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Shams93

 

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Shams93

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Shams93 is the brainchild of composer/performer Brian Redfern. Brian graduated from CalArts in 1998, having studied composition with Nyoman Wenten, Kobla Ladzepko and Wadada Leo Smith. In 2005 Brian switched from guitar to the ancient middle eastern instrument, the oud, studying with virtuoso Yuval Ron.

Previously Brian had been the guitarist for Los Hermanos de Jazz who had opened up for bands such as the Stone Temple Pilots and performed sessions for Death Row Records, back in the wild and crazy early 1990s. Back then he also created a project called “Aleister’s Bastards” inspired by the work 777 by Aleister Crowley. However at the time, he had no idea he lived right down the street from the famous occult author, Lon Milo DuQuette.

Shams93 runs the gamut from purely acoustic solo oud to electronic music and live electric performance. Brian plays both acoustic and electric oud and uses the ancient system of “Maqam music” from the middle east to compose new material based on ancient patterns.

He is greatly inspired by recent John Zorn projects such as the Crowley String quartet, which explore occult concepts with instrumental music inspired by western classical and avant-garde.

Besides having earned an MFA from CalArts Brian is an initiated Freemason, 3, 32, Thelemite and self-initiated Sufi/Ishmaeli. He’s also a 3 in the OTO and a probationer of the A∴A∴, so occult practice and meditation are massive influences on the music of Shams93.


 

Track list

  1. Magick, Music and Ritual 8 - Ocean of the Elder 07:23

    Ocean of the Elder
    (Redfern)

    This is a sea shanty style tune, inspired by traditional Irish music, with processed nylon string guitar, and nothing else. I play finger style to create a drone to give it the deep feel of Irish sea music.

    I imagine being lost at sea to find one of the harrowing island's of HP Lovecraft's imagination. Trying to find fish, one instead stumbles upon the menacing Elder Gods of the Deep.

  2. Magick, Music and Ritual 7 - Father of Chaos 03:06

    Father of Chaos
    (Redfern)

  3. Magick, Music and Ritual 7 - Mother of Abominations 11:10

    Mother of Abominations
    (Redfern)

  4. Magick, Music and Ritual 6 - Blues for the Man Devil 10:57

    Blues for the Man Devil
    (Redfern)

    There is a movie dialog sample from the 1965 film Blood of the Man Devil, with Lon Chaney, Jr. and John Carradine. It’s a strange and kind of slow film, but gives a window into Hollywood (and the mainstream society’s idea of what comprises the “occult.” For these people “The Devil” is the source of all occult power, and “Satanists” basically grovel even harder than Christians.

    It’s ironic then that the man pinned as the “arch Satanist” of all time, Aleister Crowley had no belief or even interest in the Christian devil. In his Magick in Theory and Practice he points out the absurdity of the Christian concept of an anti-God. God is complete unity, as the Muslims say there is no God but God. Of course, this concept of an anthropomorphic God with a gender leads one to this kind of thinking, the Christians who wrote Blood of the Man Devil don’t understand that God is a unity, the universal vibration of creation.

    Thus you have silly pledges to do evil, pacts with evil that misunderstand that above the abyss God has no concept of good and evil. God in some circumstances can seem demonic or devilish, especially if the lesson that must be learned if very difficult!

  5. Magick, Music and Ritual 5 - Wahabibi (Part 2) 04:00

    Wahabibi (Part 2)
    (Redfern)

    For my lament for the situation of the Syrians I was thinking about the New Orleans jazz funeral, so part one of the piece is quiet and lonely, the acoustic oud by itself, while the second part of the piece adds more instrumentation that adds elements of the Jazz dirge through the prism of maqam music.

  6. Magick, Music and Ritual 5 - Wahabibi (Part 1) 04:21

    Wahabibi (Part 1)
    (Redfern)

    Wa Habibi is a sung on Good Friday in the Christian tradition. Right now in the middle east many artists are choosing to cover this song to show their sympathy for the intense suffering of the people of Syria. Right now, whether they are Christian or Muslim (or Shia or Sunni) or Jewish or Yezidi or Druze, the diverse peoples of the region have become the sacrificial victims of intensely powerful and evil forces. Not since the crusades of the middle ages has such intense suffering been visited upon the people of the region. So I'm moved as an artist at least to write a lament for them and let them know I know what intense suffering is like and I cry for their pain.

    ‪شجر الزيتون يبكي وتناديه الشفاء‬

    While my version is instrumental I wanted to share the lyrics the singer Fairouz created for her version of the song:

    Wa Habibi (My Beloved)

     

    My beloved, my beloved

    What state are you in?

    He who sees you, for you would cry

    You are the one and only sacrifice

     

    My beloved,

    What blame have the nations put upon you?

    They melted you with wounds,

    To which no healing would do

     

    When in the dark orchard at night

    The God Creator kneeled and prayed

    Life was praying with the One

    Who gave life hope and prayer

     

    The olive trees are crying

    As the lips of men quiver

    My beloved how will you go?

    Has loyalty gone forever?

     

    My beloved, my beloved

    What state are you in?

    He who sees you, for you would cry

    You are the one and only sacrifice

     

  7. Magick, Music and Ritual 4 - Power of the Sphinx 02:57

    Power of the Sphinx
    (Redfern)

    The Power of the Sphinx, from a tradition so old we don’t know how old really. These scales stretch back into the depths of time, some of this music literally goes back thousands of years. This tune is brand new, but based upon a very ancient scale. The Power of the Sphinx relates to instrumental music in that the instrument while it makes a sound, is a sound designed to engage the mind in a state of silence, and Silence is one of the most powerful mysteries of the Sphinx.

    Who was the voice in Liber AL? Who were they who spoke as “We” in the Holy Koran? What is Ma’at? What is Nirvana? Who bade humanity the command ‘Man, Woman, Know Thyself’? This song is dedicated to that mystery.

 

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