This month, Lightning Society hosted the multi-talented harpist, Lexie Lowell, for two magical evenings of performances to launch the newly renovated event space, The Blue Room. Lexie’s first solo show sold out quickly and she graciously opened a second night to the community, with both shows featuring several guest performers. People had been buzzing about Lexie’s upcoming performance for weeks and LS founder, Timothy Phillips, along with many others worked endlessly to create a beautiful ambiance in time for Lexie’s performance, with a stage platform, serene lighting, and deep ocean-blue painted walls.
As I entered the space on the first night, the room was inviting and quickly filled with community members excited to experience the high-vibrational frequencies of Lexie’s melodic music and voice. While the room filled, Lexie, dressed in a cloud-white, flowy dress, passed out home-made chocolate chip cookies-literally an angel, offering love to her audience in baked goods. Next, Martin Navarette and Jackie Cantwell led the audience into a mindfulness meditation along with a symphony of sound bowls. This meditation served as a portal, transporting the audience into a more liberated dimension, a place of enhanced receptivity- fully engaging all of our senses and attuning to the present moment. Once through this portal, Lexie continued to guide our ethereal journey, opening her heart and soul through her words and music.
It is especially important today to support women artists as they pave the way towards creating a more harmonious and beautiful world. Lexie’s gifts to us were crystal clear. She offered songs of deep, relatable emotion, and presented them with humility and playfulness. She interacted with the audience in a way that was truly authentic, and we could feel her passion radiating throughout the room. She emanated feminine power and vulnerability as she spoke about her personal mental health, her struggles to love and receive love, and the inspirations behind her lyrics. I had the pleasure of interviewing Lexie after the show, and we dove even deeper.
How would you describe your journey with music?
My journey with music has been up and down, forward and back, back … and back around again, haha. Much like life, I suppose. There have been times when I strayed too far from music and the universe just sort of picked me up by the scruff of the neck and course-corrected me. I’m eternally grateful for that; the friends and mentors along the way who happened to catch me at the right time and encouraged me to explore the melodies I was shyly keeping to myself.
When did your passion start and what was your inspiration to play harp?
My passion for the harp started when I was about 9 years old. It’s sort of an urban legend in the family - I always used to sing in the bathtub and pretend to be the little mermaid. I loved reading fairy tales and found mythology fascinating, so maybe a part of me was drawn to how intrinsically mythical the harp is.
You’ve played internationally in various cities, what is it like to play music around the world and collaborate with others?
Yes, I’ve been able to play my original music in Italy and Spain so far! I went on a mini Euro-backpacking tour last summer with my guitar and rented a harp for a performance in Madrid. Travel can be such an effective way to get us out of our heads and into our bodies. I also love to journal when I travel, which usually leads me to write new songs. While in Barcelona on a beach I wrote one called “Pablo’s Song (Always)” and the second verse is written in Spanish. It’s a response, written from the woman’s perspective to a love poem by Pablo Neruda called “Siempre.” It was exciting and maybe a bit vulnerable to get up in front of the audience a few days later in Madrid and share such a new song, but I think that is why I love sharing my music so much. I guess I feel quite shy most of the time around new people, and this is the way I can share who I really am. Doing that while traveling feels so right. A sense of connection…and universality of emotion and music.
What kind of intentions and/or visions do you have with your music?
Honestly, if I could travel every inch of this planet while sharing my music and continuing to write more songs and collaborating with musicians and meeting people from all over, I would just … I'll die happy if that’s possible! My songs are very honest - sometimes I wish they were more poetic or cooler but they’re just me, or snapshots of me thinking and processing something that’s happening in my life. For a long time I felt very alone - suffering from depression and an eating disorder - caged by shame and guilt. Sharing my songs is cathartic - it reminds me that none of my emotions are unique - we all feel and therefore we can’t be alone in our suffering. I just want the listener to put on my music when they feel sad or feel alone on the train or when they’re trying to fall asleep at night. I want my music to bring people together at live shows who are willing to relax and drink in the harp vibrations. I think they’re healing.
You wrote in an Instagram post that “Sometimes it’s scary when I feel like it’s crazy I’m doing this music thing and it starts to feel lonely but then I am reminded just how not alone I really am.” What helps you to overcome these scary feelings?
