Happy Release Day to Soundwalk Collective with Patti Smith

The sounds of Himalayan winds, sacred mantras and water rippling in the holy river Ganges, invite us to Peradam, the transcendent new album by Soundwalk Collective with Patti Smith. Peradam takes as its entry point René Daumal’s early 1940s novel Mount Analogue: a Novel of Symbolically Authentic Non-Euclidean Adventures in Mountain Climbing, in which the French writer, critic and poet mapped a metaphysical journey to “the ultimate symbolic mountain” in search of meaning. In it, Daumal introduced the idea of the “peradam”, a rare, crystalline stone – harbouring profound truths – that is only visible to seekers on a true spiritual path.

Peradam arrives as “the final stone”, says Soundwalk Collective’s Stephan Crasneanscki, in The Perfect Vision, a triptych of albums that evoke and explore the sainted spaces of thought and creativity opened by the three French writers and poets. After albums devoted to Antonin Artaud (The Peyote Dance) and Arthur Rimbaud (Mummer Love), Peradam expands on “the living space”, says Smith, that Daumal left for future seekers to enter and create out of. 

https://youtu.be/wwyGrJfHCbU

Daumal’s spiritual quests ranged wide and deep. Part-influenced by Rimbaud, he also identified with the Pataphysicians, followers of the avant-garde absurdist Alfred Jarry. Daumal experimented with hallucinogens to the detriment of his health, though he would later transfer his passions to the purity of work as he nurtured a fascination with Hindu philosophies and taught himself Sanskrit; Peradam features some of his translations. While Daumal embraced the idea of self-abnegation as the key to internal awakening, he was also drawn to the syntheses of Eastern/Western thought in Greek-Armenian philosopher GI Gurdjieff’s teachings. Daumal’s greatest works include the novels A Night of Serious Drinking and Mount Analogue, which – though unfinished at the time of his death from TB at 36 in 1944 – inspired psychedelic magus Alejandro Jodorowsky’s 1973 film The Holy Mountain as well as the creative journeys undertaken by Soundwalk Collective and Patti Smith.

Following recordings in the Sierra Tarahumara, Mexico and Harar, Ethiopia for their albums devoted to Artaud and Rimbaud, Soundwalk Collective (Stephan Crasneanscki, Simone Merli) travelled to Nanda Devi in the Himalayas, Rishikesh, Varanasi and Kingdom of Lo (Upper Mustang) to channel Daumal’s metaphysical quest in physical sound. “And through our physical travels,” says Crasneanscki, “we discovered the most humble objects of meaning that carry the spirit of what he searched for and found. It can be as simple as a stone, which can inhabit a power almost like a talisman.”

Soundwalk Collective’s musical and field-recording based compositions help to flesh out the enfolding soundscapes of Peradam, alongside contributions from simpatico collaborators. Tenzin Choegyal brought his voice, Tibetan drums, singing bowls, dranyen and damru to the title-track, “Spiritual Death” and closer “The Rat”, a poem by Smith that journeys across a fecund metaphorical landscape of life, death and cyclical nature. “Knowledge of the Self” features the sitar of Anoushka Shankar, who brings with her a family connection to the album’s subject: Daumal toured America as an impassioned spokesman for Uday Shankar, the Indian dancer whose siblings included the great musician Ravi Shankar, Anoushka’s late father. 

The actor and singer-songwriter Charlotte Gainsbourg contributes to “The Four Cardinal Times”, while “Nanda Devi” features Dhan Singh Rana, a Sherpa in his 70s who gently encouraged Crasneanscki up the mountain. “And meter after meter, hour after hour, slowly but surely I got there,” says Crasneanscki. The experience proved enlightening, he adds: “The mountain teaches us the slowness and calmness that Daumal wrote of. When you finally arrive and look up at the magistral Nanda Devi summit, Daumal’s words resonate: ‘The Mountain is the connection between Earth and Sky. Its highest summit touches the sphere of eternity, and its base branches out in manifold foothills into the world of mortals. It is the path by which humanity can raise itself to the divine and the divine reveal itself to humanity.’”

https://youtu.be/LFGwYUe4Yhs

The sounds captured and composed by Soundwalk Collective helped Smith in her tough, tender and tactile voicework: readings that dive so much deeper than mere readings. “It’s just attempting to create a breathing body of work that keeps growing as you do it; it’s alive,” she says. “You can’t just do it because you say you’re going to. People can go out to Central Park and record the wind, but we have wind from the top of sacred mountains, we have the sound of stones from the most dangerous parts of the Copper Canyon in Mexico.”

