The end of the beginning

Written By:

Dragoș Rusu / The Attic

Published:

December 29, 2015

1. A sense of pureness

Dear visitor from all over the world: greetings, wherever you are.

It may be pointless to start my narration on the topic of the end of the beginning with a peddling thought, which eventually will give me the ability to see through a stonewall. I won’t mention a word about the thought itself, ‘cause otherwise it wouldn’t make it pointless anymore.

But I will start my letter to the unknown terrestrial and extraterrestrial visitor with a quote from one of Sun Ra’s beautiful and enlightening poems - ‘The Sound Image…’ published in 1972, which I still find essential by all means.

That is what the music is, the universal language
The bridge-communication sound.
There is no other way to speak to everyone in language each can
Feel and understand except through the music.
How can you speak to other worlds except through the music, the music lets them know, where you are at and what you are.
If you are pure, the music’s pure.
The music is your testing ground, it is your choice that tells the tale,
When all else fails.

Pure music is what you must face.
If you limit, if you reject, if you do not consider
If you are selfish-earthly bound,
Pure music is your nemesis.


A couple of years ago I worked for a few months as a bartender/waiter in a café on a Greek island. Amongst the few daily visitors, there were two Greek brothers around 40, respectively 50 years old. I would say twins because they were looking like clones, though there was an age difference between them that could be noticed only after a few physical encounters with each other. On a random sunny Sunday morning, I was having coffee with one of the brothers, talking easy topics like money vices, politics, power and who knows what else. At some point he started a tale about a typical character - let’s call him Saint Peter - who appointed God, whom he was begging passionately to make him rich. God thought about Peter’s request and decided to give him a part of the Earth. He told Peter - ‘go ahead, this Earth is all yours, run and conquer it!’ But the sweet and cruel vice of greediness made Peter swallow a gudgeon and started to run franticly, in all possible directions, in order to conquer the properties. His feelings of power were growing step by step, as he was running and conquering new dimensions. As he couldn’t stop, he kept running until he died of exhaustion.

How can you relate this to music. You think you know some music, you think you learnt and keep learning some music, but you actually don’t know so much more than the rest of the people in your group, because the music really is endless. You keep running all your life for music, devote your most precious hours on music and on your last day of Earth as human being you discover - obviously unsurprised - that all the music that you know, feel and listen, relates to all the music in the world just as much as the most insignificant ant relates to the biggest jumbo. But what if there are not ten, but five ants on that big jumbo? Would that make a difference? A small and immaterial difference. What if there are ten millions of ants? Perhaps that can make a difference. After all, what is a difference? Where is the line that you can’t cross? Who decides where is that line? In what measure do you, as an individual, have a voice, in the endless cosmos?

In order to save ourselves, we must fight all our prejudices, vices and fears, and think with a global mind. Share. We must share everything with everyone to survive and to escape the poisoned mind and common belief of the individuality of the human being. We must fight the typical cliché of thoughts presuming that all humans are special. That all humans count. That each and every single individual on this planet is alike important in the divine scheme of the universe. But actually, the only single fact that matters and counts in Universe is our actions, not ourselves. And our actions are not who we are; they have their own meaning, impact, structure and role, independently. When we don’t act, we don’t change a single thing in universe. When we don’t act upon our knowledge, we don’t mean a single fleeting thing in the great chaos of the world. It’s like a dream. When we don’t act, we become a dream in our dreams and in our life, which is a dream. We ‘dream the dream that the dreamers dream’. When we don’t act, we are guilty for discontinuing the natural course of evolution in the universe. When we don’t act, we don’t exist, we are only ghosts of our times.

Communication is the key. Sharing is the key. Whatever we keep for ourselves will not help us grow any longer, just as whatever brought you here, will not take you any further. Since you just can’t possibly have all the music from the entire world and you’ll spend your whole life running for it, like Saint Peter, why not act and share what you already have, know and are, instead of being slowly consumed by the terrifying and eventually boring feeling of insatiability? The great wisdom that’s already present out there will guide you through the dark forests of the unknown. The painful process of discovering the most beautiful music in the world.

The Attic Magazine’s first year was rough but great. As this seems to be the start of the end of the beginning, here’s a few things you must read and also music that you need to hear, collected in 2015. Welcome in the Attic.

