HALO MANASH INTERVIEW – NOISE RECEPTOR Journal no. 2 (2014)
Halo Manash have existed for just over a decade now, starting as a solo project, and later expanding to a duo and then trio. Would you care to introduce yourself and the other members and provide an overview of the group from inception to now?
AIH: I’m not so good in introducing myself, nor do I have much interest for that either. Let just say that I am a person who enjoys working in the field of creative arts. In addition to my work in Halo Manash, I am the founder of Aural Hypnox record label and working currently in the following groups: Arktau Eos, Aeoga, Dolorian & I.corax.
You are partly right, Halo Manash started as a personal project of myself, but even from the first official release ‘Se Its En’ I was accompanied by a multi-talented musician and a good friend, IWO with whom I have worked in various groups together over 17 years. He is currently an integral part of both Halo Manash and Arktau Eos, writes music for Dolorian and plays in several bands that I am not even properly aware of. Throughout the years the live and studio line-up of Halo Manash has changed quite a bit. Couple of years back we returned back to the group’s early formation where IWO and I are currently accompanied by a new member, an old friend of ours, OAK with whom this interview is given. OAK has released several albums as Lingua Fungi and with him I nowadays run the Aural Hypnox record label.
In addition to the persons above, the following artists have been an integral part of the group’s history and releases: Juhana Partanen (in live line-up 2005), Aki Cederberg (in studio, film & live line-up during 2005-2009), Mikko Pöyhönen (in live line-up during 2009). There are also few people who are part of the Halo Manash continuum, but they have chosen to work only in the shadows.
I understand that prior to the formation of Halo Manash you were involved in other musical projects which aligned more with the ‘standard’ western expression of a band. Was this musical background in anyway an influenced to the formation of Halo Manash and how did you originally become aware of and interested in ritual oriented music?
AIH: Working with the standard band line-ups, with conventional musical instruments has surely opened new pathways and taught many important things. From there and from the personnel I have been playing with I have learned a great deal.
Actually, I would say that with Halo Manash we are currently following quite closely the form and even some working methods of a so called standard band. The main differences are in the musical dimensions, choices towards used instruments and in performative elements. I am rather sure that no one can deny the fact that a group playing tight together with a concentration on the same focus can deliver an overwhelming energy.
To be honest I do not really know the original reason why I became interested in, and started to work with the music we do. It seems to be something that is built deep within me. For the lack of a better word I guess I have been kind of a “spiritual person” all my life. For the involved personnel, Halo Manash is most of all a concrete and powerful tool, through which we communicate, and bridge the worlds of being and non-being. It is a vehicle enabling a comprehensive communication with transpersonal reality and awakens the hidden passages to ones subconsciousness.
A brief, equipment related review might reveal another perspective to your question. Before I was part of any band or group, I had already made the first experiments in the field of “experimental music”. These took place back in 1992/1993, when I was still a youngster fooling around with very simple computer based trackers and sequencers. Mainly because of the computer’s low memory capacity I had to play with very short samples and I guess this really pushed me onward on creating something very different from regular band music. These limited working methods pointed my interest towards editing single sounds by stretching, reversing and manipulating them with effects. So, all in all in my musical trajectory the early years were full of experiments that opened my eyes to a bunch of different methods on how to approach and carry out, through the limited equipment and musical skill, the vision you have inside.
My musical taste towards experimental, ambient, drone, electro-acoustic, ritual, death industrial et cetera “strange music” grew more and more and it was in 1997 when I came across through my own research and a friend of mine the music of for example Coil, NON & Ain Soph. I was never really involved in the international tape trading scene myself, but my friend Jaakko Vanhala, with whom I became acquainted and formed I.corax at the end of 1998, was. During that time Jaakko introduced me to a bunch of great groups and projects; such as Maeror Tri, Schloss Tegal, Aphex Twin, Autechre, Endura, Allerseelen, Inade, Atrax Morgue et cetera.
But what is ritual music anyway? Since the 90’s I have listened to a lot of music ranging from death, grind, doom, black metal to various electronic music genres, post-punk and to very traditional music et cetera. Many of these are not typically categorised as ritual music, but still are for many.
From an outsiders perspective there seems to be an established tradition of Finish ritual music. Does this have any relationship to the context and approach of Halo Manash?
AIH & OAK: We are not sure if you are now referring to the very recent experimental ritual music scene or centuries old traditions and to their use of sound and music as a tool. Anyhow, we can say that Halo Manash does not follow any schools of thought or other traditions.
It is widely know that the early Finnish ritual music has always been, among other factors very situational and nature oriented. These are the only aspects that we can consider to be common with our work in Halo Manash. The tradition exists and can sometimes even guide our approach, but in the end our working methods are guided by our own intuition, primal experiences and knowledge arising from such experiences.
For us Halo Manash is nothing but an exacting yet rewarding and continuous pilgrimage to the borderlands of dreams, pure consciousness, and primal being.
From my (albeit external) assessment of the intent of Halo Manash, there seems to be a ritual and trance driven agenda which appears to be guided mostly by intuition. Would this be a correct assessment? Likewise noting that Halo Manash sonically and visually includes some markers which lean towards Buddhist and Asiatic spiritual expression, do you follow or has any particular religion / school of thought/ spiritual teachings guided your approach?
AIH & OAK: Although we are aware and have been studying with deep interest diverse paths, practices and beliefs of for example shamanism, these have never been in any way pointing the direction to our work. There exists several spiritual revelations and subconscious triggers guiding our doings, but not a single one is drawn from any of the existing spiritual systems, symbols or traditions. They are results from the deliberate and accidental personal encounters received usually in the states of heightened awareness.
These encounters, findings or revelations are then approached in our work via self-made instruments, which strive to resonate with the primal experience or to communicate with the elements or elementals in question. On a group level, we are trying to reach state where rhythmical language re-opens the half-hidden passage and establishes a direct communion.
What do you consider as the critical role of Halo Manash within the context of a modern society which although underpinned by western religion is largely secular in practice? Do you even have a role or agenda in this context?
AIH & OAK: We cannot say that we have any kind of conscious role or agenda pointed towards the modern society or world in general. The role in the context implies some kind of agenda to teach, and that is not nor has ever been the aim of Halo Manash.
Of course, if you think our work with Halo Manash (or with our label Aural Hypnox) comprehensively, you could say that via our doings we are encouraging people worldwide for critical awareness and that we support something else than a society based on competitive routines.
Looking at the trajectory of your releases, there seems to be a clear shift in sound between your first 3 albums, with a new more organic sound and much greater degree of focus on real ritual instrumentation displayed on the ‘r.A.S.H.N.K.A-RA’ LP/ DVD set, which was continued in variation on subsequent albums. Was this a clear and conscious decision?
