Saturday, 29 January 2011

Tales From Topographic Oceans -Yes

When I listened to Topographic Oceans for the first time in October 1973 my reaction was one of puzzlement and I was clearly mourning the loss of  Bill Bruford. During much of the later part of the seventies I viewed it as a confusing piece of musical architecturer. Then in 2009 I returned to it and was taken mostly by the two inner movements, particularly the Remembering. In recent months I have been encouraged to set free my imagination and dream a little more. I sat down in Sri Lanka with the intention of reviewing the CD during this most fertile period that I have entered. What actually happened is I tipped my mind into the music and let it wash through me. These essays are essentially prose poems which look at the music from a point where I am fusing my aesthetic sensibilties and spiritual feelings spurred on by a new sense of imaginative enquiry and trying to capture simply what I am "hearing" right now. I am not suggesting, my responce is right or I have now "got it" I am simply saying this is what I hear now. This is a diary entry on a journey. 

The Revealing Science of God 

A musical avatar to the Shrutis.The waves crash endlessly on the beach at Rathgama enveloping me in nature’s beauty. I close my eyes and begin a waking dream of creation, from the swirling currents emerged sounds that gradually weave a deepening tapestry. Then it begins a searching a forming a coming together and the thoughts become denser and begin to vocalise the dawn of mankind begins thousands upon thousands of year ago we emerge from the sea becoming denser and denser the excitement of creation building. The great awakening begins and we are there and mankind strode forth walking in the sunlight and pondering the revelation of the science of the great imaginative mind. A pause to consider the beauty of sunlight and the great distances. The creators mind is there but unseen and now we look back, what happened to our memories of the spell and having reached a high point of creativity Jon and the others look back and ask the same question. How have we forgotten the imperative of the divine imagination?  And now we are off sailing through the air seeing the bounty of creation the starlight, the beauty of the earth and its abundance. Stunned to silence by its beauty we ponder all we have seen.
Jon and the others use their gifts to reflect the beauty created by the divine and acknowledge the doubters of this truth. Now we ascend flitting swooping across the land questioning why the wars why the descent, the divine is here we just need to listen and look. We are free to consider all gods bounty and now we ponder and slow down meditating gaining wisdom understanding and some reach out, devout Christian’s, old people closer to the end considering the meaning of the story in a devotional thoughtful way. The answer is in the great beauty of what is here to be surveyed and considered from great heights flying fast and free to celebrate, it is all before us. Then the question, there is a course to a universal season a oneness to come and we can set aside the doubts, the wars, the bad caretaking and wrongness and move towards the love and light that is the only way to freedom and freeing ourselves and finally the binding together of today’s awareness of that wisdom, the celebration of the birth of mankind and the recognition of the divine imagination that we come from and is available to all.  

The Remembering
The endless crashing of the waves is inside of my mind, a message from the divine that we are inside a story already written we are merely touching its fabric as we pass through. The spring bubbles up full of life and vitality and the water washes over us leaving a clear clean calm pulse. The gentle slow chant begins and we sail back in time to days forgotten and are encouraged to remember. Our mind takes ship as it gathers momentum seeking out the alternate tune. We dream as one coming together and we see images of mankind dancing to the song wandering freely in a new world. We consider the sculptures that we have been left, reflecting glimpses of the alternate way.
Now though we reach out to touch the richness of the creative mind momentarily catching a glimpse of the truth our mind travels towards the divine and we see in our minds eye the spirits of our souls dancing and we see the messages long forgotten, the alternate tune. We have returned and we are here in the world of today full of potential to grow together to remember are past and to let go of our back ground and prejudices and just be, celebrating ancient man and understanding all the parts  of  the story. We are free to caste our mind adrift and dream and understand unencumbered by propaganda and others agendas.
Our dreams set us free to provide creative energy, to set to work using metal that enables us to travel to sail to fly great distances and see new worlds other skylines. And then we consider the teachers and their impact relaying their story and those whom worship and revel in their beliefs and die for the relayed beliefs. And there are great philosophers who can help us through literature, even the wisdom of a seagull’s habits, tells us part of the story and influence our paths. But the relaying beliefs and their systems the passion it unleashes is destructive and violent and leads to the ultimate madness of mutually assured destruction but we can lift ourselves above this and fight back and stay the course and go back to our roots even today as we wander the cities and life passes by so fast we can stop and see the sense of rightness that we came from peering into the creators mind setting ourselves free. There is a calming gentle free unburdened solution full of joy and light and we can travel on knowing that we are indeed one that we come from the same place we just need to consider the alternate tune and we can then ascend past the sunlight and the rainbows. The alternate view is surely there and we can ascend joyous and return to the creator and bathe in its mind.                      

