Romanticism and a strange logo for a chamber music ensemble (January 2016)
I remember some years ago I was watching John Adams, a PBS miniseries. It must have been at least 8 years ago because I have not owned a TV since then.
There was one scene in Part IV (Reunion) in which Thomas Jefferson, John and Abigail Adams are in Paris, the year is 1784 (according to the series). They are 3 amid a spellbound crowd of hundreds witnessing the flight of the Montgolfier brothers’ hot air balloons, the first flight from terra firma, as we know it to be.
I thought to myself, what a perfect moment, what an exquisite convergence of circumstances: 3 key players of the American Revolution — the Adamses and Jefferson — at the site where the French Revolution had been recently waged and won, watching mankind leave the ground, and by that, celebrating mankind’s renewed spirit of enchantment, exploration and individuality.
“Lâchez les cordes,” shouts a balloonist from the deck, anchored 30 foot above the ground.
The cords holding the balloon to the Earth are released, the onlookers remain mesmerized as they felt almost weightless at the sight of the balloons’ elegant skyward adagio, its slow perpendicular dance; the tricorns of the balloonists took on a winglike appearance.
Jefferson remarks to his compatriots, “So our umbilical cord to Mother Earth has been severed for the first time in history. Mankind floats upon a limitless plane of air.”
Air, the element of Aquarius, at this exact moment in history had begun to steal attention away from Neptune’s ocean-rusted trident. And this moment in Paris, to my mind, the beginning of the Aquarian Age was marked, as man’s focus made the profound shift. Suddenly air, and all things that move through it, from invisible radio waves to Montgolfiers’ very visible and beautifully colored hot air balloons which gifted flight to our wingless species came to the fore. Man could now look to the domain of air with a new sense of intimacy, an emotional bonding with a new dimension and its limitless possibilities. The waters of the Age of Pisces had suddenly begun to fade into past horizons.
The promise of the Aquarian Age accompanies this snippet of history – it speaks of a balance between new technologies and Nature.
An ever doubtful Adams voices his skepticism: ‘hmmm, hot air”. I wonder, is he saying ‘too much change too fast’? Too much ego and bravura? Too much zeal?
Perhaps: Zeal, up to this point in history was in the domain of reigning religious powers and monarchs. At this historic moment, zeal or some permutation of it had begun to spread out into the general population, capitalists stood at the front of the line to receive their bounties.
The big question at this point becomes: Is awe of Nature and our planet something innate or something acquired? Can man’s wonder and awe of the beauty and majesty of our planet maintain Aquarian balance or are we destined to destroy our planet and with it, ourselves?
These were central concerns of the Romantics, and the Age of Romanticism, I believe, was born at this same historic moment.
My elder mentor Isador Hillyer and I have written perhaps too much about Shelley’s Frankenstein, and how it shows technology, as represented by the monster, Victor Frankenstein’s shadow, running amok, promising vengeance against its creator and challenging the Aquarian promise of balance.
The monster does try to strike a bargain with Dr. Frankenstein:
“You must create a female for me,” says the monster to Victor, “with whom I can live in the interchange of those sympathies necessary for my being. This you alone can do; and I demand it of you as a right which you must not refuse to concede.”
This is technology – male energy — pleading for the scales to be balanced, with Nature sitting in the opposing dish from its ambitious self. “The interchange of those sympathies” is like yin and yang as though dog-headed Anubis was weighing the scales himself, technology and Nature, the direction of man’s fate is left up to gravity.
The monster offers a clear solution:
“If you consent, neither you nor any other human being shall ever see us again: I will go to the vast wilds of South America. My food is not that of man; I do not destroy the lamb and the kid to glut my appetite; acorns and berries afford me sufficient nourishment. My companion will be of the same nature as myself, and will be content with the same fare. We shall make our bed of dried leaves; the sun will shine on us as on man, and will ripen our food. The picture I present to you is peaceful and human, and you must feel that you could deny it only in the wantonness of power and cruelty. Pitiless as you have been towards me, I now see compassion in your eyes; let me seize the favourable moment, and persuade you to promise what I so ardently desire.”
Alas, an ounce of yang turns the monster into a scarred-up vegan backpacker! And he is most definitely petitioning for balance.
. . . “How inconstant are your feelings!”, he says to Victor as Victor is waffling about his end of the bargain, “but a moment ago you were moved by my representations, and why do you again harden yourself to my complaints? I swear to you, by the earth which I inhabit, and by you that made me, that, with the companion you bestow, I will quit the neighbourhood of man, and dwell as it may chance in the most savage of places. My evil passions will have fled, for I shall meet with sympathy! my life will flow quietly away, and, in my dying moments, I shall not curse my maker.”