AIH & OAK: Yes, it was a conscious decision. As all living things, we also aspire to develop and find new ways to carry out the vision of the current phase.
During the years we have used a wide selection of musical instruments, holding in various qualities, in different albums. Our work is based on resonation and communication with the elemental beings through sonic invocations, and in this process the instruments have central significance. In our past Forest Music era we used a variety of acoustic instrumentation that could have been categorized under traditional or archaic musical instruments or ritual tools. Back then, we put a lot of emphasis on the organic and animate materials that often had a definite aura. Depending on the intentions of sessions or a larger concept the instruments with suitable material, sound and spirit were chosen, acquired or handcrafted. This in itself was and still is an integral part of the creation process; the instruments and the sound they produce have to correspond and resonate properly with the intentions.
Within your discography you have already presented two DVD releases, which in the most part of ritual / dark ambient music is a rarity. What are your aims with providing a visual representation of Halo Manash?
AIH & OAK: Much of what comes to the music also applies to the visual representation. The aspects of cinematic language, expression and of course the images in themselves carry deep and personal, experience related visions and are chosen and produced carefully every time. The visual aspects have been an integral part of Halo Manash from the beginning, but the lack of proper video recording and editing equipment has made many projects too complicated to carry through. This is something we are hoping to change in the near future. Anyway, everything in our films is meant to convey or symbolize something, be it the shifting of colours, things happening in background or foreground, fire burning or vapour arising et cetera.
On both the ‘r.A.S.H.N.K.A-RA’ and ‘Taiwaskivi’ DVD’s it broadly show what appear to be various rituals in progress. In reality, are these visual representations of studio recordings or are the visual and sound more specifically intertwined?
AIH: r.A.S.H.n.k.a-RA is a result of very intense work and experience – a real and primal ritual. It has nothing to do with regular studio recording, where you have a possibility to replace the bad or unwanted parts. Everything was captured on tape and film during the rituals that lasted in all four days and nights. The days were spent preparing, building and setting up things ready for the night when the rituals took place. However, in the end we found out that those days and nights both in themselves became important parts of the ritual as a whole, as we constantly experienced and sensed various presences. The audio and video were both finally processed in studio environment by following and respecting the original shape and form.
‘Taiwaskivi’ is a bit of a different work; everything was filmed in parts and in several places. Apart from some field-recordings most of the tracks were recorded in studio. The visual material on the video focuses on presenting the themes related to our Forest Music era trilogy. The trilogy can be viewed as a treelogy – a tripartite work in the shape of a tree, with roots, a trunk and branches. The first part, ‘Language of Red Goats’ is the celestial lunar seed in the dark earthly womb that gives form to the roots that spread themselves in the underworld. ‘Am Kha Astrie’, the second part is the trunk, the pillar that breaks the surfaces and planes, crossing the thresholds, and emerges upward, rising into this world. ‘Taiwaskivi’ is the branches of the tree, reaching toward sol, stars and beyond; it is the leaves and fruits of those branches and their skybound nectar. It is the crown at the peak, the bright, clear light – the fire above.
Can you describe the creative process for the filming of visual material and the how you go about determining what locations will be used for filming?
AIH: The creative processes have been different in each project so far, and it is usually the inmost vision that leads and dictates the method and form.
The locations or the elemental landscapes shown in our two previous films are situated near to our living places or are special places from where we have been drawing inspiration from. Needless to say, for us these are nothing but places of Great Power.
We have also a new film in the making and it is once again nice to notice it taking steps towards previously unexplored territories via special visual dynamics and production choices. During the past two years we have been capturing on film several encounters with manifold entities and a selection of these liquid entrances were already shown on screen in 2012 during our performance at the WGT festival in Leipzig, Germany. These were part of the new production, but the work is progressing slowly as most of the editing is done on vhs film by using analog video mixer.
One of your most recent releases is the ‘Wesieni Wainajat’ mini CD which contains some of the most composed and focused tracks from the group to date. Is this representative of the direction of Halo Manash’s in future? Likewise how do you collectively as a group approach the composition and recording process? How much is composed verses being improvised?
AIH & OAK: During the past three years we have been working mostly in shadows; the time was right to go deep into one’s mercurial self to have conversations with the archaic instincts and to meet the Unspeakable.
‘Wesieni Wainajat’ starts the new Halo Manash cycle after a few years break in releasing material. The album is an evocative lunar-hymn, a call for the elements and elementals approaching and a leading for the forthcoming full length album. The personnel and times have changed since the Forest Music phase and the driving forces have evolved naturally into new directions. The album should not be taken as the new direction of the group as we have already moved on. The composed form of the album origins from clear choice; plain and repetitive melodies accompanied with simple meditative rhythms are exceedingly trance inducing and when one has moved from the level of normal awareness to a deeper state, he is more receptive to the subconscious revelations – to hear and sense comprehensively the approaching of the One who is moist.
Musically the album includes composed, solid backgrounds that have been afterwards enriched with textures coming far beyond human-oriented touch. The field-recordings have been captured on tape in various locations during invocation sessions.
Referring to the recent re-release of ‘Caickuwi Cauwas Walkeus’, and now that I have had an opportunity to hear this album, its original limitation seemed far too small for the quality of the material. Was there any particular reason behind its original limitation of a mere 29 copies?
AIH: The reason why the 1st edition of the CCW was extra limited and exclusively available during our mini-tour in France in 2009 is actually very simple and pragmatic. I prepared the layout and put together the album covers only couple of days before we left to France in 2009. 29 copies is not that many in numbers, but when you start to burn the cds, design the layout, print, cut and glue the inserts and finish some parts with fire you will soon notice that the project actually takes more time than you thought. Almost half of the performances during that tour took place in remote places outside regular club surroundings, so people had to make the effort to come and attend. Because of this we wanted to have something very special to offer for them. In addition, travelling by airplane is always a kind of struggle for us. The weight restrictions are something we all the time have to consider and more than often we are forced to make e.g. gear-wise compromises.
We are glad to see the album now properly re-released; it should not be taken in any way as a separate or half finished album, as it reveals a crucial and necessary bridge to our past. It is Forest Music, recorded live in private sessions, in its purest form.
It seems relatively clear that Halo Manash is a celebration of life/ life force/ spirit which clearly differs from other aspects of underground music which are preoccupied with negative thematic material. Seeing as much of the interest in Halo Manash would appear to come from such underground music spheres, what is view on the contextual fit or seeming disparity in conceptual focus?