The result is a perfect conclusion to The Perfect Vision, a triptych that reaches beyond the physical, across time and space, to channel the spiritual and philosophical energies and work of earlier seekers. “We are not trying to make a living, we are not trying to have physical gold in our hands – it’s a different type of gold, it’s metaphysical gold,” says Smith. “It’s like a peradam in Daumal’s world. The only time we’re able to hold onto it is during the process. We don’t even get to hold it through our life; only the process.” Out of that process emerges new spaces: living landscapes in which willing explorers may find treasures. The project is complete but the spiritual quest it honours remains open, a process ready for continuation. “In the end,” Smith says, “it goes out into the world and becomes whatever it becomes – perhaps one person in the year 2070 uses it as a springboard for another work.”

Soundwalk Collective with Patti Smith announce Peradam

The sounds of Himalayan winds, sacred mantras and water rippling in the holy river Ganges, invite us to Peradam, the transcendent new album by Soundwalk Collective with Patti Smith. The album, which features guests including Anoushka Shankar, Tenzin Choegal and Charlotte Gainsbourg, will be released 4th September via Bella Union and is available to preorder here.

Peradam takes as its entry point René Daumal’s early 1940s novel Mount Analogue: a Novel of Symbolically Authentic Non-Euclidean Adventures in Mountain Climbing, in which the French writer, critic and poet mapped a metaphysical journey to “the ultimate symbolic mountain” in search of meaning. In it, Daumal introduced the idea of the “peradam”, a rare, crystalline stone – harbouring profound truths – that is only visible to seekers on a true spiritual path. The band have shared a hypnotic video to the title track, directed by Stephan Crasneanscki and with editing and visual collage by Jenn Ruff. 

Peradam arrives as “the final stone”, says Soundwalk Collective’s Stephan Crasneanscki, in The Perfect Vision, a triptych of albums that evoke and explore the sainted spaces of thought and creativity opened by the three French writers and poets. After albums devoted to Antonin Artaud (The Peyote Dance) and Arthur Rimbaud (Mummer Love), Peradam expands on “the living space”, says Smith, that Daumal left for future seekers to enter and create out of. 

Daumal’s spiritual quests ranged wide and deep. Part-influenced by Rimbaud, he also identified with the Pataphysicians, followers of the avant-garde absurdist Alfred Jarry. Daumal experimented with hallucinogens to the detriment of his health, though he would later transfer his passions to the purity of work as he nurtured a fascination with Hindu philosophies and taught himself Sanskrit; Peradam features some of his translations. While Daumal embraced the idea of self-abnegation as the key to internal awakening, he was also drawn to the syntheses of Eastern/Western thought in Greek-Armenian philosopher GI Gurdjieff’s teachings. Daumal’s greatest works include the novels A Night of Serious Drinking and Mount Analogue, which – though unfinished at the time of his death from TB at 36 in 1944 – inspired psychedelic magus Alejandro Jodorowsky’s 1973 film The Holy Mountain as well as the creative journeys undertaken by Soundwalk Collective and Patti Smith.

Following recordings in the Sierra Tarahumara, Mexico and Harar, Ethiopia for their albums devoted to Artaud and Rimbaud, Soundwalk Collective (Stephan Crasneanscki, Simone Merli) travelled to Nanda Devi in the Himalayas, Rishikesh, Varanasi and Kingdom of Lo (Upper Mustang) to channel Daumal’s metaphysical quest in physical sound. “And through our physical travels,” says Crasneanscki, “we discovered the most humble objects of meaning that carry the spirit of what he searched for and found. It can be as simple as a stone, which can inhabit a power almost like a talisman.”

