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Mark Berry

Respected director David Lynch’s creative focus has shifted from film to music, with his first solo album hitting shelves this month.

David Lynch has been regarded among the world’s most celebrated surrealist filmmakers since he made his debut with Eraserhead in 1977. But he’s also been dabbling in music for 20-plus years, collaborating with composer Angelo Badalamenti, producing albums for Julee Cruise and Jocelyn Montgomery, and writing songs for films, including his own directorial efforts Wild at Heart and Inland Empire.

Now, the creative visionary is releasing his first solo album, Crazy Clown Time (Sunday Best Recordings, $14), which offers a twisted, hallucinatory take on modern blues that can only be described as Lynchian. He spoke to American Way about music, movies and how meditation heightens his creative potential.

American Way: Music has always been integral to the mood of your films. How do you see the relationship between the two art forms?
David Lynch: Film brings lots of art forms together. When the music is right — when it marries to the picture — you get that magical thing where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

AW: You’ve advocated transcendental meditation for years. Is there a direct connection between TM and your creative efforts?
DL: When you do transcendental meditation, you dive within and experience the unbounded ocean of pure consciousness. Expand that consciousness and you unfold the human being’s full potential, which is called enlightenment. Everybody has the potential to be infinitely creative. You’ve just got to unfold it.

AW: How would you describe the music on Crazy Clown Time?
DL: How do you describe a painting? Words are unable to do it. It started with the power of Chicago electric blues, but through action and reaction, it moved to another place. Some songs are quite close to modern blues, but others are farther away.

AW: You haven’t made a new film since 2006’s Inland Empire. Do you see yourself focusing more on music in the future?
DL: I’m trying to catch ideas for the next thing now. Maybe next year, I’ll start working on [a film]. But I love music, and I think I’ll spend some time with it.