March 23, 2013

Dave Tomlin analyzes his two compositions from "The Magus" (1972).

I've asked Dave Tomlin to analyze his old compositions for the TEB's THE MAGUS album, "New Horizon" and "The Phoenix" (actually a poem declaimed by himself), and he has been so kind to do it for Ghetto Raga Archive. 
As everyone knows, THE MAGUS was recorded in 1972 by a line-up with Sweeney (drums), Minns (oboe, recorders and hammond), Mike Marchant (electric guitar and vocals), Simon House (electric violin, VCS3 and piano), Dave Tomlin (bass and flute) and Ron Kort (percussion, doom piano). The late Mike Marchant composed the majority of tracks inspired by Tarots. Recorded just in five days, rejected by Island Records, the album was lost in the vaults, re-discovered and published for the first time in 2004 by English Angel Air thanks the late sound engineer Ron Kort.
Here's Dave's writing about his tracks.

New Horizon (music & lyrics by Dave Tomlin)
There are four significant verses in the lyrics of this song. 

1) ‘We are standing on, our own horizon’

This, the first line of the song although intriguing, is in fact nonsense.
For those whose English is a little weak, the horizon is the visible line between the earth and sky. Sometimes this can be quite near depending on the kind of landscape. At other times it can be at a great distance (while at sea for instance).
Nevertheless, to stand on one’s own horizon cannot be done and were it to be accomplished would require shifting to another dimension. However, the concept leads to another seeming impossibility which is revealed in the second verse.

2) ‘Paths that lead this way, by-pass yesterday’.
I wrote this song around 1966 when the idea of ‘now’ was inspiring the minds of the hippies of that time. 'Baba Ram Das’ (Richard Alpert) book, ‘Be here now’, was required reading and the idea of abandoning the past in this quest had much power. This was the notion that launched the ‘happenings’ and spontaneous events that were the signature phenomena of the time. On a more personal level the idea also supported the idea that the personal ‘self' belonged to the past, and freedom from that self lay only in the present moment. Therefore, to by-pass yesterday was an invitation to a new kind of freedom.

3) ‘It’s made more or less, out of nothingness but that doesn’t mean, it cannot be seen’.
Quantum physics had of late revealed the insubstantial nature of matter which, although obtuse to the point of almost non-existence is still, nevertheless, commonly perceivable by the human eye.
Some forms of Buddhism also speak of this paradoxical fact.

4) There’s no reason why, we should have to lie/die. If the Pope goes mad, we’ll be very glad/sad’.
I realised when writing these lyrics that they might be controversial amongst those of a particular religious persuasion and therefore, as above, considered some alternatives. However, I left this decision to the very last moment, in fact while I was singing it, and, the times being what they were, I was seized by a bolshie spirit and went for ‘lie’ and ‘glad’.
Catholics of course are excused from adopting this view, but for those outside that mindset such an affliction to the Holy Father would seem to be of great benefit and undermine the credibility of that teaching, particularly for children who are being programmed into such a Satanic doctrine. For instance, in the view of that perfidious teaching to miss mass on Sunday is a mortal sin, and should that sinner die without seeking forgiveness in the confessional, will be cast into Hell for all eternity.
Enough to terrify and give nightmares to any sensitive and vulnerable child. 

               A beautiful page from "Conference of the birds" by Farid Ud-Din Attar (1177).

The Phoenix (music and poem by Dave Tomlin) 
This song also written in 1966 was based on and inspired by
‘The Conference of the Birds’. A 12th century Persian poem by Farid Ud-Din Attar.
‘Come you lost atoms to your centre draw and be the eternal mirror that you saw Rays that have wandered into darkness wide return and back into your sun subside’.

The birds go on a journey to seek their King, the ‘Simoch’ otherwise the Phoenix. 

"Conference of the birds" (detail), from Attar Mantiq al-Tayr (1493)

no©2013 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first) 

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