Sounwalk Collective’s musical and field-recording based compositions help to flesh out the enfolding soundscapes of Peradam, alongside contributions from simpatico collaborators. Tenzin Choegyal brought his voice, Tibetan drums, singing bowls, dranyen and damru to the title-track, “Spiritual Death” and closer “The Rat”, a poem by Smith that journeys across a fecund metaphorical landscape of life, death and cyclical nature. “Knowledge of the Self” features the sitar of Anoushka Shankar, who brings with her a family connection to the album’s subject: Daumal toured America as an impassioned spokesman for Uday Shankar, the Indian dancer whose siblings included the great musician Ravi Shankar, Anoushka’s late father. 

The actor and singer-songwriter Charlotte Gainsbourg contributes to “The Four Cardinal Times”, while “Nanda Devi” features Dhan Singh Rana, a Sherpa in his 70s who gently encouraged Crasneanscki up the mountain. “And meter after meter, hour after hour, slowly but surely I got there,” says Crasneanscki. The experience proved enlightening, he adds: “The mountain teaches us the slowness and calmness that Daumal wrote of. When you finally arrive and look up at the magistral Nanda Devi summit, Daumal’s words resonate: ‘The Mountain is the connection between Earth and Sky. Its highest summit touches the sphere of eternity, and its base branches out in manifold foothills into the world of mortals. It is the path by which humanity can raise itself to the divine and the divine reveal itself to humanity.’”

The sounds captured and composed by Soundwalk Collective helped Smith in her tough, tender and tactile voicework: readings that dive so much deeper than mere readings. “It’s just attempting to create a breathing body of work that keeps growing as you do it; it’s alive,” she says. “You can’t just do it because you say you’re going to. People can go out to Central Park and record the wind, but we have wind from the top of sacred mountains, we have the sound of stones from the most dangerous parts of the Copper Canyon in Mexico.”

The result is a perfect conclusion to The Perfect Vision, a triptych that reaches beyond the physical, across time and space, to channel the spiritual and philosophical energies and work of earlier seekers. “We are not trying to make a living, we are not trying to have physical gold in our hands – it’s a different type of gold, it’s metaphysical gold,” says Smith. “It’s like a peradam in Daumal’s world. The only time we’re able to hold onto it is during the process. We don’t even get to hold it through our life; only the process.” Out of that process emerges new spaces: living landscapes in which willing explorers may find treasures. The project is complete but the spiritual quest it honours remains open, a process ready for continuation. “In the end,” Smith says, “it goes out into the world and becomes whatever it becomes – perhaps one person in the year 2070 uses it as a springboard for another work.”

Peradam is produced in collaboration with Leonardo Heiblum and with the kind support of the Analogue Foundation.

Happy Release Day to Soundwalk Collective with Patti Smith

A sonic cross-continental experience, Mummer Love is the second album in the Perfect Vision triptych collaboration between Soundwalk Collective and Patti Smith. The album, which features guest contributions fromPhilip Glass and Mulatu Astatke, is out now on Bella Union.

For this body of work, Soundwalk Collective journeyed to Africa to explore the intricacies of Arthur Rimbaud’s most obscure period. After leaving France and what he deemed the ‘western stagnation’, Rimbaud found himself in Harar, Ethiopia – an epicenter of Sufism in Africa. Sufi practise focuses on the renunciation of worldly things, the purification of the soul and the mystical contemplation of God’s nature. Sufism is a mystical form of Islam, and its music is about reaching a communal ecstatic state, and once you find yourself there, you are granted access to the unknown. The Soundwalk Collectivespent time with the Sufi group of Sheikh Ibrahim to record their music and chants in the shrine. “You obtain connections to other levels of yourself and consciousness,” Stephan Crasneanscki mentions of the musical process. “This connection, like poetry, is a universal language. A language of the soul, for the soul.”

As with the other albums in the triptych, the Collective searched for hidden, earthy sounds that hold memories and embed existence. For Mummer Love, they also found themselves recording under the tree where Rimbaud photographed the shrine of Sheik Abadir Umar ar-Rida al Harari, the founder of the holy city Harar. “As the rain fell, I wondered if I was hearing the drops hitting the leaves the same way Rimbaud did 140 years ago,” Crasneanscki says. These sounds and Sufi chants coexist with Patti Smith’s interpretation of Rimbaud’s poems, as she recites and sings among them in a call and response, sharing the same musical and spiritual space.

