David Lynch Directs Donovan’s “I Am The Shaman” Video

David Lynch Directs Donovan’s “I Am The Shaman” Video

Today, the psychedelic folk-pop great and ’60s-vintage chart-topper Donovan celebrates his 75th birthday. To celebrate that big day, Donovan has dropped a new video for “I Am The Shaman,” a 2010 track produced by cult-cinema legend and occasional musician David Lynch. A music video for a decade-old Donovan song might not be news, but this time it is, since Lynch directed the video.

Donovan and Lynch are old friends, and they’re both outspoken advocates of Transcendental Meditation. “I Am The Shaman” a weird and droning folk song, comes from Ritual Groove, and album that Donovan released a decade ago. (Donovan also played a David Lynch tribute show in Los Angeles in 2015.) For the video, Lynch films Donovan in crisp, high-contrast black-and-white as he stares straight ahead at the camera. Donovan’s face, it turns out, is more interesting than I realized. Here’s the video:

In a statement on Facebook, Donovan talks about recording the song with Lynch:

It was all impromptu. I visited the studio and David said, “Sit at the mics with your guitar, Don.” David in same room behind control desk with my Linda. He had asked me to only bring in a song just emerging, not anywhere near finished. We would see what happens. It happened!

I composed extempore. The verses came naturally. New chord patterns effortlessly appeared. On another day, David “sound sculpted” my Ferrington acoustic guitar “Kelly,” and he played his unique modal chord Ferrington guitar textures with “effects.” David and I are “compadres” on a creative path rarely travelled. And we bring TM Meditation to the world.

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