If there was one thing to take away from Wednesday night's event, The Music of David Lynch, it was the weight of the Twin Peaks director's passion for film, music, and the power of Transcendental Meditation. Prior to the night's pre-show gala, Lynch led his friends, collaborators, and a small handful of VIPs through a 10-minute meditation session inside the Theatre at the Ace Hotel in Los Angeles.
"I really want to try it again," said Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne when he took the stage later that night. "It's just hard to concentrate when you're sitting in the same room as David Lynch."
For fans, the night—which doubled as a benefit for the David Lynch Foundation, helping to fund meditation programs for at-risk youth groups around the world—was akin to a church service, with the theater's opulent architecture, mile-high ceilings, and moody lighting only adding to the religious atmosphere. A star-studded lineup of Lynch's disciples performed a collection of songs written for, directly from, or inspired by the director's surrealist oeuvre.
Lynch's longtime musical partner Angelo Badalmenti recreated the iconic and eerie orchestrations from Twin Peaks; Jim James channeled Jimmy Scott for "Sycamore Trees" from Fire Walk with Me; Rebekah Del Rio silenced the room with an acapella performance of Mulholland Drive's "Llorando"; Sky Ferriera delivered a bone-chilling take on "Blue Velvet"; Coyne and Co. weaved a noisy sound collage of the music from Eraserhead and Elephant Man; and Duran Duran played a mini set of hits, including "Ordinary World," "The Chauffeur," and "Hungry Like the Wolf."
Soon thereafter, Moby pushed the night into party mode with his "Laura Palmer's Theme" sampling club thumper "Go," and Lykke Li gave Chris Isaac a run for his money with her sultry take on "Wicked Games," which Lynch famously co-opted for 1990's Wild at Heart.
Lynch's famous devotees were not relegated to the stage, either. Notables in the audience included Reggie Watts, Michael Sheen, Shepard Fairey (who designed the evening's poster artwork), and Die Antwoord's Ninja and Yolandi Visser.
In between set changes, attendees watched sneak peeks of two of Lynch's upcoming short films, as well as a lengthy NBC news segment about the powerful use of transcendental meditation in California's public schools. The real heft of Lynch's impact, however, came when he took the stage to a dizzying amount of applause at the night's close.
"May auspiciousness begin everywhere and may suffering belong to no one," he declared as Donovan strummed an acoustic alongside him. "Peace." —Aly Comingore
Our photographer Jessica Comingore captured the night with a special thanks to The Impossible Project.