After Victor abandons his promise to the monster, the monster declares: “Slave, I before reasoned with you, but you have proved yourself unworthy of my condescension. Remember that I have power; you believe yourself miserable, but I can make you so wretched that the light of day will be hateful to you. You are my creator, but I am your master;–obey!”
In other words, light – enlightenment – the domain of day and of the analytical mind will destroy us unless the scales are indeed balanced.
And look at us now in the year 2016 A.D. Are we not slaves to technology? We have done a rather crappy job of maintaining anything even resembling balance. Our planet is completely out of whack, especially concerning the degradation of our planet’s biosphere. Arguably, not all of it is man made, but man has been a first tier donor.
I ask you slave, how many times did you check your iPhone today, slave? How long were you put on hold the other day by Verizon or your cable network? What unbearable music were you subjected to while waiting? And what’s with the tee-shirt that says ‘Obey’? Whom or what, may I ask, are we supposed to obey? Is it ‘they’ who insist on obeyance?
Never mind! I’m not so naïve. I’ve seen V and Fringe on Netflix. I knows what them reptilian critters are up to. Further to that point, I worked for 8 years in the hotbed of shapeshifting reptilians, otherwise known as the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music.
I leave that particular cauchemare for a future blog.
Aside from that, it’s no joke that we have managed to swallow wholesale so much ‘god-given’ nonsense. It holds us captive and in a constant state of fear brought about by the zeal to conquer, conquer, conquer, achieve, achieve, without restraint, like a society of rugrats collectively going through its terrible 2’s.
Concerning Mary Shelley who took the literary world by storm — specifically, electrical storm — in the year 1818 when she was 18 years old. There’s much more elaboration on this subject in Cave Sketches by Isador Hillyer and myself; excerpts of which will be presented on this site’s blogosphere.
The severed umbilical cord of 1784 allowed for much new movement and exploration: Napoleon had sent a team of thousands of archeologists, engineers and scientists to investigate the wonders and mysteries of ancient Egypt; the North Pole was explored (which also is the setting of Frankenstein and his monster’s final meeting); Orientalism, once held back at the Eastern frontier of the Austro-Hungarian Empire was suddenly a fascinating subject for the entire populous of Europe. All bets were off.
But for now, I return to the strange logo of Vista Lirica:
Let’s take a look, as reductive as it may seem:
The first window of the logo (L) shows Pharos by Salvador Dali, the lighthouse (pharos (Φάρος) of Alexandria, seen in full (R). The lighthouse was one of the seven wonders of the world. Its beacon pierced the night sky of Alexandria, 35 miles out into the Mediterranean Sea. Alexandria, the most cosmopolitan city of that time was home to many cultures and knowledge of many cultures were maintained and harmonized. This included knowledge of the mystery schools of the ancient world which was collected and concentrated in scrolls at the Library of Alexandria and taught and discussed in the Serapeum – that is, until 391 A.D., when the Library and Serapeum were set ablaze. Factions of Christians and Jews alike whose zealous allegiance to the one god could not allow the highly evolved and long-standing pagan culture of Alexandria to remain. The zealots torched the pagan centers, namely the Library and the Serapeum.
The zeal which was ignited in Alexandria, spread through the Levant, then Europe, as paganism, once a bedrock of Ancient Roman life, was replaced by a twisted, selective adaptation of gnosticism called Christianity. Edicts were drawn which declared pagans and gnostics as heretical, their practices were punishable by death often as entertainment. The Colosseum drew sell out crowds. Lions, gladiators, gnostics and pagans all took center stage. As the fire spread further, a few Celtic tribes survived in far corners of Europe, but most were wiped out.
Inextinguishable by water, the flames crossed the Atlantic, as Europeans sailed to a new world:
Members of Columbus’ team killed off the Taino natives of Hispaniola. Apparently, Columbus himself was entranced by the beauty and harmony of the Taino tribes, Hispaniola’s native culture, but he could not contain his troops from massacring the entire population.
The plight of the Sioux Indians is well described in Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. To say that they were wiped out is an understatement: The soul of their culture was eviscerated.
