Primarily a writing exercise, this dream journal-inspired blog is a quiet introspective sojourn into the process that we traverse in going from private dream to public art. I see our dreaming as an internalized mythmaking. As I philosophize and expressively exhibit dreams, both private and public, I encourage and delight in creative language as a way to practice experiential metaphors through a “public dreaming." Writing Theory: Creative Dream Fiction

Monday, 15 July 2013

Transformative Art, Spiritual Fusion: Wisdoms of Ireland and India

"'All Balzac's characters;' said Baudelaire, 'are gifted with the same ardour of life that animated himself. All his fictions are as deeply coloured as dreams…'  
Art takes life as part of her rough material, recreates it, and refashions it in fresh forms, is absolutely indifferent to fact, invents, imagines, dreams, and keeps between herself and reality the impenetrable barrier of beautiful style, of decorative or ideal treatment 
Life holds the mirror up to Art, and either reproduces some strange type imagined by painter or sculptor, or realises in fact what has been dreamed in fiction.”  
Oscar Wilde, The Decay of Lying: A Protest

Here the abbreviated wisdom of Oscar Wilde, writer of voice and ear, the triumph of the great artful listening bespeaks a wind chime of honest and natural truth. The delicate interweaving of Art and Life brews a certain mould, from which the divine spark of the punch-drunk imagination breathes with ever raging glory. That mould is Dream. As such, fiction follows with music, as the pure intent of the human imagination to express the most basic intuitive sustenance of life at its clearest and most meaningful. 

During the past week, I had experienced an especially overwhelming night in the overactive imagination, a flood of subtle sensation, burrowed deeply under the skin, an impalpable bitterness, of a foreign spiritual strength outgrowing and boiling over in the silent reaches of sleep. The raw experience did not give way overnight, and yet transcended recurrence. The seed of a spirit spoke in dream, of a catastrophic undercurrent, sweeping virulently through the mud of a quaking settlement on Earth: the city. 

River and sun transformed to tower and spear, and I woke more tired than I had lain the night before. Yet, with the vigour of independent living and creative meaning, I rose through the art of sound to wake well beyond the confining, artificial binary of sleep and waking; to a spiritual awakening! And through an outpouring of musical emotion, I stirred my brain with cathartic rhythmic trespasses over the faraway and distant geography of my inner reaches. At one among many; dancers, drummers, singers, storytellers and artist of sound and space, we together climbed the staircase of fiction to a higher reality, to a truth of our own making. 

For nights after, and indefinitely in the frame of the images spawned in the post-traumatic flash of outpoured nightly grief, there was peace. Nyx bloomed like a sunflower in the hazy morning of calm, human flesh. The rites of Psyche and Morpheus drew from the magical fount of youth and light a knowledge as seminal as birth; that our waking lives are inextricably tied to the dream fiction of our conscious and unconscious lives made whole. 

Or in the profoundly authentic voice of master artist Ali Akbar Khan, "If you practice for ten years, you may begin to please yourself, after 20 years you may become a performer and please the audience, after 30 years you may please even your guru, but you must practice for many more years before you finally become a true artist—then you may please even God."

Read my recent publication for Unsettling America on Decolonization and Transformative Art
All in the Wailing City raised their arms, for the plagues of a swollen Earth flushed the unmentionable presence of God away, way beyond the horizon of knowledge and meaning. A great riverine tide swayed the living to their backs, drowning in a liquid rage. The seaside howled an unforgiving pain, calling all to remember its earnest retch of longing. Under the deep duress, a pause from the hollow movement, atop a quaking hilltop soon besieged on all sides by the amassing shores, I gazed ahead. 

 In 1879 the great flood in Szeged by Ferenc Somorjai (Somorjai Ferenc anyaga)
Gargantuan machines, with power enough to puncture a mountain, rammed innumerable tons of metal into the rising waves. All human effort subsided in a last ditch effort, as the naked winds blew away every last measure of reason, exposing the humbling futility of Man as a self-conceived separation from Nature. And the skies then parted, revealing the unspoiled Earth anew. 

