Invisible Canon: Hidden Seals in the Musical Landscape
Since its inception English Heretic has operated as the dalliance between a literary and musical concern. The premise of the project at its outset was to use landscape and biographical projections to fecundate the imagination. Over a decade into the project, the initial phase of fecundation has reached a psychic hinterland somewhere between the reels of a Horror film and a lost episode of World In Action.
In this talk I will attempt to unravel its mangled soundtrack, looking at the pataphysical approach to its construction, codified by its intimate relationship with places of pestilence (missile bases, UFO hotspots) and gothic ornamentation (mausoleums, horror film locations). The talk will review some of the recording locations that have provided treasures and trash, as well as the various hermetic, and heuristic strategies adopted to make use of place. In doing so, the talk will also illustrate some of the narrative processes and occultural seals hidden within English Heretic's musical work: its 'invisible canon'.
The archetypal psychologist James Hillman maintains that the soul achieves rapport with its daimon by a process of growing down, that biography must be read backward to understand the supernatural impulses of our life's myths. As such this talk will take the opportunity to trace some of the influences that have steered the trajectory of the musical arm.
In tracing these inspirations from the high water mark of Industrial Culture via the work of Cabaret Voltaire, Vagina Dentata Organ et al. through to the ethnographic recordings of John Levy and the ritual sound tracking of early Current 93, the talk will argue that counter-culture and occulture flourishes where its historical and geographical precedents are treated as transmissions of a genuine 'tradition'. In reviewing these influences, the talk will attempt to define an annex of musicology indexed by recordings that reside in the interstices between field recording, aural documentary, cultural curation and personal vision.
Following this review, the talk will conclude by introducing the nascent imprint of English Heretic, Eighth Climate records that has been set up with a remit to document an ethnography of the imaginal world. Drawing its inspiration from Lyrichord records Eighth Climate looks to create an archive and taxonomy based on personal credos and voyages within the realm of visionary geography annotated by speculative histories revealed in myth, folklore and palimpsest.