The lyrics come from an ancient Shiite text, The Mother of Books which has a very gnostic character, this passage talks about the mystical nature of the 7 angels and 12 dimensions of manifestation. These seven and twelve are reflected down into the composition of the “astral body” of the human being.
For this I recorded my oud along with analog synth and drum machine plus my tonal plexus which enables me to work with 72 tet tunings when plugged into the iPad software synths like the Moog modular emulation.
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-garde.
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.