The Ancient 

Instrumental Reflections of the Puranas 
The divine unceasingly wraps itself around me, as the waves envelope me, calming centring me. But then one wave yields and breaks and the cymbals crash yielding a new story. We are off dashing through the jungle deep on and on in the dense richness of the under growth and we hear the calling ancient horns braying and then we move down alongside a river and the boats navigate the charging rapids and the jungle is alive with the vitality at 2.11 we then pause change direction and the run starts again the ferns spring back as we leap on the excitement mounting  to a meeting 2.54 we enter a clearing and we gather and then the sun appears and the jungle ends and 3.16 the majesty of the great civilisation is revealed to us in all its glory slow, stately and  magnificent.          
The chant begins acknowledging the divine. The celebration starts and the people in all their glory are revealed.   A braying of trumpets at 5.15 and the chant grows and swells at 5.46 another intervention and a t 6.06 the great parade sets of at a run developing the ritual the praise.    
And now the dignitaries the elite return the praise and the whole ceremony grows and gathers pace. And at 8.32 the celebration envisioned turns to thought of the end of the ancients supremacy. The great energy dissipates but for long years the ancients continue at 11.04 the retreat begins the turmoil decay, the disease the ending is coming and now all is confusion and disharmony and finally an end 12.27.
A song and acoustic guitar cadenza in memory of the ancients.
Looking back now we tell the story in words recognising acknowledging. To look back we need imagination we need to ask questions we need to delve and study to take our own journey pausing to question all we have heard 14.30. Then a lullaby homage to those that have gone before and to those that carry the story in their head and pass it on. We reflect on the ending and what more can we do NOW, perhaps nothing just be? And finally again we strive to understand reflecting asking questions probing 17.38. But the stories were made and in a final flourish the majesty of those ancients, those giants of the sun, returns the trumpets bray and we ascend triumphant and in the rustle of the wind the crashing of the waves returns.    

Life is a fight between sources of evil and pure love.
The endless movement of the water ever present wrapping my soul in warmth and joy, my spirit ready to dance. A high wave crashes and collapses against the shore and out of it emerges the long languid line of Steve’s guitar propelled prompted by Chris’s oh so warm bass and Alan’s rock steady drumming. A diversion and then back to the main stately theme’s 1.30 the dance begins Jon wordlessly sings the eight double note progression. We are set free to celebrate, the dance is on, and then Chris steps into the ring and the bass dances the tune at 3.55 the music is quelled calmed and then it is the turn of the minstrel, he enters the ring and plays a song of love on the guitar calming us so we breathe more easily and the sun comes out to play 5.24 and we sing to it.  The source is acknowledged as we move toward it and at 6.52.the warmth of its presence increases. Jon reflects on the journey on the struggle, maybe we can persuade some and not others, and we find solace from our roots our home but some see the meaning and we are magnified. We must continue to dream to have courage and recognise the true source. That is all we strive for, at the end we will be there, we will not lose faith but the journey is long and wearisome.
There are other forces to contend with and in those we can lose ourselves 12.02 and now the fight is on as evil grows remorseless and powerful and the joy of the dance tries to be heard in the cacophony. At 13.34 the battle for our souls intensifies at 14.20 the dark themes are hard and strong but in the end evil is revealed in all its discordance and is laid bare. At 15.00 good fights back building the strongest rhythm as evil tries to pull it back confuse and overcome. Now Good and Evil are locked together in a deadly embrace indistinguishable and then finally at 16.56 the song of light over comes all and banishes evil. The minstrel step forward and plays a stronger theme of love and 17.19 the song of the sun returns caressing us more openly emotional and celebrating the simple truth that music heals music will bring us back to where we belong. A gentle lullaby “we love when we play” we are of the sun we are all coming home back to the oneness we all come from. At 19.50 the journey complete the source revealing its majesty retreats, withdraws, leaves us, ascending back to the stars having shown us some of the truths of the story leaving us richer and, if we care to, realising that what we see and struggle with without, is merely what comes from within.
“In my heart of hearts I know what I ought to do, but I have another alien element entwined inside me that wants to lead me astray”. 

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