There isn’t a name for the music yet, but the Flying Mystics are looking to change that.
“We can’t classify our music because it’s hard to find anyone doing exactly what we do,” says Zepi Morelli.
It’s improvisational, spontaneous and healing – qualities all three men exude in life and lifestyle on a daily basis and now through their music together. It’s been labeled Neo-Shamanic by some – a mix of the ancient and modern.
Inspired by different disciplines but entwined with visual backgrounds, Morelli, Flournoy Holmes and Todd Roderick create a fluid sound and energy that only they together can produce.
“When I hear Zepi hit a chord,” Holmes says, “it makes me want to play something and then we feed off each other – we work together from that point. Something happens when we get together –it all fits.”
Spontaneous is also appropriate to describe how they became the Flying Mystics. Morelli and Holmes met up years ago through the Tibetan Buddhist Center, collaborating on design projects, each having no idea the other played music. Roderick was Holmes’ Ashtanga Yoga instructor and he asked him to join them on drums.
Their name is inspired by the artwork and images from the book The Flying Mystics of Tibetan Buddhism by Glenn H. Mullin. With a shared love of Buddhism and healing between them, the Flying Mystics ‘of Atlanta’ were born.
Morelli, guitar, born in Lima, Peru, has lived in Atlanta for over 20 years. His inspirations come from his musical family, a lineage dating back to the Incas of Peru and has passion for many genres; from Bach to King Crimson.
Holmes, flutes, drums, percussion and vibes, also comes from a musical family and remains a focal point of the Atlanta arts and music scene since the ‘70s, emerging as a prominent southern rock album cover artist. He’s driven by Morelli’s energy and is constantly inspired by him.
Roderick, drums and percussion, is a natural artist and feels he is a wanderer. He’s a dedicated yoga practitioner and lives in the Oakhurst neighborhood of Decatur.
“Playing the first time together, we had no idea how good it sounded until we listened back,” Roderick says, “Flournoy would go back through recordings and find what may have potential, and every so often a song would exist within the recording.”
“All of the music is spontaneous, the second song on the album, Mount Kailash, came together right then and there, it never existed before,” Morelli says.
In fact, 75 percent of the songs on Begin Within are taken from the first three weeks the Mystics played together – with minimal overdub. It worked from the beginning.
“It only works for the music to flow through us, then go back and learn it.” Roderick says. “That’s our challenge now, but it has been surprisingly easy for us to do.”
The Mystics have hardly been together for a full year and already have enough material for their second album. For now, however, they’re focused on playing live and searching for a booking agent.
They practice in Holmes’ Va-Hi home and, as Morelli points out, “What started out as fun, I am quickly realizing, has become something special. It’s now become more than music.”
Their timing, vision, passion and talent combine to create sounds that soothe and even heal. Holmes quips, “We don’t put it out there, but people come up to us and say, ‘Wow, you guys are healers through music,’ or ‘I had a healing experience and visions.’”
Kids especially love it- moving and grooving to the sounds. With that feedback, they are looking to offer their healing energies to groups that need it. “To give and receive, influence and inspire,” Holmes added.