Smith’s only poem is the title track “Mummer Love”, written to Rimbaud; her words are rooted in multiple aspects of the self: from the passion of a lover to the care of a mother, and everything in between. Further contributions to this album come from Mulatu Astatke, widely considered the father of Ethio-jazz, and Phillip Glass, who’s long felt a connection to Sufi music – here coming together and evoking a call and response between piano and vocals of the Sufi masters. It is simultaneously the first time Glass collaborates with Smith, and so Harar becomes an extraordinary meeting place for all to celebrate the beauty of Rimbaud’s work.

Referring to the overall work, Smith likens the project to a fourth mind equation. “Because we are working with other people’s work, and not just reading it but channelling these people, they become a fourth mind. We are Rimbaud, you, I, and the work,” Smith says in conversation with Crasneanscki. The unification of all minds together magnifies its power and potential. “It makes me think of Rimbaud’s energy, his strong will,” Smith says. “If we, the living, send out radio and energy waves, the energy of those last poems is still reverberating. It can’t be silenced, because we understand that this work and the artists are not dead, they find life when we are recording them.”

Entitled The Perfect Vision, this musical triptych, which has been co-produced with Leonardo Heiblum and supported by the Analogue Foundation, aims to go beyond 20/20 vision and explore a dimension that exists on a non-physical plane. What one can physically see is only the beginning – this project transcends what we think we see, by multiplying experiences, languages and energies. “We went through places like Mexico, Ethiopia and India to search for a perfect vision, in spaces where you can still feel a sacred presence – where the Gods are still among you,” says Crasneanscki. “In this idea of perfect vision, there is the idea of oneness, and with that comes a sense of supreme love.”

Mummer Love is released today, to mark the anniversary of the death of Arthur Rimbaud, on 10th November (1891). 

Soundwalk Collective with Patti Smith share ‘Farewell’

A sonic cross-continental experience, Mummer Love is the second album in the Perfect Vision triptych collaboration between Soundwalk Collective and Patti Smith. The album, which features guest contributions fromPhilip Glass and Mulatu Astatke, will be released 8th November via Bella Union. Having previous shared the tracks “Eternity” and “La Maison de Rimbaud“, Soundwalk Collective and Patti Smith today unveil “Farewell”, its earthy, hypnotic sounds providing a building backdrop to Smith’s powerful recital of Rimbaud’s words.

For this body of work, Soundwalk Collective journeyed to Africa to explore the intricacies of Arthur Rimbaud’s most obscure period. After leaving France and what he deemed the ‘western stagnation’, Rimbaud found himself in Harar, Ethiopia – an epicenter of Sufism in Africa. Sufi practise focuses on the renunciation of worldly things, the purification of the soul and the mystical contemplation of God’s nature. Sufism is a mystical form of Islam, and its music is about reaching a communal ecstatic state, and once you find yourself there, you are granted access to the unknown. The Soundwalk Collectivespent time with the Sufi group of Sheikh Ibrahim to record their music and chants in the shrine. “You obtain connections to other levels of yourself and consciousness,” Stephan Crasneanscki mentions of the musical process. “This connection, like poetry, is a universal language. A language of the soul, for the soul.”

As with the other albums in the triptych, the Collective searched for hidden, earthy sounds that hold memories and embed existence. For Mummer Love, they also found themselves recording under the tree where Rimbaud photographed the shrine of Sheik Abadir Umar ar-Rida al Harari, the founder of the holy city Harar. “As the rain fell, I wondered if I was hearing the drops hitting the leaves the same way Rimbaud did 140 years ago,” Crasneanscki says. These sounds and Sufi chants coexist with Patti Smith’s interpretation of Rimbaud’s poems, as she recites and sings among them in a call and response, sharing the same musical and spiritual space.

Smith’s only poem is the title track “Mummer Love”, written to Rimbaud; her words are rooted in multiple aspects of the self: from the passion of a lover to the care of a mother, and everything in between. Further contributions to this album come from Mulatu Astatke, widely considered the father of Ethio-jazz, and Phillip Glass, who’s long felt a connection to Sufi music – here coming together and evoking a call and response between piano and vocals of the Sufi masters. It is simultaneously the first time Glass collaborates with Smith, and so Harar becomes an extraordinary meeting place for all to celebrate the beauty of Rimbaud’s work.

