Our peace through music journey actually began long before we released our first albums back in 1979. Most people know us for our music, but few may realize how our original creative expression came from making videos, starting in 1970, with an early black and white video camera. When Dean and I met 1968, he had just completed his master’s degree in molecular biology, and I had returned from learning photography in Japan and traveling around the world. Dean became a recording engineer in Manhattan, and we wanted to get into filmmaking, so we began to search for a 16 mm film camera. When we discovered the Sony half-inch video portapack it literally changed our lives. Follow the music must have been our motto back then because the first video we ever made was a live concert of the Jefferson Airplane at the Fillmore East. No one questioned our bringing in the 35-pound video deck attached by a long cable to an eight-pound camera. That video format obviously pre-dated video cassettes, VCRs, and smartphones, but needless to say was very difficult to distribute
Those rockers from the ‘60s were among the early peace activists and later when Dean had the opportunity to perform with John Denver during a birthday pow-wow on the Pine Ridge Reservation, the music continued with our Native American friends. As our sub-culture evolved and people became more interested in alternative healing modalities, yoga, and meditation, our video camera was there, and we captured the emerging consciousness on camera. Many of those early videos stayed in boxes and never saw public viewings as there was no convenient way to share them. That all changed with the advent of YouTube and the internet. Now, after years of being hidden, the archival videos of Native American wisdom keepers, Tibetan lamas, gurus, gardeners, and sound healers are being made available on our Soundings Mindful Media YouTube Channel.
Since our videos are so diverse, we have had to divide our work into three channels. Our first and primary channel is called Soundings of the Planet and features the nature videos Dean has created over the years of the beautiful environment where we live in the Pacific Northwest or during our travels, along with the soundtrack of our relaxation music. People use these kinds of videos as a peaceful background to support their life’s many activities. These videos are popular with people in need of a quiet environment for healing and self-care. Teachers also use them to create calm in the classroom and students use them to study with. We include a lot of meditation timers so people can use them in their meditation, visualization, or yoga practice. Natural childbirth and long sleep playlists are also popular.
In addition to the previously mentioned channels, we have added a new channel called Dean & Dudley Living Dreams. These videos are more personal, and we share many of the philosophical concepts and spiritual inspiration we have gleaned over our half-century of exploring this new consciousness. When we had an online book club for A Year of Guided Meditations: 52 Weekly Affirmations, we captured much of the wisdom from those Zoom conversations. After we went to France, we made a documentary: In Monet’s Footsteps with Dean & Dudley Evenson. This channel has more spoken word and interviews, so it is for people who want to dig deeper and learn more about us, our lifestyle, and how they can use music to bring more peace into their own lives.
As the music industry has transformed over the years, we have tried to keep up with the changes. From cassettes to CDs to digital downloads to streaming, the music has evolved forms for distribution. Now that everyone can make a recording on their computer, extending the reach of music flows naturally toward video. Our experience with the archival videos taught us the importance of having a distribution system. In the early days, the technology was limited, but now that we live in such high-tech times, we might as well take advantage of the opportunities that exist for sharing our media and our music. As Dean and I approach our 80s, we are fortunate to have younger people working with us who can keep up with all the technological advances. We are multi-dimensional beings and with all that competes for our attention, we know how important it is to use all possible means to reach out.