AIH & OAK: We prefer not to extensively analyse and dissect our own work as that tends to trivialize and limit its perception. It is strange that sometimes people put too much effort in trying to decipher what we personally intend with some aspect of the work, rather than experiencing and appreciating it on a personal level directly for themselves. Individuals are encouraged to approach it within their own context, and trust their own experiences and intuition. The concepts and themes of our work are not sometimes even in our hands. Usually, they start to emerge as the end of the current cycle draws near or after a strong encounter. However, we have never chosen the themes or concepts intentionally to match the current trends or fads; we prefer to follow our own instincts.
It is true that Halo Manash is a celebration of life force and spirit, but the celebration can often be a consequence of truly harrowing and exhausting experience or hunt. Rather than a constant celebration, we see Halo Manash as a continuous pilgrimage and even if we are working as a group, we acknowledge that it is a journey that everyone has to take alone.
Finally, to answer your question; we think that the conceptual disparity is only superficial. We believe that people operating in the experimental and other underground music scenes are open-minded enough to understand and appreciate also our work.
Halo Manash have played numerous live performances across the globe over the years. What are your most memorable locations/ places / countries you have played to date?
AIH: Our mini-tour in Russia in 2007 brings me good memories. It was our first time in Russia and we were totally amazed by the people and their attitude towards life and art and of the positive reception we got. Our tour in France back in 2009 was also something very special. Our two-week journey began in Haubourdin in the Gallery called Vous êtes ici, where we were to undertake a tree-fold invocation, in the form of an exhibition of photographs, a screening of films, and a series of three consecutive performances. After this we did several acoustic invocations at various sacred sites and places. Imagine an acoustic performance taking place in a barren small chapel (Chapelle Saint Michel), on the top of a misty mountain. Or another one taking place in the ancient abbey (pointe Saint Mathieu) where you could see a sky full of stars shining between the towering ruins. Our performances at Stella Natura, USA, have also been something very special; during the first time in 2009 we encountered Fire, returning there after couple of years in 2013 we encountered Ice. These memories, places and people we have met during our journeys are carved deep within me.
Likewise what is your approach to the live setting and to do play versions of released material, or is it new and improvised material? What is process for live performances and do you consider the performances as specific rituals and what is your expectation of the role of the audience? How have the audience reactions been to what you do?
AIH & OAK: For us the live performances are comparatively rare occurrences. They are based on the sonic and visual manifestations of the current cycle and carry the energy and spirit we have accumulated during the various preparation sessions. All of our live performances feature actions planned in advance, as well as actions arising in the very moment – and both are equally central to the performance. What comes to the musical instruments and other sound apparatuses, they are always manipulated and played live – we do not use backing tapes or samplers. Knowledge and transient improvisation goes hand in hand, but of course, surprises also happen; sometimes the amplified sounds have been totally captured and transformed by Outer Forces.
For us, performing live can be a very intense and exhausting experience. Our current performances cannot be considered as rituals per se, but they are definitely more than mere shows. They offer a key to the receptive listener – you just have to figure out yourself where and how to use it. While performing we try to distance our egos to give space for the elemental manifestations and hope that audience would become part of the experience itself, rather than concentrate on the superficial aspects, such as persons on stage and so forth.
The response has been mainly positive, or maybe people have been too afraid to tell us the truth! Anyway, it has been a pleasure to perform in different countries and to experience people’s reactions varying from serious contemplation to ecstatic frenzy.
Are your surprised by the current acceptance and seeming growing popularity of ritual oriented music?
AIH: I do not have any idea of the growing popularity towards ritual orientated music and from our perspective things seem to be going as before; we are not making spectacular record sales or world-wide tours. But I guess you right, compared to our early years interest seems to be growing.
Given that Halo Manash at its core appears to express an ancient yearning for spiritual connection and understanding, how do you reconcile this function with the modern age and the use of tools such as the internet to communicate and distribute global awareness of your artistic works?
AIH & OAK: We think there is no conflict between seeking the spiritual understanding by using modern technology. It is the content that counts not the medium in which it is presented. It is true that the full power of live performances cannot be attained from records, but on the other hand may lead to more personal interpretations. What comes to internet as a tool for communication and promotion, it is the necessary evil.
What are the future goals and what might currently on the horizon for Halo Manash?
AIH & OAK: We have already recorded the new full length album and are about to start the mixing and mastering work. We are also filming material for the forthcoming film, which will support and widen the overall experience of the underlying concept.
In addition to the recent ‘Caickuwi Cauwas Walkeus’ re-release, more unreleased material have been discovered from the group’s vault. A while ago we begin the process of converting the magnetism of the reels to digital numbers. A recording dating back to 29th of August 2008 is currently under work. It is the one of the very first calls that was performed and captured on tape in a private session just before we left to Forest Music & Ocean Fire tour to France in 2008. During that time only acoustic instrumentation was used. These sessions go under the name ‘Tulimetsät’.
A couple of performances have been booked for the spring as well; in April we will perform in Tampere. In May we are going to perform in Stockholm and in June in Austrian Alps.
Any concluding comments?
All interested organizers, clubs, galleries and individuals are urged to contact us.
AIH & OAK / Halo Manash
28th of February, 2014
HALO MANASH INTERVIEW – LASHTAL journal (2008)
Interview by Edgar Kerval
Your most recent emanation is “Language of Red Goats”, right. So, which kind of oneiric visions and primal atavisms where explored for such development, knowing the ritualistic methods handled by you though each sonic mantras (your releases)?
Halo Manash emanations and works are often rooted in primal experience and knowledge arising from such experience, and so it is also with Language of Red Goats. The album is the result of our working systematically in specific spheres of experience and spirit(s) for a year-long period, guided by dream herbs, oneiric visions and the light of lunar tides. The album is akin to a primitive field recording in the realm of oneirotropic exploration, and aims to be a cartography of cavernous elemental realms and regions, sources and springs that run deep and thick with the fluids of life, death and dream.
The work was ”seeded” at the Thin Veils and has been gathered at Harvest time, and is offered to the seeker as a libation and guide into the ever-liminal, shrouded spaces, for dream-vigils and awakenings.
Language of Red Goats is a complete work in itself, but can also be viewed as the first facet of a tripartite series of works that are part of one holistic creation – three faces of the same being.
So, in connection with last question. Explain us about the “Nether-Nectar”, such oneiric elixirs ritually gathered and seeded around the autumn equinox? Could we say, “Nether-Nectar” is a kind of materialization in this causal plane of your hidden astral emanations explored through the use of certain sacred plants, gnosis, and fluids?
The Nether Nectar is a special, potent and very real plant-based oneiric elixir, ritually gathered, prepared and blessed by us, that was a central guide to us during the creation of the work. We were involved in a year-long systematic exploration of this plant and its associated realms, through which we slowly developed a relationship with it, and it has thusly grown to be a deep and powerful ally. To our knowledge, such extensive creative work involving this specific plant has not been done before. The luminous presence and being of the plant manifested itself to us several times, and guided the process into fruition. It still remains as an ever-present guide to us, even if now in more subtle ways.
