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Hyla’s Bio

Hyla Menuhin Douglas hails from a diverse and musical background on both sides of her family, but she has her own expressive style of music and poetry.  Being a poet she always felt drawn to songs with great lyrics and melodies such as those produced by The Beatles, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Stevie Nicks, Rickie Lee Jones, Steely Dan, the Pretenders, Tom Petty, and the Grateful Dead.

Hyla loves Rock ‘n Roll with a solid blues influence such as the musical sty lings of the Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin and The Band.  She considers these alpha male masters to be some of the finest songwriters around and loves their ability, despite their tough façade, to write beautiful and sensitive songs.  Some of her favorite cover songs to play are old Rolling Stones songs because they capture the essence of life, heat, and passion.

Her musical tastes run a full audio spectrum.  She is moved by the electronic orchestrations of Enigma, Massive Attack and Thievery Corporation, as well as by the intricate and beautifully arranged recordings of world beat artists Afro Celt Sound System.  And on the darker side, she admires the depth of sound and character emanating from politically active and hard-hitting bands like Rage against the Machine, System of a Down and Pearl Jam.

Basically, Hyla is drawn to music that rings true.  Her eclectic tastes include jazz greats such as John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, and Duke Ellington, as well as blues artists Robert Johnson, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray and John Lee Hooker.  She is moved by the universal appeal and sincerity of Billie Holiday.  Other female musical influences include Janis Joplin, Bonnie Raitt, Ani Difranco and Chrissie Hynde.

Hyla is driven by a passion for poetry, literature, music and art and a quest for knowledge, wisdom, and understanding.  Some of her poetic influences include William Blake, Jack London, Jack Kerouac, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and the American folk hero icon, Woody Guthrie.  She has been heavily influenced by the poetic beauty emanating from the art and music of her grandmother, Yaltah Menuhin, who was not only a saintly spirit, but an extraordinarily skilled and graceful classical pianist.

When Hyla lived in the northern California redwoods, she put a band together with her longtime musical partner and friend, Michael Douglas.  They called the band Lapis Lazuli after the beautiful blue and gold stone.  Later in Los Angeles, the band Lapis played the local club circuit with several songwriting talents adding zest and variety to the bands’ unique brand of progressive Rock ‘n Roll.

Since that time, Hyla has busied herself with songwriting, poetry writing, recording and performing.  She is releasing two books of poetry along with her newly released “Sticky Yellow Monkey Flowers” CD.  Both compilations were given out at Burning Man, the first is entitled “Black Rock City” and the second book “Bathtub Poetry, from My Bath to Yours (spoken like a true cancer)” was inspired by a lavender-anointed outdoor bathtub on an oak-studded hillside in the musical and artistic enclave of Topanga Canyon at the rural edge of Los Angeles.

With her singular style of music, art, and poetry, she adds an insightful perspective from within and without the jaded and disillusioned society in which we live.  On this website, she offers a sampling for your enjoyment and consideration.