This travesty was more recent and was also concurrent with the Romantic Movement, as was Willa Cather’s Death Comes for the Archbishop. In it, we learn that the Native Americans of New Mexico had no term for owning land; the concept was foreign to their psyche. On the other hand, their European assailants were given ‘dominion of the Earth’ by Jehovah, the psychotic demi-urge as described in the gnostic texts; texts discovered in the 20th century in the codices of the Nag Hammati scrolls and the Dead Sea Scrolls. By the time of their discoveries (1945 and 1946-56, respectively) ‘dominion’ was firmly wedged into our Western psyches, for the ardently religious and their atheistic counterparts alike.
The proclamation of ‘dominion over the planet’, I would argue, was the real first severing of man’s umbilical cord from Mother Earth and is the darker side of Jefferson’s lovely metaphor:
The wording itself implies a disconnect between man and our native planet: ‘Dominion of the Earth’ was as alien a notion to the pagan culture of Alexandria as it was to the Native Americans of New Mexico and the Sioux, as, like the gnostics and Romantics, they saw themselves as part of Earth; for the more recent arrivals to the Americas and their forebearers, it was a license to seek and destroy in the name of God.
The mindset of the Native Americans had its positive effects on the European newcomers: Apparently many of the founding fathers were looking at deism and heterodoxy: Matthew Stewart, in Nature’s God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic gives a fascinating account of this influence. (This is a subject for a future blog)
Scientists who have embraced this Native American, pagan, gnostic perspective see the Earth and her biosphere as one dynamic living system.
The biosphere of Earth includes the air through which Montgolfiers’ balloons took flight as well as the land habitat of humankind and oceanic domain of cyanobacteria, the little creatures who first oxygenated the planet. We’re all in it together; we can’t go it alone. At the risk of popping the hot air balloon and sending its cords swirling to the ground, this is an important consideration. (There is more about Lynn Margulies’ Slanted Truths: Essays on Gaia, Symbiosis and Evolution in Cave Sketches. Please stay tuned!)
The wording may have changed over the years; that is to say, ‘dominion’ of the planet is often replaced by ‘stewardship’ or ‘custodianship’ yet even with these more politically correct translations from original Hebrew, Greek and Latin texts, the disconnect remains completely in tact, as though maintained by sleight of hand. So, this brief summary of almost 2,000 years is not meant to cast aspersions on any religion or belief system, but rather it is meant to cast some light on our collective history and perhaps start to see what lights have been dimmed down or even turned off in our Western minds. We’re still in seek and destroy mode. Frankenstein’s monster has not been appeased. We need to take inventory.
Fast forward from Cather’s New Mexican setting to Los Alamos, New Mexico, A.D. 1945 for a moment: In the 1940’s, J. Robert Oppenheimer and his Manhattan Project team were hell-bent to make an atom bomb, at all costs. Concerns for the bombs’ devastation was trumped by the scientific process and the urgency to win WWII.
Oppenheimer felt the guilt of it from August 1945 to the end of his life. There are clips of him as a broken man quoting the Bhagavat Gita. Could annihilation-by-technology have even be conceivable without a man-Earth disconnect as an unquestioned ‘given;?
I would also argue that the Romantic movement was a bastion of the spirit of the highly evolved pagan culture of Alexandria. Its lighthouse kept the flame, so to speak, of prior civilizations. Others have made similar arguments, and I tip my tricorn to John Lamb Lash for citing this in Not in His Image. (And I would like to add that the structure of the tricorn makes it particularly conducive to such niceties.)
This at first might seem ludicrous considering, for example, how many masses were written by Romantic composers. However Orpheus’ triumphant return in 1762 by way of Gluck’s opera paved the way for the pantheon of pagan gods to re-enchant Western sensibilities. The Romantics, not content with Cartesian duality of the Enlightenment, insisted on a spiritual third dimension and they would conjure this dimension from ancient mythologies and non-Western cultures. It made the three-cornered hat (the tricorn) or anything else three-ish that much more fashionable. While the Classicist defined, concluded and explained away, the Romantic questioned and probed endlessly and poeticized.
I know that many musicians, well-educated at major conservatories, would balk at the timelines I seem to be using. I believe that ETA Hoffmann might have appreciated how hot air balloons fit into this discussion; in his assessment, he saw in the later works of Haydn and Mozart as the beginnings of Romanticism. (I would add Gluck that list.) Now when we add Robert Schumann’s paradoxical aphorism to the mix, we have something to seriously consider:
It is difficult to believe that music, an essentially romantic art, can form a distinctly romantic school within itself.
[from Schumann’s ‘Aphorisms’]
It is a timeless pursuit.
