At Water's Edge, 27 February 2016: Wings of an Angel
"The utmost value in life has always been swimming in the deep - that is, researching and delving unto the deep waters. Unfortunately, today's spirit in everything - from the academy to art - is narrowing down and watering down; for me this is unacceptable. I maintain my full blown die hard position even at the cost of remaining in the ivory tower, so to speak. Yet, I do feel/think/reckon that art can be serious and meaningful without becoming pretentious and elitist. And in any event - a punch to the index of the mind or not - it should maintain some kind of wilder edge - some kind of humor whether black, light, sarcastic, or otherwise."
-Wings of an Angel, February 2016
For the month of February, our featured artist on StillStream.FM has been Wings of an Angel, a prolific and highly skilled ambient musician, artist and poet-philosopher whose works blend all of these passions in fascinating ways. Often dark, always beautiful, and occasionally slightly weird, today we both see and hear some of the results.
Two decades of dancing with the shadows in his darkroom bring us the images we see on the video feed today; the images fall naturally into two segments (black and white, then color in the second segment). You can see more of his psychedelic full hd color art page - unearthly-demagogue.deviantart.com/ THE UNEARTHLY DEMAGOGUE, the name he chose when he started creating his psychedelic artworks. The images there have titles every bit as intriguing as his album tracks, so do go exploring! His whole emphasis is what he calls the "holy trinity of atmospheric music, original cover art and reflective titles" (that could be seen as fragmentary poetic/philosophical/existential epigrams).
Part 1: A Virgin Grim Reaper Reconstructs His Seventy Two Past Lives
Arpad (Her Symbiotic Oral Fixation Has Deflowered My Photosynthetic Membranes)
Sirpad (A Random Visit To My Noise Theater Provoked These Episodes Of Guilt-Ridden Insomnia So Think Twice Before Changing Your Diet Of Treacherous One Night Stands)
Gamad (Renowned Ecstasy Denier Snow White Is The Best Candidate For Becoming The Decadent Wannabe Goddess For My Miserable Little Dwarf)
Arpad = Vampire
Sirpad = Thorn
Gamad = Dwarf
Together with the subtitles, this album playfully and humorously toys with the deeper meanings of being a virgin (directly and metaphorically) hermit/loner
[=grim reaper both in its direct meaning and as a gothic metaphor of someone who feels disjointed with the outer layer of the world and existence while having a fathomless and unfathomed inner self and inner existence]
in a hostile socially-obsessed world that is also heavily obsessed with sexuality (the title is a very wild and un-PC exchange with the Islamic concept of 72 virgins). On a deeper metaphoric level, it speaks of how an outsider artist creates and maintains his own universe (in Wings' case, his studio and his darkroom), often at the cost of being and remaining a recluse, quite disconnected with social events and mores. It's meant to be a naughty-spirited journey in the vein of laughing (this is the FUNERAL DOOM LAUGHTER element) about oneself and taking everything with a grin - because Wings of an Angel believes that it's important to always be aware that one must not take oneself and one's art too seriously - in fact, he has said that he dislikes people for whom it becomes an "OH SO SERIOUS" holier-than-thou pursuit. Very often, artists are like professors, who become grim reapers themselves, who lack self-reflection of the lightest kind and are too concerned with status and respect.
The Beautiful Secrets That I Will Take To The Grave
This album is self-reflective in a different manner from Virgin Grim Reaper, in that it is both very melancholic yet not without a profound sense of the lightness of being. Each one of us carries secrets with him/her - very often up to the grave. Sometimes the secrets are dark and disturbing, but sometimes they can also be beautiful... "I would like to think that my personal secrets are beautiful and light," he says, "thus the music swirls in this direction."
He sent this particular track for the program "...because I really love it and feel it's sincerely beautiful and stands up to its title... A late night 'round midnight kind of ambient blues."
Finally, to close this program, a track by Peter Kater to celebrate the release of his new album Inner Passion with Tina Guo. (Sorry, we already gave away the CD. Thanks to Beth Ann Hilton of The B Company for the opportunity! ;-) )
"At Heaven's Gate" - Peter Kater - Ambrosia (2008)