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«Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out!»

German, Netherlands-based flutist-composer Mark Alban Lotz was inspired by the sixties counterculture slogan – Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out! popularized by American psychologist and LSD guru Dr. Timothy Leary (1920-1996, captured in his spoken word album by that name, ESP-Disk, 1966) and Leary’s PSyCHedELIC hypothesis, The Eight Circles Of Consciousness (as published in Leary’s book Exo-psychology: A manual on the use of the human nervous system according to the instructions of the manufacturers in 1977). Leary pioneered LSD for therapeutic use in psychiatry.

Lotz’ Trio – with Canadian double bass player Zack Lober and Dutch drummer Jamie Peet – follows the eight different stages of consciousness levels as suggested by Leary, that inspired Lotz’ compositions. Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out! was recorded at Power Sound Studio in Amsterdam in May 2022.

Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out! does not attempt to offer a psychedelic attempt or to offer homage to the psychedelic rock or the spiritual jazz of the sixties. Its ten short pieces were titled after the Eight Circles of Leary’s PSyCHedELIC hypothesis – Push, Beat the Drum, Dance the Monolith, Lust, Bring Delight, Consciousness, Up! and Trance Out – plus two tributes – «Relax and Flow» (for Hermento (Pascoal), John (Lennon) and Paul (McCartney), with a nod to theirs «Tomorrow Never Knows» that was inspired by Leary’s book) and the emotional storms of «Isabel», for Mexican artist, and anti-capitalist and feminist activist Isabel Cabanillas de la Torre who was killed in 2020.

Lotz encourages Lober and Peet to improvise on his themes and the outcome is playful and hard-swinging, engaging and hyperactive, except for the last piece, the meditative «Trance Out», with Lotz playing the Indian bamboo flute, the bansuri. This new trio sounds like a tight unit that has established already its organic, immediate and urgent dynamics. Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out! sounds like an updated, energized version of Yusef Lateef’s musical legacy, but unlike any of the psychedelic, experimental music inspired by Leary’s suggested hallucinogenic trips by the Grateful Dead or The Beatles.

Eyal Hareuveni

Mark Alban Lotz (concert flute, alto flute, bass flute, bansuri, vocals), Zack Lober (double bass), Jamie Peet (drums)

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