We are proud to be part of Drone Records’ vinyl series Drone-Mind/Mind-Drone, with Gydja’s Gjallarbru joining contributions from Clade, Monocube and Yrsel. The release is on solid silver coloured vinyl, with graphic design by Abby Helasdottir, using two paintings by British painter Pete Greening; limited ed. of 400 copies. Gjallarbru is something of a cyclic track in that it plays on themes that have always been at the forefront of Gydja’s music: liminality, divisions between worlds, the journey rather than the destination. Indeed, one of the first Gydja compositions, recorded to cassette tape from an old Casio SK-1 sampling keyboard (and probably sounding awful now), was called View from Gjallarbru. None of the sounds from that track were recycled into this new piece, but there’s a definite continuation of theme with its depiction of the bridge of the title spanning the underworld river Gjoll, watched over by the giantess Móðguðr.
This LP-series from Drone Records is dedicated to the Drones of the World, and the Drones of our Minds. A kind of continuation of the Drone 7″-series, with artwork based on huge paintings by British artist PETE GREENING. Drone Music is seen as more than a mere ‘music style’, it expresses an approach to perceive and understand the world. DRONE-MIND and MIND-DRONE build a circle of diverse inter-relations. The Drone as a metaphor for everything that vibrates, that releases energy – from atoms and elementary particles to the hum of the earth and the universe. The Drone as an entity that connects everything that exists within our own “mind-space”, perception and self.
Four “Drones” on one record! Volume FIVE (MIND-05) is OUT NOW (Oct. 2016) and features:
GYDJA: (New Zealand) Enchanting female drone esoterica by an artist who is also known through her stunning artworks for Cold Spring and other labels. Through magnetic winds and metallic clouds the long track “Gjallarbru” creates a wonderful secretful and sensitive atmosphere; very lonely and frosty, like a cold and clear consciousness released on a high mountain, on top of the world.
CLADE, (Scotland / USA) Named after a notion taken from biology science (Monophylum), this duo is based in Scotland and USA, alluring with very focused minimal drones on so far four releases. The two tracks presented here stand out with their use of somehow refractional, fibrous sounds, placed on monotonous drones with a very sedative and insistent effect…
MONOCUBE: (Ukraine) This “ethereal drone” discovery from Ukraine moves musically through endless spaces, creating choral-like aural clouds and strange melodies => self-supporting drones with an incredible width, when even the smallest particles of concrete microsound encountering are exciting, entering into a heavenly “song of the sirens” choir..
YRSEL : (France) Another bi-national project is this French-Swedish collaboration of Julien Louvet (2:13 PM, etc.) and C-J Larsgården (Ondo),who released three albums so far. Their track “Krstnhmnbrtncrt” consists of very heavy, swallowing drones with atonal elements coming to the surface, diffus and poisonous but also lulling you into a deep (dead) sleep., slowly drowning in dense humming waves of cryptic drones.
Edgar Kerval and I had discussed collaborating on a musical project for several years before we finally brought Emme Ya and Gydja together. Despite this gestation, the theme (for dark ambient must always have a theme) was one that eluded us. Given some of the concepts considered by both Gydja and Emme Ya, a Babalonian motif seemed appropriate, but since I had recorded a whole double CD worth of Babalon-inspired material several years ago, this felt like it would be a retread, a wearing of the material that could leave it a little thin. Eventually, after much contemplation, I had a realisation: Marjorie Cameron.
For as long as I have explored magick, Cameron has had a place, often flitting on the boundaries, always unexplored but promising so much more. Whether it was in her enigmatic appearance in Kenneth Anger’s Inauguration of the Pleasuredome, which I first saw presented by Anger himself in a theatre screening of all his work in the early 90s, or in the all too brief mentions she was afforded in the biographies of Aleister Crowley and Jack Parsons. I knew of her involvement with Parsons as the elemental result of his Babalon working and was, in turn, aware of the dismissive tone that Parsons, the working, and, therefore, the result herself, was often treated in Thelemic hagiography. Parsons, that incorrigible child to the world weary Therion, so much like Uncle Al, but with a brash thoroughly modern, and so thoroughly American, attitude that any Anglophile would naturally side against and dismiss as so much New World bluster. And then there was Cameron, identified first by Parsons as an avatar of Babalon, and then by herself as Babalon incarnate: such hubris, such blasphemy, in a belief system built on pride and transgression. There was always something so romantic, so poetic, in Parsons being consumed in the flame of the explosion that took his life (rather than being like Edward Alexander who, to quote David Tibet’s memorable line, “in some sad home falls alone”) and despite their tumultuous relationship, Cameron seemed integral to this spirit of apotheosis.
