Two seasons of New Moon Broadcasts have come to completion. Thank you to all who joined us in the process! We three are delighted more than ever, and music is flowing brighter than ever as we dive into album recording sessions. We'll likely resurface with a live broadcast on the New Moon in November. Until then, here are two recordings, one from the first broadcast, and one from the last, along with our reflections from each new moon.
And to all our friends out there: Remember to stay strange, not strangers!
April New Moon
Before it was taken over and redefined by chemists in the eighteenth century, elements were understood as conditions of matter, not fixed types, and there were five of them: earth, water, air, fire, and spirit. Modern scientists heap scorn on this older system, and then go on to describe a universe made of solids, liquids, gases, energy; and the background fabric of spacetime itself - exactly the same concept under different names.
Yet the traditional elements are not simply physical states of matter. Like everything in the old enchanted world, they had connections linking them to everything else in the universe of human experience. Each of the elements corresponds to a season, a direction, a time of day, an emotional state, and much more.
The five elements have these basic qualities:
Air opens, expands, clarifies, and connects. The old elemental lore calls it warm and moist - that is, it radiates energy and responds to its surroundings. It corresponds to the east, dawn, spring among the seasons, and the intellect in the self.
Fire illuminates, challenges, transforms, and destroys. Elemental lore calls it warm and dry - that is, it radiates energy and does not respond to its surroundings. It corresponds to the south, noon, summer among the seasons, and the will in the self.
Water receives, resolves, unites, and dissolves. The old elemental lore calls it cold and moist - that is, it absorbs energy and responds to its surroundings. It corresponds to the west, dusk, autumn among the seasons, and the emotions in the self.
Earth closes, limits, establishes, and manifests. The old elemental lore calls it cold and dry - that is, it absorbs energy and does not respond to its surroundings. It corresponds to the north, midnight, winter among the seasons, and the senses in the self.
Spirit originates, witnesses, and reabsorbs all the other elements. The old elemental lore gives it no qualities of its own, because all qualities unfold from it. It corresponds to the center, the present moment, and pure awareness in the self.
~ John Michael Greer
The Druid Magic Handbook: Ritual Magic Rooted in the Living Earth
It is the gradual increasing activity which causes vibrations to materialize, and it is the gradual decrease of the same which transmutes them again into spirit. As has been said, vibrations pass through five distinct phases while changing from the fine to the gross, and the elements of ether, air, fire, water and earth - each has a savoir, color and form peculiar to itself. Thus the elements form a wheel which brings them all in time to the surface. At each step in their activity they vary and become distinct from each other, and it is the grouping of these vibrations which causes variety in the objective world. The law, which causes them to disperse, man calls destruction.
Vibrations turn to atoms and atoms generate what we call life; thus it happens that their grouping, by the power of nature's affinity, forms a living entity. And as the breath manifests through the form so the body becomes conscious. In one individual there are many fine and small beings hidden: in his blood, in his brain cells, in his skin, and in all planes of his existence.
As in the physical being of an individual many small germs are born and nourished which are living beings, so in his mental plane also there are many beings, termed muwakkals - elementals. These are still finer entities born of man's own thoughts, and as the germs live in his physical body so the elementals dwell in his mental sphere. Man often imagines that thoughts are without life; he does not see that they are more alive than the physical germs and that they have a birth, childhood, youth, age and death. They work for man's advantage or disadvantage according to their nature.
Vibrations as a rule have length as well as breadth [frequency and amplitude], and they may last the least fraction of a moment or the greater part of the age of the universe. They make different forms, figures and colors as they shoot forth, one vibration creating another; thus myriads arise out of one. In this way there are circles under circles and circles over circles, all of which form the universe. Every vibration after its manifestation becomes merged again in its original source.
~ Hazrat Inayat Khan
The Mysticism of Sound
May New Moon
The winds of change blew through TenDerVishes in Spring of 2018. A winged hearted drummer arrived, and now we are three. We also traded out equipment that no longer resonated and have been synchronizing with a new array of violin pedals, beautifully painted drum heads, restoring a Leslie guitar amp rescued from an old organ, experimenting with the alchemy of tubes that come from a variety of places around the world, and configuring a recording studio designed to capture the sounds just so.
