The Old Man of the Mountain
William S Burroughs said Hassan I Sabbah was the only spiritual leader with anything to say to the Space Age. Burroughs unfortunately didn’t delve into Crowley, we can only imagine what would have happened if Burroughs had delved into Crowley and Kenneth Grant. But the Old Man of the Mountain is the one spiritual leader from the “old Aeon” who had the key message that still remains vital.
In the age of VR it becomes apparent that nothing is real and everything is permitted. Even more so in the world of virtual reality because you could engage in mortal combat and both players walk away without a scratch.
This piece is a homage to the spirit of Hassan I Sabah reflecting his quiet and contemplative side, the fount of wisdom of Alchemy and the secrets he took with him to his grave, Hassan I Sabah not as the father of terrorism but rather the father of virtual reality.
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.