But Cameron was so much more than simply a dark muse to Parson’s dark star. While he wrote paeans to her, his witch woman, she was no hollow object of adoration. She was a remarkable painter and poet in her own right, and a magickian too. One who spent her life following the death of Parsons working magick atavistically, taking it out of the ritual chamber and into the everyday, as one would expect of someone who believed themselves to be the living incarnation of a goddess.
My reacquaintance with Cameron took two expressions, both aural and visual, as the creation of musical interpretations of her life and magick coincided with the development of three graphic works for Gnosis, a collaborative exhibition of occult-themed art held at Nature: Art + Design in Auckland. These pieces were rendered as black and white illustrations, heavily inspired by Cameron’s ephemeral figures (but by no means approaching her genius), and were printed on cartouche-shaped sheets of aluminium composite. The three works distilled some of the major themes of Cameron’s life and magick: Dark Star addressed her relationship with Parsons, her dark star that she sought “in all the endless rooms of the universe,” while We Shall Ascend The Stair, and I Bear A Lamp both took lines from her experimental film Wormwood Star and interpreted them as explorations of the nightside. These themes were, in turn, translated into tracks, while the apocalyptic motifs underlying Cameron’s search for the Wormwood Star provided other songs, as well as the album’s title: Apsinthion.
Edgar and I exchanged our respective compositions and added elements to them. In this alchemical process, I found Emme Ya’s material and the titles melding surprisingly well with the themes I had already mapped out. Dissolution in the Arms of Hekate reminded me of Inauguration of the Pleasuredome, in which Kenneth Anger himself appeared as a psychopompish Hekate, while Descending through the red labyrinth, a quintessentially Emme Ya title if ever there was one, fitted in well with the nightside journey detailed by Cameron in her Wormwood Star narration.
The artwork created for the Gnosis exhibition formed the basis for the sleeve design for Apsinthion, while these elements were also incorporated into a brief video trailer.
I have described the music I create as Gydja as devotional music, music that is not only for devotion but which is, in its very creation, an act of devotion. Often the object of this devotion is the goddess Hela, but in this case, it is fair to say that the object is another expression of the divine. Whether one chooses to accept her status as either an avatar, or the very embodiment, of Babalon, it is hard not to see in Cameron someone who was touched by the spirit of the red goddess. This Witch Woman, this Candida, this Hilarion, she who would wander “in the witchwood under the Night of Pan, and know the mysteries of the Goat and the Serpent, and of the children that are hidden away.”
Out now on Neve is the Colcothar EP by the Italian dark ambient act Ouroboros. It features five tracks by Ouroboros and remixes by Emme Ya and Gydja. Seven tracks in all of rather lovely dark ambient with the occasional neoclassical touch. The sixth track, Anthos, is remixed by Emme Ya while the final track Helismidan, is remixed by Gydja.
Gydja’s 2008 album Helchemy is now available for download from bandcamp.com You can buy a pure digital version or order a physical copy (with immediate digital download). This album was originally released by Italian label AFE Records.
June 21st,2014 Uncategorized |
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The 2002 album Cold Seed (Hagalaz Meditation) is now available for download from bandcamp.com. A single 79 track, this is an minimalist ambient drift exploration of the rune Hagalaz. Available for free download or pay whatever you like.
“Nec satis procul ab hoc de quo praemisimus litore, contra occidentalem partem, profundissima aquarum illa vorago est, quam usitato nomine maris umbilicum vocamus. Quae bis in die fluctus absorbere et rursum evomere dicitur, sicut per universa illa litora accedentibus ac recedentibus fluctibus celeritate nimia fieri comprobatur.
Not very far from this shore of which we have spoken, towards the western side, on which the ocean main lies open without end, is that very deep abyss of waters which we call ‘the navel of the sea’. It is said twice a day to suck the waves into itself and spew them out again.”
– Paulus Diaconus (Historia gentis Langobardorum)
Gydja Koha Policy:
Because of the age of this work, this album is being made available free to download. Please feel free to make a koha as a mark of your appreciation.
Gydja and Svartsinn have contributed a collaborative track to the Behind the Canvas of Time compilation on Simon Heath’s 24bit digital label Cryo Chamber. The piece is called Terrenum Corpus and Cryo Chamber describes the compilation thusly:
This compilation weaves a tale from the depths of the ancient gods, to the plains of our tribal formations, to the reconstruction of giant cities from our repressed memories. The evolution of our expanding mind inside our caskets of drooping flesh has never been told like this before. You have never heard these amazing acts in such lush detail, the dynamic range of this 24-bit release finally does these veteran producers justice.
January 13th,2013 Uncategorized |
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Gydja is featured on a 75 track digital compilation from Kalpamantra. The track, Nubem de Obscura, sits along contributions from, amongst others, Kammarheit, Blood Box, Numina, Tenhornedbeast, Coph Nia, Clear Stream Temple, Antlers Mulm, New Risen Thrown and Herbst9.