The Great Flood by Bonaventura Peeters
Cleansed of human pain, the memories yet unearthed buried as spirit-hosts in the nightly youth whose ruined minds attuned with sensitive grace to the crushing prowess of the Earth. Ahead, I stole beyond the limits of the city lain to a soggy rubble in a flash. The riveting sun splayed its arms and legs with eye-splitting rays as gorgeous as the purity of Light itself. A golden cliff summit rose as an open palm to greet and hold me into a warm embrace. Amiable pelicans touched over the soothing flow of salt and weed, as my feet sped off, flying as together with the ancient birds of Attar; the flight of survival in beauty, circulation and ascendance.

Rocky Cliff with Stormy Sea, Cornwall by William Trost Richards
Arisen again, to the opaque summer sweat of passion and greed, the ascendancy was of illusion, a taste of mad lust in harnessing, benefitting and exploiting the power of Earth. I am only human. And, so I climb stairs and escalate to office-window pride, in the shy, glum and austere rest of an angering soul. Midwestern city of black flies and pale steam, the ire of billions casts a spectral gloom over such towering hypocrisy; dense as the soil of the Bitumen God of Calgary.

The Galata Tower by Moonlight by Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky
Uprooted, the towers of Oil and Untruth move as a serpent staff in my hand, readied and pointed toward the heart of the Jungle, the most immaculately climaxed biological development of all life's known diversity here on Earth. The jungle heart beats with the breathing of a thousand trees giving air to a wounded atmosphere of acid night. Within shot, the Awajun stare back, defending their land as all Land; to defend the very source of human existence. I shrink back, retreating and lacking the muscle to flesh out my own hypocritical ground, resting on the fat of the land in the cruelest eye of the storm, shrouded by cheap intoxicants and ignorant bliss.  
"Holy Rope" is a metaphor for the piece of twine I've used to snare my 16' frame drum featured on this track. Inspired by the masterful and spiritual frame drumming of the First Peoples on the traditional territories now known as Canada. Aboriginal peoples from northern Manitoba to Athabasca territory in northern Alberta, where I had camped, exhibited their powerful and endangered musical traditions. The use of a piece of twine or rope over caribou and buffalo hides struck a particular tone of nostalgia within my own ancestral memory as a musical being. Most well-known to North Africa, the tar frame drum is one of many snared frame drums in the deep Mediterranean musical heritage. The buzzing vibratory emittance that issues from a snared frame drum as similar to the First Peoples of Turtle Island as in the Mediterranean moved me to ecstatic prayer through drumming at Indian Beach campground. As I joined Dene drummers, I was moved with singular intention towards a spiritual fusion of sound, harmony, and ecstasy.

So the musical interpretation to the piece, "Holy Rope" lyrically carries the meaning and message of the experience of intercultural spiritual fusion music. Begun, "the executioner's raffle" signifies the great life-or-death gravity of the drum, as for many, the lifeblood of tradition, voice and inner fulfillment. The use of a shaker stands for the regular heartbeat rhythm that is carried by traditional Aboriginal drummers, who then commonly sing with syncopated bravura over a simple, steady rhythm. So, in this case, the shaker represents the rhythmic attuning of the First Peoples of Turtle Island, while my snared frame drumming represents the lyrical rhythmic temperament of my own Mediterranean heritage as the descendent of a Greek Jewish lineage.

The following chapbook, "Act or Confront" derives its source of meaning and intent from the omnipotent realization of the fleeting and mortal nature of human existence. With deep regard for the passing flame, we are fulfilled at its passing in the conscious effort of continuing life on this sacred and beautiful planet Earth.

When the passing is not confronted, and is ignored for greed, or lack of honesty in any form, life itself is denied to future generations and to the vulnerable and marginalized peoples who have been placed at the end of the classist food chain hierarchies of the global market chains, as per their specific history in the multi-tiered colonization of Mother Earth across the great breadth of each and every corner of the Four Worlds (South-Emotional-Red; East-Spiritual-Yellow; North-Mental-White; West-Physical-Black). And on, ever deeper into the innate existential confrontation of co-existence and the inherent conundrums of reality, we "prepare our action". In continuity with confronting mortality, to prepare action is to recognize that we are action. As a basic principle of existence, we all act, and are all intimately involved in every last living and non-living process of becoming and disintegrating.

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