the artist journeys along a mellow metronomic road, a compass echoes from the lips of alchemy’s chalice, as an emerald turntable beckons sonic guidance to its mystic maestro
… the angel and muse accompany in tune, hovering just beyond both shoulders … this voyage defines, in rhythm and rhyme, a creator’s indelible signature on the eternal world soul … each step a stitch, each stride a seam, weaving in its immediate infinite wake – by way of soundscape – cosmic webs and terrene tapestries … in search of that omnipresent phantom, that fugitive vanguard: the duende; every true artist’s root, revealed in its own reflection, just beyond proximal reach … this visceral force, the vestigial rose — the pulse, plinth, and platter petals; the tonearm stem; the probing needle’s thorn … an emerald turntable beckons sonic guidance from the pnuema of its mystic maestra, the compass echoes to the lips of alchemy’s chalice … emptiness fulfilled in the scope of kenosis …
as above, so below; and so below, beneath the backstory of theory and play, a makeshift soundtrack, a motley score, a choral schema galvanized, in sonorous search of duende …
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Longing for air and sunlight, I was so bored I used to feel as though I was covered in fine ash, on the point of changing into peppery sneezes.
For every artist … every step that he climbs in the tower of his perfection is at the expense of the struggle that he undergoes with his duende, not with an angel, as is often said, nor with his Muse. This is a precise and fundamental distinction at the root of their work.
The angel guides and grants, like St. Raphael: defends and spares, like St. Michael: proclaims and forewarns, like St. Gabriel. The angel dazzles, but flies over a man’s head, high above, shedding its grace, and the man realises his work, or his charm, or his dance effortlessly … The angel on the road to Damascus, and that which entered through the cracks in the little balcony at Assisi … create order, and there is no way to oppose their light, since they beat their wings of steel in an atmosphere of predestination.
The Muse dictates, and occasionally prompts … distant and so tired (I’ve seen her twice) that you’d think her heart half marble. Muse poets hear voices and don’t know where they’re from, but they’re from the Muse who inspires them and sometimes makes her meal of them … The Muse stirs the intellect, bringing a landscape of columns and an illusory taste of laurel, and intellect is often poetry’s enemy, since it limits too much, since it lifts the poet into the bondage of aristocratic fineness, where he forgets that he might be eaten.
Angel and Muse come from outside us: the angel brings light, the Muse form (Hesiod learnt from her). Golden bread or fold of tunic, it is her norm that the poet receives in his laurel grove.
The true struggle is with the duende. The roads where one searches for God are known, whether by the barbaric way of the hermit or the subtle one of the mystic: with a tower, like St. Teresa, or by the three paths of St. John of the Cross. And though we may have to cry out, in Isaiah’s voice: ‘Truly you are a hidden God,’ finally, in the end, God sends his primal thorns of fire to those who seek Him.
Seeking the duende, there is neither map nor discipline.
The arrival of the duende presupposes a radical change to all the old kinds of form, brings totally unknown and fresh sensations, with the qualities of a newly created rose, miraculous, generating an almost religious enthusiasm.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I have raised three arches and with clumsy hands placed within them the Muse, the angel and the duende.
The duende…. Where is the duende? Through the empty archway a wind of the spirit enters, blowing insistently over the heads of the dead, in search of new landscapes and unknown accents: a wind with the odour of a child’s saliva, crushed grass, and medusa’s veil, announcing the endless baptism of freshly created things.
— Frederico García Lorca, “Play and Theory of the Duende”
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Thievery Corporation — The Cosmic Game
(The Cosmic Game/ 2005)
Róisín Murphy— Ramalama (Bang Bang)
(Ruby Blue/ 2009)
Basement Jaxx — Scars ft. Kelis, Meleka & Chipmunk
Kenna — Chains
(Land 2 Air Chronicles I/ 2011)
Lupe Fiasco — Gold Watch
(Lupe Fiasco’s The Cool/ 2007)
Janelle Monáe — Dance or Die ft. Saul Williams
(The ArchAndroid/ 2010)
The Black Ghosts — Tears from a Gun
(Tears from a Gun – Single/ 2007)
How To Destroy Angels — Fur Lined
(How To Destroy Angels EP/ 2010)
Animal Collective — Leaf House
(Sung Tongs/ 2004)
Britney Spears — Mona Lisa
(Live from KIIS-FM/ 2004)
Lauryn Hill — Mr. Intentional
(MTV Unplugged No. 2.0/ 2001, 2002)
Lupe Fiasco — Fighters ft. Matthew Santos
(Lupe Fiasco’s The Cool/ 2007)
Sound Tribe Sector 9 — Equinox
(Seasons 01/ 2002)
Sound Tribe Sector 9 — otherwise formless
(offered schematics suggesting peace/ 2000)
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Personified amalgam of 1987, Baltimore, Atlanta, DC, Manhattan, London, Los Angeles and American pop culture. Language artist within a capacity, drummer by passion, Pop savant by preordination, Media Master by dictate of scholastic artisans and scientists, and culture scribe by necessity. I freelance life.