<strong>IN THE MOMENT:</strong> Hauschka's improvised piano works allow listeners to focus on how the piece unfolds moment to moment.

“A song is a three-and-a-half-minute suspension of the suffering of the world,” said Master Dharma Teacher Dawa Tarchin Phillips in a recent interview about the upcoming Concert for Creativity & Awakening, a benefit for the Bodhi Path Buddhist Center of Santa Barbara featuring Hauschka, The Kin, and Fred Johnson at the Lobero Theatre on Friday, November 11. A night that thoughtfully combines the peace-bringing missions of meditators and musicians alike, it will also feature a discussion between Phillips — who is a resident teacher at Bodhi Path S.B. and director of education at UCSB’s Center for Mindfulness & Human Potential — and Jack Canfield, the best-selling co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and The Success Principles, about the role of creativity in awakening and the experience of shared consciousness.

The concert will join communities of the healing arts and the creative arts that don’t often overlap. “The idea was to have an evening that is dedicated to those different aspects that normally happen in separate worlds and to just see what happens and to encourage a conversation because there is so much change going on in the world,” Phillips said.

With Hauschka’s beauteously cinematic works of prepared and improvised piano harmonizing with The Kin’s openhearted vocalizations and emboldened vulnerability and Johnson’s uplifting, upbeat take on jazz, the night will showcase musicians who recognize the relationship between music and healing, Phillips said. They are musicians who “acknowledge the transformational struggles we are going through as a humanity, and bring it to their work.”

“I have a feeling that the time you are on earth is to get more consciousness and more awareness,” Hauschka said in a phone interview. Using both in his creative practice, which often builds on unpredictable elements and improvised occasions — such as stuffing a piece of cellophane cake paper between a piano’s hammer and strings to create a micro-orchestra of unplanned timbres — Hauschka has learned to wean himself off “the dream of expectations” and let things unfold as they may. “To be in sync with this kind of tempo, the natural tempo of things to unfold … helps put you in a place of awareness to what a lifetime is about, rather than suddenly … being in a place where you’re bigger than anything else around you,” he said of life’s unpredictable gifts.

A solitary creator, Hauschka never quite expected his music to reach the audience it did — “I thought I was quite lonely,” he said — but has found that “people lose their sense of time” in his intensively inventive and earthy pieces conjured on the spot. He likes the challenge of unpredictability because it keeps things fresh in an all-too-often algorithmic culture. “In a world where everything is so obviously programmed and planned out, I ask, ‘Why am I existing? Why am I on the earth if everything is planned out?’” he asked. The unplanned quality of his music brings attention to the power of an unpredictable present moment.

By engaging in that creative time with the creator, audiences may walk away recognizing their role as a cocreator in the night’s proceedings. “We can all tell the difference when, at a concert, there is a shared consciousness; we walk away feeling inspired, motivated, healed — we create it together,” he said. To recognize our shared experience on the planet, to share a moment together — this is the intent. “I want people to find confidence in the community. We are in a different time in history, where collective awakening is happening, and we want to show that mindfulness and awakening is not only happening behind cloistered walls or closed doors but that actually it’s something that should be out in the community that should be openly discussed, enjoyed, and celebrated.”


A Benefit Concert for Creativity & Awakening featuring Hauschka, The Kin, Dawa Tarchin Phillips, and Fred Johnson takes place Friday, November 11, at 7:30 p.m. at the Lobero Theatre (33 E. Canon Perdido St.). For more information, visit lobero.com.


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