“Wait for Me:” Moby, David Lynch and Creativity


Moby’s latest effort is perhaps his most personal.  “In making this record I wanted to focus on making something that I loved, without really being concerned about how it might be received by the marketplace. As a result it’s a quieter and more melodic and more mournful and more personal record than some of the records I’ve made in the past.” (from his online journal)

Indeed, the record exudes an inescapable soulishness not often found within the music world.  While lacking the energy of previous efforts (such as “Play”), “Wait for me” is hauntingly moving.  Each track paints an ethereal landscape with minimalist lyrics and samples, and the instrumental lead single is more of Mogwai than of Moby.  Of course, this is also its greatest weakness: with such emphasis on instrumentals and ambience, I personally found it difficult to actively listen to.  

The few lyrics found on the album match the soundtrack-like backdrop.  “Walk with Me” is less a song than a prayer, the singer’s voice adding an almost intimate texture.  The title track features the lyric: “I’m gonna ask you to look away / I love my hands but it hurts to pray.”  Though cryptic, his lyrics speak honestly of a faith journey, one I suspect mirrors his own – in recent years Moby has been open to Spiritual things.  In an interview with Sojourner’s Magazine he said, “I read the New Testament, specifically the gospels and I was struck at their divinity, feeling that humans could not have figured this out on their own. We’re just not bright enough.”

David Lynch and Creativity

The journey to producing “Wait for me” began with inspiration from David Lynch and his views on creativity.  In an interview on the Village Voice Blog, Lych suggested that meditation both “enhances” creativity as well as “unleashes” it:

“Because you’re diving into infinite creativity so it’s going to give you more of that. In a way, creativity is problem-solving, sort of solutions. And it has to do with ideas and catching ideas and the flow of ideas. So, sometimes, in your writing, you’re writing along but you stop, because you’re stuck. But if the ideas are flowing, your pen doesn’t even stop; it just flows. And ideas just flow like ink; they just go. This happens more and more, the more that you bring out. It’s all there. When you experience the deepest level when you transcend, that flow of creativity goes.”

Lynch’s words resonate with my own views of creativity, though I would be more specific in naming the source of creativity than would Lynch.  Ancient scripture tells us that man is made in the tselem, that is, the “image” of the Creator.  As bearers of this image, man is gifted the capacity for creativity.  Thus, all creative acts reflect God’s creative attributes. 

Lynch’s creativity can be seen in the video he created for “Shot in the Back of the Head,” the first single from the album (video appears here).  The frenentic use of line and nourish scenes complement the spirit of minimalism on the rest of the album.  However, I remain unclear what the intended meaning of the video is, and if any readers are able to clarify its meaning it would be appreciated. 


 “Wait for Me” is not my favorite album, and it is doubtful that it will be winning any “album of the year” awards.  But this is ok.  Moby created this album for the sake of creativity and artistic expression and, assuming he is genuine in these statements, I am highly supportive of these efforts. 

So thanks, Moby.  Your talents are an inspiration to many.  I hope to hear more artistic efforts from many artists in the near future.

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