In the 19th century, indigenous cultures were suddenly receiving great attention as sources of other ways of seeing, beyond what Darwinian objectivity and a class-oriented society could bring to the table:
Composer Franz Schubert had been reading The Last of the Mohicans in his last year (1828) and asked his brother Ferdinand for more novels by James Fennimore Cooper.
Look at what Schubert chose for texts for his many Lieder: The text of Die Forelle (The Trout) includes the perspective of the poor trout about to be hooked, as witnessed by a sympathetic onlooker; Ganymed, the light-hearted god; An die Musik (I translate the title as ‘Ode to Music’). The text of An die Musik thanks pure art (Du, holde Kunst ich danke dir dafür) — not God or any god, but art, the spark of divine creation within and without — for ‘delivering me to a better world’ (‘hast mich in eine beßre Welt entrückt’). And it does so using the familiar ‘you’ (ich danke dir dafür) rather than the formal ‘you’ (ich danke Ihnen dafür) in its expression of gratitude. Imagine a holy Bible taking on such grammatical familiarities. Who would be smote for that one?!? Among Schubert’s 600+ songs there is no ode to helium or hydrogen, nor to telegraphy nor to to other modern sensations, to the best of my knowledge.
The Romantics knew what was going on and where it all was heading. Romantic art, poetry, novels and music is resplendent with a love of Nature, its emotionality and our inherent human connection to it.
As I have decided to blog my brains out with this new web site for Vista Lirica, I will write more about this. That said, I thought that Dali’s painting shows a fiery starting point and point of departure for what Vista Lirica is about.
Window 2: Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot’s paintings Orpheus Leading Eurydice From the Underworld (1861)
It is not only the tricorn which can lead our minds out of underworldly duality. Orpheus’ lyre, its music and its magic, transcends the boundaries of dimensions and of different worlds.
O r ph e u s – Ph a r o s – almost anagrams of each other.
Ὀ ρ φ ε ύ ς – Φ ά ρ ο ς
I am embarrassed by having drug this gorgeous painting through the photoshop mill. As I see that the resolution on this site is somewhat lacking, here is a link to a clearer computer rendering: http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/corot/orpheus.jpg.
So, it is not only Orpheus’ lyre that leads his way out alone, it is the combination of Orpheus himself and the magic of his lyre, his artistry, which dissolve the boundaries from the underworld to this world, it is the key that unlocks the portals between this world and to other dimensions, its vibration knows nothing of boundaries or barriers – it can lead us out and ‘deliver us to a better world’ (with further reference to Schubert’s An die Musik), the lyre is its steadfast symbol; ‘lyre’ is the root for name Vista Lirica, the view through the lyre; the lyre at once an instrument of music and a reference to Romantic ideal of ‘lyric’, the portal or intermediary between the emotions of Nature and those of man; to the lyre, they are one and the same:
Make me thy lyre, even as the forest is:
What if my leaves are falling like its own!
The tumult of thy mighty harmonies
Will take from both a deep, autumnal tone,
Sweet though in sadness. Be thou, Spirit fierce,
My spirit! Be thou me, impetuous one!”
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Ode to the Western Wind (1820)
In Jean Cocteau’s films Orphée and Le Testament d’Orphée, the lyre-as-portal is replaced by mirror-as-portal. As the characters pass through the mirror, there is always a ringing sound that accompanies their passage, not unlike that of a Tibetan singing bowl. (See Orphée portal). Selections of Gluck’s Orfeo emanate from radios in both worlds, as do lines of poetry from Cégeste, the young poet who is killed in the first scene of Orphée; Cégeste has been given the task of dictating fragmentary lines of poetry for Orpheus to jot down:
L’oiseau chante avec ses doigts; Un seul verre d’eau éclaire le monde; Jupiter rend sage ceux qu’il veut perdre, etc. (The bird sings with its fingers; a single glass of water lights up the world, Jupiter makes wise those whom he wishes to destroy, etc.) (See Orphée, Eurydice, Heurtebise in ‘car as oracle’)
Cocteau features the lyre in his drawings of Orpheus, but in the films themselves, the mirror is the chosen go-between-worlds device. The characters put on rubber gloves. As they touch the mirror, its impermeable hard glass becomes a permeable liquid portal.
I wondered what possessed Cocteau to engage rubber gloves. It seemed anomalous amid the aesthetics of the stunningly beautiful cast of actors and Parisian setting. But then again, Orphée was made in the early 1950’s — and really, what could be more iconic of that time than rubber gloves? 50’s TV commercials promised the world to viewers – just add water and stir, occasionally, add an egg. Perhaps the promise of other worlds, in Cocteau’s mind, was the obvious next step.
