as though i didn't know already that the source of life is an absolute mystery
von sam ashley

mit 'blue' gene tyranny, marina thies und cécile bouchier
-- kubus -- sa 25. feb. 2006 -- 20:30 h

omen in der komposition.

'reading omens means something like the projection of a question onto a screen, to objectify the answers that come back. beyond that the process can probably never be explained, since omens occur whenever one notices that the universe can't be explained. the screen can be any action or event. one could say that omens are experiences that are metaphors for another experience. this is interesting because 'reality' is such a metaphor, a dream about the true nature of the universe.' [sam ashley]

zwei musiker spielen miteinander ohne sich zu hören. der abend beginnt mit einer vokalperformance von sam ashley im erdgeschoss des podewils'schen palais. gleichzeitig spielt blue gene tyranny, einer der wichtigsten new yorker experimentalmusiker, drei stockwerke über ihm am flügel. live video ist die einzige materielle verbindung zwischen ihnen. das video hilft beim aufbau einer beziehung, überträgt aber keine hinweise auf die gespielte musik. nach einer kurzen pause ist das ergebnis der gemeinsamen performance zu erleben: die aufgenommenen soundspuren werden zusammengeführt, während die videoaufnahmen erstmals fürs publikum sichtbar sind. ist die entstehende musik zufällig oder ergebnis einer mentalen übereinstimmung der künstler?

like a fish clinging to water

about 24 years ago i was infatuated. i was infatuated with the dream of a 'wild man of borneo' life, hanging around in hammocks with people exclusively devoted to mysticism. since they didn't exist, the people i was chasing were kept out of reach by my desire. instead i had another adventure, coincidentally related to the lesson i was learning, an omen.

i had gone to amazonas. after a short time in a small colombian village on the amazon river i went by boat to iquitos peru.

in amazonas i had been through a lot of military checkpoints. and in the towns teenage soldiers carrying machine guns offended my sensibilities (the usa is like this now, but that's another story). in protest i took secret spy photographs: pictures of military things, especially when photographing was forbidden. after a few weeks i had gone pretty far into this project, and had even snuck onto a military airbase to take secret spy photographs of army airplanes. that time i had gotten away, but i had almost been caught.

dumbly, i went further, and tried to photograph at a state-owned oil drilling field located some distance from iquitos. a friend from iquitos had accompanied me. he and i had separated, and he was arrested. the army had also captured my camera -- and the pictures from the military airbase were still on the half exposed roll. i saw troops of soldiers with lights and rifles, looking for me. the government sent the pip (high level federal police, like the american fbi) after me.

while i was being chased by the 'death squad' i tried to find a way to help my friend get free, and to find a way to escape from peru. after many funny experiences i escaped to bolivia, and my friend was set free, unharmed. although he was i think only around 19 or 20 years old the pip had held him for 6 days and had not even informed his parents. at that time peru had a worse record for 'disappearances' than any other latin american nation.

at the climax of this adventure i was in the lima airport in line to get on the plane to bolivia. i realized that a military person was checking everybody's passport against a list of names. it could only have been a list of people they wanted to arrest. i got out of the line and asked the spirits. the answer was that i would go through. i went back in line, willing to get through. for one or two people in front of me, plus me, and one or two people behind me the soldier was too lazy to check, and just waived us through. or he decided, by some feeling, that we were not suspects wanted by the peruvian government.

this experience related to one i had had many years earlier, in which i had escaped from a kidnapping rapist. that time it was clear that i had escaped by luck. but the peruvian moment was an important step in shamanic learning for me, since this time the good luck had also been created shamanically.

the text material i perform in this piece will be derived from this story.

sam ashley

sam ashley hat sein leben der entwicklung eines experimentellen, nicht-traditionellen mystizismus gewidmet und setzt diesen seit über 30 jahren in musik und klangkunst ein. charakteristisch für sam ashleys arbeiten ist der einsatz von trance, oft in form von authentischer 'spirit possession' oder 'besessenheit'. inhaltlich vorherrschend sind glück, zufall und halluzination. sam ashley ist allein oder gemeinschaftlich innerhalb der usa und kanada, west- und osteuropa, in verschiedenen städten japans sowie in indonesien und kuba aufgetreten.

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