshin, why don’t you record some of your most metta-ful metta phrases, and send them to me? I’ll use them as samples, and mix them into a house track.”
I recorded those phrases, and slapped a CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 license on them, and also sent them around to a few other people – including my old friend Danny J. Danny J is an incredible, multi-talented musician and music producer I trained with at MAPLE.
In no time at all, Danny J whipped up a beautiful track using my voice: “May All Beings Be Happy.” I loved it. My voice was slowed down, deepened, and put over an entrancing beat. It was a little darker than I expected – with just a hint of… sinister vibes – but it worked.
Then Danny J asked me to record a video of me dancing to the track. I agreed. Making a video would promote Danny’s music (produced under the name GLOWth), and also my own efforts to teach and spread loving kindness as a form of meditation.
As soon as I said yes, I immediately had another idea: ask my friend Michael Curzi to edit the video. I’d been admiring Curzi’s video editing skills for some time – especially his vibe reels – and had been looking for an opportunity to collaborate with him.
I knew that between Danny J’s music, my dancing, and Curzi’s editing skills, we could make a terrific music video. Not just an excellent track – not just a goofy guy dancing (me) – but a music video that would move people, make them laugh and feel happy and maybe even inspire them to do loving kindness practice.
Projects like this take a while. Danny J made some edits to the track to make it even stronger. My mom helped me record the video – thank you Mom! I did multiple takes for the introduction, so the video could double as an introduction to my YouTube Channel. Curzi + I had many, many calls + conversations, and he worked hard for weeks on preparing multiple versions of this video.
On launch day, I was really nervous. Would people like it? Would they hate it? Would they make fun of me? What would they think about the introductory phrase- “Hi, I’m Tasshin, and I’m making love to the universe”?
I was pleasantly surprised at the overwhelmingly positive responses. It was immediately well received. People loved it, and found it funny, inspiring, and beautiful all at once. There were one or two negative comments here and there in the weeks that followed, but mostly, people took the video as I’d hoped.
At some point during the process of making the video, I was out for a walk to go to a nearby park to dance and do loving kindness practice, when I had another idea:
I wrote this intentionally, as a bookmark to my future self, and something that would attract potential collaborators. In other words, I was attempting to make the video by way of hyperstition. I knew that, given enough funding, and the right collaborators, I could make it happen. But I didn’t expect it to happen for several years – perhaps five or ten.
But things started moving immediately. A friend sent me a GoPro. Someone said that they would be interested in helping to fund the project, and I found funding to secure the remainder of the needed funds. And Zachary Hundley reached out to offer to work with me to help animate the project.
As I write this, we’re nearing the launch of my second music video. It’s taken longer than the first one, because it was even more ambitious. I ended up hiring a film crew to help me film it – using a GoPro and two additional cameras to film video. Danny J + I worked together to design a track from scratch, with just the right mood and tone. And Zachary and I have talked multiple times a week for months, planning out the animation and video.
I still haven’t seen the final product – animation is extremely time intensive for rendering, and all the pieces are still coming together. And I’m still not 100% sure when we’re launching it – we gave up on planning release dates a long time ago.
Part of me is beyond excited to show it to the world. And another part of me is nervous again – what will it look like? What will people think?
But above all, I feel proud. Proud of the people I’ve worked with. Grateful for the funders whose generosity helped make this project possible. Grateful for the film crew that helped me, Bill and Mandy- without them this video would be not nearly as interesting or engaging. Grateful to Danny, J for stepping up to the plate and making incredible music with me, even outside of the genres he usually makes. Grateful to Zachary, for existing, for finishing his education in animation just in time to work with me, for going the extra thousand miles to keep working on this project long after we aimed to be finished. And proud of myself, that I’ve gone in this direction, even though I didn’t expect it, in hopes that it will bring a smile to others’ faces and inspire them to practice loving kindness.
May all beings be happy.