tiistai 29. tammikuuta 2013

I love Brazil.

We had some multicultural education sort of thing at school, we picked a country and prepared a short presentation for the rest of the group. I chose Brazil, the land I have never visited, but which I have always seen as my mental home, a safe place of some sort. I don't know where or when in my life did this affection begin, probably through Sepultura, which had a huge influence on me when I was living my teen age. It appeared to be this amazing band, completely different from all the rest of the metal bands, because they had something in them. Two things actually. They had a point, and they had the beat. Most of metal music is just harmless, meaningless buzz. It does not live up to it's reputation as somewhat rebellious or confrontational, it is just safe background noise that is all about really trivial and meaningless things, tales about slaying dragons and shit like that. I understand the level of symbols, but if you want to build stories with many levels and internal contexts, you really need to know how to write. Most of all the metal lyrics say actually pretty much nothing. But when I first heard Sepultura, who actually sang about all the shit they had to live everyday, it was like a rapid expansion of my consciousness. I instantly realised what music was all about, what aggressive music should be all about, grinding your own frustration to dust and spreading it equally amongst your songs, making a difference through something as simple as words and rhythm.

Through Sepultura I kinda grew into Brazilian rhythm music, and little by little I found more interesting things in the country. I realised though it has it's problems, as in highly polarized society, high crime rates and violence making it the most dangerous place for a young man to visit, it all grew on me somehow. Then when I was doing my civilian service at the museum in 2008, there was a Brazilian immigrant who worked with us for a while. We had many discussion about Brazil, it's culture and it's people, and the differences between these two societies. There was loads of things to discuss. Of course hearing stories from the third world always makes you appreciate the safety of the Finnish society, but still there was something inside me, that keeps telling me, that I ain't fit to live here, amongst these people and these traditions. I felt kinda honored when she noticed that too, and told me I would fit in Brazil perfectly, although I don't like football that much. I mean, of course I like to play, but I am not that good and I find it a bit boring to watch, like sports overall. But music is my thing, and the music is the thing that made me the most interested in this country in the first place.

Our drummer was recently touring South America with his other band, and he's been telling me more things he saw and experienced in Brazil, making me want to get there even faster. What I appreciate the most in that country is the people and the nature. The nature is an obvious thing to someone who spent his childhood reading nature-magazines and huge books on jungles and animals. But the people fascinate me maybe even more. How they are able to adapt to what to the most of the world would seem unbearable way of living, and to some extent still achieve happiness. And how they mix things, improvise, come up with something completely new. Nana Vasconcelos said in one documentary, how the african people where surprised with Brazilian music, since they use the same instruments, same melodies and rhythms, but use them to create something different.

Also one thing that made me like Brazilians even more was reading Paulo Freire,  Pedagogy of the Oppressed. It was one of those moments, when you feel like you are somewhat on the right track with whatever it is that you are doing, because there has been someone else doing exactly the same things before you. You are here to carry the torch and to pass it on. Make as much noise as possible, and to wake people up, to help them grow into their full potential and to understand their humanity better. Not through preaching and making people feel guilty about themselves, because preaching always ends up in biggotry, but through education and information, through the shared experience of human existence. Long before I found out about Freire's alternate pedagogy, I had a conversation with my friend, Alex. I found it kinda disturbing how much Brazilians spend money to invite the western industries and multi-national corporations to their country, and Alex helped me to translate a song into portuguese. We recorded it with Cut To Fit, we still play it live and my dream would be to play it in Brazil some day. And I truly hope it won't take too long to see this dream come true.

lauantai 26. tammikuuta 2013

On Huxley's essays and drug abuse.

Lately I've been reading Aldous Huxley's essays and lectures on the future of mankind, which of course now could as easily be could "the present state of the mankind as seen fifty years ago, but no one seemed to give a shit." It is astonishing how accurate his predictions for future we're, except he seemed to underestimate the over population a bit, since the rate has gone up faster and faster all the time. There are things I agree with, pretty much almost everything, besides some of his views on eugenics. But even those can be seen as a rebellious act in a behaviorist climate, where everyone seemed to over-emphasize the influence of environment over genes. Huxley saw that these too are pretty much equal, and shitty genes can be overcome by better environment, and vice versa, to some extent good genes and natural aptitudes can drive someone towards their "destiny" even though the environment would try and do it's best to suffocate this calling. By destiny I don't mean actual determinist end of someone's life, but the life of beauty and arts or music, or anything alike. There are great artists that can't be held back by ghettos or social exclusion.