2. Essential and Influential Conversations

Moppa Elliot from Mostly Other People Do the Killing (USA)
‘’I teach a lot and I ask the students ‘what you listen to?’ and they are like ‘ I listen to everything’, ‘no, you don’t, that’s bullshit, you listen to pop music’. Maybe some rock, or rap, or electronic, but that’s nothing. Oh, you listen to everything; who’s your favorite country singer? Oh yeah, cool. Who’s your favorite blues singer? Oh, great. Who’s your favorite composer from the baroque era? Oh, shut up, you don’t listen to everything! Who’s your favorite renaissance polyphony composer? Got some Palestina? Give me a break.
So, I feel like most people say they are listening to a wide variety of music, but they don’t. So I try, as hard as I can, to actually listen to as much as I can, because I think that’s really important. And I think being able to hear what makes a good country singer a good country singer and what makes a good rapper a good rapper, and what makes a good….you know… renaissance magical…or classical symphony, and what makes a good free improvise duo, being able to tell, that’s really important; at least to me. And I think that a lot can be learnt by listening to all these different genres, because there’s a combinality that runs through it, and that’s like honesty and conviction.’’


Pierre Bastien (FR)
‘’I don't define music by the material but from the esthetic of an art piece. For me, if a painting is made with watercolor or oil, I don't mind, if a sculpture is a wooden sculpture or if it's made of metal, what I like to look at and to enjoy is the result and not the material. So I don't make any difference between something that would be made with the help of a computer or something done with a screwdriver, for me it's all the same.’’


Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe (USA) and Ariel Kalma (FR)
‘’In outside of the West, culturally intuition has more to do with any sort of understanding or carrying out the day-to-day life. And in the west you have this sort of states quo, something that is really strong and you must learn it this way. And you’re inside of a box. No matter what you do or what you say, the box remains. And that happens over and over again; ‘you have to do it this way, this is the only way’. No, that makes no sense. You should be able to trust your own intuition and make what it is to make, do what you need to do.’’


Craig Leon (USA)
‘’But in any case, the opening act blew me away. I thought it was the greatest thing I’ve ever seen. It was Suicide. And it had Alan Vega and Martin Rev. Alan was hitting the audience with chains, in the tables, in club, and Martin was like a big statue…pulsating…with everything about rock and roll, and modernist music and La Monte Young, everything all at once. And everybody hated it. The ten people in the audience, they hated it. It was pretty much one of their earliest shows. And I wrote everything down; I went to see these guys on Monday morning. And I said ‘well, there was this band called'- something something - I can’t even remember the name and I hated them because the singer wasn’t as good as Brian Ferry. ‘But there is this great band and I’d signed them tomorrow and they will be a big hit for you, it’s called Suicide.’ And they said ‘ok, thank you very much, you don’t have the job’. (laughing) I got fired before I could even start. And then I went in that afternoon and took the job on Sire.’’


Genesis Breyer P – Orridge (USA)
‘’The human species is not a finished project at all. We’re still primitive, you know? The way we behave. They called it chimpanzee behavior, yeah? It’s true. And even if we are so amazingly brilliant and we are inventing things, imagining things, we’re also really stupid. And someone has to speak up about it, you know? And with my lyrics, that’s what we’re trying to do. Talk about stupidities that people play into; and it doesn’t make them happy, we all know that. It doesn’t make anybody happy, to be stupid. People still keep doing it, because they’ve been told that it’s OK to be stupid. You can’t judge, you have to give more information; it doesn’t have to be that way. You don’t have to be scared, you know?’’


Sir Richard Bishop (USA)
‘’The way I look at it is, the people I love in my life, if they would to go away, that would be really bad. That’s kind of how I look at it. And I think it’s because we’ve all lost people in the past, so we know what that could be like. So, if you find the right group of people - whether it’s one person, a girlfriend or boyfriend - it doesn’t matter if you’re gay or straight, whatever - you find those people, you get them into your world and everybody is happy there, that’s huge, it’s just fucking huge. I’ve lost my parents, I’ve lost friends over years; Charles is a great example. Once they’re gone, you really can see the devastation that can do to you and to other people, so it’s like a wake up call. Don’t fuck it up. So that’s using love in that sense. It’s not just hippie love; it’s unconditional love, universal love. It’s not just love for people; it’s love for everything. You can always do so much.’’


