Trevor Oswalt (a.k.a. East Forest) is a unique bird in the Wild West aviary of electronic music. While his shamanic ambient electropop can be contextualized along with Aphex Twin, Philip Glass and Sigur Ros, the fundamental mission of his project is to create sonic architecture for others to explore their own inner space. Thus, it is a process of opening doorways for the listener to walk through, which takes patience. Patience, while typically thought of as kryptonite in the instant gratification, hyper-speed world of music, might just be the medicine we need. Nature indelibly made a huge impression on Oswalt, who grew up in the Pacific Northwest. He spent a decade in NYC, where he discovered indigenous traditions and began cultivating source recordings from sound healings and mushroom ceremonies. Eventually he started leading underground ceremonies across the country. Playing in the private shadows allowed the patient sound of East Forest to emerge: an emotional and spacious lexicon born out of a practical need to play solo for six hours, while guiding a room full of listeners in deep meditation.
Word organically spread as a devoted community shared his early albums, leading to glowing nods of approval from the likes of NPR and Wired. He completed multiple tours across the U.S. and Europe and shared his mission on the stage of TEDx while performing in a diverse range of settings, from SXSW to Grace Cathedral, as well as private parties for the likes of Google. As his diverse catalogue emerged (14 releases total), the music evolved from extended, ambient jams to more concise, structured material with vocals – a vivid mix of the digital and analog realms with a social and spiritual underpinning. “I’ve always been inspired by the natural world and the psychedelic experience” Oswalt asserts, cementing his position on plant medicine, which he has often implemented in his recording process. “I prefer to operate where my intuitive musical mind can speak and something larger can come through”
His newest release, EAST FOREST x RAM DASS is a full length album in collaboration with the spiritual teacher. In June 2019, East Forest was invited to Ram Dass’ home on Maui to spend a week recording new contemporary Ram Dass teachings. After capturing these words of wisdom East Forest returned to his studio to compose the individual soundtracks which skillfully support each song’s subject matter. Covering a wide range of topics such as dark thoughts, nature, the soul, and much more, the music is full of inspiration and beauty. The album will release in four parts throughout 2019, with Chapter I debuting on January 11th. Trevor Hall and Krishna Das are among the featured artists who make guest appearances on the 14-track album.