Hnry Flwr is Brooklyn’s musical guru guiding us towards the mystery and beauty of the infinite void. Hnry Flwr is the musical project of David Van Witt, and he has quite the origin story – his first impression of this world was living in a cult in Iowa, which he fled with his artist mother who gave psychic readings as they meditated and traveled around the world. Van Witt left home when he was 16, and after observing the divine connection music initiates in people at a punk show, has “been writing songs and practicing a sort of secular spirituality, where music is the prayer, ever since.”
Hnry Flwr’s twangy sunshine goth gospel is usually brought to life with a seven-piece band that includes Abdon Valdez III, Ronnie Lanzilotta, Dallin Stevenson and Sarah Safaie, but since quarantine began, Van Witt (who is also a producer) has been creating his own backing tracks and even started a twitch channel. The next chance you have to feel all the love the void has to offer with Hnry Flwr is tonight (5/15) via BABY.tv at 8pm est! We chatted with Hnry Flwr about inducing trance states, minimalist drone raga, and the importance of laughing with salamanders.
AF: What were your last live shows before quarantine like? What do you think your live set will transform into when we’re able to play shows in person again?
HF: Our last show in NYC before the quarantine was incredible — a sold out show at The Sultan Room. I did a trust-fall into the audience and everyone caught me. Our live set is going to include way more hugging and trust-falling and I want to include a portion of the set for people to go into a deep trance. I want to explore the void with people. We will find a way to lose ourselves together, rather than find ourselves alone.
AF: If you had control of all the radios/TVs/cell phones all over the world for 30 seconds what would you say?
HF: I would generate a mass flash trance to see if we can’t be still and quiet and hear what the void has to say.
AF: What have you been reading and listening to while in quarantine?
HF: If it’s not obvious by now, I’ve been reading a book about inducing trance states. I’ve been listening to the birds when I can. I love when they come back north. Somehow I’m still surprised by it every year. But as far as music, almost exclusively Pure Moods Volume 1.
AF: What’s your live stream gear set up like? Do you have any fun props or lighting planned?
HF: I set up my monochromatic light sculpture. It emits one very dark shade of yellow, the one from sunset right before the reds and purples. What’s special about it is it omits all other colors. These things are possible if you explore The Void with an open mind.
I make new backing tracks every week so I can feel like I’m playing with a band. So many artists are doing “stripped-down” sets, which can be really special, but for me, I try to use it as an opportunity to have whatever perfect band I can imagine backing me up every week. It’s a great time to be exercising your imagination.
AF: If you found out you were immortal what other musical projects/careers/lifestyles would explore?
HF: I would have a really loud minimalist drone raga band, and then when all my family had passed on I’d live on a mountain near a stream and I wouldn’t do anything for as long as it takes to find a silent ancient wisdom. Then I would be a painter in honor of my mother.
AF: I love your music video for “Waiting Room!” It feels like our whole reality is stuck in a waiting room right now. What do you think lies on the other side for music, politics, spirituality and humanity as whole?
HF: Thank you. We have always been in the waiting room of the great beyond. I think the future is just as unsure as it was before the pandemic. It’s always unsure. We are just forced to face that uncertainty together now. There are a lot of people who need answers about the future to feel secure in the present. I’m not sure what the future holds. My mother was giving psychic readings for most of my childhood and even if they were accurate, I am not sure that it helped anyone. It certainly did not help her or our family. This is a good time to be present, to take care of yourself and your loved ones and try not to worry about the future. In your mind, find a stream and sit next to it. Listen to it. Laugh with the salamanders.
RSVP HERE for Hnry Flwr via BABY.tv 5/15 at 8pm est. $5-$50 sliding scale
More great live streams this week…
5/17 Elliott Smith (Heaven Adores You film screening) via Twitter. 5pm est, RSVP HERE
5/19 Alanis Morissette (performing Jagged Little Pill) via Facebook. 8pm est, RSVP HERE