Wednesday, 15 October 2008

GOLGATHA (Interview)

Golgatha is the common name of the spot where the Christian prophet Jesus was crucified. It is interpreted by the evangelists as meaning "the place of a skull" (Mt 27:33, Mr 15:22, Joh 19:17). Its name represents in Greek letters the Aramaic word Gulgaltha, which is the Hebrew Gulgoleth meaning "a skull." Therefore the name Golgatha represents the skull-mountain, looking like a skull and bearing the bones of the crucified… According to Origenes the skull of Adam is buried there. Golgatha-mountain is located at the northern side of Jerusalem and became a kind of symbolic place for the ongoing conflict between the source of western religion on the one hand and oriental belief on the other. It can be seen as a representative for the current ideological and religious conflict happening between east and west. The music of :Golgatha: appears to be a careful reflection of this seemingly eternal conflict on a mythical as well as concrete level – yet without taking one of these sides. There has to be another way of dealing with humanities darkest aspects…

..and so,here is an interesting conversation we have with Christoph D. weeks ago,to reveal unknown aspects reffering his in deep viosns reflected throguh :GOLGATHA:!!!

Golgatha is a mountain located at the northern side of,could you tell us your personal references to such name and how does it closed to the musical concept handled by you back in time 2004 when :Golgatha: was formed?The name Golgatha (in its German spelling with 'a' instead of 'o') originally represents the skull-mountain at Jerusalem, looking like a skull and bearing the bones of the crucified. According to the historian Origenes the skull of Adam is buried there. Golgatha-mountain became a kind of symbolic place for the ongoing conflict between the source of western religion on the one hand and oriental belief on the other. It can be seen as a representative for the current ideological and religious conflict happening between east and west.
The music of :Golgatha: appears to be a careful reflection of this seemingly eternal conflict on a mythical as well as concrete level – yet without taking one of these sides. There has to be another way of dealing with humanities darkest aspects. The first CD-R „Waste Land“ features a track 'The Clash' that directly refers to that concept.

Golgatha: was formed as a one man band, but with the pass of time the inclusion of S.Marleni and Sorakey as driving forces inside the band. So, in which such inclusions increase the musical potential and creativity knowing the high recognition the band has gained through the years?I am not a musician, I work with sounds and concepts. So the beginnings were mainly electronic dark ambient stuff. But I soon realized that the idea of :Golgatha: would gain by using acoustic instruments. So I added percussion and some acoustic guitar. Going further I asked my old friend Marleni, who has a folk-band of his own, if he would like to work with me on the concept of „Kydos“, which he did. He also came up with the idea of involving more vocals, and as he knew Patrick Leagas, whose work we dearly admire, he agreed to help us.

Then I came to know Sorakey, who has a very original voice and vision that was especially a huge influence on „Tales of Transgression and Sacrifice“. She will appear on our future album-project „Nihil“ with even more and stunningly elaborate ethereal vocals. A first idea of that you can get on our MySpace-profile.

Perhaps to work with more members helps you to have more visons, opinions, so creating the necessary dynamism you pretends with each album? Any other inclusions in future?Working with David of Dawn & Dusk Entwined on „Sang Graal“ has worked out perfectly, so I am actually open to include other guest appearances in future. Currently I hope to work with Dev of While Angels Watch and David (again) on „Nihil“. Also I hope that Anna-Maria has enough time to add some viola-tracks. We definitely will follow the path of our last albums with more emphasis on melody, classical arrangements and shamanistic drums.

Could you reveal us a few about the evolutive musical structures from “Waste Land” album until now with “Sang Graal”? And how important is creativity when we look how your music is composed? And how is the process for the creation of a definite musical composition?Usually I develop the basic structure of the music on my own. I collect ideas, sounds, samples and recently also unusual instruments. With the basic idea I consult Marleni and Sorakey and they add further elements and possible variations. Without them the music would be less 'musical' and more atmospheric probably. Marleni has a lot of experience with production and mastering and has finalized our last albums with a great sound.

Do you need to have a special mood or source of inspiration while composing? And how are handled the ideological patterns forged through experience and knowledge in all these years, to express it through :Golgatha:?I was planning to do express myself musically for years before :Golgatha: and startet experimenting in the early nineties with the Gothic rock band Alice D., with members of the German industrial band Rabenhirn and finally and quite effectively with Lutz Rach of dark ambient outing Tho-So-Aa. My project at that time (1992) would be called Trail of Tears. Some sounds from back then I currently used as ambient background. As you might guess from the name Trail of Tears, that refers to the extinction of the American Natives, I always focused on the darkest aspect of humanity.