This goes back to what the vision is that I wish for my music. While the songwriting and creation process has been therapeutic for me, it’s really in the sharing (or I guess performing) of the songs that the healing happens. The words take on new meaning in the presence of others, and I feel the music differently. I feel the vibrations of the harp differently, too. I think it’s inherently scary to be vulnerable and risk rejection and criticism, but it’s also empowering to face it head-on - and it’s given me a chance to take back authorship of the narrative of my life. It gives me the opportunity to own the mistakes I’ve made and transform them to move forward.
Truly though, I would not be doing this today if certain people that came into my life hadn’t grabbed me during the dark times and said “you are an artist and artists make art out of sadness.” It takes mentors and friends and people who are secure enough in themselves to look at you in a low time and say, “Hey, I see you. It sucks down there. But I’m happy to share with you what I’ve figured out so far, because I believe in you.” If I can be that person for one person in the audience or in my life and pay forward what has been given to me, then the volume of the fear of rejection and criticism gets turned way down.
Have you encountered challenges on this path? If so, could you share what some of them are, the lessons you may have learned, and how you’ve moved through difficult moments?
Oh man - the learning curve has been steep. I think the most important thing and also the hardest is allowing yourself to be a beginner, freedom to give yourself a fresh start, and also to forgive your past self. I stopped playing the harp when I went to college and I really just doubled down in the musical theatre scene (and the collegiate a cappella world too .. yes, I know I’m a nerd). I never thought I would play the harp ever again. The voice inside was mean: “you’re not good enough, you never practiced enough, you’re not like other harpists, you’re not a good enough musician,” on and on it goes. Until I booked a show right out of college with Deaf West Theatre for a version of Spring Awakening. Half of our cast was Deaf and/or hard of hearing and each hearing actor played an instrument. Well sure enough, there I was needing to get back behind the harp and dig in more than I ever had. This show fast-tracked to Broadway within 2 years and suddenly, I was on a Broadway stage with my harp! I think a lot of the time we are the only ones standing in our own way. We’re plagued with impostor syndrome and end up self-sabotaging. Rekindling my relationship with myself, through creative rehabilitation like Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, stream-of-consciousness journaling 3 pages every morning, and doing yoga and (trying) to meditate has and still keeps me moving through difficult moments of self-doubt.
How would you say your music path has impacted your personal life and who you are as a person?
The last year, since quitting a day job in event production and taking a break from auditioning in the theatre world, has given me the time (finally) to create for myself. It’s been up and down and many many times required me to rely on friends. It has taught me how to ask for help. It’s taught me that community is key and that we can’t give up the search for finding our place. The music has brought me closer to myself and closer to others around me. It’s cracking open a hard shell that I protectively built during my depression. It’s teaching me not to be afraid of the darkness - in the darkness there is meaning waiting to be illuminated. We just have to find it and share it.
I also loved your quote of it takes bravery to love and receive love. Can you share more about an experience that made you realize that? Do you have any advice for others on finding courage in love?
My song “Something Good” is about love and relationships and, while it takes bravery to love, it also takes bravery to receive love. I mean … this is just something I struggle with… I think we all do.
I got dumped pretty badly after a tumultuous year-long relationship senior year of college. I didn’t realize just how much it messed with my perception of myself and my self-worth. The thought of receiving love after something like that can be confusing and painful. All it takes is for us to get burned that one time … and then boom! We throw a wall up. Maybe we realize it’s there, maybe we don’t. For me it comes from the idea of: “If I don’t love myself, how can I possibly truly believe that someone could love me?” This also touches on self-worth and believing that you deserve something good. Believing that you deserve love. Believing that you deserve to receive it, not just give it. There must be a balance and you have to take care of yourself first in order to love from a place of vulnerability and strength. Love requires risk but it’s so beautiful to take that risk - we just have to take care of ourselves first to make it sustainable.
How can we as a community support you in your endeavors?
I am working on recording an EP, so keep an eye out for “Head on Straight” this spring!
Follow me on Instagram - @LexieLowell_Harp
Subscribe to my YouTube Channel
Join my Community Mailing List
And suggest venues or other communities that would enjoy my music!
Briana Monique is a facilitator of healing and unconditional love. Trained as a trauma therapist, hypnotist, and Womb Priestess, she is a lover of life and seeker of consciousness evolution.