1950’s Orpheus and his car radio also become inseparable. He is transfixed and obsessed by its radio signals, some from the deceased Cégeste, some are series of numbers which may or may not be codes. It matters not – modern technology has him hooked. Playtex gloves and car radios leave the best of poets in want of better fountains of inspiration, if only they can be torn away! Eurydice, like the lyre, becomes less important to Orpheus, the poet of legend, as the Princess of Death takes over her place as his love interest. It is the Princess of Death who has Cégeste killed and it is she who commands Cégeste to sit at the radio transmitter to an awaiting Orphée. Welcome to the underworld of the 20th century, the century of self and death-oriented dictators!
To quote Cocteau on the subject of mirrors:
Regardez-vous toute votre vie dans un miroir, et vous verrez la mort travailler, comme des abeilles dans une ruche de verre.
Look at the span of your life in a mirror, and you will see death at work, like bees in a glass hive.
I like the euphony of ‘verrez’ and ‘verre’ (‘(you) will see’ and ‘glass’).
I also think upon what Philip K. Dick projected in A Scanner Darkly, the title paraphrases Corinthians: ‘For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.’
So, to sum it all up, that is the different treatments of Orpheus first by Corot in the 19th c. and then Cocteau in the 20th c., the lyre and the mirror are both portals to other dimensions, but, the mirror, like the rubber glove, is appropriate to the 20th century, the century of self, as it is general used to reflect one’s own image, often as an expression of narcissism, sometimes mere self-reflection.
The realm of the Princess of Death, as we see it in much of Cocteau’s film is at ground level, through the glass mirror or past the railroad tracks, in other words, hidden in plain sight, not ‘below’ as one would expect an underworld to be. The message from Corot’s painting of Orpheus from 19th c. Romanticism, is that music will always maintain its power to lead the way out, to deliver us to a better world (to re-cite Schubert’s An die Musik), and I would add to that – whether or not it is recognized as such. Auf jeden Fall, ich danke dir dafür!
The third window of the mesmerizing Oriental chamber of music features one of the first photos of our Earth as taken by the Apollo 11 crew from the Moon in 1969. For a brief moment in that year of 1969, humankind was united in awe, as our species the world over could glimpse the stunning spectacle that is our native planet, from a perspective beyond our biosphere, beyond Dorothy Gale’s Kansan farm.
When I was photo-shopping away, in my mind, away above the chimney tops, in attempting to create this logo – no easy task, mind you, especially if you’ve never negotiated photoshop before – I remembered the first glimpse of these pictures of Earth from the lunar landscape come through the TV screen as a lad of 13 years. It seemed unreal at the time; additionally, one had to imagine what was transpiring, that is, beyond 1969 TV reception, which demanded that as viewers, we piece together and make contiguous the jerky movements we saw on the screens, and ignore its bloating of the bodies of American heroes.
The photo of Earth as seen from the Moon speaks volumes of our place in the vastness of the universe — how it is the one orb that we all cohabit, so lovely a blue-green marble. Many astronauts would see the Earth as a living breathing organism, the fluctuating magnetosphere was suddenly the largess of her deep inhalation/exhalation, John Mackay’s sonnenatmenden Erde (the sun-breathing earth) could be seen as well as felt. The entire population of Earth breathed in tandem with its native planet.
We could begin to ask also ourselves – what is the history of our species? – above and beyond the history of ones clan or tribe or country. Graham Hancock’s Quest for Lost Civilizations is a must-see as far as this is concerned. In pursuit of this question, he found evidence of great man-made antedeluvian structures off the coasts of India, Yonaguni (Ryuku Islands, Japan), The Bahamas, etc., which were built before global flooding had altered coastlines, 12,000 years ago. Hancock’s Quest is a great example of the Romantic spirit – challenging the ‘givens’ of our accepted knowledge. (In this new phase of Vista Lirica, I will be conducting interviews of artists and non-artists alike who represent this spirit.)
With further regard to this photo, I also asked myself, “where are the stars?” It’s an obvious question, but also an overlooked one. After all, the photo was taken on the Moon, not New Jersey on a steamy August night.
In this January 2016, I listened to an interview with NASA archivist, Dr. Ken Johnston on Project Camelot. Dr. Johnston was the Director of the Data and Photo Control Department at the Lunar Receiving Laboratory (LRL), responsible for all the photographs taken by the astronauts during each mission and data generated by the contributing scientists from around the world. He also produced and edited the NASA Lunar Sample Information Catalog for each of the Lunar landing missions while he was at the LRL.
