Tuesday, August 7, 2012

What I'm Hearing In My Head is Beautiful

What I'm Hearing in My Head can help us all see beautiful. Inspiring director, Asha Ghosh, is at it again. Asha Ghosh uses "film as a means to convey her understanding of international development and urban growth." Sharing the stories of extraordinary people, she unearths the essence of culture and pieces together what makes it so beautiful. With the framework of socio-political contextualization, both in the past and present, her newest documentary (just like her first Mr. Shanbag's Shop), highlights the way one person can help us see a lot more beautiful in the world. 

By Asha Ghosh
A new film in the works, "What I’m Hearing in My Head", tells the story of a San Francisco iconoclast who has developed a unique method to teach music, taken on a comic book character’s name, and now struggles to survive in a changed city.

San Francisco is a different city than what it was in the late '60's when it attracted wanderers from across the country. Part of the influx was because this was a city that allowed its residents the freedom to express diverse political and social points of view. Some of those who settled here experimented with communal housing and organized groups, like the Diggers, offered free food in the Panhandle. There are many well known personalities who we remember from this time in SF – including Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane and others. Many remember this time for the “Summer of Love” and all those who hung out on 'Hippie Hill' in the Golden Gate Park.

This film tells the story of one of the less well known individuals who settled in San Francisco, established creative outlets with like minded individuals, and whose identity is inseparable from the 40 years he has spent in the Haight Ashbury neighborhood. He is still an echo of that time, as he says, and his name, Mr. Natural, is destined for history, adopted for his striking resemblance to the self-acclaimed guru created by comic artist Robert Crumb. Mr. Natural treats his identity with due respect, professing, “I try to do my best to be true to the character and not get into any trouble.”

Mr. Natural settled in San Francisco in 1968, dividing his time between establishing the San Francisco Free Theater, working as a technical draftsman and electronics engineer, and playing music in the Haight – as he describes it – as a true renaissance man. As time wore on and he found a need to focus on one arena to survive the changing times, he established Mr. Natural’s Music School in the early 90’s, to teach music through a unique method he developed, using music theory as the entry point in teaching his students to play – and as importantly, compose music. He does this using a system of numbering the music that teaches students to focus on “intervals” rather than on absolute scales. The focus on intervals is not new – as many advanced and jazz musicians will point out, but the teaching system he is created is the first of its kind. And beginner students can quickly understand advanced music theory using simple math.  Critics claim that he is ‘breaking tradition’ and trying to ‘recreate the wheel,’ while students are inspired by new found abilities to grasp music theory and composition. However, committed students are hard to find. “We come from a time when you had to perform with complete concentration for 2½ hours, now everyone wants a music lesson in 128 characters or less.” Mr. Natural and his partner Angel now find themselves searching for ways to cope with the realities of modern day San Francisco. They have been unable to patent their innovations or retain sufficient students, but they continue to pursue imaginative approaches to share their passion. This film is about the journey of an individual expressing his creativity in San Francisco from the 1960’s to today and about the multiple identities that shape our lives as we struggle to survive.

The film is currently in production and is in the midst of a fundraising campaign on Kickstarter, with just a few days left to raise the rest of the funds needed to complete a rough cut of the film.  Contributions to the film will support the development of original illustrations and animations by an award-winning artist from San Francisco and an edit of the rough cut by a Bay Area editor.  Any support would be appreciated, and there are fun 'rewards' and credit for all contributions.  If inspiring film director, Asha Ghosh, doesn't make the Kickstarter goal by August 9, she will not get any of the funds pledged.

The Kickstarter page with a trailer of the film can be found HERE!
Connect with What I'm Hearing In My Head on Facebook too! 


  1. Sounds like a great film!!  Happy Tuesday!  

  2. I would watch that film with my MOM.  Of course that would mean popcorn!!!!  Going over to check out the trailer.

  3. Struggles for survival always have great endings.  Have you noticed? ...:)JP


Thank you for sharing your thoughts & helping others see beautiful too!