Ian Nagoski (USA)
‘’I have no soapbox to stand on, other than my own feelings and experience. One tries to fill in one’s feelings and experience as fully as possible in order to be authentic and believable as you tell your story. I don’t take a very academic tone, and I sometimes get shit wrong. I don’t have a lot of access to aspects of the stories that I want to tell so I just accept the limitations as best as I can and try to correct mistakes as I find them. You do the best with what you got. If you follow the rabbit down the hole and go to Wonderland, you’ll come back with a really good story. That’s something that I learned from a tradition, the whole Bruce Chatwin-Errol Morris-Werner Herzog-Ryszard Kapuscinski school of documentary-journalistic-reflection on subjective wonder in the world. I’m just an extension of that tradition and not the best one.’’


Hans Falb / Konfrontationen festival (AU)
‘’I was tripping out on Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones and all this shit. After that I discovered the quality of funk and soul; electric jazz, fusion. And I didn’t know I would create a festival like this. It just developed by itself. I wasn’t like ‘I want to do this festival’. I was socialized in the ’68 generation; interested in politics, literature, black music, Afro-American culture; I was reading and reading and reading, listening and listening. The music of Archie Shepp and John Coltrane radicalized me. From ’74, when I finished the high school, to ’76, I was traveling, hitchhiking around the whole Europe, from Turkey, from Syria and the Lebanese border until up to North Sweden and West of Spain, the Atlantic coast….I was restless and I wanted to learn. I think I learned more on the roads than I learned in 8 years of high-school. I discovered all kinds of different cultures: gypsy culture, traveling people, hippie culture. I was always on the side of poor people, proletarian people; and I wanted to make money with something, you know?’’


Hamid Drake (USA)
‘’I don’t think music itself is enough, no. Everything has to contribute to it: all the arts and human being. But at the same time it’s like we’ve gone though other times like these too and they say it’s always right before the sunrise, when the sun comes out, you know - there is that period of time when it’s the darkest part of the night - and I think that’s what humanity is experiencing now. The world is going to change, whether we like it or not. We can participate in that change or we can be the victims of that change. In a way. Either we go in our stupidity ignorance, and arrogance, bring more destruction in a way, or we’re forced to change.’’


Dror Feiler (Israel/Sweden)
''I think sometimes, when you play on extremely loud volume, the audience cannot think. You come into panic. And when you cannot think, maybe you can hear the music. It is a bit provocative, I know, it is not a solution, but I think there is some truth in it. And I think that only by awaking this question you are already on the way. If I go to a concert and say to myself, ‘ok, now I will try not to be the composer, now I will try to listen, to be the ear’, or the body; because you don’t hear only with the ear, you hear also with the body, with the whole body. And also, I think there are some sounds that our body itself produces''.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Keep up with The Attic content by getting our digest email in your inbox, once in a while.

3. Welcome to the Auditorium

The Auditorium is an evocative section of the website where visitors will find 4 different types of podcasts.

The Attic Podcast comprises mixtapes coming from inspiring and visionary artists, musicians and DJs. Amongst the guests who contributed so far we can mention the Turkish DJ and producer Bariș K, veteran Intergalactic Gary, Tolouse Lowtrax, Dom Thomas of B-Music, Ukrainian DJ and producer Vakula, Italian musician Heinrich Dressel, Aaron Moore from Volkano the Bear, the Romanian upcoming star Borusiade, Red Light Radio co-founder Orpheu The Wizard, the German wizard Mick Wills, Basso of Growing Bin and many more.

Destinations focuses on different music from all around the world. So far, we centered on Japan, Brazil, North-Africa (with special mixes concentrated on the activity of Sahel Sounds and Petites Planetes), Marocco. But the surprises keep coming all the time.

Composer’s Corner investigates the music career of highly influential musicians and composers, such as Sun RA, Moondog, Ornette Coleman, Philip Glass, but also Romanian composers including Iancu Dumitrescu, Costin Miereanu, Octavian Nemescu, Adrian Enescu.

From the Archives is the place for, usually, out of print music, unearthed library music and all sorts of dusty flea market finds.