He had the privilege to see the first videos and photos ‘hot off the press’ taken of the Dark Side of the Moon as the Apollo was nearing its landing site. And there was some strange anomalies on the Moon’s dark side – metallic domes wedged in, and shining out from craters of the Moon’s dark side. He had the privilege of presenting NASA scientists and staff a preview of lunar mysteries and was particularly excited to show them these domes in various craters – not geological (if ‘geological’ can also pertain to formations on the moon (lunalogical? lunar-logoistic?), but artificial structures made by – who can say?!?
During the preview, Johnston anticipated the moment when the domes would be seen with elation.
But — they were not to be seen. He paused to inspect the film reel. The domes weren’t on the film he was showing, which he thought must have been the same reel he had seen the day before. He stopped the reel for a moment, excused himself with a line about ‘technical difficulties’. He examined the reel and saw that there were no obvious cuts; in other words, the original that he had seen the day before was redacted and then duplicated. The duplication was there for the rest of the world to see, a domeless and barren moon for the masses.
He also questioned the starless sky. He met with a group of NASA employees who called themselves “strippers” because they were stripping out details in lunar images that might be hard to explain. That day, like van Gogh’s hired nemeses, they were painting out the stars in particular lunar images. It was their job to do so. The unusually lame excuse they gave was that the stars in the lunar sky would “confuse people.”
According the testimony of Apollo astronaut Edgar Mitchell, the strippers had their work cut out for them.
Here’s an account of his experience traveling to the Moon:
. . . and we were rotating to keep thermal balance on the spacecraft and oriented in such a way that the Earth, the Moon the Sun and a 360° panorama of the heavens appeared in the cabin window and that was awesome – it was an overwhelming experience and we have to realize that in space without the intervening atmosphere, the heavens are ten times as bright, stars 10 times as numerous because there’s no atmosphere to block the light and the experience was overwhelming and suddenly I realize from my studies in astronomy that the molecules of my body and the molecules of the spacecraft and my partners’ were prototyped or manufactured in an ancient generation of stars. And instead of intellectual knowledge it was a visceral experience – a visceral knowing accompanied by an ecstasy.
I’m gooseflesh reading this! I especially like it when scientists find common ground between spirituality and consciousness and their professional expertise. “We went to the Moon as scientists and came back as humanitarians,” said Mitchell and in 1973 he founded IONS – the Institute of Noetic Sciences a/k/a the study of consciousness: meditation, alternative healing practices, consciousness-based healthcare, spirituality, human potential, psychic abilities, psychokenesis and survival of consciousness after bodily death. Having studied Gurdjieff and noetic sciences myself, I always find it amusing that scientists are just on the precipice of discovering what Sufi mystics and many cultures of the mystery schools knew thousands of years ago.
Herein lies a tie of the lunar landscape panel of the strange logo of Vista Lirica: it has to do with consciousness. Without it, we’re in the Underworld of Orphic myths and we need the lyre, as the continued symbol for music, all the arts and consciousness, to lead the way out.
With reference to the ‘stripping of stars’ from the first photos of the Earth from the lunar landscape, two questions arise: what else is kept secret from the general population and how does art, and the consciousness find a niche in the greater scheme of things?
The answer, among other things, lies in discernment: Can you tell a true blue sky from a chem-trailed sky? Can you discern paper flowers from the real ones? Can you distinguish synthesized music from music played on non-electronic instruments?
There are two must-see documentaries on the subject of geo-engineering: What in the World Are They Spraying? and Why in the World Are They Spraying? They expose (1) the threat that is being posed to the basic health of our planet and her biosphere by way of chem-trails and (2) the fact that it is not covered in mainstream media. (visit http://www.geoengineeringwatch.org/ !!)
The main presenters of geo-engineering a/k/a chemtrails cite a Hegelian dialectic: create a problem in order to present a money making/power sourcing solution: In the case of geo-engineering it goes something like this: Commercial and non-commercial airplanes have been inundating our atmosphere the world over with particulates of barium, aluminum, strontium, claiming that they will reflect back excessive ultra-violet rays from the sun. They may have other practical functions, as our solar system is at a central point of its bobbing and weaving in relation to the galactic center; an excess of cosmic dust comes with the galactic alliance, it is also an unrecognized reality. Geo-engineering has been going on for decades. It has been altering the weather more than any natural phenomena, it has also backfired.
