Power of the Sphinx
The Power of the Sphinx, from a tradition so old we don’t know how old really. These scales stretch back into the depths of time, some of this music literally goes back thousands of years. This tune is brand new, but based upon a very ancient scale. The Power of the Sphinx relates to instrumental music in that the instrument while it makes a sound, is a sound designed to engage the mind in a state of silence, and Silence is one of the most powerful mysteries of the Sphinx.
Who was the voice in Liber AL? Who were they who spoke as “We” in the Holy Koran? What is Ma’at? What is Nirvana? Who bade humanity the command ‘Man, Woman, Know Thyself’? This song is dedicated to that mystery.
Shams93 is the brainchild of composer/performer Brian Redfern. Brian graduated from CalArts in 1998, having studied composition with Nyoman Wenten, Kobla Ladzepko and Wadada Leo Smith. In 2005 Brian switched from guitar to the ancient middle eastern instrument, the oud, studying with virtuoso Yuval Ron.
Previously Brian had been the guitarist for Los Hermanos de Jazz who had opened up for bands such as the Stone Temple Pilots and performed sessions for Death Row Records, back in the wild and crazy early 1990s. Back then he also created a project called “Aleister’s Bastards” inspired by the work 777 by Aleister Crowley. However at the time, he had no idea he lived right down the street from the famous occult author, Lon Milo DuQuette.
Shams93 runs the gamut from purely acoustic solo oud to electronic music and live electric performance. Brian plays both acoustic and electric oud and uses the ancient system of “Maqam music” from the middle east to compose new material based on ancient patterns.
He is greatly inspired by recent John Zorn projects such as the Crowley String quartet, which explore occult concepts with instrumental music inspired by western classical and avant guard.
Besides having earned an MFA from CalArts Brian is an initiated Freemason, 3○, 32○,Thelemite and self-initiated Sufi/Ishmaeli. He’s also a 3○ in the OTO and a probationer of the A∴A∴, so occult practice and meditation are massive influences on the music of Shams93.
The full track list for this Summer 2012 anthology album consists of 23 tracks, including the bonus download, and over 3 hours of music:
Part I — Voice of the Sun
- Eyes of Wood – The Challenge 04:11
- The Transmutations – Highgoat Ponds 04:10
- Paranoia Department – Invocation 07:00
- Black Church – Dakota 02:15
- Shadowcaster – The Drowning 05:03
- Galen Wade – Two Moons 03:52
- Ophwurld – All Creatures 10:36
- Shams93 – Power of the Sphinx 02:57
- December Luna – The Golden Rule (Lo-Fi Mix) 03:13
- Ralph Buckley – Mary Magdalene 04:42
- Johann Heyss – A voz do falcão 03:56
- Worms of the Earth – Luciferian Sabbat 06:57
- (The Hermetic Order of the) Al Qaeda – Call of the 30th Aethyr 10:04
- Mahatma Dalí – Dignitas Supremus 05:13
Part II — Vision of the Moon
- Exomène – Migration 03:56
- Zavier Krall – Grievance 1 & 2 14:58
- StrykninY – Outro into 07:46
- i AM esper – Swept Beneath The Black Waters Part 3 12:48
- Michael Idehall – Belzebuth (Hermetic Library Mix) 12:31
- Astral Bloodletter – When The Sun Speaks 09:20
- PhiMinD – Choronzon 02:34
- Apollon – The Angel falls. Begin. 09:16
Bonus Track — Silence of the Stars
- Kim Cascone – Alchemisphere One 34:02
The Hermetic Library at Hermetic.com has an overall vision of Archiving, Engaging and Encouraging the living Western Esoteric Tradition. I started the benefit anthology project to help promote newer works in the Western Esoteric Tradition to the audience of the Hermetic Library and beyond. The anthology project also further raises awareness about the corpus and culture of magick and ritual.
This Summer 2012 issue of from the anthology project is the fourth release but also the penultimate album in the first full cycle of seasons for the anthology project. Magick, Music and Ritual 4 brings together over 3 hours of music which span 2 physical CDs plus a bonus track for digital downloads.
I’ve given somewhat poetical names to the several parts of this issue based on how each part of the overall playlist felt to me as I was putting it together. The first part of this issue seems to me carries the feeling of Summer during the day, that gives the gift of the Voice of the Sun. The second part seems like a darker journey reminiscent of the Summer at night, offering a Vision of the Moon. The bonus track is a binaural meditation that could be taken as that liminality in the very dark before the light returns when consciousness is altered, a dream time when is heard the Silence of the Stars. These three parts are each distinct, in that they have each a character of their own, but they also participate in a complete and contiguous playlist.
The artists who have participated on this anthology album span continents, languages, countries, and regions. There are a variety of ages, experience levels, styles here as well. Some artists have participated before on anthology albums or in the Hermetic Library sound pool, while some have not been heard before in either.
The ongoing visual theme of the anthology covers has past the bright promise of Spring, represented in the previous, and now smolders in the crazy-making heat of Summer. The Sun has conquered the sky and this brings the leisurely joy of wealth, the ecstatic exertion of work and also the weary climax of both.
Summer to me is a union of many opposites that transcends the abyss of differences. This issue of the anthology seems to be an exploration of that idea and feeling.
I encourage you to check out the Hermetic Library at Hermetic.com, if you aren’t already familiar with it, as that’s the reason this project exists and may also offer inspiration to you. The site was started in 1996 and has ever since consistently been an extremely popular resource for students and researchers interested in the Western Esoteric Tradition. You may also wish to check out other posts at the Hermetic Library blog and the Twitter and Facebook reflections to see how the library engages people in a living Western Esoteric Tradition.
Please join the Hermetic Library in promoting these artists who have contributed their work to this benefit anthology album project. All proceeds from album sales will support the library to help cover hosting costs and other expenses like materials acquisitions.