A special limited edition of Language of Red Goats came with a bottle of the Nether Nectar, but this edition is not for sale – only given and offered as a libation of Light to those friends and fellow travelers genuinely seeking and sharing our exploration of the realms of the Red Goats.
Also, you mention that the work at “Language of Red Goats” is a kind of connection with lunar forces, magickally talking. So such, works also includes the energy through the sexual polarity, endocrine system and chakras?
Seen in the context of the forthcoming trilogy of works, Language of Red Goats could be seen as feminine or ”maternal” as relating to its polarity, whereas the newly-released Am Kha Astrie could be seen as masculine, and the forthcoming Polar Stones and Sky Awakenings could be seen as both – the consummation of masculine and feminine polarities.
The trilogy can be viewed as a treelogy – a tripartite work in the shape of a tree, with roots, trunk and branches. Language of Red Goats, the first part, is the celestial Lunar seed in the dark earthly womb that gives form to the roots, that spread themselves in the underworlds, in the nether realms, in cavernous depths populated by serpentine, slithering creatures. Am Kha Astrie, the second part, is the trunk, the pillar that breaks the surfaces and planes, crossing the thresholds, and emerges upward, rising into this world – it is horns spiraling skywards, antlers ascending into light. Polar Stones and Sky Awakenings is the branches of the tree, reaching toward Sol and Stars and beyond; it is the leaves and fruit of those branches and their skybound nectar; the cradle of winged, feathered creatures – it is the Crown at the peak, the Heavenly Fire.
The works are also tree-faced in many other aspects: in relation to the seasons, states of being, and various other correspondences. Language of Red Goats is winter and dream and awakening. Am Kha Astrie is spring and birth and coming-into-being. Polar Stones and Sky Awakenings is summer, life, death, re-birth, passing-into-new-being. Only three seasons because in more archaic times our ancestors only knew of the three mentioned seasons (winter, spring, summer), autumn being a later addition. The work as a whole represents an eternal spiral, a total transformative cycle of Life, Death and Re-birth.
And, of course these aspects and correspondences are not stale and solid, but rather fluxuating and approximate, and yet possibly the dominate characteristics of these various sides of the work, offered here to help the seeker navigate through the terrains, if he/she so chooses. These are also of course only the plainly and openly perceivable aspects of the work – other aspects are there for the seeker to discover for themselves, who is of course encouraged to come to his own conclusions, which might be equally valid. The pilgrimage that is undertaken with sincerity and pure intent will provide all the answers one needs.
Halo Manash prefers not to use or present things in the context of any pre-existing spiritual systems, maps, symbols or traditions. Although we of course are aware of many such diverse paths and approaches, and might even have had or have relations with such. Rather – Halo Manash is its own symbol(s), guide and being; rooted in the eternal, and simultaneously a novel and unique expression of what we see as a primal Ur-spirit(s).
“The Red Goats” are own emanations from your subconscious, which you develops to awaken and exalt consciousness when working magically at oneiric explorations?
We prefer not to extensively analyze and dissect our own work in public, as that tends to trivialize and limit its perception. When a work is completed, manifested and realized, it is offered to the external world, and we let go of it. Sometimes people put too much effort in trying to decipher what we personally intend with some aspect of the work, rather than experiencing and appreciating it on a personal level directly for themselves. Individuals are encouraged to approach it within their own context, and trust their own experiences and intuition. Also, emphasis and value should be put in the effort of seeking something in itself; to travel beyond ones own limits, to journey to the crossroads of other worlds, to intentionally make a sacred passage, internally and/or externally – that is pilgrimage.
Do you think when artificial ego limits dies, the objective universe is dissoluted, and from the light of such illumination or reality, gnosis is the only thing which reminds? And how important is gnosis for you according to your magickal paradigms, and how it affects the concrete evolution of HALO MANASH as a living entity?
Halo Manash is beyond magic(k)al paradigms. But to use your terminology and context, ”gnosis” is of course of central importance; the gnosis kardias, knowledge of the heart. Or one might use the Sanskrit word and Hindu concept of Darśana to describe somewhat similar experiences and understanding, glimpses of the divine. However, in the light and dawning of such experiences, revelations and insight, all such words, categories and ”isms” (even Gnosticism itself) must fall by the wayside and vanish.
In my opinion HALO MANASH is like a black hole, a way to connect yourself through the worlds of being, not being, solution and dissolution, death and rebirth…so, could we say HALO MANASH is all into one, and one into all at the same time?
All interpretations of Halo Manash are valid in as far as they serve the individuals making the interpretations. In the light of this, yours is a valid one. Indeed, Halo Manash can be approached using pre-existing paradigms in the context of some tradition or system, or without any knowledge or interest in such things, but ultimately it is all there for the seeker to discover, in their own way.
…and referring the last question.so, do you agree when saying HALO MANASH breaks the limits of time and space, and converges in a personal reality offered to others (listeners) to carve deep within subconscious to find their own HALO MANASH?
Maybe we could agree on this to a certain extent, if we understand this in the same way.
Halo Manash is a living, breathing, dreaming Being that transforms and evolves constantly and has a life-force, will and consciousness of its own. It lives inside and outside of us, but we do not claim to ”own” or ”posses” it, and by its nature it is expansive and ever-seeking. We are the Dream that it dreams, the Shadow and illumination it casts, the Masks that it wears, behind which lies the very face of Halo Manash itself. That face is a manifestation from and reflection of what we call the infinite, formless, and absolute. To gaze into the eye(s) of that face is to see beyond all dualities and divisions (e.g. self and other etc.), to stare into the highest peaks and deepest depths of what is, and beyond; that is, in essence, to experience Halo Manash.
One of the principal basis of your work at HALO MANASH is to experiment, explore, and connect with other levels of existence and to get in contact with some elemental entities for your own personal development?
That is partially one aspect of it, although ”personal development” is a relative and rather limited term and concept, and not necessarily always an aim for us, although it often can be a natural by-product of our experiences and journeys.
As we have stated elsewhere, Halo Manash is a pilgrimage to the borderlands of dreams, pure consciousness, and primal being – and possibly beyond.
Pilgrimage is undertaken internally and externally with clear focus, sincerity and intentional purity, often without heavy prior attachments to specific aims or results of such workings. Often these workings are undertaken with a sense of empathic ”merging” and ecstatic abandon with the presences, spirit(s) or elements in question, and not via a drawing of limits and arrogant ”commanding” of such for personal power and profit, which seems to unfortunately be a popular approach, at least in many Western traditions. The personae involved in Halo Manash are a canvas through and upon which these pilgrimages are imprinted and carved.
