hanging my mind on music to enter the trance of painting
At the time I was listening to Julian Lynch’s Mare. I’d met Julian for the first time at Grandma’s House, a house venue run in downtown Lubbock by some boys in a psychedelic alt-rock group called Coquelicot. Julian was a gentle presence in the house- a wide-eyed man with a softness to his beard and his clothing, in a palette of ecru and taupe cotton with a thick wool sweater- and he was accompanied by a lovely woman, his steady girlfriend. I perched my teeny teenage butt on a corner of the couch and fidgeted idly with the unravelling fringe of the upholstery, while examining him closely out of the corner of my eye.
4 years later, I keyed up Mare and brought it to the studio.
The album is expansive and pure. It has the spiritual vastness of a raga, with the noodly quality of a Mac Demarco B-sides or an idle Dustin Wong interlude. Even its silence is dense with feeling- the mellow melancholia of the solo traveller, reflecting on where they’ve been, where they’re going. Mare swings, like the hips of a mare- not with the pistonlike motion of a gallop or the staccato of a trot, but with the easy sway of a mare walking. Despite getting a Pitchfork review upon release, it’s tragically no longer for sale on iTunes, and you might have to ask Julian personally for a copy. You can find him on Instagram, taking photos of sidewalk cracks.
hanging everything up
is the first part of my studio ritual. I hang up my coat, my shirt, my pants, and I put on leggings and a t-shirt. I hang up my bag. I hang up my hang ups.
Then I put on music, and I hang my mind on it.
It feels very specific, and as normal a part of my physical routine as hanging up my bag. Music has a forward velocity, and once I hang my mind on the music, it keeps moving in time with my body and spirit, present yet occupied.
My body is still, kneeling before the canvas,
my mind is keeping time with the motion of the music,
and my spirit is in color.
Once my mind is in the space of music, it opens, and perceives completely the beauty of the place it has entered, communing and achieving a mellow and complete connaissance with the music, apprehending the emotional space and intentionality of the musician who created it in a way that is beyond friendship, beyond knowledge; it is a form of spiritual communion and apprehension which I feel verges on… not clairvoyance, but a present form of clairvoyance- an extrasensory perception of one’s full emotional self- which in itself can become near-clairvoyant in that it is a complete apprehension of the self that has created this work, and their intentionality in their past and present states of being, which can in turn paint a very complete picture of an other person’s self-concept, the poetic situatedness of them so to speak, their worldview, their emotional subjectivity.
Poetic situatedness I feel, is an image of one’s form of being-
This could be their placement within a narrative; their connection to animistic spirits or extrasensory influences, entanglements with other forms of life and other stories, the liquidity, solidity, or even plasmatic state of their spirit, their point of development within a Jungian quest-path,
for example, Debussy- his placement as an Impressionst within the trajectory of musical history, apprehending the gentle ecstasy of light on water through his geographic context and relationship to Impressionistic painting, the liquidity of his chords and the sort of melancholic acceptance of the act of creation-
or in the case of Jim Morrison, his dualistic self-concept as simultaneously devil / angel, Lizard King and rockstar martyr, his entanglements with the animistic spirit of the highway cobra and his desire to apprehend Poetry with a capital p, his melancholic non-acceptance of rock-as-rock - -
The most intensely present-clairvoyant connaissance I have had on the musical plane is with Julianna Barwick, who I love.
Julianna Barwick’s The Magic Place:
Keep Up the Good Work
The Magic Place
Bob In Your Gait