But I am not an outright pessimist, so I always was searching for kind of alternative world view. My perspective is of pantheistic pagan nature, heavily influenced by my acamdemic background in cultural anthropology.In :Golgatha: all kinds of different – but not opposing – views a combined: Marleni is an agnostic nihilist, Sorakey an animistic pagan, Anna-Maria of christian belief etc. We published on French, German and Swedish labels. We had contributions by people of Czech, Palestinian, British and French descent, so our band can rightfully be called multi-cultural. Finally I would define :Golgatha: as a European band with a global perspective. Therfor we refuse the term neofolk, which seems to refers mainly to new German folkbands. This does not fit our more shamanistic and sometimes neoclassical approach. So :Golgatha: is ritual folk.

What’s for you the sacred word “Art”? Perhaps, an inner expression from subconscious reflected in the way as we observe, feel the universe in which we live?I share the definition of art that occurs in the British movement of Vorticism: the artist is able to create certian forms out of the creative chaos that surrounds him. So art is the formation of truth through beauty in sound, image and words. Indeed I share the idea of art still being sacred in a religious and spiritual sense. So our rare live performances have to be seen as rituals: this year 2008 we performed with Sol Invictus on Ostara and will appear at Halle, Germany, on winter solstice with Sixth Comm.

If you would have the opportunity to represents :Golgatha:’s ideological concept in a picture, or sculpture what would you do?:Golgatha: is music from the Waste Land: Like a nearly dried out thorn tree in a stony desert with a hurting bright sky above it. The most inspirational feeling for the music of :Golgatha: I experienced in the summer of 2004 on the Greek island of Crete (actually the cradle of European culture).

:Golgatha: has become an important aspect in your life…I ask you, what has offered to you :Golgatha: to your life in general? And how do you observe this in S.Marleni and Sorakey from your personal angle?Doing music and artwork for :Golgatha: has focused my perspective on life. For each contributor :Golgatha: has gained a very personal meaning. So I can only speak for myself. :Golgatha: has always been and will be my personal vision on the world, ridden by conflicts, crisis and war. But :Golgatha: also means life and energy, so it will progess as I progess – and all people involved. I am not a pessimist, but I have a very bleak perspective.

