Conor McMullen, the founder of Lucid Project, a multi-media platform that uses music and art to inspire change talks to us about how a personal tragedy inspired the start of this initiative, and how he plans to make the world a better place, using music as a vehicle for positivity.
T.H.E – Hey Conor! Welcome to T.H.E – Music Essentials. How have you been?
Conor McMullen – Hey! Thanks for having me. Oddly enough, I’m feeling pretty good about life right now. I’m looking forward to what’s next for us all.
T.H.E – How did your journey with music begin?
Conor McMullen – Music has been my true love ever since I can remember. Believe it or not, my Dad was a DJ back in the disco era. When I was a little kid, my parents used to play records for us in the basement of our Philly rowhome. That’s what created the spark, so the speak. From there, I grew up playing in bands, learning different instruments, teaching myself to DJ, etc.
T.H.E – Tell us a bit about “Lucid Project”. We have read that it was inspired by a very sad incident which you faced personally. How did the accident, and the time after, inspire this project?
Conor McMullen – So the idea for Lucid Project actually came a bit earlier, in October 2017, after a conversation with two close friends in Washington DC. The goal was simple but powerful. We wanted to make the world a better place, using music as a vehicle for positive change. A year later, I moved to Miami to pursue the music dream more seriously, and that’s when tragedy struck. Literally.
A few months into the move, I was nearly killed by a hit & run driver, in February 2019. The last 18 months have been spent in recovery, in and out of surgeries – it’s been an experience, to put it mildly.
But, I wouldn’t trade it. As I developed a stronger mental framework during the recovery process, I couldn’t help but think of ways to include more mindfulness into Lucid and all of my other projects.
T.H.E – Were there any artists who inspired you in this phase?
Conor McMullen – Absolutely. On a personal level, I want to give a quick shout to all of my DC and Miami music friends. It’s inspiring to see people hustling in an under-appreciated industry, just for the love of the art.
On a larger scale, the music brands I draw inspiration from are those like All Day I Dream, Anjunadeep, Desert Hearts, etc – they do a great job promoting positivity through music, and I admire them for that.
Side note – I haven’t told anyone this, but during the early stages of my recovery process, I curated a meditation playlist to help me with my daily sessions. I would go into my morning meditation with serious questions about life & existence, using the mindful playlist to facilitate a deeper internal connection.
So I’d throw it on shuffle and sit down to quiet my mind. In moments where I was feeling lost or darker moments where I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to keep going, the same track would always start to play. It became like a personal message from the universe that everything was going to be okay. The track is called ‘Sailing Without Compass,’ by Lee Burridge. So Lee, if you’re reading this, thank you.
T.H.E – It kinda personifies the association between music and mindfulness. How did you discover this? And what is the message you want to give people with this?
Conor McMullen – At the end of the day, my larger mission is to create a more mindful planet. To empower and inspire. Music is one of the most powerful communication tools that we have at our disposal, as human beings. It connects us in a way that we can’t fully comprehend.
I see enormous potential in using music for the betterment of the lives of those around me. That’s where the fusion of music & mindfulness really emanates from.
T.H.E – Tell us a bit about “Aluna”, the term that you have conceptualised to describe this association. What does it represent?
Conor McMullen – Aluna is a beautiful word that comes from the indigenous Kogi people of Colombia. It means ‘consciousness.’ Believe it or not, our first shows for Lucid Project took place on the Colombian coast, near Santa Marta. This also happens to be where the Kogi tribe resides, high in the Sierra Nevada mountain range – one of the most biodiverse areas on the planet.
Through my travels, I started to learn more about the Kogi and their beautiful culture. They partnered with the BBC twice in the past 15 years to promote planet conservation in the face of our growing climate issues.
During my recovery, I finally took the time to watch the most recent documentary, titled Aluna. It moved me so much, that I had to find a way to spread their message. And here we are.
T.H.E – You also interview other artists on Instagram. How do you go about choosing the ones that you want to speak to?
Conor McMullen – Good question. We’ve done a few different interview series, but all have kept the same focus. We’re all about promoting mindful music & artists who help to spread that messaging in their own communities.
T.H.E – How do you see this platform growing? What are your future plans?
Conor McMullen – With all of the uncertainty facing the music industry right now, it’s provided us with an opportunity to step back. To prioritize innovation.
And that’s what we plan to do. We’re working on a big relaunch for Fall 2020, with fresh ideas for a new world. If you’re interested in staying in the loop, head to our website and reserve a spot for the relaunch.
In the meantime, I’ll be meditating, making music, and promoting my new book, Be True.
Appreciate the time!
Side note – I’ve got a book about the ordeal coming out on July 12. People can find it on Amazon or on my personal website at www.conormcmullen.com