JIM GABLE – Mantra

Absence Of Wax

Jim Gable: Buchla 200 synthesizer

Despite hundreds of years spent studying the origins, linguistic ancestry and anthropomorphic usage of a mantra, until now no one that I know of has had the nerve of telling the truth in regard to a fundamental concept of so called “cosmic connectedness”. The mantra – especially in the case of its “om” derivation, but the same can be applied to any related vocal activity – makes no actual sense when chanted by beings whose brain is typically vitiated by paranoid neuroses, babbling egos and aspirations of control, if only on a restricted (or less) nucleus of equally flawed individuals needing to call out a “god” before accepting the foregone conclusion of an ageless nonaccomplishment. On the contrary, in sensible hands a Buchla 200 – a machine worth around 40.000 USD at its fullest potential – can emit curative acoustic morphologies that a derelict neural structure addicted to something or someone can’t even dream of conceptualizing. Those are the keys to the kind of sympathetic union with what’s truly meaningful, where one does not bother thinking about futile concepts such as “body”, “mind”, “myself” or “the other”. Where history, geography, science, maths and all the fields of theoretical “knowledge” vanish in the name of implicit nihility. Pure intuition and WMSP (Wordless Multiple Simultaneous Perception – I’ll trademark this definition against the copycats, don’t trouble yourselves to understand how it works) collocate the beingness precisely where it needs to be, namely at some point inside an immense ocean of resounding waveforms. Jim Gable’s 1978 approach to this type of essential expression – in a nutshell, low frequencies replacing a prayer – sounds perfect to this day: a solitary murmur affecting an assimilative individual deeply, an all-embracing stillness revealing the inner pulse of what ordinarily chattering minds will forever try to set forth in a way or another, rushing and ultimately falling face forward during a miserable race towards an hypothetical realization, whereas what they’re craving is indeed a low-budget resplendence in front of the populace. At best, after a dose of this, the owners of a modicum of talent could aspire to become (moderately) clever and (mildly) over average, perhaps in an anxiously anticipated “next life”. In the meantime, the cosmos at large keeps evolving, its program of kicking the self-aggrandizing earth-born parasites out of the equation almost complete.

Author’s note: this review is dedicated to Italian luthier Sandro Bonora, whose magnificent acoustic guitars were named Mantra. As the fortunate owner of two early models, I can certify that the natural quivering and endless resonance of those Mantras still constitute my preferred means of union with the fundamental core of everything. In fact, I never heard any of them pronouncing words whenever they were embraced. But the chest expands, and the head gets cloudless.

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