Musician and composer Nik Turner is probably best known as one of the founder members of Hawkwind. Now living in Carmarthen, and celebrating his 72nd birthday on the 26th of August, he is still very much in demand, playing gigs and Festivals. He tells me, “I am blessed because I have so much time to play music and spend time in Nature. I love walking and love beaches. I have always been very drawn to be in touch with the elements and their healing aspects. I meditate, don’t eat red meat and don’t drink alcohol. Nature is the future of the world. I have always been spiritual. Music is a spiritual thing, it touches people. When Hawkwind played Stonehenge at a Summer Solstice we created a ritual around the death of the old sun and the birth of the new on with the music.
The energetic and enigmatic musician also enjoys gardening but explains, “I don’t have enough time for it. We used to have a lovely garden here but in 1993 we went to India for 6 months; when we came back the garden had gone bonkers and we have never really got on top of it again. I do grow lots of herbs though, to cook with. We’ve got loads of chamomile, so we drink lots of chamomile tea.”
One of Nik’s favourite Welsh spots is Munt in West Wales, as he explains, “I love the ancientness of it. I have always been interested in mythology. I recorded flute music in the Great Pyramid in Egypt which was a wonderful sound. It was later used in a recording which was based on the Egyptian Book of the Dead. I’ve written songs about Celtic mythology and am currently being inspired by Mayan mythology and the South American culture.”
Nik is also a fan of films, “My parents made films and I enjoy good, well made films. Avatar was a good film. And I’m into Shakespeare too, I like well thought through stories.”
Currently involved with two bands, Project 9 and Outriders Apocalypse, Nik still practises 3 or 4 hours every day, “It’s important to impress yourself, not others,” he explains, “Please yourself without harming others. I have always thought, ‘what would I like to play?’ not ‘what would people like to hear?’ If I enjoy what I play, people will enjoy listening to it. Life is getting bland. I like to raise people’s spirits. I have always tried to imbibe everything I do with a sense of humour; it makes it all more palatable. I like to get people up dancing and to have a good time.”
And after watching Nik play at Brecon Fringe recently I can guarantee that he does both!