The spraying has changed the pH level of soil, such that it is destroying life all over the planet; extinction levels are off the charts; it creates droughts (such as in the Western US) and excessive rain and flooding (Midwest) as it is not only reflecting sunlight but trapping heat below the blanket of toxic. Once beautiful healthy forests, such as in the Mt. Shasta area (as Dane Wigington has reported) are now dying. The evidence is clear by the aluminum, strontium and barium levels in the soil.
Those who are paying attention to the net effects of geo-engineering are also correlating geo-engineering with spikes in autism, ADD, Alzheimers, etc. Furthermore, because of the huge extent of ecological corruption by way of geo-engineering some would argue that it is not really clear if the planet is warming or cooling as there cannot be a geo-engineering-free reading of climate. In other words, without the effects of geo-engineering in climate models, there’s no knowing what’s what.
In any event, cataclysmic or otherwise, the Monsanto monster marches in with its solution: here are our GMO seeds, says they; the plants that grow from these GMO seeds are impervious to the effects of aluminum and plant destroying insects. We have done in-house studies (no one else is allowed to) that show that GMOs are safe for human consumption. Farmers, buy our GMO seeds, sign below the dotted line and you can continue to farm. We will own you, but you can toil away happily. As an added bonus, says Monsanto, we will sue you if you use anything else but our GMO seeds, and you will have to buy them annually. And look at the CEOs and politicians who align themselves with Monsanto. Are ANY presidential candidates even mentioning geo-engineering or GMOs? Not so far. I’m not holding my breath. So far, they’re focused on carbon taxes and the lead in Flint, Michigan (which is not to be undermined) and elsewhere.
These politicians are neglecting that alternative media may play a majorly determining factor in the 2016 election. People aren’t buying it! it’s as though there are two parallel realities and the politicians’ narrative, even Bernie Sander’s (who nonetheless gets my vote), so far has been telling us to reckon everything from the Underworld of Greek mythology. The Republicans make fun of yoga. (We may be doomed!) Regardless, both parties are insisting that we glom onto their narrative and as for those third parties – oh, aren’t they cute!
I think the Mary Shelley Frankenstein, The Modern Prometheus scenario is more appropriate than the Hegelian dialect:
Scientists and others see that our mother planet is sick and may be dying; Victor Frankenstein mourned the death of his mother.
Scientists and others in a zealous frenzy will try anything to resuscitate life; in his bereavement, Victor resuscitates a criminal from the morgue as an étude to bringing back his mother from death.
Victor has isolated himself in his apartment in Ingolstadt from the world to pursue his scientific goal; the powers-that-be work behind a secret curtain, away from the mainstream media and those who try to spill the beans often find themselves belly-up in the Potomac River. Other whistleblowers have more ‘concrete’ endings.
The monster, as cited above, appeals to Dr. Frankenstein, Victor tries to take in the Monster’s plea; data about climate change is off the charts: things have become even more unbalanced. Mother Earth is pissed. Many isolated scientist come up with solutions, set against — oh my – all those investors, all those trillions of dollars already invested in monstrous pursuits!
The Monster offers a solution ‘make me a female counterpart . . . ’ and Victor goes to an isolated region of Northern Scotland to resuscitate Elizabeth, his sister/wife, killed by the Monster (Victor’s shadow), but Victor just can’t bring himself passed the point of being outed by his Monster and he abandons the project even those dearest to him have been killed off; the geo-engineers and their supporters are too busy hiding their accountability to do anything except yell for carbon taxes and a few solar panels and windmills, fuck Fukushima, no one really believes the correlation between HAARP and earthquakes anyway. It’s not as though knowledge of ionospheric science is needed to graduate from college and most will be too engrossed in paying back their student loans to pay attention to it anyway. Furthermore, no one will pay attention to the non in-house GMO studies.
Dr. Frankenstein started in a place of humanity and then crossed a to a soulless place; the geo-engineers and Monsanto may have started in a place of humanity and then may have crossed a line beyond which they working from a soulless place.
As promised, since the agreement was not kept by Victor, the Monster continues to kill off innocents; . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ! (ouch)
It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature!
The monetary investments that are made on behalf of maintaining the lack of balance are indeed monstrous. The investors, like Victor Frankenstein, are holding on obstinately to their investments despite consequence.
Dane Wigington, one of the champions of exposing geo-engineering, says, and I’m paraphrasing: Look at our skies! We have become so accustomed to silver grey skies we can hardly remember what a true blue sky looks like.
