greetings from a cold & blustery new york city,
there are 4 themes i've explored for jonny's hauntological project: dreams, snow, shadows & night. lyrically & sonically, i touch on the overlap of sleep and waking life, coherence versus disintegration, the conflation of hope & despair, love & lust, the expression and withholding of desire. winter serves as the metaphorical, psychological & emotional backdrop. i tried to distill my impressions of winter's ephemeral essence in these poems & explore harmonies which evoke some sensed or intuited spiritual realm.
i've conceived of the first poem as a kind of 'dream' or 'opening', after which I/the narrator navigate my way through one particular december night and reflect on passing things: the secular and temporal, the familiar, the mystifying, the universal and eternal.
the 4 poemsongs address a relationship to or search for some universal understanding, moving through various phases of insight and (dis)illusion, oscillating between belief (in something greater, not necessarily Divine) and doubt, exploring the idea of omniscience (God-like in a way), and the idea of absence up against the fact that we are here and very present in this moment -
'love among the shadowed things' is a hybrid piece, a private excursion in sound, poetry, harmony, melody, performance, invisible cinema. much of the lyrics were composed extemporaneously on my iPhone during december of '09. in its final form i was aiming to capture the essence of the process of writing for this project which was on the one hand spontaneous & free-form and on the other reflective and measured.
my guiding inspiration is t.s. eliot's 'love song of j. alfred prufrock', edgar allen poe's 'the raven', allen ginsberg's 'howl' anne waldman's 'flame', & tom chivers' 'the terrors'
for those of you who've been following the exoticpylon, you can expect further explorations into those electrically charged edges of music, sound & poetry. for those new listeners, expect only the unexpected...
radio's new paradigm:
jonny mugwump & the exotic pylon -->>
Neoteric realms of philosophy & sound, sonic streams-of-subsciousness, future-past sound wave vestiges, music's sublime resonances... Jonny Mugwump and The Exotic Pylon is equal parts accident and alchemy, a weekly "palette cleanser", War-on-Terror's sonic aftershock: a reflection, a recitation, a sonic projection on the scrim of our collective imagination.
"All changed, changed utterly: A terrible beauty is born." With these words, Yeats, in 'Easter, 1916', brings to life and reifies our awful suspicion that sometimes what is terrible lives alongside what is beautiful. Violence, terror, tragedy, catastrophe, have left past poets intrepid but disconsolate. Post-modernists have taken refuge in frivolity as a way of escaping hopelessness, but we are seeing the burgeoning of a new era of artists, museum goers and radio listeners who have begun to reject Mass Media's voracious maw for feel-good art and music.
"I think that it's time for a new adult art." Donald Kuspit
A byproduct of the commodification of music has been its categorization. The silent edict is: if it doesn't fit, it doesn't fit in. This has led to a whittling down of choices for the consumer, a kind of creative censorship. What's left is the lowest common denominator, a homogeneity of sound which for the artist, hungry for newness and nuance, is at once fettering and freeing.
Since the forbidden cannot be suppressed - lessons learned from Storyville, Prohibition, the Recording Ban of the 1940s, and History's banned books - these constraints have historically been not a bane, but a boon for artists who are armed with the knowledge that what is hidden is, like all mysterious things, the most seductive, and inso being, the most desired.
"A number of artists today set out to create no more artworks. Instead they want to get out of the museum, and provoke modifications of the space of everyday life, giving rise to new forms of relations." Jacques Ranciere, ' Aesthetic Separation, Aesthetic Community: Scenes from the Aesthetic Regime of Art'
The Exotic Pylon takes refuge in the hybridity of contemporary experience, foraging Art, Philosophy & Radio history for context while forging a new sonic language. Beyond playing music, Mugwump is proposing a new perspective on the world, one that denies popular culture's nullifying doctrine of categorization. One listen to his show and you'll be jarred into the recollection that music is an Art that has the capacity to be sublime as well as subversive, and enlighten as well as entertain.
Like love and desire, the term 'sublime' refers to a feeling which by its nature cannot be defined; it is felt in the half-light, in the moonlight, both fearful and beautiful, it moves imperceptibly toward some intuited infinity, away from the known, part of a hidden continuum that with each generation keeps tuning in to a new auricular frequency.
Vanessa Daou 2009