Huxley has been a great influence on me because he seemed to be an intelligent man with an open mind and the will to grow and understand the world as it truly was, instead of letting someone else feed him views and opinions. There are some people I know, who just get into him because they've been tripping on psychedelics couple of times and they heard from their dealer  that this guy wrote The Doors of Perception. Most of them have ever read the book, and most of them never will. It was actually that book, that got me into psychedelics, not the other way round. And it was because of the intelligent grip he had on the subject, how he put that experience in line with any mythical experience, showed the link between religious herb/shroom usage and the appreciation of the jewels, all that jazz we are dancing to although we have no idea what band is playing. But it opened my eyes, and I became obsessed with his writings. It also helped me understand, that although I have never taken any psychedelic drugs, I've had similar hallucinations and visuals all my life, although not as strong. I dug deeper down into the early days of LSD, and found out that there were two groups inside the "cult of LSD". On the other side there was Huxley, with his intelligent approach. He wanted to keep the usage reserved for the intelligent people, because he foresaw the power of the drug. Not only the positive power it held for those, who we're clever enough to truly understand and cherish the experience, but also the destructive power it held for the stupid people who weren't. And opposing him the're was Timothy O'Leary, man who I pretty much despise for his PARTY ON!-attitude. While Huxley was alive, the people surrounding them we're able to keep O'Leary at bay, but as soon as this one of the greatest visionaries of our time tripped to his silent death, O'Leary was loose tuning in and dropping out. Shit got out of hand and LSD was illigalized everywhere.

I think we should really study it more, since it is a very potent drug. It can grow you into your human consciousness in one day, it helps alcoholists see their actions in a wider perspective and help them understand how damaging their behaviour is to everyone around them. And that in this time and age is not a minor achievement. I think everyone is willing to get fucked up, but no one wants to take responsibility. They just pass it to the left and escape the reality, which is pretty much what they make it. I have chosen to live this life sober, and of course some of it is fucking shit. That's life. If you deal with it, you won't batter shit up, you won't pile those problems on top of each other like a house of cards, just to wait for it to come down. Of course people can take drugs, it's one's own decision what to do with his or hers only life, but what I am suggesting is, that people should act considerately even with that sort of things. You are not alone in this planet, and you are not truly individual. You are just slightly different combination of all the same things we all consist of. It is our responsibility as self-aware beings to also be aware of each other and carry on the flame of mortal beings. I have just grown tired of these people, who refer to "regular" people as "sheep", but spend all their days looking for the greener grass. What does that make you?

keskiviikko 23. tammikuuta 2013

Voodoo music

Since someone reads these, I guess it is reason enough to keep on writing. Now I started. There. See? How do I follow a beginning that good? How on earth will it be possible? I don't know. I really don't know. Guess we'll just have to wait and see. Now let's see. What's there to discuss? Have you read any good books lately? Seen any good movies? Oh yes! I just saw Django Unchained, and I must say, that only because of that particilur piece of cinematic bombardment, Pulp Fiction and Inglorious Basterds, Tarantino is worth all the hype. When you see those movies, you know that this is the only thing their creator really wants to do with his only life. And I respect that kind of passion for anything.  If you want to build houses with such passion, You will probably build the best fucking houses anyone has ever built, after you get tha hang of it. I know I have that same sort of passion for all this, music, drawing and writing, and I really hope that someday I will be good enough to match that passion. Until that I will just keep on grinding these things through. Blues and grindcore, I think they go together quite well. Potsmokers seem to enjoy both. I like most potsmokers, although there are quite a lot of irritating ones too.

To me, music plays the part of religion, drugs, tripping, breathing, working, it is like Huxley's soma to my brain, except it makes me do mostly positive things and helps my cognitive thinking instead of paralyzing and numbing my mind, as most drugs seem to do. Now I think I have achieved something particularly interesting today. I made about twenty minutes of voodoo music. It was something Huxley called transcending in The Doors of Perception. It was enough to take me out of myself. It was experimental and fun to do, I just started making songs, and I had pretty much no idea how to do most of those things. I just gave in to the music, surrounded myself with plates and salt shakers and all weird stuff, and started playin rhythms, then played some other instruments on top of the rhythms, and that was pretty much how I spent yesterday and today.

Now here's a link if you are interested:
http://j-kill.bandcamp.com/album/houses-of-voodoo