Those experiences of mine which, when stitched together, can be called "the Awakening" began in my late teenage years. These events were basically internal in nature, occuring almost entirely within the landscape of my psyche. The fact that they were quite subtle in nature makes the task of describing them adequately in words rather difficult. This in itself is a significant point, because the very obscurity of these experiences and the shying away of their memory from the scrutiny of the intellect acted as points of great impetus to becoming a musician and an artist, where a fine subtlety of expression was possible.
Just as a small seed has the potential of growing into a tall tree, so can a tiny happenstance, an unusual feeling or a slight shift in consciousness possess the potential to initiate a whole new domain of inner exploration. It can be of great benefit to seek out and to become aware of these seeds of Becoming, so that they are given the proper attention, nurturing, and intrigued appreciation. In general, there is at least the slight pull of enigma that accompanies such experiences, a feeling of mystery which seems to beckon one with a hidden promise, like standing before a tunnel with a discernable light shining through at the other end.
I will describe the first event to the best of my ability. I was living with my family in a small city in California named Bakersfield, which seemed to epitomize subarbian living. The struggle to escape the boredom and monotony of my surroundings was almost constant and the imagination was continuously challenged to work with a stale and destitute environment.
I had come across an office building whose walls were all glass, situated amongst the usual drab-looking suburbian commercial centers. And when I skewed my mind in a certain manner, the feeling of being in a science fiction movie was beckonned to trickle in. Repeated visits to this secret garden proved to empower the office building and its surrounding parking lot so that the location felt like a time-warp zone.
One day, I invited my friends to witness this curious internal adventure. While lost in discussion with one of them, I suddenly noticed that the others had walked over to the edge of the parking lot and were proceeding to cross the threshold to the other side. For a split second, a portion of my being literally panicked at the possibility that they were about to exit the special dimension and when they did indeed walk to the other side, I awoke to the realization of how far my psyche had travelled into this mysterious realm.
When I quickly shifted back to reality, it was the stark contrast in states of mind which highlighted the unusual nature of the mysterious state. Like the sudden illumination of an inner metropolis, I became aware of a quality of inner richness and profoundity that I had never before experienced and this became a point of obsession for many months to come. Yet, the subtlety of the experience, like that of a shadow shifting, made it impossible to communicate the experience to anyone, and I was left with the burden of a secret too profound to keep, but too obscure to share.
Subsequent visits to that location did not produce anywhere near the same rich quality of effect, so life forced me to be patient in my exploration. Perhaps a year or so later, I was playing the piano improvisationally when my mood gradually became more and more elevated. I began to worship the sound of the piano, to travel deep into its timber. The tune started becoming simpler and less melodic and I was led to play the same note up and down five octaves. The simplicity of the tune, and the wholesomeness of its simplicity, led my being into a reservoir of calm. I was carried to a new mode of serene perception, so that when I stopped playing and looked at the world about me, that world which was once familiar and mundane had transformed into a magical kingdom. Everything was still in its place, no object in particular was different, but the world now glowed with life, in a way that held me inseparable from it.
That music was capable of transforming me into such a higher state of mind left me breathless with excitement, and opened before me a grand path of creative exploration for many years to come. It was a path of devotion, a devotion not only to seek new states of mind, but, by recording music, to leave behind trails to higher states of consciousness through which the listener can also travel.
My first musical project was in a way a study, or a sonic essay, of different styles of music and their interrelationships. I was loosely influenced by Nietzche's writings at the time and I perceived each particular score of music in relation to where it stood between two opposing polarities: Apollonian vs. Dionysian.
The Apollonian style catered mostly to the intellect, such as what a catchy tune did. This style saturated the popular music scene because it moved the listener to tap their foot and whistle the melody. Other more sophisticated Apollonian music included many jazz and classical compositions that were highly complex in nature. This style when polarized to the extreme titillated and thrilled but left one unmoved deep inside.
The Dionysian polarized style, on the other hand, did not specifically cater to the appreciation of the conscious self and attempted to move the listener either at the emotional level or at a level that plumbs further into the depths of feeling and the unconscious; this style of music at one extreme tended to be emotionally manipulative, such as soundtracks for movies or music genres that were based on specific attitudes like punk or disco. Or, at the other extreme, this style was abstract and subtle in nature whose height of purpose was to move one at the spiritual level, to serve as a form of shuttle in the sense of a psychological vehicle with which consciousness could travel to unchartered territory. This was the style that was most suitable to express the subtle yet profound nature of my internal experiences, but I fully knew that such a style did not resonate with most listeners and so there had to be an oscillation between the different polarities so that the listener could find an entry point to the appreciation of the Dionysian spiritual.
Without being consciously aware of it during the creative process, the resulting songs and their arrangement ended up also illuminating patterns of psychological movement that I was to experience repeatedly throughout the upcoming years, serving as the leitmotifs of my personal development.
The first song off Ariadne's Triangle begins as a combination of the Apollonian style and the emotional Dionysian. It is quite typical for me to start a collection of my music in this manner since it helps to provide an effective entry point for the common audience; the conscious self must be satisfied enough to enter the groove and the emotions should be engaged as well. The first song is a complex tune with a dark mood that possesses the thrill of a drama, the telling of a struggle that sparks the drive to explore. Midway into the second song is when the style shifts into the Dynosian spiritual all of a sudden with the effect of being released from the monotonous repition of the beat into a vague sea of strings, like diving underwater to seek out another world. At first, the tune is ambiguous and shifty, almost without purpose. Over time, a tension builds, a struggle seems to take place and then a complicated interplay of sounds provides the backdrop to a sonic interpretation of enlightenment, a brief upshoot into ecstacy, after which a simple melody with a simple beat playfully unfolds until the song ends.
The third song continues in the Dionysian mode but without the support and inertia of the ecstacy experience. The mood is quite heavy and eventually turns into an endlessly sinking whirlpool of emotion, somewhat profound but futile in its efforts to reach the heights such as with the transcendance of the tension in song 2. This is typical of the aftermath of an enlightenment experience. An individual wishes to prolong the experience beyond its due, and ends up simply falling into a vague blackhole of stagnation. The third song ends with a voice that suddenly says "Wake up" and song number four takes off in its full Apollonian glory, with aggressive "wake up" drums and heavy guitars, a virtual havanna for the conscious mind after the seemingly endless drudgery through aimless introspective wandering.
Song number five plays the same complicated Apollonian tune as the first song but this time without the drama. The tune repeats itself with a cool, reserved and harmonious air and has the typical mixture of the mildly Dionysian spiritual with the Apollonian. Here, the mind is given the opportunity to assimilate consciously the experiences which occured in the Dionysian side (during songs 2 and 3), and it does so with a playful air. The final song, number 5, represents the interpaly and eventual marriage between the Apollonian and the Dionysian spiritual set against the backdrop of the sound of a train, forever travelling alongside eternity. Symbolically, this represents the integration of the spiritual with the intellectual as the process of individuation endlessly unfolds.