4. Stories on the road

Report from Berlin Atonal festival 2015
Some ravers out there struggle to justify their weekend escapades as a “club culture”, and as much would this hedonistic view struggle for our attention, it often pales while confronted to its real meaning, in terms of intrinsic value. Atonal is not club culture, in that sense, even though its after show-sets that blasted in the basement of Tresor or through the Void Air Motion sound system at stage Globus kept a dark-clad mass of humans dancing until noon, with some clever and pretty challenging, not so easy-listening play list choices.

Report from Konfrontationen festival 2015 (Nickelsdorf – Austria)
4 days. 22 concerts. About 70 musicians playing all kinds of instruments live. I look at the program. I soon realize I don’t know shit about this music, so I will have to take it the other way - a more sensorial approach would probably fit, rather than a cognitive one. And I was part of a great team of companions who kindly guided me, offered some clues and introduced me to the history of this festival and to some important free jazz musicians.


Stories from Greece:
A. Unexpected Encounters: George W. Goodman
I met George W. Goodman only once, by pure accident. It was in one of those terrible days, when no one was passing by, the sun was burning wild, there were no customers - so the business was doing bad (including our tips) and the music was smooth and mellow that I could fall asleep; (I actually did nap a few times). So, one day, while I was watching two local cats involving in a little friendly fight, I could see a tall black senior coming slowly, together with his family and approaching our little terrace. The man seemed intrigued by the music and he was looking for the hidden speakers. ‘’Where... where’s this music coming from?’’ he asked.


B. Confessions of a Greekoholic
As we were walking on the quiet streets of Exarchia, gazing around the graffiti’s and drawings evoking anarchist scenes and messages, we visited around six record stores. One of them is the remarkable Art Rat Records, a very small music shop, filled up with giant releases from blues, classic rock, folk, kraut, indie, new wave, prog, psychedelia, punk & greek artists, a lot of first press releases and plenty of obscure and unknown stuff.


Report from CTM Festival 2015
It was past 6 PM and an alternative guy with huge headphones on his ears was the first to react at my question, as if Berghain was not actually Fata Morgana, but an actual club that can be pinned down on the map. I even took a picture of the map on his google-maps because I did not have Internet. Phone- driven space navigation on true meta-level. I told him about the CTM and he knew about it.


Stories from Istanbul
For a European, Turkey may seem an exotic destination; especially Istanbul. The Taksim square is hugely crowded all the time, no matter if it’s day or night. Kebaps. Street musicians playing on different instruments, such as baglama, saz, guitar, harp, santur. Trams. Taxi drivers shouting. Everybody is selling something to somebody. Everyone negotiates. Almost nobody speaks English, but everybody understands it. Lights everywhere. Confusion. Bairamlar. Too many boys, few girls. Cars everywhere. Shops everywhere. Cheap jewelry. Antique shops everywhere. But, first of all, music everywhere. It is so vivid, that every hour spent in the center of the city leads to a form of social exhaustion. At some point, it is too much; you just need a little break.


Stories from Trinidad
I was planning my yearly digging-trip-dressed-up-as-holiday. For years I have wanted to go to Madagascar. Amazing unique nature, some strange music I been wanting to know more about and the fact that island had had a proper vinyl pressing plant and somebody had unearthed a massive stock of utterly rare 78s had spawned my interest in the African island even more. Trinidad, on the other hand, had never really captivated my interest, musically or otherwise.


The Residents made me hitchhike throughout Europe!
There would be no other way to get to The Residents concert in Leuven. You can call it Louvain, to give it an extra French twist. Anyway, the only way to get there was by hitchhiking through four countries. I travelled 2000 kilometers in three days. I rode on three lorries, a Golf 5, another Golf 5, a two-door Opel and an Audi. I have the feeling you might rush into thinking I'm the kind that goes backpacking to concerts around the world, but the funny thing is I'm a hell of a newbie.

5. Aspect Ratio

This new developed section of the website offers video material, including live recordings of events that we organize, future episodes of our monthly video transmissions on Intergalactic FM and who knows what other goodies.

Sir Richard Bishop - In The Attic
Recorded live on May 13, 2015 at Control Club - Bucharest, Romania.

Tropic of Cancer - In The Attic
Recorded live on November 8, 2015. Control Club - Bucharest, Romania.

*main photo credits: Times of India Newspaper Office, 1898

Have Your Say