Friday, July 24, 2015

jazzorcise me : wearing thin

I've been meaning to write about this for a while, but I'm nothing if not....whatever the opposite of prolific is....

Somewhat recently, late spring....
Struggling with some topos theory concepts while simultaneously wondering why jazz/improvisation seems to be the common thread linking most of those I see talking about these concepts, I decide to take an afternoon experimental. At this stage I'm criminally underinformed and uneducated about nearly everything jazz is could be was or will be...a complete novice. After scrambling around youtube listening to scraps and seconds and scrapings from several records by names I knew as an outsider, Coltrane Davis Monk, but an album title caught my eye. I plug in Mingus' appropriately black metal-sounding "The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady" and plug myself into roughly 200 µg of LSD.

[[the initial wash, the peak, was detailed in the mother/mary bit a few posts back. an ego-dissolution that coincided *perfectly* with a thunderclap and a downpour. when the peak collapsed into the decay stage, i pressed play and lied back down, my problems with this strange musical math in a sober state very much on my mind.]]

Upon the first notes, my arm hair stood on end and I could feel the shape of every instrument individually squirrelling and rumbling around various points of my body. I've felt structure in music, plenty of times, I've even written about drugs and the shape of music, but always in a wondering, speculative fashion. Wondering how much was just in the head, always subjective etc. I've watched music happen visually on many drugs, but this was razor sharp definition compared to large blobs of sound coming out of other bands and musicians. This had definition in a such a way that it was difficult not to think it as a technical upgrade to the technology of music, definition in such a way that I could recognize the math involved, could recognize the accuracy of my perception. It became no struggle at all to understand why it is a challenging genre to try and take hold of out beyond the muzaks and the kenny g's...I could feel the waveform of every musical structure and flow as separate strands and strings and curves, and I could feel the movement between perception and recognition, the gaps as strongly as the sounds. I could see how multiple instruments interlocked and constructed scaffolding for other instruments; how the group swelled and breathed as a unit, a complex system of individual complex systems working toward a unified projection. I felt a hundred spidery fingers, one for every frequency, cascade and crawl around on my cortex. By focusing on a single instrument I could mute the feeling of every other sound, singling out each strand individually from the rest, singling out the pathways that particular strand of energy took through my brain. After playing in this feeling for a little while, I mentally backed off from this awed analysing, relaxed my thinking and simply listened to the morphing musicality as a whole.

I could feel it bending my thoughtwave toward it. The spidery fingers were massaging my mind, attempting to build speed toward nonlinearity, toward a concrescence that crescendos into an awareness that this band is operating seamlessly as a single brain focused on a thing. Or on nothing? That the topology of this album seemed structurally identical to the topology of a single brain pacing around a structure that it is trying to understand. A brain praying to a structure it is trying to understand? A brain preying on a structure it is trying to understand?

I'm hearing myself in this album.
I'm hearing my brain work upon this album.
My perception split perfectly in two.
I have a sort of default, standard hexagonal latticing framework(?) for multi-perception, I've noticed, that occurs when my perception is split into multiples during psych trials and spellcastings, but this was the first time I'd ever witnessed it simply doubling. Perfectly doubling. A single hexagonal cell of unified perception mirrored itself dimensionally, somehow from the inside out, involuting toroidally and I saw myself across the room pacing around the stereo, lost in thought. Pacing around the structure it is trying to understand. I saw myself, and somehow instinctively knew it was a faded copy of myself from slightly earlier in time, and my brain raced past my rational mechanism into the conclusion that I was watching my ghost, and that I had died.

As this emotion overwhelmed rationality with an elegant precision, I started crying. The crying came out like a bolt with a decidedly un-sorrowful feeling, however - the feeling of extraordinary comfort, followed by a surge of flaming bliss. The thought that held my mind in its jaws before had resembled "if only I had myself to talk to, I wouldn't be lonely" was scorched away by the flash and heat of "I ALWAYS have myself to talk to, how could I ever be lonely?" and a warm blanket closed over me as I watched my spectre dance around the room to this beautiful record.

I accepted being dead forever, and suddenly knew the truth, that the structure around which I pray/pace is a mirror image of my own Death.

"A psilocybin mushroom experience in which I had perceived memories laid out before me contained in a seemingly infinite array of mirrors, mirrors that also contained the seeds of future choices, suddenly made sense. A labyrinthine reflexivity, an asynchronous reflection of every possible self. Sitting alone in the middle of the night watching an old man drown in a mirror of his regrets, my vision went geomorphic and I began to weep. Self-reflection was enveloped by void-thoughts and shattered across a broken-mirrored wall. I saw my Death pirouetting in the reflective surface before I reflexively shook my head and snapped out of it in time for the credits to roll."  
Reflections on a Hyperprophet - J. Hypheresis

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