The ”results”, meaning the causal manifestations of pilgrimage, i.e. ”what we bring back”, can sometimes be very harrowing experiences, as ”personal development” of this kind (call it ”spiritual” for lack of a better word) can be very painful and terrifying. Yet it is carved deep in our nature to pursue this path, and to trust it will take us where we are destined.
It is often transformation, pure and simple – a snake shedding its skin, or a butterfly emerging from a caterpillar – it is natural and imperative on the same level for us. One, who is not actively engaged in a process of birth, is passively engaged in a process of death. It is accepting impermanence, disappearance and transformation. It is the confrontation with death and ultimately transcendence of some aspect of being. And yet it is the eternal spiral of creation-destruction and passing-into-new-being, with all the terror, ecstasy and divine awe that it implies that is at the root of all.
Symbolic sorcery, sigils are elements you use to exalt subconscious, so such visual elements are focused to bring HALO MANASH from audial to another reality, in this case a visual spectrum, containing the same essence of such elemental forces evoked in your rituals?
To use your terminology: if our releases are our mantras, then Halo Manash itself is the yantra, and all that it entails.
In other words, Halo Manash is a sacred vehicle and instrument in itself; how it manifests externally (or if it manifests externally at all, i.e. it remains an internal manifestation only) can vary greatly, although so far the manifestations or materializations have been mostly of an aural nature. But, to limit it to that one form would be an error. Halo Manash has manifested or materialized equally as film, photograph, drawing, ritual, journey, performance, sigil, talisman, cultural artifact etc., and can indeed take any shape, or remain formless. In Halo Manash there is no separation, no distinction – all is a part of the same whole.
We hesitate to start lecturing anyone on sigils, sorcery, magic(k) or similar areas, as most people these days are so knowledgeable on these matters already, and proper information is widely accessible to those who seek it. In fact, it seems sometimes that information and dialogue on and around these subjects has been so thoroughly and perhaps overly saturated, that those things in themselves have taken central place – theory over practice, abstraction over realization, outer appearance over inner essence. Magic(k) has become a subculture, a ”scene” and a hobby, with its own outer normative trappings and clichés, and much of it is performed for obviously dubious or juvenile purposes; and at the same time it is an evolutionary tool and creative catalyst for some. If magic(k) is to be of any lasting value, it should be integrated and harnessed into an organic and refining part of being, that is manifested in ”non-magical” ways also, rather than being an endless source of theoretical discussion and empty posturing. In the end, perhaps there should simply be less words, less talk.
Self made instruments, bells, metal bowls, gongs are used to increase the excitatory gnosis created by HALO MANASH. So, could you tell us about the process when creating a determinate concept release?
We communicate and deliver our aural invocations often not using words, but rather the primal Ur-language and cosmic vibrations of sound itself. In this process the instruments have central significance, as they are what via us manifests and produces the sounds. We use a variety of acoustic instruments that often fall into the category of traditional, archaic, ritual, or self-made (and more seldom but occasionally modern as well). We put emphasis on the organic and animate materials of the instruments that often has a definite aura of their own related to the material that holds their spirit.
Relating to the intentions and framework of the workings or sessions, the instruments of the proper material, quality, sound and spirit are chosen, acquired and/or constructed. This in itself is a part of the process of creation: the instruments and their materials have to correspond and resonate with the intentions properly – hence, this is rarely done at random. In the case of some instruments that have an exceptionally powerful presence and spirit, a life of their own, it is necessary to communicate with the instrument itself, and ”ask” if it should be used – they should be treated with proper respect.
To give an example of instruments we have used in the past, we can mention drums and trumpets made out of human and animal skulls and bones, percussive instruments made out of antlers and jawbones, wind instruments made out of horns and shells, other instruments out of wood, clay, stone, feathers and so forth. We also use a multitude of metal-percussions and drums, such as a wide array of gongs, cymbals, bells, rattles, and the like, as well as self-made and self-titled ”thunder-sheets” and ”solar discs”, and so forth. This process and relationship is also a continually evolving one, as we are constantly seeking and finding, as well as conceptualizing and creating new instruments: we find the approach, process and end result inspiring.
Often, if not always, the specific surroundings, space and the elemental sounds themselves present at the location of the working during the sessions also become an essential source of sound. This may be utterly subtle in the actual recording, or very forthright and present, but still it is very much an integral part of the totality of sound. Sometimes sounds also emerge that have no definite identifiable source at all – whereupon we accept and welcome these sounds as presences when they come.
Our acoustic instruments that often are of a primal and archaic nature and materials, are usually harnessed via an electronic medium and modern technology. This represents a merging of the archaic and primal with the technological, wherein both of these ends of the spectrum (if they can be considered that) are amplified by each other, creating a complementary and timeless synthesis.
The aural manifestations of Halo Manash are language without words. Listen and learn.
“SYoMA” was built through the idea of transformation and auto cannibalism. So, from a point of view, could we say one of the main purposes of this album is to destroy patterns of your own personality through aural manifestations?
We have never felt it overly essential to explain, for fellow explorers, too much or too precisely about our own encounters, rather the opposite; we do not want excessively interfere or restrict the utilization of individuals own instincts.
The manifestations of the album can be considered as sort of guides, a kind of a direction sigils, or as a language of entities, which usher you towards the ultimate realization of the transpersonal entity, SYoMA. The destruction of the fixed patterns of personality simply allows one to overcome the limitations of for e.g. binding cultural factors and thus the fundamental aspects of SYoMA, or any other of our work, will be revealed to the perceiver in a form of pure atavistic knowledge.
The elemental impulse, which catalyzed the whole creative process of SYoMA, started to grow gradually during and after the completion of Par-Antra I: VIR album.. Initially, the prime mover revealed only glimpses of its external appearance and as time went by, it was through careful personal exploration that the all-encompassing communication reached the level of concrete actualization. However, one can never stress enough the obvious fact that the primeval force still continues to interact with a seeker whenever the particular current run strong.
To experience the true power of SYoMA, one will have to travel through many layers of hidden regions and inner states to find the pure source – and it is from this source where one will be able to find and also learn the true essence of what eventually got the name SYoMA. A comprehensive, long-lasting communication with the entities is the only way to reach the pure knowledge.
We sincerely believe that the fundamental aspects of our works can be achieved by everyone through a metaphysical pilgrimage. The album will surely reveal the passage for the humble explorer, which will lead one towards Sacral Meeting. There are many signs that direct you on your way and at last you will have to let Halo Manash be your vehicle; You have all the needed tools, the rest is up to you.
Lastly as a small curiosity the name of the album, translates roughly to Devour Your Own Soma.