Yet I see and feel a spiritual quality in life that I am anxious to keep and praise. What people make of our work – I don't really know. But at least I hope that they also see this glimmer of light in the darkness.
Is known the debut album for a band is unforgettable, due it’s a new experience, and a way to show its work…so, what represents for you “Waste Land” both musically and ideological? And what’s the whole concept behind such a title?Indeed „Waste Land“ is a very important step for me and :Golgatha:. All the later elements are already there, but in a more minimalistic style. The title was derived from T.S. Eliot's epic poem about the state of Europa in the beginning of the 20th Century which he describes using elements of the quest for the Holy Grail. So Europa is seen as a spiritual waste land waiting to be saved.
So „Sang Graal“ is the blossom growing out of „Waste Land“. Actually some tracks from „Waste Land“ were reworked there. So ideologically this album is marked by a spiritual quest in a despiritualized desert. „Waste Land“ was very pessimistic, while „Sang Graal“ has moments of hope.
Give us some more in deep details about the ideological patterns revealed through “Kydos” album? And what about the inclusion of Patrick Legas (Death In June) in such release?„Kydos“ may be seen as a musical essay, a reflection on the idea of heroism. The first part was inspired Yukio Mishima's writing on 'Hagakure', and especially his book 'Sun and Steel'. He was one of the last (artists) carrying the spirit of heroism and the way of the warrior – but he failed. So this album is about an idea of failure and decay. It was only logical to close with the well-known Sixth Comm-song 'Asylum', which is called 'Farewell to Herois' here. It was Patrick's idea to sing this song this way, and he also reworked Mishima's 'Icarus' this way. I was totally impressed by what he did. He never did this kind of Apocalyptic folk for his own stuff and captured our idea instinctively. I really adore him for this.„Kydos“ is NOT a glorification of war or right-wing heroism, so Patrick's quote from Death in June's „Oh how we laughed“ rang in my ear: „Oh how we laughed at your failure to see in us – yourselves.“
Oriental influences, drumming ritual passages and nihilistic vocals are elements included on your releases…so, and then I think, what will come for next releases. so is a kind of challenge to release an album, knowing the excellent past albums you have released? Or you just let the creative spirit and skills flows spontaneously? I am really happy that most people appreciated our work so far. It is more than we can ask for. To be where we are was never planned, it developed naturally. At the same time being on a label like Cold Meat Industry is challenging, because you have to live up to the expectations. At least with a quality of sound and composition. We try our best. Stylistically many things evolve simultaneously, and not all of them fit on the same album. So we try to concentrate on the subject of the album and keep true to our style, which I would still define as ritual folk. There still is a world music influence coming for the music we listen to – and the things going on in the world. :Golgatha: is really meant as the expression of an alternative world view and life style within the Western European world.
Some aspects which surprises me so much besides the great musical development at “Tales of Trangression and Sacrifice” album, were the dark erotism and expressive sensuality of pictures from German photographer (Birthe Klementowski). From where comes the idea to include his art as the visual elements to reresents the whole nature of the album?First of all this album is different to the one before: It is more personal and focussed indeed on sensual and sexual elements, combined with an animistic world view. Huge parts of it are inspired by the transgressive philosophy of Georges Bataille. Sexuality is also the focus of his thinking, so it was only a logical inclusion to use these photographies. In fact the texts and the images in the booklet add meaning to each other. I do not recommend to download this album for the music only. It is much more – an audiovisual experiment, combining the philosophy of Bataille, the artwork of Birthe and our music to something new and unique. And stunningly beautiful in my opinion.
Which were the principal ideological/musical elements to explore through “Sang Graal” to those of us whose haven’t heard the album yet?Due to the combination of two different bands we were able to explore some new territory, which I really enjoyed. „Sang Graal“ is more soundtrack- and neoclassical-based and moves towards what may be called martial gothic or military pop. „The Messiah“, „Seeker Divine“ and „Crusade“ are very pounding and catchy hymns, but you will find also very tender and subtle parts with great viola melodies by Anna-Maria.On the level of ideas this album is meant to reveal the pagan roots of the myth of the Holy Grail, which used to be an anchient fertility rite rather than the cup with the blood of Jesus. So this album is a mythical re-reading of a very popular toppic.
Reveal us a few about what do you focus so much into Thomas Edward Lawrance influence for the “Seven Pillars” album? And what’s the main reflection expressed through such title? This album is based on T.E. Lawrence' book „The Seven Pillars of Wisdom“, hence the title, which refers back to muslim mythology. Lawrence' life and ideas a perfect :Golgatha:-material, and it was this album, that for the first time manifested that special mixture of folk, ambient, neoclassic and wolrd music we are so fond of. For those out there who always expect boring genre works, neatly avoiding any border transgressions: forget it. We will never fit in one box. This is due to the complexity of our subjects. „Seven Pillars“ is full of ideas, rich in context and suggests further research. So it may be the one album dedicated to those truly into deep listening. Lawrence simply was one of the key characters between the first and second World War, caught between homosexual aestheticism, masochism, heroic spirit and intellectual sensibility. At the same time he was torn between orient and occident – one basic idea of :Golgatha:'s perpective.

How does :Golgatha: channelized the whole expressions to generate a concrete, unlimited source of power reflected in the musical concept you are handling until now?My mind is full of voices and ideas, and being a band with even more creative minds working there actually is a huge amount of energy to be handled. That works very well, while sometimes also producing conflict and discussion. So :Golgatha: is a combined vision – and at least something that works organically.

Could you tell us a few about upcoming releases “Nihil” and Rising”? what people can expect with such releases?"Rising" will in a long version appear on the upcoming label-compilation by Cold Meat Industry. The album version is part of our future concept „Nihil“ focussing on the European Nihilism in the eraly 20th Century. This album will go even further into songwriting aspects and focus on pounding ritual drums, orchestral atmospheres and melancholic folk.

Christoph,this was an effective conversation,so we hope to have another opportunity to share other aspects relating :Golgatha: in future.Thanks a lot for your interest and the inspiring questions. All seekers may be lost in the night („Sang Graal“) – but don't stop and keep looking for new paths to follow.


BLACK SEAS OF INFINITY (Usa) “Amrita”: The Quintessence digi pack 2007
(Autumn Winds)
Set-Heru, the creative force behinds BLACK SEAS OF INFINITY, is one of such individuals whose materialize all its creative spirit into sonic mantras. This opportunity though his magickal creation “Amrita”: The Quintessence and it’s a bit complex to explore the whole concept behind such title because, I think it’s develop through his experience with such magickal elixirs, such kalas distillations, emanating through sexual unions. Amrita is the psycho sexual elixir generated by fire snake charged with the lunar currents. Through such lunar emanations Set-Heru surprises us with an album full of abrasive psycorporeous atmospheres and a dark enigmatic elements which seems to emerge from another reality, reflecting us constant vortex of energies.

