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Album Review

Gurdjieff – “Harmonium Improvisations” – [Mississippi Records]

Thurston Hunger   1/8/2013   12-inch, A Library


The music here (older than KFJC itself, all recorded in 1949) is really
just a small part of the story. Gaze into the photo of (Gyorgi Ivanovich)
Gurdjieff on the back…feel the force of his gaze, or ponder the paths
of the shape on the front, his creation: the enneagram. If you are neither
fakir, nor monk, nor yogi you can still push past your “shock points”
and find the “Fourth Way.” Gurdjieff’s teachings (more than his
writings) still echo today, the ripples of mysticism and self-awareness,
more complicated than the wheezings of his harmonium recordings here.
(They remind me more of a pump organ I remember playing as a kid,
that always connected music and death to me, the way the bellows
would sometimes exert to get even the smallest sounds out.) Indeed
these recordings, again from before KFJC was born, were all done during
the last year of Gurdjieff’s life. You hear some raspy coughing at times,
the mood is consistently sombre. Were these really mini-after dinner
concerts for visitors? Will this recording induce a form of self-remembering
which itself is the awareness of the presence of god? I dunno, but I think
we can all agree that is a pretty bad-ass mustache!

Hey for Metal blades, or disaffected Punks or belligerently drunk Country fans
here’s a taste of Gurdjieff’s thinking, not sure if it comes through in the Harm-Moan-Ium

“Every one of those unfortunates during the process of existence should constantly sense and be cognizant of the inevitability of his own death as well as of the death of everyone upon whom his eyes or attention rests.”

-Thurston Hunger

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