Could you tell us a deep more about r.A.S.H.n.k.a-RA LP + DVD. And its magickal environmental phenomena and visions at specific locations? And do you think with this release HALO MANASH has taken just a part of the dynamism and magickal exploration you experienced? Or is there still so much to work in future as well?
r.A.S.H.n.k.a-RA was birthed during Summer of 2005, in two distinct and intense sessions resulting in the two-fold nature of the work, lasting for 4 days and nights (In 4 Elements – DVD film) and 2 days and nights (In PolarDual – LP album) consecutively. The location and elemental landscape was a central presence and aspect of the work, and it is a lakeside and wilderness in northern Finland. The work was thereafter refined, shaped, reflected upon and realized after a Halo Manash pilgrimage to India and Nepal, in the shades, snow and silence of Winter 2006.
r.A.S.H.n.k.a-RA, beyond even its creative manifestation, is first and foremost a very real and primal experience, a ritual shedding of surfaces and an elemental merging and revelation, a rite-of-passage that left deep chasms and signs on our skin and spirit, ever-present although subtle.
The film In 4 Elements forms the first part of r.A.S.H.n.k.a-RA, the other being the album In PolarDual. The parts or works, creations/destructions, are interrelated and intertwined, two sides of the same whole, the same cycle. Both are the result of very intense work and experience, where the personae of Halo Manash itself became the canvas of birth and death. The work can be viewed as a template for transformative, transcendent experience.
The film In 4 Elements is the first released foray of Halo Manash into cinematic realms. It is very real in the sense of that nothing in the film is acted or performed according to specific plans, all actions, movements, and sounds recorded and captured during the sacred moments arising of themselves. What one can experience in the film is a condensation of an immense energy and intense experience, meant and constructed very deliberately and carefully to be as an invocation in itself, where everything is meant to convey or symbolize something, including the shifting colours and other aspects of cinematic language and expression.
The same applies to the album-part of r.A.S.H.n.k.a-RA, In PolarDual, that can be viewed as the dark twin of In 4 Elements. Created in the growing shadows of ending summer, and contrasting strongly to the somewhat serene ambience of In 4 Elements, it is a tearing down, a dive into the depths, where the sessions themselves took on a fierce and frenzied, somewhat possessed character.
The days of the sessions were spent preparing, building and setting up for the nights, when the ritual sessions themselves took place. But, in the end, those days and nights in themselves were part of the ritual as a whole, as we constantly experienced and sensed a presence(s), and were guided by signs, and blessed by auspicious weather, without which the work could not have been realized.
Well, almost everything about HALO MANASH was revealed here. So, keep on floating through primal atavisms and a pleasure to share this interesting conversation with you. Your last words are more than appreciated here.
Let us just say that we scratched the surface here; the most obvious output of the group, meaning the lingual, musical and visual dimensions should not be considered greater than just mere vapour arising from the seething cauldron holding the very Elixir of the Being itself. In closing, thank you for the interview.
Halo Manash concerts in Europe and Russia are being planned and organized at present time. In addition to concerts, there are also plans for more multi-dimensional and multi-medial Halo Manash events, such as exhibitions of photographs and screenings of films. Besides regular concerts, Halo Manash also has an interest to engage in smaller acoustic performances at various sacred sites, ancient or modern, or special locations of different kinds. All interested organizers, clubs, galleries and individuals are urged to contact us.
Akiz & AIH / Halo Manash
30th of September, 2008
HALO MANASH INTERVIEW 2008
Interview by Sylwia Partyka
In the beginning I would like to ask you about a banal but necessary thing. Antti – tell me something about the reason for which Halo Manash was set up. You were working in Dolorian too; instead of this you need more place to realize your fascination or to manifest your spirit?
I would say that in the beginning it was rather the entity of Halo Manash that found me and not vice versa. Of course, I had also been seeking for some time an entirely novel and all-encompassing vehicle, which would enable a comprehensive communication with transpersonal reality surrounding us all, and moreover to guide my very spirit through all the thundering stages of consciousness towards the purest primal Mana.
For the involved personnel, Halo Manash is most of all a concrete and powerful tool, through which we communicate, and bridge the worlds of being and non-being. It is a call – a symbol ever-present and thus not bound by limits of time and space. Moreover, be it known that the most obvious output of the group, meaning the both musical and visual dimensions, should be considered no greater than just a vapour arising from the seething cauldron holding the very Elixir of the Being itself. In Halo Manash there exists many sacred layers and hidden regions that dwell way beyond these two in a way so transient and earthly dimensions – penetrating the surface is only a question of personal sacrifice and devotion.
It has always been the aim of the personae involved in Halo Manash to seek, explore, experience, study and decipher reflections of the prevailing elemental emanations, ever-shifting shapes and different worlds. Not forgetting deliberate and accidental encounters with spirits, entities et cetera. These findings, after eventually receiving more mundane form, are then presented through various aural and visual elements. In our work sound and movement come together as rhythmical language that facilitates communion with elemental beings. Our aim is to revitalize one of the oldest forms of communication, to open the half-hidden passages with the aid of music and visuals and widen the horizon of perception concerning states of otherness lying in-between the cardinal directions.
In summary, for us Halo Manash is nothing but an exacting yet rewarding and continuous pilgrimage to pure consciousness, primal essence and beyond.
Let’s talk about the album “Se Its En” and its composition. All tracks last for 7 minutes. It’s common knowledge that this is a magic number – it says about the depth of soul and the spirit. The special features of protection and power over the world were attributed to it by influence of the seven planets. The Goths believed in seven gods, the Chaldees in seven worlds and the Mohammedans believed that Heaven and Hell are split into seven different levels. What’s the meaning of number 7 on Halo Manash first album?
At the beginning it is necessary to bring forth the fact that in Se Its En the research and interpretation around the number seven, and naturally the wide spectrum of other associated manifold attributes, was most of the time realised through the prevailing state of Halo Manash itself – for the end result this makes a crucial difference.
The work can not be considered in any way as a mere earthly, self-centred outcome of expedition; we rather see it as a kind of well absorbed, continually living and assisting metaphysical implement that now guides and enlightens our journey in the Great Elemental Current.
Se Its En can be also seen as a part of a greater map that, after its physical formation, continues to work as a beacon or as a mediator of a certain area or knowledge – a guide of spiritual crossroads. The demanding and intense realization process of the work made possible that from now on it operates also as a very powerful instinct that, after penetrating its way to beyond, bestows upon us a sense of direction and a sort of stability when needed.
As many times before, working with a specific theme has an intention to aid us in reaching long term goals – it has never been overly important for us to derive a quick and brief benefit from anywhere. We firmly believe that, when time passes on and deep personal experiences take place, the several transient and abstract insights interlace and open the way for comprehensive realization.