BLACK SEAS OF INFINITY works with different experimentations, focusing in a dark ambient ritual atmosphere created through well structured musical patterns. Opening “Amrita” is “Ajasram Abhichara”,a 20 minutes exploration into ritualistic atavisms, the music seems to reveal in part enigmatic voyages to the most in deep regions of Transplutonian dimensions. Dense elements, minimal sound converging all the time. Next, we have “Devourment”,a consecration of tantric nature, developed through the use of rhythmic patterns and dark atmospheres mutating through eerie soundscapes,in “Alshtla” the enigmatic ritualistic voyage continues this time evoking more dense structures with a well handled use of samples and effects, it’s a transmission from nightside of Eden, vibrating from deep within. “Porta Vox Umbra” is the ascension of darkness dressed in tribal evocations, subliminal percussive sounds and echoes coming from a distant past in time, where the old gods ruled the earth. In my opinion this release is the best composition here, although all of them have such addictive sounds. “Daughter Of The Bleeding Sunset” continues where “Porta Vox Umbra” ends, an infinite continuum beyond sensorial realities.

Percussive elements emerging from the void ready to absorb you. Abstract soundscapes generating such sutile subliminal atmospheres, all the time. Closing the album is “Anti-Vital Interior Of The Womb Exploded Moon” a more elektro ambient composition with the inclusion of Japanese visionary and writer Kenji Siratori, adapting his voice to the whole track. Set-Heru reveals us just a part of the great potential generated by him though “Amrita”: The Quintessence. Cd comes in a white digipack with arquetipes, sigils, and magickal squares and visual structures complementing perfectly with the whole concept expressed here. At the moment Set-Heru is preparing the next emanation “Hieros Gamos” so, keep your eyes open for such release through Autumn Winds prods

“I stand without death; mine eyes plunging the recesses of abandonment orgasmic feast vibrates the silence of the colours undreamt veracity the ascension of eternity”

“Agkdama Asrti Parasamgate” Cdr 2008
(Self Released)
To review the releases of THE JOY OF NATURE is to go into an enigmatic voyage to the realms of beautiful atmospheres, in deep soundscapes creating, visualizing elements of nature. To explore an universe of possibilities where all laws becomes one, and one becomes all. The magnitude of THE JOY OF NATURE is impressive, because through each release, Luis Couto, the mastermind of this act, offer us a high variety of diverse instruments, sounds and electronic devices which breaks all possible limits when creating music.
This album is a kind of commemoration for the 10 years of existence; in which THE JOY OF NATURE express just a part of the whole potential hidden. The music is in a word, sublime, it takes your heart due emotional soundscapes created here. With more than 73 minutes of folk-ambient-drone music in which you can experience moments of pureness, melancholy, abandonement and mental retrospective… strange at moments, sad at others, but always moving your feelings into different structures in which you find yourself lost in a realm of your own nature.
This album combines new songs alongside with compilation tracks and reworked music by side projects. Some of the new songs were based or featured old recordings. The whole 21 tracks included here are brilliant, a congregation of diverse natures reflected through instruments such as Violin, Viola De Terra,Irish Harp,Harmonica,Kantele,Acoustic guitars,Duduk,Indian Flute, Alpine Zither,Accordion,Percussive sounds, Drones and Field Recordings, just to name some of them. Also the inclusion of chorus, vocals, spoken voices, whispers, each track is dressed with such captivating atmospheres surrounding the sensibility of air, the strong of water, the enigmatic light of fire and the creative force of earth. Each seed (Songs) germinating, mutating into new forms, giving birth to sonic organisms.
To ask about each track will take us pages and pages. So, we must say this one is one of the best releases coming lately to my hands. Hearing this album last night, I was thinking how is possible someone will create the whole music alone; under which creative sources the mind & spirit of an individual could develops music in the way as THE JOY OF NATURE does. And more when we look the innovative design, the special package which is a woven small one with a flower. Limited to 100 copies only, and also comes with a card with an excerpt from a book in a package, there are a hundred different excerpts choosen for this release. For more information just contact Mr. Couto,to enter this realm of nature, and to feel the splendor of creative musical opus through ritual folk expressionism with such experimental, minimal atmospheres converging all the time. Just wait for a full interview next months.