Ben Lee returns Down Under to launch new album

Sydney-born esteemed singer/songwriter Ben Lee is returning home in April from his L.A. base to tour down under in celebration of the launch of his new soon-to-be-released album Ayahuasca: Welcome To The Work.

He will be performing three shows in homeland state New South Wales beginning on April 5 in the lead up to the release of his new album on April 23, and will be supported by Darpan and Friends, Appleonia, Nadav and Avasa & Matty Love.

Lee’s latest writing draws upon his passion for esoteric science; the inner workings of the human mind and spirit.

The songs featured on his new album are characterised by the ideas surrounding the notion of self-discovery, the process of learning what is within oneself and the active transformation of transferring one’s darkness into light.

Ben Lee has come a long way since his debut appearance in the music scene at the young age of 13 as a member of the band Noise Addict, his solo label having reached great heights in 2005 following the release of his multi-ARIA award winning record Awake is the New Sleep.

With his current astoundingly strong sense of self-belief which appears to engulf his entire approach to creating music, it is difficult to conceive that just over a decade ago Lee had been questioning his life-path direction and musical prowess.

After having lived in New York since 1999, he travelled to India with the serious possibility of casting his musical aspirations behind him.

“While there, I met Sakthi Narayani Amma (a spiritually enlightened Indian master),” Lee said.

“(Thereafter) my spiritual quest really began, and so did my adult music career.”

The name of his new album Ayahuasca refers to a South American vine more commonly known as the ‘death vine’ or ‘vine of souls’.

In their spiritual practice, the indigenous people brew the plant into a tea which they drink ceremoniously as a ritual that has existed for thousands of years.

What is believed to ensue is a journey into the depth of the individual who drinks the tea and the illumination of the soul’s contents which often facilitates a soaring journey of the spirit.

The second element of the album title ‘the work’ refers to the ongoing process of discovery, both that of the external and internal realms.

Ben Lee kindly intends to present 100 per cent of his royalties received from the success his new album to charity in order to ensure that all aspects of the album’s release would be in alignment with the healing nature of the music as a medicine in itself.

“I wanted to make music as a gift… as a medicine, in love and gratitude. It’s more devotional music than anything else, but not easy listening.”

“It’s demanding, experimental music just as ‘the work’ itself is demanding.”

Half of the proceeds will go towards the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), a nonprofit research and educational organisation while the other half will go towards the Amazon conservation team.

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About Alana Mitchelson

Alana Mitchelson is a journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Follow her on Twitter at @AlanaMitchelson.

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