Referring to the overall work, Smith likens the project to a fourth mind equation. “Because we are working with other people’s work, and not just reading it but channelling these people, they become a fourth mind. We are Rimbaud, you, I, and the work,” Smith says in conversation with Crasneanscki. The unification of all minds together magnifies its power and potential. “It makes me think of Rimbaud’s energy, his strong will,” Smith says. “If we, the living, send out radio and energy waves, the energy of those last poems is still reverberating. It can’t be silenced, because we understand that this work and the artists are not dead, they find life when we are recording them.”

Entitled The Perfect Vision, this musical triptych, which has been co-produced with Leonardo Heiblum and supported by the Analogue Foundation, aims to go beyond 20/20 vision and explore a dimension that exists on a non-physical plane. What one can physically see is only the beginning – this project transcends what we think we see, by multiplying experiences, languages and energies. “We went through places like Mexico, Ethiopia and India to search for a perfect vision, in spaces where you can still feel a sacred presence – where the Gods are still among you,” says Crasneanscki. “In this idea of perfect vision, there is the idea of oneness, and with that comes a sense of supreme love.”

Mummer Love will be released 8th November, to mark the anniversary of the death of Arthur Rimbaud, on 10th November (1891). 

Soundwalk Collective with Patti Smith share ‘La Maison de Rimbaud’

A sonic cross-continental experience, Mummer Love is the second album in the Perfect Vision triptych collaboration between Soundwalk Collectiveand Patti Smith. The album, which features guest contributions fromPhillip Glass and Mulatu Astatke, will be released 8th November via Bella Union. Having previous shared the track “Eternity”, Soundwalk Collective and Patti Smith today unveil “Le Maison de Rimbaud” which features Philip Glass on piano.

For this body of work, Soundwalk Collective journeyed to Africa to explore the intricacies of Arthur Rimbaud’s most obscure period. After leaving France and what he deemed the ‘western stagnation’, Rimbaud found himself in Harar, Ethiopia – an epicenter of Sufism in Africa. Sufi practise focuses on the renunciation of worldly things, the purification of the soul and the mystical contemplation of God’s nature. Sufism is a mystical form of Islam, and its music is about reaching a communal ecstatic state, and once you find yourself there, you are granted access to the unknown. The Soundwalk Collectivespent time with the Sufi group of Sheikh Ibrahim to record their music and chants in the shrine with the use of Audio-Technica microphones. “You obtain connections to other levels of yourself and consciousness,” Stephan Crasneanscki mentions of the musical process. “This connection, like poetry, is a universal language. A language of the soul, for the soul.”

As with the other albums in the triptych, the Collective searched for hidden, earthy sounds that hold memories and embed existence. For Mummer Love, they also found themselves recording under the tree where Rimbaud photographed the shrine of Sheik Abadir Umar ar-Rida al Harari, the founder of the holy city Harar. “As the rain fell, I wondered if I was hearing the drops hitting the leaves the same way Rimbaud did 140 years ago,” Crasneanscki says. These sounds and Sufi chants coexist with Patti Smith’s interpretation of Rimbaud’s poems, as she recites and sings among them in a call and response, sharing the same musical and spiritual space.

Smith’s only poem is the title track “Mummer Love”, written to Rimbaud; her words are rooted in multiple aspects of the self: from the passion of a lover to the care of a mother, and everything in between. Further contributions to this album come from Mulatu Astatke, widely considered the father of Ethio-jazz, and Phillip Glass, who’s long felt a connection to Sufi music – here coming together and evoking a call and response between piano and vocals of the Sufi masters. It is simultaneously the first time Glass collaborates with Smith, and so Harar becomes an extraordinary meeting place for all to celebrate the beauty of Rimbaud’s work.

Referring to the overall work, Smith likens the project to a fourth mind equation. “Because we are working with other people’s work, and not just reading it but channelling these people, they become a fourth mind. We are Rimbaud, you, I, and the work,” Smith says in conversation with Crasneanscki. The unification of all minds together magnifies its power and potential. “It makes me think of Rimbaud’s energy, his strong will,” Smith says. “If we, the living, send out radio and energy waves, the energy of those last poems is still reverberating. It can’t be silenced, because we understand that this work and the artists are not dead, they find life when we are recording them.”