On the first New Moon following the Spring Equinox, we began our series of live broadcasts of New Moon Meditations, both to chronicle our musical process as we learn and create together, and to share the listening experience with those who’d like to participate. At the beginning of each lunar month, we play what we’re beginning to work on, with a focused intention for that month’s cycle. The next month we’ll include a refined performance of at least one piece from the previous month, and the new pieces for the next cycle.
We’re only on the second month and already are in love with the process.
Our first New Moon Meditation was on the four elements: Air, Fire, Water, and Earth. As it sometimes happens, it almost seemed as if the elementals delighted in thwarting our best laid plans: A surprising spring blizzard, tubes overheating until the right fit was found, broadcast signals disappearing at inopportune times, chords that suddenly stopped working… We got to experience the whims of the elements (in a manner befitting 21st century folk musicians), having invoked them.
Inspired by the experience, this month’s meditation is centered around talismans: objects designed to bring good luck and protection.
June New Moon
Cosmic Vaudevillain Opera
Cosmic: as in the outer regions of our milky way Galaxy. Unearthly sounds have yet to be heard here.
Villain: we are here to steal the show. Like a thief in the night, by the time you notice, it's happened!
Language: west coast street lingo
Translated: Electronic Libretto in a variedy of languages, availble on translaters on your favrite searcher engin.
July New Moon
August New Moon
Skin in the Game
"There’s a very interesting synergy that happens when you have two things resonating together, and it’s pretty wild when three things resonate together. There are all kinds of places where we actually draw upon that. That piano string, by itself, is vulnerable to being thrown off by ... somebody dropping a hammer on the ground, or something that would make that piano string respond, entrain. Everything entrains.
Entrainment is where you have one guitar here and a guitar there – and you pluck the E string here and it causes the E string to vibrate over there. If you make this guitar string E a little flat, and they’re both the same string, they will vibrate together halfway between E and E flat – it’s not that one string affects the other, they pull in to a place intermediate of each string. So everything affects everything else. When you have three strings, and something happens to one string so it gets a little loose, it’s still held in place by the other two. So there’s a wonderful stability. The thing works together, better. Ants, little microbes, stuff crawling on the strings might change things - that helps stabilize all this.
There are even deeper magical reasons that are fairly complex mathematically to explain. If I had a blackboard and we had more time we could actually get into some really magical things that happen when resonating systems resonate together. The shape of space changes. You can actually create space and time warps, and that’s what I think Christ was talking about, but that’s a deeper thing that I won’t propose to get into except just to mention it. I will lose you if I have to explain this..."
September New Moon
The Glass Bead Game
"Although we recognize the idea of the Game as eternally present, and therefore existent in vague stirrings long before it became a reality, its realization in the form we know it nevertheless has its specific history."
"How far back the historian wishes to place the origins and antecedents of the Glass Bead Game is, ultimately, a matter of his personal choice. For like every great idea it has no real beginning; rather, it has always been, at least the idea of it. We find it foreshadowed, as a dim anticipation and hope, in a good many earlier ages. There are hints of it in Pythagoras, for example, and then among Hellenistic Gnostic circles in the late period of classical civilization. We find it equally among the ancient Chinese, then again at the several pinnacles of Arabic-Moorish culture; and the path of its prehistory leads on through Scholasticism and Humanism to the academies of mathematicians of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and on to the Romantic philosophies and the runes of Novalis' hallucinatory visions."
"This same eternal idea, which for us has been embodied in the Glass Bead Game, has underlain every movement of Mind toward the ideal goal of a Universitatis Litterarum, every Platonic Academy, every league of an intellectual elite, every rapprochement between the exact and the more liberal disciplines, every effort toward reconciliation between science and art or science and religion."
~ Herman Hesse
The Glass Bead Game, Cosmic Play in a Symbolic Universe