Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Sheltering Sky

Soon as it got light on the morning of December 29 I grabbed a bottle of water and walked east for one hour into the Sahara desert.  Started from a unique spot: where the expansive North African desert peaks into the Atlantic ocean.  The red Moroccan flags marking the entrance to our camp were barely visible in the distance.  Generated a Star Ruby, stars reaching from the ground to the sky.  Greeted the morning sun as it rose in the east, a blazing yelloworange orb breaking through the horizon to ignite this day.

Reflected on an extraordinary adventure.  A group voyage out of ordinary time into all kinds of spaces intersecting unseen dimensions.  Alternate realities, parallel worlds that produce tangible effects. A film and sound recording expedition through territories constantly unknown until the moment you find yourself in them.  Only then do they become a little bit known ... and  recorded; to be explored further via multiple playbacks, recreations of moments of time weaved together in a tapestry of storytelling. This expedition required spontaneous action and reaction.  Extemporaneous magick.  Quick thinking, which seems quickest when not thinking but running off of the lightning gnosis of intuition.   Music, magic, mayhem, madness, m'allems and masters.  A film with vision, recording visions, but as yet no name.  Still empty yet full of chaos and possibility... like the desert.  Like where the desert meets the ocean.

Reflecting on a Star Ruby, a precious stone of incredible radiance I discovered at the house of the lila in Tangier.  The 600 or so year old house on the hill of the Kasbah near the lookout to Gilbralter.  Once the home of the Sultan's harem, later the Sultan's main crib.  More recently, the site where the Master Musicians of Jajouka recorded live with the Rolling Stones in 1988 or '89.  Tennessee Williams had an apartment right next door.

Recalling the inherent goodness of people who work very hard for a common cause and intent.    Capturing, processing, and eventually communicating the images, sounds, majik and extreme beauty found in these gateways to the other side in this special part of the world, collectively known as Morocco.  God bless the crew. Chokrame Morocco.

You can not separate the music from the people, place, time, environment, or ritual functions.  Not the music we recorded for this no name film.  It is said that the act of observation changes what is observed.  Watching music in Morocco profoundly changes the people doing the observing, those who are attentive and awake to it.  Ride the loa with gnawa in Essaouria and don't look back. 

Contemplating Melamet, the Sufi path of blame.  Sometimes called the profession of blame.  Blame gets intentionally received providing energy for transmutation.  Under certain conditions it's a constant source of lead fueling the alchemical alembic to transform into 'what thou wilt.'  Aleister Crowley is considered to have been Melamet.  As someone working in his lineage, it seems I am sometimes privileged to reliably receive this energy without intending it.  I'll use anything I can get my hands on to get through the night.

Paul Bowles called the Sahara desert experience a "baptism of solitude." Burroughs wrote in The Western Lands:" nothing here now but the recordings ...they are as radioactive as an old joke."  High signal to noise ratio radio active broadcasting multiple forms of the most ancient joke, how to make God laugh.  The story unfolds here over the next several days, weeks, years, centuries.

On the morning of December 29th I walked into the desert for one hour ... and never came back.




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