Music

Music is an experience – an experience of unity and reflection on a global scale. It is such an experience that that the NEXUS Music lab brings to the NEXUS Community.

Overview

Philanthropy in the contemporary context is often perceived as simply an act of giving (e.g. a wealth holder financially helping the poor). Though most notions of the act of philanthropy include such an aspect, its core meaning can easily be missed. The word comes from the Greek philanthrōpos, meaning love of humanity. In modern English, philanthropy is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “the desire to promote the welfare of others.” Desire is indeed an important aspect: it may be more appropriate to understand the word philanthropy as a state of mind and heart rather than simply an activity. 

Music can be understood in a similar manner. While the technical act of performing is central to it, music cannot merely be reduced to technical craftsmanship alone. Its true power derives from how it invites lone individuals into a sense of community — one where faith, love, and passion are shared in a safe space. At this time, when fear and estrangement between communities is often instigated by violence and destruction, reunification and healing are global cultural imperatives. Though we may not always be aware of how we are being traumatized or assaulted, we may nevertheless urgently feel the need for a space and an outlet for healing and reflection.

OUR LEADERSHIP TEAM 

Mikuak rai

Mikuak rai

NEXUS Music Lab Co-Chair

Mikuak Rai is Co-Chair of the NEXUS Lab on Music and also a co-founder of Invest in Yourself @ NEXUS (IY@N). A self-described ‘creative catalyst’, Mikuak’s passion centers on the intersection of creative arts, planetary culture and transformative consciousness; he believes that every individual is, inherently, an artist who possesses something meaningful to express and contribute toward making the world a better place.

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As co-founder of Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit One Common Unity, Inc., Mikuak brings 15+ years of direct experience in organizational development, arts education engagement, youth work and event production. In 2017, Mikuak was selected to be a member of the URI (United Religions Initiative) Multiregion Leadership Council. He is also a founding member of the Global Council for Calendar Awareness (GCCA), an international collective pursuing a campaign entitled “Calendar Referendum 2020 and Declaration of Universal World Peace” (http://13months28days.info).

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Christen Lien

Christen Lien

NEXUS Music Lab Co-Chair

Christen Lien’s provocative compositions, hypnotic performance style, and entrepreneurial business approach all reflect her passion for challenging the status quo. Through her art she seeks to support her fans to process the complex and oftentimes dark emotions that oppress individual potential and hold back collective power. Entertainers, activists, scholars and entrepreneurial leaders have responded enthusiastically to Christen’s 

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work and she is often invited to present her music, story and ideas to events and productions looking to compliment narratives of determination and fortitude. [showmore]In 2016 she will released ELPIS, a 12-track instrumental album with accompanying visual artwork and written storytelling that explores the dark side of Hope. Lien incorporates the use of guitar effect processors and looping pedals with her instruments (which also include viola, bass guitar, harmonica, Moog synthesizer, drums and kalimba), creating hybrid, melodic music and haunting, evocative performance art.

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Youn-Jae Ok

Youn-Jae Ok

NEXUS Music Lab Co-Chair

Youn-Jae joined NEXUS as Director of Visual and Performing Arts in 2016. He believes that emotions may not be tangible, but they are powerful. They influence other people, both consciously and subconsciously. “We often are expected to control or adjust them, and in response, we lock them away, unaware of our needs of self-expression and obsessed with the duties of meeting expectations. Without diving into a general discussion of the

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function of art, I suggest that creating sympathy through evocation and healing through expression could be subtle, yet meaningful functions that art is capable of providing.” Youn-Jae Ok completed Doctor of Musical Arts degree in music composition at University of Wisconsin–Madison (2015), and has studied with Stephen Dembski, with minor in photography. [showmore]His early schooling was in Korea and England and he completed the International Baccalaureate at the Chateau du Rosey in Switzerland (2002). Dr. Ok holds the Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music (2006) and the Master of Music degree from Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of the Performing Arts (2008). His teachers include Stacy Garrop, Daron Hagen, Joel Hoffman, Michael Fiday and Mara Helmuth. Dr.Ok was the winner of the 2007-08 Roosevelt Wind Ensemble Competition for “Audacity” and was a regional winner of the 2008 SCI/ASCAP student composition competition for “Zest for Olive Salad.” He is a repeat winner of the School of Music’s composition competition, having won in 2009 and 2012 for “Vacillation” and “Mi-Ryen.”

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Music is a non-violent medium that lives in time; its power and sophistication enables it to exhibit not only such aspects as form and content, but also meaning, sympathy, empathy, happiness, sincerity, consideration, joyfulness, faith, anticipation, attention, patience, affection, learning, and understanding. If you reflect upon these words in relationship to those with which we discussed philanthropy, you will find that there is much in common between them. Music is a state of mind and heart, that, through performance, becomes action. Music can be philanthropy.

Unlike many other forms of art, music is special in its frequent requirement of collaboration for its realization. Whether that collaboration is between musicians and audiences, or with the space itself, constant adjustment, with awareness and care, is crucial for sound to become music and not mere noise. Through music, we can both project and reflect personal stories and feelings, and find ways to harmonize and become one with our surroundings, rather than being limited to those personal stories and feelings to project and reflect only the ego of a single individual.

The NEXUS Lab on Music can be informed by such a notion of music: that is, one grounded in collaboration, awareness, guidance, care, reflection, feeling, harmonization, and synthesis. These aspects of music are central to change one’s perspective about oneself or one’s relationship to the world. For an artist to live responsibly and produce work that reflects society, experience is key.

       Actions: 

  • Salon discussion series around the impact of music
  • Inclusion of musical acts at all NEXUS summits
  • Organize, put on and host musical programming for NEXUS USA Summit and NEXUS Global Summit
  • Meetings and call series with musicians committed to using music to promote community/healing

Upcoming Events:

To see what music salons, programming and other events are upcoming, visit our Event’s Page. Please note, that you must be a member to access the full event calendar.

Not a member? Membership is based on your acceptance and attendance to a multi-day event. Click here to see our next upcoming summits or forums.

Contact Us

If you are interested in music or are a musician who cares about impact we’d love to hear from you. Whether you are looking to get more involved or willing to support our mission through a grant or sponsorship, please reach out! To learn more about the NEXUS Lab on Music, please contact Youn-Jae, Christen and Mikuak at:  music@nexusglobal.orgTo join the NEXUS Labs on Arts and Music private Facebook group, please go here.

Get In Touch

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