The next album is Par-Antra I: Vir. Can you give away the clue of this album’s message?
We have never felt it overly essential to explain for fellow explorers too much or too precisely about our own encounters, rather the opposite; we do not want excessively interfere or restrict the utilization of individuals own instincts.
The destruction of the fixed patterns of personality allows one to overcome the limitations of for e.g. binding cultural factors, and thus the fundamental aspects of any of our work will be revealed to the perceiver in a form of pure atavistic knowledge.
Par-Antra trilogy concentrates on research of parallel forms and primal pathways. Thus, the work can be considered also to be kind of a gate-opener of the current era. It happens quite often that after we have personally or as a group reached one landmark, the second is already visible far in the horizon – this is what we consider to be the ever-flowing force of Halo Manash. So, as a result of the awakened revelations of VIR, the next work SYoMA was born.
The manifestations of the following album can be considered as guides, direction sigils, or as a language of entities which usher you towards the ultimate realization of the transpersonal entity, SYoMA.
The elemental impulse, which catalyzed the whole creative process of SYoMA, started to grow gradually during and after the completion of Par-Antra I: VIR. Initially, the prime mover revealed only glimpses of its external appearance, and as time went by, it was through careful exploration that the all-encompassing communication reached the level of concrete actualization. However, one can never stress enough the obvious fact that the primeval force still continues to interact with the seeker whenever the particular current runs strong.
To experience the true power of SYoMA, one will have to travel through many layers of hidden regions and inner states to find the pure source – and it is from this source where one will be able to find and learn the true essence of what eventually got a name, SYoMA. A comprehensive, long-lasting communication with the entities is the only way to reach pure knowledge.
We sincerely believe that the fundamental aspects of our works can be achieved by everyone through a metaphysical pilgrimage. The albums will surely reveal the various passages for the humble explorer, which will lead one towards Sacral Meeting.
What’s your collaboration with Aural Hypnox like? Scandinavia abounds with such works as your way to AH?
As a matter of fact I am (AIH) the founder of the Aural Hypnox label and at the moment I am working as a managing director, so choice for the label has always been rather clear.
Aural Hypnox came into being in the end of 2003, immediately after I quit working with the Blue Sector label, which I co-founded with a friend.
At the moment, Aural Hypnox concentrates only on the output of the members of the Helixes collective. Expanding out to support other interesting acts has been on the cards several times, but so far these groups (Aeoga, Aural Holograms, Arktau Eos, Halo Manash and Zoät-Aon) have been more than creative enough, demanding all the time and resources available.
The fundamental reasons for founding our own label were numerous. The most important being the freedom concerning all decisions regarding production and aesthetics. In this era, when people and companies forget their primal aims and go for easy profit, Aural Hypnox is able to provide all the Helixes collective members the exact milieu and framework which we, the label and the artists, deem fit at a given time: both sides win.
With all its productions, Aural Hypnox aims for an all-encompassing view, which for its part attempts to for e.g. preserve waning cultural characteristics and dimensions. At this very moment, small and yet easily distinguishable matters separate labels. It is our belief that Aural Hypnox releases are important because they offer stimulating and challenging views, making real and total experiences possible.
Your show during the Cocart Festival in Torun (Poland) was received warmly by the audience. According to my understanding you are exactly that- what people have awaited for a long time. How does it look like in your country? Are you a well-known band already?
We might be fairly well acknowledged and regarded in some circles in our homeland, but it is always difficult and questionable to try to assess such things, and not something we engage in much. As Halo Manash in its essence and being is far and beyond simply a ”band”, it is not in any way dependant on outside recognition or appreciation (or lack thereof). Indeed, there are manifestations of Halo Manash that are left completely outside of any sort of public or outer form that are as essential and central to it as the more public works, such as albums or performances.
And now the question which should be asked in every interview. I mean the various poetic inspirations – from musical on to film, literary and philosophical. Does something hide in your soul, some kind of essence in order to manifest it as Halo Manash?
Halo Manash draws its Life-force from primal experience, and this is what lies at the root of its essence. What often motivates or guides the creation of a work is an intense experience – it might be an ordeal, a journey, a ritual, a series of dreams, a vision, a symbol or image, ad infinitum – rather than an abstract idea within a specific cultural context. The works themselves are often a reflection of said experiences.
And again, as Halo Manash is not a ”band” in the sense of seeking inspiration from other artistic sources or viewing things in some sort of (sub)cultural context, it is not words, books, works of art, music or film that guide us, although we of course find an immense of value in such things. The awe and primacy of experiential knowledge is what drives us. For inspiration and guidance, we listen to the birds and trees, to the poetry of the Anima Mundi itself, and to our instincts.
Do you attach importance to your concerts? That they are not ordinary concerts- they are rather a form of performance or ritual deriving an energy from the surroundings, in order to give as much as possible…
Every Halo Manash performance thus far has been an invocation. All performances feature actions planned in advance, as well as actions arising in the sacred moment – and both are equally central to the invocatory performance. The actions are an extrenalization of what we are, what we experience, and what our intent is. The performances are not rituals per se, but definetly ritualistic. Ritualistic in this context could be defined as sacred patterns of action and movement with conscious intentions. We communicate and deliver our invocations not using words, but rather the primal UR-language and cosmic vibrations of sound itself. We feed the spirits of our sacred instruments, the vehicles of sound, with mantras, liquors and and a myriad of other substances. All movements, gestures, stances, libations, burnings of herbs and incenses, and other things one may witness live are part of this invocation. We aim to create a space where people, including ourselves, can directly experience Halo Manash.
For us, performing live is a very intense and often raw experience. It takes something out and gives something into us in a very real and concrete way. Rather than the audience viewing the events as some kind of ”show” or spectacle outside of themselves, we would hope they would feel as participants in the invocations, and actually become part of the experience itself. Often we have wanted to sacralize this inclusion of the audience as participants in the experience by involving them in different direct ways to the specific work at hand: in Antwerpen it was randomly throwing pieces of antler into the audience, in St.Petersburg and Moscow it was giving out white pieces of cloth with symbols imprinted on them, in Lille and Paris it was smearing the foreheads of members of the audience with sacred substances, and so forth.
What’s the origin of the DVD film In4Elements? Where was it launched and who is responsible for its realization? What’s its clue like?
The film In 4 Elements forms one part of the work r.A.S.H.n.k.a-RA, the other being the album In PolarDual. The parts or works are interrelated, two sides of the same whole. Halo Manash is responsible for its realization. The film was directed, filmed and edited by us, although we did get help from a friend in some technical aspects relating to post-production work.