Entitled The Perfect Vision, this musical triptych, which has been co-produced with Leonardo Heiblum and supported by the Analogue Foundation, aims to go beyond 20/20 vision and explore a dimension that exists on a non-physical plane. What one can physically see is only the beginning – this project transcends what we think we see, by multiplying experiences, languages and energies. “We went through places like Mexico, Ethiopia and India to search for a perfect vision, in spaces where you can still feel a sacred presence – where the Gods are still among you,” says Crasneanscki. “In this idea of perfect vision, there is the idea of oneness, and with that comes a sense of supreme love.”

Mummer Love will be released 8th November, to mark the anniversary of the death of Arthur Rimbaud, on 10th November (1891). 

Soundwalk Collective with Patti Smith announce ‘Mummer Love’

A sonic cross-continental experience, Mummer Love is the second album in the Perfect Vision triptych collaboration between Soundwalk Collective and Patti Smith. The album, which features guest contributions from Phillip Glass, Mulatu Astatke, and the Sufi Group of Sheikh Ibrahim, will be released 8th November via Bella Union and is available to preorder here. The first track entitled “Eternity” has been shared…

For this body of work, Soundwalk Collective journeyed to Africa to explore the intricacies of Arthur Rimbaud’s most obscure period. After leaving France and what he deemed the ‘western stagnation’, Rimbaud found himself in Harar, Ethiopia – an epicenter of Sufism in Africa. Sufi practise focuses on the renunciation of worldly things, the purification of the soul and the mystical contemplation of God’s nature. Sufism is a mystical form of Islam, and its music is about reaching a communal ecstatic state, and once you find yourself there, you are granted access to the unknown. The Soundwalk Collectivespent time with the Sufi group of Sheikh Ibrahim to record their music and chants in the shrine with the use of Audio-Technica microphones. “You obtain connections to other levels of yourself and consciousness,” Stephan Crasneanscki mentions of the musical process. “This connection, like poetry, is a universal language. A language of the soul, for the soul.”

As with the other albums in the triptych, the Collective searched for hidden, earthy sounds that hold memories and embed existence. For Mummer Love, they also found themselves recording under the tree where Rimbaud photographed the shrine of Sheik Abadir Umar ar-Rida al Harari, the founder of the holy city Harar. “As the rain fell, I wondered if I was hearing the drops hitting the leaves the same way Rimbaud did 140 years ago,” Crasneanscki says. These sounds and Sufi chants coexist with Patti Smith’s interpretation of Rimbaud’s poems, as she recites and sings among them in a call and response, sharing the same musical and spiritual space.

Smith’s only poem is the title track “Mummer Love”, written to Rimbaud; her words are rooted in multiple aspects of the self: from the passion of a lover to the care of a mother, and everything in between. Further contributions to this album come from Mulatu Astatke, widely considered the father of Ethio-jazz, and Phillip Glass, who’s long felt a connection to Sufi music – here coming together and evoking a call and response between piano and vocals of the Sufi masters. It is simultaneously the first time Glass collaborates with Smith, and so Harar becomes an extraordinary meeting place for all to celebrate the beauty of Rimbaud’s work.

Referring to the overall work, Smith likens the project to a fourth mind equation. “Because we are working with other people’s work, and not just reading it but channelling these people, they become a fourth mind. We are Rimbaud, you, I, and the work,” Smith says in conversation with Crasneanscki. The unification of all minds together magnifies its power and potential. “It makes me think of Rimbaud’s energy, his strong will,” Smith says. “If we, the living, send out radio and energy waves, the energy of those last poems is still reverberating. It can’t be silenced, because we understand that this work and the artists are not dead, they find life when we are recording them.”

Entitled The Perfect Vision, this musical triptych, which has been co-produced with Leonardo Heiblum and supported by the Analogue Foundation, aims to go beyond 20/20 vision and explore a dimension that exists on a non-physical plane. What one can physically see is only the beginning – this project transcends what we think we see, by multiplying experiences, languages and energies. “We went through places like Mexico, Ethiopia and India to search for a perfect vision, in spaces where you can still feel a sacred presence – where the Gods are still among you,” says Crasneanscki. “In this idea of perfect vision, there is the idea of oneness, and with that comes a sense of supreme love.”

Mummer Love will be released 8th November, to mark the anniversary of the death of Arthur Rimbaud, on 10th November (1891).