Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Random Notes on Liturgy’s Renihilation


Revent: The songs sound like something happening/about to happen. Song is typically the sound of its own happening, the self-absorbing of its said into its saying. But these songs sound like something mediating or fitfully flipping back and forth between the sound of a beautiful-terrifying objective happening and an expression that would make such an event happening by sounding like it. This would be a form of unimaginable sonic sympathetic magic, an imitation of the unforeseeable, like the first detonation of a new order of bomb, not by inventing it, but via the performance of its effect. This corresponds to the renihilation/overcoming theme, but I want to stick with the feeling, let it stay first, in keeping with this very process, understanding effect as preceeding and ‘causing’ cause. Such production of event by its sound is analogous to the apophatic business of saying yes by staying within the no. “A negation of a negation is the most pure and full affirmation” (Eckhart). I.e. no is the sound of the unsayable yes. Cf. aesthetics of inevitability.

Rattle: The music works like a rattle, a device whose shamanistic relation to Black Metal I wish Valter at Surreal Documents would explicate. The rattle, after all, is the tool par excellence for making happen what you cannot make happen, what only happens on its own. Rain, grace, etc. The modulated percussive speeding up and slowing down is very rattle like and corresponds as well to body-rhythms of weeping and ecstasy, which proceed through fits of variating intensities. Life-rattle, the faster agressive inversion of the death-rattle (listen to here), the convex to its concave. More specifically, the songs make me lift and shake my hands in the air like rattles in a way that seems kind of tarantellic and pentecostal. And is he screaming in tongues? Maybe this is black metal pentecost. Will keep eyes peeled for tongues of fire. Note a proportional absence of gothic tropes, white Helvetica font, and what it means to write "Liturgy" in it (as opposed to this). I imagine white Cistercian or Carthusian robes. A liturgy without priests, saying the psalms alone at 4 am on a cold mo(u)rning.

Reclipse: Hunter Hunt-Hendrix comments on the cover: "The album art is supposed to represent transcendence, which for us means an ecstatic encounter with the present; a violent, apocalyptic, cosmic joy. And a shattering of ego. But then there's also a certain impossibility of that encounter, like a withdrawing horizon" (Stosuy interview). The beauty of it is that it the light is at once being eclipsed and re-revealed, i.e. reclipsed, something both and neither and neither both nor neither. Or a solar flare on the black sun? In which case an intensity of nigredo, not the beginning of the cauda pavonis (note rose tint though) signaling the imminence of the dawning of albedo, but an alchemist-consoling indication that blackening is well underway.

5 comments:

amarilla said...

"reclipsed, something both and neither and neither both nor neither'

Sounds like a very economical summation of the tetralemma. By the way, can you tell me what's going on with Nagarjuna's halo-nagas? One day I'd love to hear more of what is said to have been revealed to him underwater.

(word verificaiton: misms)

Nicola Masciandaro said...

Tetralemma! Very happy to learn this term and can't wait to name something dear to me after it.

Wish I could think of a clarification of Nagarjuna's serpent halo. But maybe that is an answer, *clarification*, the image of bringing the Nagas' wisdom to light.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Valter, what happened to Valter?

Anonymous said...

Except it's not Helvetica, but Arial.

Nicola Masciandaro said...

Indeed, as I have since learned. Good eyes! (or good information) though I see no ideological difference. But perhaps that is precisely the point: Arial as American reinvention of lordless Swiss Eidgenossenschaft?