In 4 Elements was a ritual, experienced and executed during 4 consecutive days and nights in northern Finland. The audio and video were recorded and filmed simultaneously, with only some of the vocals recorded separately. The days were spent preparing, building and setting up for the night, when the ritual-sessions themselves took place. But, in the end, those days and nights in themselves were part of the ritual as a whole, as we constantly experienced and sensed a presence(s), and were guided by signs and blessed by auspicious weather, without which the film could not have been realized.
What one can experience in the film is a condensation of an immense energy and intense experience, meant and constructed very deliberately and carefully to be as an invocation in itself, where everything is meant to convey or symbolize something, including the shifting colours and other aspects of cinematic language and expression. It is a template for transformative, transcendent experience.
As for ”clues”, it should be repeated that sometimes people put too much unnecessary effort in trying to discover what we personally intend, or what lies behind this or that, or they try to identify some tradition or stream we could be likened to… Rather than just experiencing, approaching and appreciating it on a personal level for themselves. For we have no intrest in proselytizing. What is found after searching has infinetly more value than that which is given without effort. Go toward the mysteries, and the mysteries will come toward you.
Halo Manash is using a wide variety of acoustic and electronic instruments. Tell us about all these traditional archaic instruments and how you in turn compromise these with contemporary music tools?
We consider our instruments, the vehicles of sound, as sacred. They guide us and speak to us, and we communicate and travel with and via them.
We have used and use a variety of self-made as well as traditional instruments (although often very special or sacral). This means instruments harnessed out of some organic, animate material like bone, horn, wood, shells, feathers, etc – we have used drums and trumpets made out of various bones, wind-instruments made out of horns, percussive instruments made out of antlers and jawbones, and so forth. These instruments possess a definite aura and energy of their own, often related to the material which holds their spirit. We also use a multitude of metal-percussions and drums, such as a wide array of gongs, cymbals and such, as well as self-made and self-titled ”thunder-sheets” and ”solar discs”, and so forth. We are constantly seeking to deepen our relationship with such instruments and to make new, unique ones, as we are very inspired by both the approach, process and end result that such work entails.
Although we also perform completely acoustically, our instruments, that often represent primal and archaic materials, elements and forces, are usually harnessed via an electronic medium and modern technology. This merging of the archaic and primal with the technological, wherein both of these ends of the spectrum are amplified by each other, creates a complementary and timeless synthesis.
From where is the conception of the hand-finished limited edition of Language of Red Goats?
Quite simply and directly, in the face of mechanized consumer culture, Halo Manash upholds the age-old values of artisanship and handicrafts. Contrary to mass-produced products, we aim to make cultural artifacts of deeper meaning and higher quality.
This approach also means that we reject cheap brick-a-brack, usually marketed by bands and projects to promote their music – this would be antithetical to our worldview. We are interested in ecological, sustainable lifestyles, alternatives to the current consumerist ethos full of meaningless diversions.
When we release limited editions, it is not to be able to sell them for absurd amounts of money or to make them “collectors items”, but limited simply because they are hand-made and it would be highly impractical or impossible to make more of them.
With Language of Red Goats, we wanted to give those seekers who felt more deeply drawn to the work an opportunity to experience it more fully and to delve into it more deeply, via additional guides, images, symbols and artifacts, such as a hand-made booklet and a picture of a painting relating to the work, “The Forest of Red Goats”. In this case it also meant releasing a ‘standard’ limited edition, as well as a very limited ‘Nether Nectar’ edition, in an undisclosed number of copies. The Nether Nectar is a special and potent plant-based oneiric elixir, ritually gathered, prepared and blessed by us, that was a central guide to us during the creation of the album. We were involved in a year-long systematic exploration of this plant where we slowly developed a relationship with it, and it has thusly grown to be a deep and powerful ally. To our knowledge, such extensive creative work involving this plant has not been done before. This Nether Nectar edition is not for sale – only given and offered as a libation of Light to those friends and fellow travellers genuinly seeking and sharing our exploration of the realms of the Red Goats.
Say a few words about your concert plans and when we may expect a new album.
Halo Manash is in the process of releasing a trilogy of albums that create one wholistic work, although each one of the three albums are complete works in themselves. The first album and part of this tripartite body of work is the recently released Language of Red Goats. The second album is named Am Kha Astrie, to be released shortly, and the third, also to include a film, currently has the working-title Polar Stones and Sky Awakenings.
The trilogy can be viewed as a treelogy – a tripartite work in the shape of a tree, with roots, a trunk and branches. Language of Red Goats, the first part, is the celestial Lunar seed in the dark earthly womb that gives form to the roots, that spread themselves in the underworlds, in the nether realms, in cavernous depths populated by serpentine, slithering creatures. Am Kha Astrie, the second part, is the trunk, the pillar that breaks the surfaces and planes, crossing the thresholds, and emerges upward, rising into this world – it is horns spiraling skywards, antlers ascending into light. Polar Stones and Sky Awakenings is the branches of the tree, reaching toward Sol and Stars and beyond; it is the leafs and fruit of those branches and their skybound nectar; the cradle of winged, feathered creatures – it is the Crown at the peak, the bright, clear light- the Heavenly Fire.
The works are also tree-faced in very many other aspects: in relation to the seasons, states of being, and various other correspondences. And, of course these aspects and correspondences are not stale and solid, but rather fluxuating and approximate, and yet possibly the dominate characteristics of these various sides of the work, offered here to help the seeker navigate through the terrains, if he/she so chooses. And, these are also of course only the plainly and openly perceivable aspects of the work – other aspects are there for the seeker to discover for themselves.
Language of Red Goats is feminine, Am Kha Astrie is masculine, and Polar Stones and Sky Awakenings is both – the consummation of male and female polarities. Language of Red Goats is winter and dream and awakening. Am Kha Astrie is spring and birth and coming-into-being. Polar Stones and Sky Awakenings is summer, life, death, re-birth, passing-into-new-being. Only three seasons because in more archaic times our ancestors only knew of the three mentioned seasons (winter, spring, summer), autumn being a later addition. The work as a whole represents an eternal spiral, a total transformative cycle of Life, Death and Re-birth.
Besides regular concerts, Halo Manash also has an interest to engage in smaller acoustic performances at various sacred sites, ancient or modern. For example, on our recent mini-tour of France and Belgium, we did small acoustic invocations at various sacred sites, such as ancient holy trees, and performed a small free invitation-only concert in the garden of one of the organizers.
Many concerts in Europe and Russia are being planned and organized at present time. In addition to concerts, there are also plans for more multi-dimensional and multi-medial Halo Manash events, such as exhibitions of photographs and screenings of films. All interested organizers, clubs and galleries are urged to contact us.
AIH & Akiz / Halo Manash