It saddens me that in these two excellent, ground-breaking documentaries, synthesized music is used as background music. Watching it, I find myself thinking: People used to be able to discern real music played on non-electric non-synthesized instruments from their impostors. People used to respect Beethoven as real music and pop music, which they probably listened to more, as real music, and looked at pop music as something entertaining, but also something else. Try and make an argument for that now, and prepare yourself for being called a high brow snob. You’ll be linked to the establishment and you’ll become a victim of reverse-snobbery. We ‘snobs’ are trying to lead the way out from the Underworld! Tragically, Beethoven has been officially rolled-over by way of pop culture.
I’ve had only a few very young clarinet students, but I’ve enjoyed and learned much from them. I teach all my students early on about the harmonic series and it’s always a joyous revelation for them. One student I had, he was in 5th grade at the time, was elated when I took him to the piano in the studio where I was teaching and showed how to experience the harmonic series.
And here’s a demo for those who don’t know what this is:
Below you see a whole note C twice below the bass clef – that is the fundamental – followed by the overtones (partials) of the fundamental. When you strike the low C, that note is heard predominantly, but the other notes are vibrating sym-
pathetically such that if you silently depress one of the piano keys of the overtones (partials), let’s say #7 (B·flat) and bang the fundamental, the strings of that partial will sound a B-flat quite audibly. The strings of the non-partials will not sound, they cannot vibrate sympathetically.
The strength of certain overtones determine the tone quality of musical instruments. For example, the higher overtones of the oboe are more pronounced. More importantly to a music composition is that a piano and other instruments start to almost come alive as the partials interweave and harmonize or disharmonize. Great composers know how to play with these phenomena organically. A musician and a listener can feel the totality of that in well-composed music. One can feel a piano’s sound board vibrating as though it’s a living, breathing, soul-bearing entity. It’s real.
Not so in the Korg-experience.
My student came back the next week and told me that tried to replicate this demonstration on his Korg keyboard. It didn’t work of course and he said: “I guess that’s not a real instrument”.
Ah, a glimmer of hope! He knew the Korg was providing a dumbed-down Underworld experience. It’s not real.
In Cocteau’s Orphée there is a scene early on when the Princess of Death takes Orphée and the dead body of Cégeste by limo, across the tracks, into the Underworld. The Princess revives his body as a confused Orphée looks on. The Princess takes Orphée into a room and turns on the radio. The famous flute solo from Gluck’s opera Orfeo plays out. Orphée demands that she shut off the radio. It hits a nerve. It’s the real mirror being held up to him. He cannot listen to it. How strange; how interesting!
“Sleeping or dreaming, the dreamer must accept his dreams,” says the Princess of Death. Orphée once again demands that it be shut off. “And I demand,” says the Princess, “that you do not touch that radio!” Death wins the argument. She wants him to sit with his discomfort, his cognitive dissonance.
The radio had been spewing out bons mots all along: “Le silence va plus vite à reculon” (Silence goes faster backwards), again holding him spellbound. Gluck’s flute solo hits him differently. It confuses him, it hits him in a place that he cannot bear. 20th c. Orfeus is breaking from his legendary past; he doesn’t see his ticket out of hell by way of music. He is no longer the Orpheus in Corot’s masterpiece or Gluck’s opera. He is asleep under the Princess’ spell, the Princess of Death.
There is happy ending in Cocteau’s trilogy, I hope that we will find its parallel: the Princess of Death decides to off herself and thereby allows Orphée to continue on an immortal poet. She had fallen in love Orphée and this was her sacrifice. She is sent into the ruins of the Underworld; Orphée and Eurydice return to life as it had been without any memory of their otherworldly saga.
The obvious parallel: we must go through the extremes of darkness — the grip of the Princess of Death — in order to re-emerge fully conscious and whole. Cocteau was spot on in depicting 20th century Orpheus in this regard. Collectively, I believe we have and the imperative is now to claim our consciousness, and, as in the Greek myth, Orpheus and Eurydice, emerge from darkness, more complete and more conscious.
There is a consciousness movement happening. As mentioned before, the noetic sciences have caught the attention of many, as we have seen a growing interest in Orientalism (much as in the Romantic era), paganism, meditation, ‘thinking outside the box’, neuro-linguistics, the list goes on; somehow the great music from the Baroque visionaries through the 19th c. Romantic visionaries and their benefactors in this time is not included in the equation.
For too long has great music been relegated to the fringes and for too long has the music world been content in its relegated isolation.
So then — where are the real stars?
— Neil Rynston